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Side Trips from La Paz Sights

El Camino de la Muerte

Updated 12/31/1969

Fodor's Review

You might say your chances are just as good biking to Coroico from La Paz as they are taking a bus down what the UN once proclaimed "the world's most dangerous road," and you'd probably be right. This North Yungas Road, commonly known as "El Camino de la Muerte" (Road of Death), was built in the 1930s during the Chaco War by Paraguayan prisoners. Dotting the 69 km (43 mi) narrow trek are crosses honoring the estimated 300 travelers killed along the road each year. Although

vehicles are still permitted to drive on the old road, most public transport now goes down the newer South Yungas Road (Chulumani Road). Unfortunately this paved highway cuts through Cotapata National Park, home to monkeys, parrots, the spectacled bear, and oropendolas, known for their woven basket-nests and bright yellow tails. Turisbus offers guided tours along the old road in comfortable four-wheel-drive vehicles, although most travelers prefer to explore the area by bike so it's just you, the subtropics, and some terrifying drops. Choose your agency carefully, make sure your bike has good brakes before you set off, and don't look down. No matter how you travel, prepare yourself for drastic changes in temperature since you'll be dropping from 4,700 meters/15,400 feet (at Pampa Larama Lake beside the Statue of Jesus Christ) to 800 meters/2,624 feet (just outside of Coroico at the Santa Barbara Bridge).

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Sight Information

Address:

Coroico, Bolivia

Updated 12/31/1969

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