Mountain Biking on Bolivia’s Death Road


The World’s Most Dangerous Road used to be a busy road but a highway was eventually built as a safer alternative so very few cars and trucks still use it. Bolivians are aware of the appeal Death Road has on tourists and usually give riders the right of way. However, when a vehicle approaches we are instructed to go to the left, which of course is the side with the drop! We rode single file along the edge of the cliff and everything down below was blanketed with fog. It was exhilarating and scary not be able to see the drops, some are sheer drops of 6,500 feet!

We rode through waterfalls, stopped for pictures, and some of us had to learn very quickly how to make sharp turns on rocks! We had check points and our guide told us various stories about locals that had died on the road, the few houses along the way, general history of the road, and stories of people who had died riding. The scenery was breath-taking, everything green and lush, the valley of mountains below, houses perched in the middle of no where, waterfalls, birds, and a few kids! Dogs are wild and all over Bolivia and it was no different on Death Road. They sleep in the middle of the road and you have to go around them or get super close to hitting them before they move.

The whole way down our van was following us with our stuff, food, water, extra equipment, and gear. We stopped for lunch, which is provided. There is a vegetarian option but I got the ham and cheese sandwich. A communal bag of potato chips were passed around and a big bottle of Coca Cola and cups. All of it tasted so good on the side of the road, everyone talked about things they saw and saying over and over again they could not believe the edge was so close on some of the turns.

About the author: Gregg Kato

Gregg Kato studied journalism and broadcasting in college while working many different jobs including deejaying, driving a forklift and building web sites (not all at the same time). Kato enjoys riding local Santa Cruz trails. Besides being an avid mountain biker, he is also a motorcycle fanatic. Two wheels, one Passion.

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  • tc on li says:

    wow if I ever make a bucket list this ride will be on it

  • Roy Reichwein says:

    My son and I did this last year. We went with Xtreme Downhill. The cost was similar. The bikes were bullet proof. The gear was great. The guides were expert and fun. The downhill was awesome. I can highly recommend Xtreme Downhill for this.

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