The South American Highway to Hell

The South American countries are famous for their deadly beauty, more often not; their lovely rainforests, beaches and cultural sites are death traps waiting for their next victim.
Their roads and highways are not exception to this “rule.” The so-called Carretera de la Muerte is one of the few communications between the Amazon rainforest and the northern Bolivian region, known as Yungas. The route starts at the Bolivian capitol La Paz, also known as the city built on highest altitude in the world. The road is around 60 km long and it descends from 4.600 m to 1.200 m altitude.

03-the death road Yungas via newseastwest

This road is mainly dirt-road and single-lane road. Though the Bolivians drive on the right side, here we have a vice versa situation, as to have better visibility and control. The route goes through very steep hillsides and atop cliffs. One of the sides is basically cut into rock, while the other side is a steep drop, sometimes even 600 m deep. And to make things even more fun, there are no guard rails. We repeat, there are no guard rails. The local road rule demands that the downhill driver never has the right of way and must conform to move on the outer side of the road. Thus, the faster downhill vehicles are made to stop as to make way for a safe passing of both vehicles.

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