Road To Coroico, La Paz
Definitely a Must Do when going to the nearby village of Coroico, before staying there a couple of days.
64 kms downhill from El cumbre (4640 meters) to Viloza (1295 meters), with 34 kms on the old dirt road described as the world´s most dangerous one. Then it´s up to you to choose your descent speed... If not for speed and adrenaline, you will enjoy the splendid landscape!
I did it in the rainy season and I suggest you see my travelogue for pics you may not see elsewhere...
Picture the scene, 4700, above sea level, 7.30am, it is freezing. You are about to decend to 1400m over the next few hours, biking down a road that is steep, loose gravel, and has a 600m vertical drop to the left hand side.
You will go through snow capped peaks, into cloud forest, into virtual rainforest.
There are risks, 11 bikers have died doing this, but choose a company well and you should be fine. The company I used are slightly more expensive, but this gets you a real biker guide who speaks english, a good bike, great food etc. You also get to stop off at the Yolosa animal sanctury at the bottom (see other tip).
This company is Gravity Assisted Mountain Biking.
Anyone can do it. there are 2 uphill bits that are tough, but otherwise it is all downhill and you can go at your own pace.
I did this on my first day in La Paz and found it to be the ultimate cure for Altitude Sickness
One of the many highlights of this amazing country is the bike ride down the Worlds most dangerous road from the outskirts of La Paz to Coroico. The road decends about 3,500 meters and the weather can change from snow at the top to the hot tropical humidity of the jungle at the bottom.
A brainwave by a crazy Kiwi, this has turned out to be a highlight for thousands travelling around Bolivia. Use an established company in La Paz with a good safety record, as there are many copycat companies using cheap bikes. My group had two guides riding with us - one in front and the other at the rear of the group. A mini van followed with spare parts and the backpacks for those of us not returning to La Paz in the afternoon. We were given a good briefing before the ride and the guides stopped us regularly en-route at scenic viewpoints and for snacks. This helped to keep concentration at a maximum while riding.
Unbelievable adrenalin rush in spectacular scenery - for 4.5 hours downhill !
The Worlds most dangerous road has earned it's reputation with an average of a vehicle a week going off the edge in some bad years.
With the temperature changing so dramatically as you decend, you will end up with an entire backpack fill of dirty clothes as the layers keep coming off. Don't dispair as Coroico at the bottom is the perfect place to recover and while your laundry is being done, you can enjoy a swim at the hotel pool.
This has to be one of the best rides in the world. It takes approximately 4+ hours and apart from a couple of short, slight rises, it is all downhill!