Friday, January 13, 2012

North Yungas Road – ‘Road of Death’

The World's Most Dangerous Road“El Camino de la MuerteIts ( its name in Spanish) is a 61 km road from La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia. It is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the “world’s most dangerous road”. One estimate is that 200-300 travelers were killed yearly along the road.”
Road of Death’ or ‘Death Road’ as it’s called, the North Yungas Road, 35 miles (56 km) northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia has one of the toughest terrains in the world. Connecting La Paz to Coroico, the road stretches 61 to 69 km depending upon the source. The estimated suggests that the ‘killer-road’ takes 200-300 lives every year. Owing to the dangers associated with the road, in 1995, the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the “world’s most dangerous road”.

Full of stones, rocks and shingles, the road offers a dirt track edging the mountain connecting La Paz and Coroico. It gets worse with rain and fog, which not only reduces the visibility, but also makes the road surface muddy, and slackens rocks from the hillsides. This is why the region is highly prone to accidents. Often the mini-buses skid over the sides of the road plunging into the deep canyons, this has lead to high death count over the years. The spots of accidents have been marked with crosses.
Further, high drop-offs of at least 600 meters (1,969 ft), lack of guard rails, single-lane width of 3.2 meters (10.5 ft) through most of the road makes the ‘Death Road’ most vulnerable for accidents.

North Yungas Road“Mountain Biking Down the World’s Most Dangerous Road. Picture taken by Gravity Bolivia”
The road was constructed in 1930s during the Chaco War to connect La Paz with Amazon rainforest region of northern Bolivia or Yungas. Starting from La Paz the road first ascends 5 km and then descends 330 m along the steep hillsides.
Quite interestingly, in 1990s the perils associated with the road made it widely popular as a tourist destination. Around 25000 enthusiasts visited the road during the 90s, particularly for the mountain bikers who found the road excellent for downhill biking. However, it needs a mention that Yungas Road remains a highly risky expedition with nearly 13 cyclists dead since 1998.
The World's Most Dangerous Road
Yungas \'Death\' Road, Bolivia“Yungas ‘Death’ Road, Bolivia”
“Some of the best photos from mountain biking down the World’s Most Dangerous Road in Bolivia (Also known as Bolivia’s Death Road) with Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking (”
“The Death Road in Bolivia. 64km long, all of it downhill: you descend 11,800 feet, from snow-covered peaks down to the steaming Amazon Jungle. It’s eight feet wide, made of gravel, and edged by sheer drops of 3,000 feet. Your mountain bike can reach speeds of 70km/h on the four-hour ride, occasionally requiring you to swerve to avoid oncoming trucks and buses. People have died on the descent “

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...