THE DEATH ROAD
Most commonly known as the road of death, Yungas road is a very popular activity within the gringo traveling community.
You don’t need to be a good cyclist or even fit to go down this exclusively down hill narrow road, you just need to be a confident biker with very little common sense. Who pays to cycle along a deadly cliff edge? Dumb tourists, like myself! I have to admit the experience was a lot of fun, we were blessed with great weather, beautiful sunshine but unfortunately a lot of sun flies (you won’t be able to avoid the bites even if you tried).
The day starts around 7am, the tour company will come pick you up at your hostel and bring you to the infamous road. First you’ll start with some down hill concrete road ‘to practise’ then you’ll bike down the ‘real thing’. It’s a bit intimating at first, but you’ll soon get the jizz and your hands will start aching from pressing them against the break. It’s a fairly easy ride, the scenery is spectacular, you’ll ride along waterfalls & beautiful landscapes. Our group were full of adrenaline junkies, a professional mountain biker and a bunch of carefree lunatics, it was great! We took it fairly easy which you can do if you wish to live a long fulfilling life… A guy on our tour fell over the edge whilst trying to pass another cyclist, thankfully it wasn’t a cliff or it could have been fatale. Not to sound to much like a party pooper but cyclists die every year on the deadly road so beware! Also if you are really, really not into it, don’t bother booking it either, some girls were walking their bike, blocking the road for everyone else which was pretty irritating. They call it ‘death road’ for a reason, this ain’t gonna be a walk in the park so if you’re used to cycling in the park give it a pass!
Finally, once you finished with all the dangerous riding, the tour will bring you to a bar where you’ll feel like drinking a beer, you deserve it, you’re ALIVE, still! After that you’ll go eat and chill by an ice cold swimming pool, which you’ll jump in regardless because you’re ALIVE, still, again!
Then you hop back on the mini bus and head back to La Paz, if you’re lucky (depending which way you look at this) your tour guide will insist that you buy drinks for the way back and get you blind drunk, you’ll do it because you’ve never felt so ALIVE, still!
WHERE TO BOOK?
We went with a tour company called ‘Extreme downhill’ which was recommended to us. You can hire bikes from 400 bolivianos for a standard ride or 480 for a double suspension one. We went for the slightly better one which seemed to work better in the end. I’ve also been told Barracuda was a good reliable company as well. One advice don’t book with your hostel as they’ll take a big cut out for themselves! Most of the agencies are all located close to the witch market so don’t be a lazy backpacker & book it yourself.
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU…
The tour operator will give you a list of essentials when you book… Sunscreen, sandals, trainers, cash cash money...