The Yungas Road is a cycle route about 60 km long which links the city of La Paz and the Yungas region of Bolivia. The route includes the Cotapata-Santa Bárbara section that replaced the old "Road of Death", currently reserved exclusively for cycling activities.
The road was built in the 1930. Because of steep slopes, a narrow single track, lack of guardrails, rain, and fog, the road was considered dangerous. Despite its nickname, it was not the most dangerous road in the region.
Unlike the rest of the country, traffic was left-hand, to allow the driver to assess the distance of their outer wheel from the edge of the road.
Today it draws about 25,000 tourists per year and is a major La Paz tourist attraction. Many tour operators cater to downhill mountain biking, providing information, guides, transport and equipment. At least 18 cyclists have died on the road since 1998. The tourist route is a 64 km long road with 3500 metres of descent.
An alternative new route was built during a 20-year period ending in 2006. The modernization included enlarging the carriageway from one to two lanes; asphalt paving; bridges, drainage, guardrails, and the building of a new section between Chusquipata and Yolosa, bypassing the most dangerous sections of the original road.
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