It’s been called the most dangerous road in the world. But that hasn’t stopped thousands of thrillseekers from making the hair-raising descent. Here are the things you need to know to survive a cycling trip down Bolivia’s Death Road.
This landlocked country is full of rugged, natural landscapes. Often referred to as a ‘well-kept secret,’ Bolivia is not as touristy as the countries that surround it, but it still has a great deal to offer travellers. Two-thirds of Bolivia’s population are of indigenous origin, which makes it a cultural hot spot within South America. Bolivia also offers adventure sports, jungle tours, mountainous landscapes and sightseeing for all types of travelers. Although Bolivia is known for its authentic and more unpolished travel experience, luxury travel is still available.
Currency: Boliviano (BOB)
Did you know?
- Bolivia has the largest deposit of salt in the world, which is known as the Salar de Uyuni or Salt Flats.
- Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in Latin America.
- Bolivia’s Lake Titicaca is the highest commercially navigable body of water worldwide, based at an altitude of 12,507 feet.
- Bolivia is the world’s largest harvester of cocoa.
- The Bolivian military recruits young men as early as 14 years of age.
- La Paz is the world’s second highest city, at an elevation of 3,630 metres.
- You could once take a tour of the famous San Pedro Prison, which was given by inmates. Tours of the prison are now forbidden.
Because of the different climate zones, Bolivia’s weather can change drastically as you move throughout the country. The highlands get cold and nights are often below zero degrees Celsius. Yet, in the jungle, the weather is extremely hot and wet. Overall, the weather is fairly unpredictable and usually cooler than tourists expect.
The summer months are November to March, when the weather is generally warm and wet. The winter months are April to October, which are cooler and drier.
Bolivia was once a part of the ancient Inca Empire until the Spaniards defeated them in the 16th century. Bolivia’s predominantly Indian population was then put to slavery. Bolivia won its independence in 1825, but gave up much of its land, lost in wars with Chile, Paraguay and Brazil.
Bolivia now sits on South America’s second largest natural gas reserves and a good deal of oil, but is still one of the poorest countries on the continent.
Thirsty? If you’re in South America, opt for one of these authentic national drinks that will give you the true tastes of their home countries.