Cycling (and surviving) Deathroad, Bolivia

The legendary Deathroad outside La Paz is a must for most travellers heading through the city. And there isn’t a street without a agency offering tours along the notorious road. I didn’t actually do any research on the different agencies, one of the perks of traveling in a group, but we ended up with Barracuda who seemed to have the best deal. The normal package includes a day of cycling, different types of bikes and gear, snacks, lunch and a pool hang out after the trip.

The day started with some cycle practice at the parking lot on the mountaintop. From there it was almost an hour of downhill cruising along the asphalt road. It didn’t take long before we got really comfortable on the bikes and getting enough speed became the biggest issue.

After the asphalt part we were driven uphill to start on the gravel part, the official Deathroad. The road was between 3-4 m wide which sounds like a lot more than it feels like going downhill, especially considering that after those 3-4 m there is nothing but a 60-200 m drop. The rocks and the gravel were the main reasons for people falling. Once loosing control, if you didn’t have enough speed the rocks as well as slamming the breaks would easily send you sideways instead of the bike just floating over at high speed. It took me some time to get this, but as the confidence grew so did the speed.

Fast or slow, the trip offers amazing views over the Bolivian cloud forests and a memory for life!

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