Bolivia
The Route

BOLIVIA

Bolivia is a landlocked country in central South America.  It is the poorest country in South America.  The Bolivian population is estimated at 10 million and is multiethnic.  It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay and Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest, and Peru to the west.

Prior to European colonization, the Andean region of Bolivia was a part of the Inca Empire – the largest state in Pre-Columbian America.  The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century.

My ride through Bolivia will find me riding mostly south and then eventually east into Paraguay.  I look forward to my ride through Bolivia for two reasons.  The first reason would be that upon leaving La Paz I will make my way to one of the “world’s most dangerous highways.”  From here I will ride south to the Salt Plains of Solar de Uyuni another huge highlight of the whole bike ride.  From the Salt Plains I will ride east into Paraguay. 

World’s most dangerous highway - The North Yungas Road (alternatively known as Road of Death or Death Road) is a 69 km road leading from La Paz to Coroico, 56 km 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 crosses marking many of the spots where vehicles have fallen.

Salt Plains of Solar de Uyuni - The Salar de Uyuni or “salt flats” is another one of the highlights of my bike trip and is easily considered one of the more unique places in the world.  Salar de Uyuni is the world's largest salt flat at 10,582 km2.  It is located in the Potosí and Oruro departments in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes, and is elevated 3,656 meters above the mean sea level.   The Salar was formed as a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes.  It is covered by a few meters of salt crust, which has an extraordinary flatness with the average altitude variations within one meter over the entire area of the Salar.