Travelers worldwide tend to find themselves in the country Bolivia if they are working their way throughout South America. As one, if the not the most affordable countries in this region, it is a great place to get an extremely solid bang for your buck as well as enjoy some of the worlds most amazing wonders such as Salar de Uyuni, Lake Titicaca, and Death Road.
As a self-diagnosed adrenaline junkie, biking Death Road Bolivia was simply a life requirement. The deadliest road in the world, claiming 200-300 lives each year, is located just outside of La Paz. Biking a total of 67KM/41 miles, it is a day you’ll never forget. This and the Jungle Inca Trail/Machu Picchu were the adventure highlights of South America for me. I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with one of the premier biking tour companies for Death Road, Barracuda Biking. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and was lucky enough to have Noel as our main guide. If I was you, I’d make sure to request him.
The day begins bright and early as you meet your group at 7:30 in the morning near the center of La Paz. After an hour and a half uphill ride, you reach the starting point above the clouds at 4,615 meters/15,140 feet. At that point, you check and test your gear and make sure you are comfortable on your bike. There is also an interesting tribute paid to Pachamama (Mother Earth) right before you begin the descent.
Starting first on paved road, you make a few pit stops to enjoy the surrounding scenery. At the end of the hour-long ride down the pavement, you stop and pay the 25 Bolivianos ($3.50 USD) toll and hop back into the van for a quick ride uphill to begin the actual Death Road. After one last briefing and gear check, you spend the next several hours hugging cliffs with up to 600 meters/1950 feet drops.
Along the way, you’ll stop at a few of the most scenic views on the ride for pictures. A second guide both follows and rides in front of the group to take photos and videos, both individual and group shots, that can be picked up at the Barracuda office on CD the next day. This is included in the cost of the tour along with all equipment rental, lunch, transportation, and a Barracuda Biking t-shirt. The cost for the tour is 500 Bolivianos/$74USD.
At the completion of the ride, you will have dropped around 3,500 meters/14,000 feet, down to around 1150 meters/3,750 feet above sea level. When you begin the decent, you’ll have several layers of clothes on to stay warm. At the end, you’ll be putting on your bathing suit and basking in the sun in the middle of a river laughing with your newly created friendships with others from around the globe. I couldn’t be happier I checked this one off of my bucket list and have a strong feeling you’ll feel the same at the end of the ride.