Are you an adrenaline junkie? Is cheating death the only thing that makes you feel alive? Here’s the perfect vacation for you: Mountain biking down Bolivia’s “Death Road.”
Technically, the road in question is called the “Yungas Road” because it connects Bolivia’s northern Yungas rainforest with the capital city of La Paz. However, so many people have died along the road that locals and foreigners alike refer to it as “El Camino de la Muerte,” which is Spanish for “the road of death.”
What makes Bolivia’s “death road” so dangerous? First of all, starting from a height of almost 5 kilometers up in the air, it plunges more than 3.6 kilometers in the space of about 70 kilometers. The switchbacks are brutally sharp, and there are no guardrails to protect you. As many as 200 people die on the road each year.
And yet, it’s actually a tourist attraction, especially for daredevil mountain bikers. As you can see from the video below, it isn’t just the adrenaline rush that’s attractive-the scenery is breathtaking as well:
Some tips for biking the death road and surviving:
- Wear a helmet.-but understand that it won’t protect you if you plummet off one of those cliffs.
- Buy travel insurance. Make sure it covers accidents.
- Ride at a safe speed. Be aware of what’s in front of you at all times.
- As the guide on the video said, “Just be careful.”
- Do like the locals do: Pour out an offering of beer and pray that the goddess Pachamama grants you safe package. Ask the locals which brand she prefers.
To visit Bolivia, American citizens need both a US passport and a Bolivian visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the time you enter the country, and you can get a visa either before you leave the US, at the airport when you arrive or at official land border crossings.
Bolivian visas cost $135, and you must pay in cash if you decide to apply for one on arrival.
Here’s what you’ll need to apply for a Bolivian tourist visa.
- One Bolivian visa application form
- A US passport, valid for at last 6 months after you plan to enter Bolivia.
- 1 passport-sized photo, 4 by 4 centimeters in size
- A hotel confirmation or letter of invitation from someone in Bolivia.
- Your round-trip plane ticket. If you aren’t flying in, include a statement saying when you plan to enter and leave Bolivia instead.
- A copy of a bank statement or credit card statement.
- An International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever.
Rushmytravelvisa can help you apply for your visa ahead of time, ensuring that entering Bolivia, at least, goes smoothly. Our visa specialists make the process quick and painless.