In the Amazonian rainforest is the world’s most dangerous road that connects La Paz and the low-lying region of Coroico in the Yungas region of Bolivia. With solid rock on one side and 2000 feet hole on the other this La Carretera de los Yungas that is only 12 feet wide is one of the most spectacular road with its beautiful landscape view. This 40 mile road is also known as Death Road, Coroico Road, Camino de las Yungas, Grove’s Road, Road of Death, El Camino de la Muerte and Unduavi-Yolosa Highway. The road gets its name Death Road as around 200 to 300 people are killed on the road every year.
The Death Road was made in the 1930s by cutting the side of the huge Cordillera Oriental mountain chain. It starts at La Paz at 3,660 meters altitude and then goes 4,650 meters high to La Cumbre Pass. From there it takes a steep slope to Coroico which is at 1,200 meters altitude. The steep descent of 3,650 meters is one of the longest downhill stretches in the world. Many sections of the road are unpaved and have no railings.
The rain and fog in the rainy season reduce the visibility and also cause many mudslides and tumbling of rocks from the hillsides above. Small waterfalls also pour down the cliffs. In the summer the dust from vehicles hamper visibility.
The driving rules at the North Yungas Road are different. Unlike the rest of Bolivia who drive on the right side, here vehicles drive on the left. The driver can therefore get a better view of the edge making passing safer. Vehicles that descend down never have the right of way and should move to the outer edge of the road. This force the fast vehicles to stop so that passing can be safe.
On July 24, 1983 around 100 people in a bus were killed on the North Yungas Road. The bus fell in the canyon. It has been Bolivia’s worst road accident. Later in December 1999, 8 Israeli travelers were killed in a jeep accident. The road has been modernized now to make it safer than the old one. The new modern Yungas Road has two lanes includes asphalt pavement and guardrails. The original road is now less used only by a few adventure travelers.