South America’s Four Most Extreme Days Out

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.

The Yungas Road (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35/)
The Yungas Road (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/imatty35/)

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.

The Amazon Rainforest (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cifor/)
The Amazon Rainforest (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cifor/)

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).

The lost city of Ciudad Perdida (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/katiebordner/)
The lost city of Ciudad Perdida (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/katiebordner/)

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.

Sandboarding in Death Valley (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rewbs/)
Sandboarding in Death Valley (source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rewbs/)

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.

South America:  4 Most Extreme Days Out - from navigating the ominous sounding Death Road in Bolivia to sanboarding in Chile, the adrenaline is sure to flow freely!

 

18 thoughts on “South America’s Four Most Extreme Days Out

  1. tracy collins says:

    interesting things to do! Something i may have considered in my 20’s (though I am not sure even then I would have had the guts!!!!) but something I now prefer to read about!! The road sounds the most awesome! I still remember the Amalfi Coast with horror lol!! so this would have me screaming my head of whilst keeping my eyes tightly shut!!!
    tracy collins recently posted…Around The World in 80 Books Part 4My Profile

  2. David says:

    Pretty great list there. I have to say Ciudad Perdida has been on my list for a while now and was disappointed I couldn’t make it there when I visited Colombia. These are definitely for the more adventurous soul.

  3. Kreete says:

    This is my kind of adventure! I have heard a lor about the death road, but didn’t know they made it safer. I kinda wish they hadn’t haha to be able to see how it really used to be. The one thing I will definitely consider is the Ciudad Perdida instead of Machu Picchu. Going to look it up right no actually!

  4. Travel4lifeblog says:

    Great collaboration 🙂 Nice post! Wow we better try at least one of those options as we Currently in South America! We will let you 🙂 This post made us want to explore the ciudad perdida! Keep up the great work 🙂 Patrick and Cécile from Travel4lifeblog

  5. ThriftyTrails says:

    I am not a daredevil. Driving on the side of a mountain freaks me out as I think I will be one of those 2 dropping off the side. In Costa Rica I was terrified of driving on the side of the mountain at night. Next morning we found out a truck had fallen off the edge! I’m super cautious for a reason. For adrenaline junkies I think it’s great!
    ThriftyTrails recently posted…Nara Photoblog: Where The Deer Roam Free in JapanMy Profile

  6. Jenn | By Land and Sea says:

    I would love to give sandboarding a try one of these days! While I love adventure, there are some things that I’m not sure I’m up for – biking death road might be one of those things!

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