Departamento de La Paz, Bolivia
La Cumbre is the starting point for most group trips down the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Road’, so if you’re headed to La Paz and are climbing up to this pass in the morning you’re likely to meet more foreign cyclists than you’d meet in a year on most other Andean roads.
It’s a long old climb up from the Yungas – about 3,600m if coming from the south Yungas road and a bit more if you come up the old road from Yolosa in the north Yungas. Whichever way you come the road is just about always a nice gradient for climbing. The main road down to La Paz has a reasonable amount of traffic, but there are few more exciting entrances to any city in the world than freewheeling into Bolivia’s administrative capital.
Though it means more climbing, a more interesting route to take if heading to La Cumbre from La Paz is from the southern suburb of Irpavi, up a track to the Hampaturi dam. The surface isn’t too bad, apart from a very steep kilometre before the dam at 4,230m. The road is then easier to a high point at 4,550m, before descending to a second dam at 4,350m where you join the main paved road up to the pass.
|Name of Pass
|Between Unduavi (21kms) and La Paz (24kms to centre)
and between Irpavi (La Paz) (33kms) and Unduavi (21kms)
|16.3431 S, 68.0389 W
|3,600m (2,240m on ripio) from Puente Villa in 1 ½ days.
1,550m (1,250m on ripio) from Irpavi (La Paz) via Hampaturi dam in 1 day.
View La Cumbre – 4,671m in a larger map