Do you remember your old family vacations? Long hours spent in the backseat of a hot car, driving to local tourist spots, going from place to place on roads that seem to stretch on forever in an endless line of tedium. Whatever happened at the end of those drives was worth it as a kid, but it’s harder to stomach as an adult, as the drive is half the experience. Maybe you find the drive calming, peaceful, relaxing, but one thing is for sure: for some of us it’s just not a road trip without a little danger.
Which is why I have compiled a list of the few most spectacular, risky, adventurous, and dangerous roads in the world, to help break the boredom of those long drives. So buckle your seatbelt and get ready for the ride of your life.
North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Referred to by locals as the ‘Road of Death’, it isn’t hard to imagine the carnage that can be wreaked on one of the world’s deadliest mountain roads. Running along the ridge of Bolivian Andes, it scrapes along a 3,600 meter drop and offers just enough room to scoot past other passing vehicles, sometimes more successfully then others.
Around 200 people are killed in accidents every year here, and that’s just fatalities. There are plenty of injuries to cause it to surpass the mystique of it’s name.
Pan American Highway, Costa Rica
While you may find uneventful stretches of his 30,000 mile highway, it boasts some of the most dangerous miles you will ever drive. With portions running narrowly along the side of steep drops, curves that cause a large number of collisions on their sudden turns, and some seriously bad weather, this highway is a hard one to navigate.
While it’s official title may seem innocuous enough, this highway that runs from Porto Alegre to Rio de Janeiro, and has been renamed by locals as ‘Rodovia da Morte’. For those of you who used to skip 7th grade Spanish class, that translates to ‘Highway of Death; and with the common fatalities and injuries along the cliff side road, it’s an apt name.
Cotopaxi Volcan Road, Ecuador
Ecuador is well known for having some of the worst roads on Earth, and with good reason. But the uniquely terrifying Cotopaxi Volcan Road is in a league of it’s own.
With numerous potholes that are hidden amongst the 25-mile dirt road, and a small stream that is a source of dangerous (and fatal) flash floods with even the smallest amount of rain, this small road connecting the Pan American Highway with Cotopaxi Volcan National Park is one that claims the lives of quite a few unwary tourists annually.
You may not think that the A44 would make the list as the only UK road to offer dangers, but with 25% of accidents a result of head-on collisions, it’s much more dangerous then some of it’s better known counterparts. The government has applied some stringent monitoring systems as a consequence, but there are still a shocking number of accidents and fatalities on this road running from Oxford to Aberystwyth.
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