El Camino de La Muerte -The death road-

I was watching the boob tube yesterday and I encountered a show that featured a report of a 40 mile downhill. The catch? It is in Bolivia. It is dubbed the ‘Death Road’ because of how many people have died transversing the road. Here’s a little excerpt from the touring company the reporter dude used:

# Incredible scenic variety and a spectacular descent of more than 3,600m/11,800 feet, from snow-covered high-altitude plains and mountain ranges down to the steaming Amazonian Jungle. Part of the ride is on the dramatic and scenic “World’s Most Dangerous Road,” dubbed such by the Inter-American Development Bank in 1995.
# 64kms (40 miles) of downhill riding with only a few small uphills and a couple of flat bits!

Click here for more info.

Just one more thing to put on my “Bucket List”

5 Replies to “El Camino de La Muerte -The death road-”

  1. The ride is more than amazing!!! but be sure to take a good company, I read in Lonely Planet was the best out there, and I was sure of booking there and while I was on a Touristic Street in La Paz I reicived a flyer of another company called Vertigo Biking,I decided to visit their office and they convinced me because of the equipment, the bike and of course THE PRICE (20 bucks less than gravity), at night I was re-thinking my decition but since the payment was done I had nothing to do!

    The day of the ride from the begining the service of this company was gr8! the picked me up from my hotel, and the equipment was very proffessional(at first I thought it was overneeded, but when I saw an accident in a cheap company I Understood their mean of real SAFE), During my ride I saw a Gravity group, their equipment was not asgood as mine and their bikes looked very old, and the had more than 15 in ONE GROUP (only two gudes), in my grou we were 6 and our guide (one of our 2 guides) told me they only accept 8 per DAY!


    well I promised this guy that I will recommend them so I do!
    their website is http://www.vertigobiking.com

    AND LEARN, not everything you read is true! GRAVITY is not a bad company (I saw really bad ones on the death road) but comparing to VERTIGO they SUCK!

  2. I was doing a ride on the WMDG with Gravity on May 9th and we did not finish the ride ’cause one client from Vertigo Biking, Theodore William Dreyfuss, fell on the cliff and died soon after. Vertigo guides and clients passed on by rushing like the wind and a few corners after we were looking down a tragedy.

    None of the guides in Vertigo were trained to descend into the forrest and rescue the injured man, and they didn’t have any ropes nor stretcher or any special device to help assist this unfortunate guy. Gravity and other biking companies lend their stuff. One guide from another company was the first one to reach the body 90 feet down

    What we knew after is that this company Vertigo Biking have been accused by their Bolivian counterparts of being not ruled by the proper Bolivian regulations. So they are not legal.

    Webare girls and guys! We have been happy to leave the jungle safe but maybe others would hire again this crappy company!

  3. My name is Pablo Paz and I am the owner of Vertigo Biking, well first I need to tell you that its true the Theodore had the Accident with us that Day, It´s also true that Gravity people helped us that day(They are the oldest and most reputable company in Bolivia and we can´t say bad things about them)and of course everybody took out their rescue equipment, ours was also there, at the end of the day I personally went to 3 or 4 companies giving things back, but It doesn´t mean that we didn´t have ours, but no one is going to say this is mine or this is yours if someone has an accident and it´s in high risk, One more thing that is true is that other guides helped us a lot in this sittuation, also our tourists and other tourists, we did and will do the same thing in sittuations of other companies because I think that if there is Human Being in need everybody should help.

    Our company as all of the companies oparating this tour had acccidents, but be sure that we are not here just trying to make some money, our bikes are Haro Bikies and we are recommended in http://www.harobikes.com (American Brand), our security equipment is branded and I am sure no company offers more equipment like us, full face helmets (Brand 661),knee & elbow pads gloves & goggles (brand:thor, Smith & EVS), with this equipment we saved some lifes and people from serious injuries in the past and hopefully we will save more in the future,Our group the day of the accident was of 6 people and we had 2 guides maybe the lowest ratio of tourist per guide in the market, but remember that this is an adventure tour and every tourist goes under their own risk, we give them a bike but we can´t ride for them, so if you get to the end of the tour depends on how do you ride the bike, how do you obey the rules and many other circumstances out of our control (like weather, road maintainance and others)

    Sarah: I understand some of your words, You may had an awful day, so do I and of course our guides and personal and the people that was there, but I have to say that it´s not true that we are not legal and it´s not true that our guides didn´t do their best effort to help according to their trainment (as everyone) and please write me an e-mail to pablo@vertigobiking.com and I can send you a scanned copy of our papers if you keep in Doubt and please consider my point.

    There are more than 26 deaths in the death road Tour, this was our first fatal accident(hopefully the lat for us and for anyone) and think that there are other 25 deaths (Reported),this could happen to any company (This happened to Us, To Gravity and to others), and many bad competitors are using this and used the deaths of others as advertisment, I don´t think that this is correct because a person died and I think nobody must get a profit from this.

    Well Finally I have to say that we wont hide this sad accident to anyone, and in 1 year and few months we are operating we are getting more experience and we are learning some things from the big ones (Gravity) and improoving things not only for us but for every rider on the death road, I say this because I had a meeting with the owner of Gravity and we will begin together (with some other agencies that may want to) a Project to get some more equipment and facilities for common use like an ambulance and an inmediate rescue center and Inmediate medical assitance center nearby the road (Theodores father will also assit us in this purpose)

    My guides cryed and suffered this sittuation, they are people puting their lifes in risk every day to make our Tourists have a nice and safe day, but they are not gods and they are not supermen, so please don´t judge people.

    My guides, my personal and me went to the place of the accident on tuesday 12 and we left a memorial and flowers for Theodore, we prayed for him and for this not to happen again to anyone, and I will take this chance to say Thanks to Gravity Staff, To some people of B-side staff, to Chacaltaya Staff and to all the people helping us that day specially to the guy in yellow that as many bolivians gets a very low salary to give some mainteinance to the road but with his Machete in hand he entered to the cliff and opened a path in middle of the trees to help on the rescue.

    “Theodore you will be in our hearts and in our minds for ever.”

  4. Actually riding a bike in that road it’s one of the most awesmw experince that i ever had. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE FIRST TRAVEL AGENCY THAT OFFERED THAT WAY as an tourisic actractive to contact them and set a date. because now i wanna bring to my friends

  5. Well Pablo, i listen to much about you and your company, i know that you are to many years on the touristic place in La Paz, but i think that you are a person who doesnt want to lose, you are a bad loser, you dont like to have competition you are always talking bad about many agencies and i think thats wrong, i knoe there are many thart are the same of your company legal with good brand equipment and bikes, but you always talk to much.
    and now with that accident your company has a plus extra of beneffict as the king of the sagarnaga or jimenez street you obtain the ambulance and with that you think that you became the king of biking and i THINK that There are more GOOd Bikers than YOU and GOOd or Better compamies than yours so try to be a simple person not a small god,i think you dont have money needs so, why you act like that, and dont try to shut up me with nice words and dont try to say to public thats not true and i am crazy, becase is not like you say,you seens to be a nice and correct man but……………

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