Bolivia has become a popular tourist destination, especially for one particular hot spot. Death Road connects the Bolivian capital of La Paz and the Yungas region of the Amazon forest. According to local statistics, between 200 and 300 people die a year on this road, and yet, tourists flock to it.
It was constructed in the 1930s by Paraguayan prisoners. They had to cut into the steep cliffside in order to connect the capital to the rainforest. Many prisoners perished in the making of this road.
The road averages a 3.5 meters wide, with some points being even more narrow than that. A lot of it is still unpaved, and most of it lacks guardrails. Due to the natural weather of the Amazon region, this area is subject to intense rain and winds, making the road especially dangerous during the rainy season.
Mudslides are extremely common and one of the main causes of death on Death Road. There are also a lot of loose rocks that find themselves crashing down onto the roadway, creating dangerous blockades and even crushing vehicles and bicyclists.
A lot of tourists come to Bolivia just to bike or drive this dangerous stretch of road. It's a super popular destination for extreme sports enthusiasts who want to try a hand at the hard, even if it costs them their life.
There are tours and operations to bring tourists up and down the road that can cost up to $100. At least 13 tourists have died during these types of tours in the past 10 years.
is In order to combat the dangerous conditions but keep the important road open, Bolivia decided to change some laws. Most of Bolivia drives on the right side of the road, but drivers must utilize the left side while during on Death Road. According to government officials, this was enacted because it's easier for drivers to see the road when they're on the left.
Also, vehicles heading down towards the rainforest do not have the right of way and must stop and move to the outermost edge of the road. This is so that vehicles who are doing the violently fast descent are forced to stop and slow down.
As of right now, Death Road is still a popular tourist destination. There are other, safer tourist destinations in the country, but for some reason, peopl ekeep going back to this one.