The World's Most Dangerous Road Belongs to Bolivia


John and Cara Macdonald know, first-hand,the "Road of Death" in Bolivia.

The husband and wife team from Charlottesville, Virginia mountain biked down its steep terrain in 2006, during their two year, 30-country trip around the world, the last half of which took them overland from Patagonia, Argentina to the United States.

The video (see below) of their descent down the road is catchy, and John’s action-packed travel dispatch about their adventure day-trip is a must read.

The 64 kilometre section of the Unduavi-Yolosa Highway from La Cumbre to Coroico is known as the “Road of Death”, or the "World's Most Dangerous Road", because it claims up to 200 lives per year.

Starting high in the ice-packed peaks of the Bolivian Andes and ending in the hot, humid Amazon rainforest, the road’s treachery is attributable to the sheer topography of the area, the extreme climate conditions, and the unstable geology.

And I thought the glorified donkey trails we occasionally found ourselves on during our road trip to Mexico and Central America - the chewed up switchbacks from Neily to San Vito in Costa Rica’s southern highlands and the snaking Highway 175 from Oaxaca CIty to Puerto Angel in Mexico come to mind – were teeth chattering.

But compared to the Road of Death, these stretches of pavement are airport runways.

Video courtesy/copyright @ 2008 John & Cara Macdonald