Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road!

14 May

Gravity Bolivia Mountain Biking

Coroico is a town in Nor Yungas Province, in the La Paz Department of western Bolivia.

Last November was the first time our family travelled ‘solo’ through the roads of Bolivia. Our car had finally arrived, and the time to explore our surroundings had begun!

Gravity BoliviaSome 2 hours from the capital, La Paz, the city of Coroico was the choice made for an extended weekend of adventure and relaxation during the cold months! Also, it’s a fantastic way to test one’s skills when driving/biking with no road shoulders, endless cliffs; and in the Winter, through thick fog and heavy rain, overlooking the so-called, ‘death road‘! From tour buses to brave mountain bikers challenging the road of death; from volcanic rocks to water falls exploding from within the rocks… From green tropical vegetation to snow-capped mountains… Quite an experience – and I’m glad the husband got to do it! Two parents trying it at the same time… errrr… One always has to come back home for the kids 😮

TGravity Bolivia Mountain Bikinghis past Saturday [Mother’s Day Weekend!], it came time for ” Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road”!

It’s a bike ride like no other, many have said.

On its upper reaches, the clouds hug the cliff edge, obscuring the abyss.

To the left, there is an unobstructed 600m drop off a cliff while on the right, a vertical rock-face. And the unpaved surface, resembles a rough, dirt track more than a road.


The scenery, if you dare take your eyes off the road, is breathtaking, with the lush rainforest of the Yungas stretching out before your very own eyes! But the stone and wooden crosses that line the route are a sombre reminder that not everyone cycles the full 40 miles (64km) safely to its conclusion.

The man who started the phenomenon in 1998, New Zealander Alistair Matthew, says good instruction and sensible behavior can overcome the dangers. He came up with the idea while trying lots of new rides on his mountain bike in the region near La Paz. His company, Gravity, was the first to offer tourists the chance to cycle the road.. Note to Readers: Alistair is our personal friend. Him and his family, have been our social sponsors since our arrival in Bolivia. We couldn’t have asked for a better choice! 😮

water falls from within the rocks

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStay tuned! There’s more to come your way! After the amazing ride, bikers were taken on a Zip Line adventure… photos to come soon! 😮

Zip Lining in Coroico


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20 responses to “Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road!

  1. Pingback: Danger Tourism
  2. fgassette

    May 16, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Your blog post are all so informative, encouraging and inspiring. I salute you here.



  3. fgassette

    May 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    The first photo is very scary. Looks like the ends of the earth. Nice angle for the photo.



  4. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    May 14, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    wow; cycling the road of death! i’ve seen videos of that road, but yours is the ‘firsthand’ tale i’ve heard. i’m very impressed and look forward to more images with part two!
    i admire that one of you elected to stay home!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      May 15, 2013 at 9:51 am

      As you may imagine, bringing 3 kids aged 7 and under to a ride like this… probably not the wisest decision! 😮 Next time… next time!


      • Playamart - Zeebra Designs

        May 16, 2013 at 10:21 am

        you are so right. if something should happen, you would make world news in a very negative way. “How dare those parents do that!’
        You are giving your children such a great life! they are learning much about other cultures, customs, foods/diet, while most of the children ‘back home,’ have their noses in their telephone devices and fill their bodies with unhealthy foods. yours are alive and well and gleaning the marrow from life!


        • 3rdCultureChildren

          May 16, 2013 at 10:39 am

          I know, I know… even though it was super safe, and all carefully planned, one never knows, right? 😮 Glad it all went well, as planned!
          Thanks for your support – I’m sure we’re offering our children a healthy environment for their growth/development as worldly citizens… at least, that’s our duty as parents! 😮


  5. colonialist

    May 14, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I would simply LOVE to try that! I’d need to get a spot fitter again, though – recently, riding to the local shops had me panting! Also, when cycling in scenery I tend to look at the scenery more than at the road … oops!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      May 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

      Yeap… looking down wouldn’t be a good/wise option! But the whole group had a great time… I’m also totally out of shape… can’t bike in La Paz! Coming back [uphill] with a few bags of groceries is already pretty good exercise, and, like you, it has me panting! I’m glad my husband is in better shape [or should I say, is careless? I don’t think I’d be trying that!] 😮


  6. Em

    May 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Wow this is very awesome! How did you hear about this cycling of a dangerous road? haha


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      May 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      It’s pretty cool… husband went with a group of other expats, a few Bolivians, and the ” Kiwi-owned” company, who organized the ride… I’m still hearing about the ride! 😮 they won’t stop bragging about it! Thanks for stopping by and checking the blogpost out!


  7. rightwingnutsandbolts

    May 14, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Green with envy


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      May 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      I hope it’s a good envy… 😮 Hope you liked the post!


      • rightwingnutsandbolts

        May 14, 2013 at 11:38 pm

        RE: my post: “Can’t I just be a nut and bolt?”
        Three-year plan to see the world on a bike. Bolivia is on the list.


        • 3rdCultureChildren

          May 15, 2013 at 9:08 am

          Good to know! Bolivia [and the road of death!] should be part of any South America traveler’s bucket list! 😮 Way to go!


  8. Lucid Gypsy

    May 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    The cycling is scary but the zip line sounds cool!



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