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Mountain Bike Bolivia

Mountain bikers on a tamer section of Yungas Road in Bolivia.

Andrew Geiger/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Do you like bouncing down a rocky trail on a bike with knobby tires? Then you'll love Bolivia. This Latin American country might not be the first place you'd think of when planning your mountain biking adventure, but it boasts some of the most thrilling single- and double-track trails in the world. Advanced skills are optional, but nerves of steel are required.

Take the Chacaltaya to Zongo trail, for instance. This daylong ride begins at an elevation of 17,500 feet (5,345 meters) near the top of Mt. Chacaltaya, once home to the highest developed ski resort in the world. From here, you ride for four to six hours on a trail that is 80 percent downhill to the Zongo Jungle, elevation 3,280 feet (1,000 meters). That's a bone-rattling descent of more than 14,000 feet!

And then there's "The Death Road," a winding dirt path that's just as scary as its name suggests. Descending 6,500 feet (2,000 meters), this road was cut from a sheer mountainside and features dizzying 3,330-foot (1,000-meter) drop-offs that will challenge you mentally as well as physically. It could be worse: Before crews completed a new road in March 2007, riders had to share the narrow route with trucks, buses and cars.

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