The North Yungas Road (alternatively known as Grove's Road, Coroico Road, Camino de las Yungas, Road of fate or Death Road) is a 61-kilometre (38 mi) or 69-kilometre (43 mi) road leading from La Paz to Coroico, 56 kilometres (35 mi) northeast of La Paz in the Yungas region of Bolivia. It is legendary for its extreme danger and in 1995 the Inter-American Development Bank christened it as the "World's most dangerous road". One estimate is that 200 to 300 travellers are killed yearly along the road. The road includes cross markings on many of the spots where vehicles have fallen.
A South Yungas Road (Chulumani Road) exists that connects La Paz to Chulumani, 64 kilometres (40 mi) east of La Paz, and is considered to be nearly as dangerous as the North Road. Photographs of China's Guoliang Tunnel are often incorrectly identified as showing the Yungas Road.
This is one of the few routes that connects the Amazon rainforest region of northern Bolivia, or Yungas, to its capital city. Upon leaving La Paz, the road first ascends to around 4,650 metres (15,260 ft) at La Cumbre Pass, before descending to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) at the town of Coroico, transiting quickly from cool Altiplano terrain to rainforest as it winds through very steep hillsides and atop cliffs.
The largely single-lane road has no guard rails and cliffs of up to 600 meters (1,830 feet). Most of the road is the width of a single vehicle, about 3.2 metres (10 ft). During the rainy season from November through March, rain and fog can severely hamper visibility, and water runoff can turn the road into a muddy track, affecting traction. In the summer, rockfalls are common and vehicle dust limits visibility as well.
One of the local road rules specifies that the downhill driver never has the right of way and must move to the outer edge of the road. This forces the faster downhill vehicle to stop so that passing can be negotiated safely. Unlike the rest of Bolivia, vehicles are required to drive on the left side of the road, to give the driver a better view of the vehicle's outside wheel and making passing safer.
The danger of the road ironically made it a popular tourist destination starting in the 1990s, drawing some 25,000 thrillseekers. Mountain biking enthusiasts in particular have made it a favourite destination for downhill biking since there is a 64-kilometre (40 mi) stretch of continuous downhill riding with only one short uphill section. There are now many tour operators catering to this activity, providing information, guides, transport, and equipment. Nevertheless, the Yungas Road remains dangerous. At least 18 cyclists have died on the ride since 1998.
It is featured on the BBC show, Top Gear: Bolivia Special (Episode 6 of Top Gear series 14) where the hosts travelled 1,610 kilometres (1,000 mi) from the Bolivian rainforest to the Pacific Ocean. The danger of the road was readily apparent when the road began to crumble under the wheels of Jeremy Clarkson's Range Rover, as he was forced to the edge while passing another vehicle.
A Mitsubishi Outlander TV commercial was the first ever filmed on the road. The second season of IRT: Deadliest Roads, a spin-off of the History Channel series Ice Road Truckers, follows six North American drivers as they haul cargo along the road .