If you have a spare day during your stay in La Paz, get out of the city and head off to the Yungas Valley for some zip line, rappel and rope swing adventure at the Vertical Route. For those too nervous about biking down the Death Road, this is another fun and safe option where you will be rewarded with amazing landscapes.
What is Vertical Route?
Vertical Route is an adventure circuit located in one of the most impressive routes in the Yungas Valley. It was created in 2010 to boost the economic development of the local communities of San Juan de la Miel and Villa Ascension. This ecotourism project helps improve the wellbeing and quality of life of the community. All the guides working for Vertical Route are part of the community, and all the services offered during the trip provide work opportunities for local families.
What does the day look like?
The day beings at 7.30am at the Plaza Uyuni in La Paz. Follows a 2-hour drive during which you can observe the gradual change of landscape, from the altiplano and snowy mountains to the humid tropical forests.
Once we get there, we gear up with harness, helmet and other climbing equipment. After a short briefing on how to use the equipment, it’s time to begin the circuit which includes 5 activities:
It consists of descending two vertical surfaces, one of 15 meters and the second one of 30 meters, using a doubled rope coiled around the body and fixed at a higher point.
2. Tibetan Bridge
It is a 30-meter long hanging bridge formed by 3 cables in a triangular shape. You need to walk over the central cable and the other two are used as handrails, and to hold on to if you fall!
3. Via Ferrata
With the help of metal fasteners attached to the rocks, you have to make your way through on a very steep and exposed trail. At an altitude of 3,000 meters above sea level, Vertical Route has the only Via Ferrata in Bolivia and the highest in the world.
4. Zip line
Using a pulley suspended on a cable and designed to go downhill, you slide down for 100 meters of fun from the top of the mountain to the bottom.
5. Rope swing
This last activity is the most expected and provides the most adrenaline! You need to leap into the void, forward or backward, falling for a few seconds before hanging from the rope that holds you. This is the only rope swing in Bolivia and could be the best flight of your life!
Once we’re done with the circuit, we head for lunch in a local restaurant before driving back to La Paz.
Tips & Recommendations
- All necessary equipment is provided by Vertical Route: a harness, helmet, double safety belt, carabiners, etc
- Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, water, good shoes (trainers or hiking boots but no sandals), a rain jacket in case of rain, and your GoPro if you have one
- You need to be at least 10 years old to do the circuit