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The world's most dangerous road

By: staff

Date: Saturday, 25. November 2006

Yungas Road Forget your local road with the bad turns, the potholes or the rush-hour congestion. Some people have real road problems.

There's that awful road in Russia from Moscow to Yakutsk (near the Yakutsk end) and a scary one in Nepal heading from Katmandu toward Mount Everest, and a few other horror stories from around the world, but the road from Bolivia's capital city of La Paz to the high-Andes region of Yungas beats them all hands down.

In 1995, the Inter American Development Bank called it the most dangerous road in the world and nobody argued with them.

For most of the 40 or so miles (about 60 Km) from Coroico to La Paz the road is no more than a winding track carved out of the side of a mountain. Single-lane width, extreme drop-offs, lack of guardrails and sometimes unruly traffic compound the problem.

Incredibly, the road, despite little more than 3 meters wide for most of its lenght, is a major route for trucks and buses. Imagine heading into a curve at night, in rain and meeting a bus coming the other way!

The road drops in altitude from a little over 14,000 feet (4300 M) to just over 1,000 feet, taking it from the high Andes plains down through the rain forests to La Paz. A local rule that helps to keep some kind of order is that up-bound traffic has the right of way. This helps slow downward traffic as they go into blind turns.

The road was build during the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners of war. A new road has been under construction for more than a decade.

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All Comments (18)

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cycled down this road the other day and got up to speeds of about 40 km/h. Scary as hell and was close to going off the side at one point. It really is as dangerous as they say but the locals are well trained in driving it. the biggest killer on it is drunks!


this road is so cool

Delon Moore,

This road Should be Illegal for any one to drive on.
Bolivia Is not a positive place to be if they cant enforce a law to make it illegal to be on such a place.
Delon-11 years old

Rein Renan,

Oh my God! What a road... It takes real guts to travel by that road even in daytime. So, just imagine traveling through it at night or in rain or fog. Unbelievable!!!


For those of you interested in more details of the drive, take a look at boliviangeographic com (archives). National Geographic also just came out with "Dangerous World: Roads" which features the Yungas Road, and looks at the science behind why it's so dangerous. It also covers the story of a Canadian guy who's traveled the road dozens of times with some crazy stories!

north carolina,

i bet its really dangerous road what if a women gets on this highway what would happened


i challenge every best driver of da world 2 get face my furious action on dis track


First off, the writer of the article doesn't know what he is talking about. La Paz is located in the Andes at 12,000feet and you drive down the hill to the Yungas. I've been down it in a bus and it's much worse than the pics you see. I actually saw another bus fly right off the edge!!!!


Hey dequila, You missed the link. It's right there at the top
Includes support by email and phone


what the heck? I thought this was for actual drivers for computers and scanners!! what a load of crap!!


Ok, now imagine it is -20 degrees celcius and the roads are covered in a couple inches of solid ice. Did I mention you have to carry 75 metric tons of logs behind you? That is what I do on a daily basis in Mackenzie, BC Canada. The trucks that plow our logging roads have grooves in their plows that make the ice surface smooth with small ridges so you have traction, but still a fairly smooth ride with few bumps. The snowbanks are dense enough to keep empty trucks on the road if you slide, but you're going over the edge if you are loaded! We also have kilometer marker boards along the roads and we use VHF radios to call out our kilometers as we go along. After driving the same route for a few weeks, you get to know where all the pull outs are and can get pretty close to oncoming trucks before having to pull out. We travel an average top speed of 80km/h empty and 60km/h loaded. The grades are steep and sometimes you have to go as slow as 15km/h down them. You just drive along calling out "Loaded 47 km 7000 road" or whatever and the epmty trucks will clear the loads.


I've been on this road several times and it is quite the experience! The comment about the tires hanging off the edge is very true. Uphill traffic has the right of way and the inside. Downhill traffic has to do the dangerous backing up to a place wide enough to pass. Well worth experiencing if you get the chance!


Yep, we have roads like that here in Nepal, although I've seen none as small as the one in the fourth picture (wow!).

In fact, most roads out of Kathmandu are like that:
"winding track carved out of the side of a mountain. Single-lane width, extreme drop-offs, lack of guardrails and sometimes unruly traffic"

Not as extreme as the Yungas, I'd imagine though ;)


i bet i can drive there though it looks really terrifying but i bet it is thrilling. Men this is one ay to get the thrill of a lifetime.(from kenya massive, central & nyeri definitely)


errm... Do they do a fly-drive holiday package to this place ???


I had to travel on this road in 1999 all the way to Rurrenabaque in the amazon. To date, it was the most terrifying experience I have ever been through (and i have travelled thru most of the undeveloped areas of the world). At times, the rear wheels of the bus were actually hanging in mid-air, directly over cloud-filled gorges that plunged straight down for thousands of feet! At one point, my large bus had to allow an army tank on a trailer to pass by.


it would be interesting to find out how dangerous this road really is. It looks awful but I bet drivers are really careful.


really its a bad road , i cannot imagin driving on the mentioned road at night

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