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The World-Famous “Death Road”


How’s the condition of your highway route? Lots of potholes? Maybe some debris scattered across the road? High tolls?

Are you in danger of dropping off a cliff and disappearing in a fiery, mud-crusted death? We’re guessing your route doesn’t take you through Bolivia’s famous “Road of Death.” The official name is the Yungas Road, but since it’s so infamous, no one really calls it that.

Death Road is a 38-mile stretch of dirt and gravel carved out of the side of several mountain passes on the north side of Bolivia’s capital, La Paz. Since there are many demands for goods coming out of La Paz to other parts of the country, Yungas Road experiences an unnatural level of truck traffic in relation to how dangerous it is. The road is able to claim around 200 – 300 lives per year due to the fact that it’s extremely narrow, traffic flows both ways on it, and there are no guardrails on the drop off side.

Even professional car and truck drivers have close calls on the muddy, twisting path of Yungas. The BBC auto series Top Gear visited the famed mountain pass, and one of the hosts Jeremy Clarkson, nearly died when he allowed an oncoming car pass him by pulling to the sheer side of the road, and the mud began falling out from under him.

Have a look at this video that features live video shots of truck drivers taking the road, and several photos that illustrate just how crazy you have to be to travel here.

Mantonio Sanchez


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