Cycling the World’s Most Dangerous Road!

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.

WMDR

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

Photo of the Day: Thanks to Gravity Bolivia(c)!

The “Ripping shot of a gravity group doing the bolivian death road” in Bolivia! One of the many touristic/adventurous things to do while visiting this beautiful and unique country! Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the amazing shot: it belongs to Gravity Bolivia (c) http://www.gravitybolivia.com, 2012, and I was lucky enough to get authorization to share it over here… Totally worthy, right?

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Seriously… look at this! Isn’t it a fantastic photo?

So, what’s it, exactly?

The “Ripping shot of a gravity group doing the bolivian death road” in Bolivia! One of the many touristic/adventurous things to do while visiting this beautiful and unique country! Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the amazing shot: it belongs to Gravity Bolivia (c) www.gravitybolivia.com, 2012, and I was lucky enough to get authorization to share it over here… Totally worthy, right?

The photo was taken with a cell phone (!) [HTC ONE X, using the HDR function]… a great stimulus to all of us, amateur photographers out there! 😮 Liked what you saw? I sure did… I’m still finding my adventurous side [I’m a mom of 3 little kiddos, remember?], but the hubby is totally sold by the idea of venturing through the death road, biking and bringing back wonderful photos for his beloved wife… I appreciate that. Will keep you all posted… Again, a BIG THANK YOU for letting me share this unique image… That’s why it’s so easy to fall in love with this country… 😮 And, for the curious ones out there, when in Bolivia, go check them out:

www.gravitybolivia.com

Company Mission

Each year we have managed to grow in size while at the same time improve our quality — better bikes each year, more training for our guides and mechanics, new rides, and more information and resources available for visitors to our office. We look forward to seeing you and taking you on “the ride of your life”…

Photo Essay: Road trip to Coroico, Bolivia.

Coroico is a town in Nor Yungas Province, in the La Paz Department of western Bolivia. Coroico Viejo (Old Coroico) was founded above the Kori Huayco River (which means “golden valley” in Aymara). The town lived from mining gold, but the massive attacks by Indians left the first settlers in search of protection. From the mid-18th century the lands in this region came under the control of a few powerful families, the hacienderos. These families maintained control of this region until the mid-1950s, when they were overthrown by revolution. After the revolution, agrarian reforms were put in place, dividing the lands up between the national government and the locals.

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

Thanksgiving weekend – the first time our family is traveling ‘solo’ through the roads of Bolivia. Our car finally arrived, and the time to explore our surroundings has begun! Some 2 hours from the capital, La Paz, the city of Coroico was the choice made for an extended weekend of adventure and relaxation! Also, a fantastic way to test husband’s skills when driving with no road shoulders, endless cliffs, 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, we saw it all… Quite an experience! 😮

Below, some great views of the volcanic rocks lining up along the drive, as well as exquisite red cliffs framing our road trip towards learning more about this beautiful country we’ve been calling home for the past 4 months…


Llamas crossing!
water falls from within the rocks

Coroico Viejo (Old Coroico) was founded above the Kori Huayco River (which means “golden valley” in Aymara). The town lived from mining gold, but the massive attacks by Indians left the first settlers in search of protection.From the mid-18th century the lands in this region came under the control of a few powerful families, the hacienderos. These families maintained control of this region until the mid-1950s, when they were overthrown by revolution. After the revolution, agrarian reforms were put in place, dividing the lands up between the national government and the locals.

The snow-capped mountain contrasts with the tropical vegetation found around the town of Coroico.

La Familia

Now, Coroico has a mostly Aymara and Mestizo population. The town has become a major market for the surrounding region. Staple products arrive from La Paz and the surrounding areas to be sold in the colorful markets and stores all days of the week.

A great reward after a difficult drive!

Death Road’ bikers and tour buses are common visitors to the region around Coroico, which has remained a traditional adventure growing area….

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