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North Yungas Road

The Most Dangerous Road in the World

Updated October 2, 2013

For most people it doesn’t cross their mind that the roads that they drive on will be well-maintained and safe, but in certain parts of the world simply driving on the road can be an extremely frightening experience. While there are hundreds of dangerous roads there is one road above any other that has been called the most dangerous road is in the world and that is the North Yungas Road.

North Yungas Road

Where is the Road?

The North Yungas Road has a number of names and you might see it referred to as as Coroico Road, Road of Death, Camino de las Yungas, Grove’s Road or simply Death Road. It is located in Bolivia and it runs from La Paz which is the capital of the country to Coroico which is in the Amazon region.

Coroico Road

Deaths per Year

Each year it is estimated that between 200 to 300 people are killed along the stretch of road which runs for around 69 kilometres. To mark where cars and other vehicles have fallen off the road there are numerous crosses which remind travellers about the perilous journey that they are making.

Death Road

The Road’s History

The road was built by Paraguayan prisoners during the Chaco War in the 1930s. From 1986 to 2006 the road underwent modernisation and included a new separate route with drainage, bridges, guardrails, pavements. The new route is also wider so it can accommodate two lanes of traffic,meaning that it is much safer to travel along. This has led to a significant drop in the number of vehicles using the original road.

Road of Death

Interesting Facts

  • At the start of the North Yungas road as runs from La Paz it quickly ascends to a height of 15,260 feet or 4,650 meters as it reaches the La Cumbre Pass. As the road reaches the town of Coroico it descends to a height of 3,900 feet or 1,200 meters.
  • The road winds through rainforests and cliffs.
  • Many of the drops at the side of the road are around 1,830 feet or 600 meters.
  • Much of the road is single lane and is no wider than 10 feet or 3.2 meters.
  • There are no guard rails at any part along the road, making it even more dangerous to travel long.
  • Visibility is also very poor along the road with fog, dust and rain making driving even more difficult and dangerous.
  • In 1983 a bus left the road and fell into a ravine, killing over 100 people. This is thought to be the worst accident on the roads in Bolivia.
  • One of the rules of driving on the road stipulates that the uphill driver always has the right of way.
  • Vehicles on the road are also expected to drive on the left. Throughout the rest of Bolivia drivers must drive on the right but driving on the left is to make driving on the road safer as views of the road sides are clearer.
  • The original road is now mainly used by mountain bikers who enjoy the almost unbroken 40 mile downhill straight.
  • Even though it is a popular destination for thrill seekers there have been approximately 18 deaths of cyclists since 1998.

Camino de las Yungas
This is a guest article from www.YourParkingSpace.co.uk, an online parking marketplace which connects people with under-used and empty driveways with motorists who need a place to park. Founded in 2006, the site now has over 10,000 spaces available to rent.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

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