This is a collaborative post written by Dan Greene. While I was paid for my contribution, my love for adventure travel is genuine and the content of the post has been fully approved by Travel Lexx.
Some people love nothing more than settling down of an evening in a comfy chair, with a good book to read and a fine glass of red to sip on. That’s all well and good for those folks, but what if your tastes are a little more adrenaline-based?
Today we’re going to explore five extreme days out you’ll be able to experience the next time you take a trip to South America. From roads so dangerous they’re associated with death, to ancient cities which take days to reach, here are four holiday ideas you’ll only enjoy if you’re a thrill seeker.
Biking Death Road – La Paz, Bolivia
Kicking things off with a doozy; the not-so-subtly-named Death Road of Bolivia’s capital city, La Paz, is a spot which you’ll only travel to if you have nerves of steel. With a strip of road which at times spans just the width of a bus, and no guard rails to protect against a drop which peaks at 4,650 metres, it’s easy to see how the Yungas Road earned its nickname.
Amazingly, as recently as 1994 (prior to some safety measures being implemented) there were still on average at least two cars dropping off the cliff edge every week – and as many as 200-300 casualties a year.
Biking the spot has now become a popular pastime – although it must be said the route is nowhere near as dangerous as it once was, after construction work in 2009 saw it expanded to be wide enough in most parts to easily fit two lanes of traffic.
Trekking The Amazon – Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil
South America is probably most famed as a whole for its close connection to the Amazon rainforest. While this area of natural land possesses an immense beauty which activists are trying to preserve, it also harbours countless deadly dangers.
Despite the likes of crocodiles, jaguars and poisonous frogs (to name just a few of the deadly creatures who call this spot home) which could potentially bring your trip to an early conclusion, it’s still an incredibly popular spot for tourists to travel to.
Tours traversing the rainforest are now commonplace, with the Peruvian and Brazilian sections of the Amazon seeing the most regular visitation from the public. Enter this maze-like jungle at you own peril.
Ciudad Perdida – Colombia
You’ve probably heard of the ancient Mayan temples of Machu Picchu, situated in Peru. Ciudad Perdida is seen by many historians of that ancient culture as an even more accurate portrayal of Mayan life, with the spot, which translates to “Lost City”, abandoned by its archaic inhabitants in a natural state.
While it holds significant historical interest as a result, it’s also a location which appeals for other reasons. While Machu Picchu is frequented by visitors on a daily basis, Ciudad Perdida remains largely undiscovered by tourist hordes, meaning you can appreciate the other-worldly brilliance in peace.
The second crowning glory of the spot is the immense six-day trek you undergo prior to reaching the city itself. This isn’t one for the weak of heart, with explorers being forced to slum it rough in tents – without so much as a shower for nearly a week (you’ll be able to wash though, naturally).
Sandboarding in Death Valley – Chile
We started with death, so we figured why not end on the same note? Unlike the Yungas Road, this vast expanse of sand dunes earns its name for its harsh demeanour, rather than any close association with death itself.
Regardless, it’s still a pretty extreme spot to visit – made all the more so by the sandboarding you can take part in while you’re there. This sport isn’t the deadliest in the world, but it will take a lot out of you in the blazing Chilean sun.
Make sure to come fully stocked with water and an emergency first aid kit should the worst happen and somebody gets injured.
Do any of these holiday ideas strike you as inspiring for your next adventure? If you’re looking to do something extreme in South America in the coming months, taking part in one of these activities could be a great option.