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"Death Road," Camino de las Yungas, Bolivia

One of Bolivia’s most popular tourist activities is mountain-biking “Death Road.” There are many tourist agencies that make this day tour from La Paz; they’ll charge you about $75 for bike, helmet, food and transport. I chose a company called Bside Adventures, who were both professional and fun — and very quick with the first aid when I crashed and blacked out three-quarters of the way down the mountain.

The ride takes the majority of the day, as you bike over 40 miles and descend 12,000 feet from just outside La Paz to the village of Coroico. The trip is mainly downhill, with a trying uphill portion for those not used to exercising at 15,000 feet. But the ride is worth every minute of pain. You cruise through changing ecosystems, peeling off clothes as the temperature rises nearing the tropical lowlands.

As for the nickname Death Road, it doesn’t take long to realize this is an appropriate title. Sadly, many people (200-300 a year) have lost their lives on this stretch of “highway,” which was once the only road between Coroico and La Paz. Current figures estimate that 13 people have died mountain-biking Death Road since 1998, so adrenaline junkies take note: this will be the ride of your life!

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One of Bolivia’s most popular tourist activities is mountain-biking “Death Road.” There are many tourist agencies that make this day tour from La Paz; they’ll charge you about $75 for bike, helmet, food and transport. I chose a company called Bside Adventures, who were both professional and fun — and very quick with the first aid when I crashed and blacked out three-quarters of the way down the mountain.

The ride takes the majority of the day, as you bike over 40 miles and descend 12,000 feet from just outside La Paz to the village of Coroico. The trip is mainly downhill, with a trying uphill portion for those not used to exercising at 15,000 feet. But the ride is worth every minute of pain. You cruise through changing ecosystems, peeling off clothes as the temperature rises nearing the tropical lowlands.

As for the nickname Death Road, it doesn’t take long to realize this is an appropriate title. Sadly, many people (200-300 a year) have lost their lives on this stretch of “highway,” which was once the only road between Coroico and La Paz. Current figures estimate that 13 people have died mountain-biking Death Road since 1998, so adrenaline junkies take note: this will be the ride of your life!

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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