Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Yungas Road

Yungus Road © Toxane
Yungus Road © Toxane

Yungas Road is not an attraction for the faint of heart. Dubbed the 'El Camino de la Muerte' (Road of Death), it stretches between La Paz and Coroica and claimed 200 to 300 lives every year until 1994. Paraguayan prisoners built the road during the 1930s Chaco War, and it has extreme drops of up to 2,000 feet (609m). The Yungas Road has since become a popular tourist destination among thrill seekers, particularly mountain bikers. It remains dangerous, though, and trucks have serious problems passing each other. Crosses dot the road and mark where cars have plunged off the steep cliff. Drivers on Yungas Road must obey a strict set of rules, as rain and fog often reduce visibility and there are no guard rails. Contrary to normal Bolivian driving rules, drivers keep to the left, and uphill vehicles always have the right of way. Yungas Road has been upgraded with many new safety measures in the last decade, but the original route, now called North Yungas Road, is still in use by tourists.