Drive Coroico - Caranavi

Drive Coroico - Caranavi

Road of death

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Rating:Good
Overcrowding: Average
Difficulty: Minimal
Time: 3:00 h

There are only cyclists on the famous Bolivian road of death from Cumbre pass to the town Coroico lying in misty Yungas and its fame is long gone. But if you continue on from Coroico to Caranavi, then await you eighty kilometers along the dangerous road offering many adrenaline experiences.
 

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Preparation before traveling

Navigate on the map

Only small buses with better maneuverability on local roads of death run on the bus routes connecting Yungas and Amazon jungle or pampa fortunately. Each of them has a painted motif, mostly religious, but sometimes also wild animals or dinosaurs. All excess baggage must be on the roof – luckily under the tarp. But even so, your backpack will certainly be dusty.

 

Preparation before traveling

Behind Choroico

After you go down the switchbacks for 700 vertical meters from Coroico closer to the river, asphalt ends and the bus runs still high above the canyon along the dusty road.

 

Behind Choroico

Driving over the canyon

Special signs notify drivers to stick to the left, i.e. closer to the ravine in order to better monitor whether they still have the wheels on the road or already in the gorge. There are no crash barriers, so no even a little mistake is not allowed.

 

Driving over the canyon

The road shot in the slope

The mountain slopes in Yungas are very steep, the climate often wet and rainy, so massive landslides are more than common here. Especially in places where local loggers deforested the slopes or where the road was built and terrain was modified by diggers and dynamite.

 

The road shot in the slope

Pathway through Yungas

The entire Yungas is very sparsely populated. But only one or two buildings and the area around is pretty well eradicated.

 

Pathway through Yungas

Canyon overgrown with jungle

The road leads first hour in around one hundred and fifty altitude meters above the river, which looks from this height just like a little strip. It is ideal to sit to the left by the window, so you can properly enjoy this adrenalin experience.

 

Canyon overgrown with jungle

Avoiding trucks

Navigate on the map

The biggest experience on all these death roads is avoiding the oncoming vehicles. Especially with trucks or other buses. By that you really feel that you must inevitably fall into the ravine every now and then. Vehicles driving up are better off, i.e. those riding from the jungle in the direction La Paz or Coroico, because they are by the rock. Furthermore, every moment you can see a cross at the roadside.

 

Avoiding trucks

Life on the road

Navigate on the map

Life on the road looks from the bus window like a little horror. It is incredibly dusty here and all the houses are covered with a layer of yellow dust. The road gets a little wider in the villages and thus you have a little bit relax from the adrenaline passages for a moment. 

The canyon gradually narrows and the bus drives only ten meters above the river, which looks more safely, although fall into the gorge would probably have similar result as from the slopes before. Finally, after three hours you finally arrive to Caranavi (620 m asl), which (considering Yungas) is big town and road junction in one. If you're heading up to Rurrenabaque, so you have already done only a small part of the entire journey.

Life on the road

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