Top 10 Motorcycling Roads Around the World

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Los Caracoles Pass, Chile and Argentina

Los Caracoles

Chile and Argentina share more than 5,000 miles of border, and the most important step between the capital of Chile, Santiago, and the Mendoza region of Argentina is a series of hard switchbacks on an extremely steep incline: the famous Paseo de los Caracoles, a.k.a Paso Internacional Los Libertadores, also called Cristo Redentor. The Argentina side is a gentle ascent, up relaxed though rugged mountain scenery. The Chilean side, however, is another, more perilous story.

Los Caracoles Map

At 10,500 feet, Los Caracoles is considered one of the world’s most dangerous roads. It has many steep inclines and hairpins. There are no guardrails. The road is covered with snow for the most part of the year; still, traffic is intense; cargo trucks and even double-decker tourist buses travel the road on a daily basis year-round, forming long, slow convoys, hence the name (caracol means “snail.”) Extreme patience and skill are the key, and the adrenaline rush and thin air make for a thrilling, if occasionally slow, motorcycling experience.

PHOTO: Tui Travel PLC; MAP, NYTimes.com

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  • fastfreddie

    The roads leading to and from ‘Geiranger’ is better,and close by so no need to miss them if you’re doing ‘Trollstigen’.

  • TonyCarlos

    I’ve driven to Hana, and was right next door to the Transfagarasan. Guess I’ve got a long bucket list yet to go.

    • beekay31

      I’ll be doing the Road to Hana in June. I’ll have non-riders with me, though, so I’ll probably be driving, unfortunately.

      • TonyCarlos

        As I recall it, the road to Hana is too twisty to be a great bike road. You’ll never get out of second.
        Scenic and lush, it’s probably a better bicycle road.

  • bbtowns

    That’s a lot of roads to dream about. This was a better list than those I usually see. Was surprised to see the Beartooth didn’t make the list, but lot’s of great roads did. Time to travel!

    • Eric

      The Beartooth is amazing and should be on any list.

  • Phoneix_Ikki

    I am shocked, with great motorcycle crash almost every weekend, you mean to tell me The Snake in Malibu didn’t make it to the list? None of the roads listed here will allow you to do dirtbike jump on a R6 like this..

    • fastfreddie

      You can get a longer jump on ‘Trollstigen’;)

  • BigJames

    Not a single road on the North American continent made the list. Do what? Just try a couple of these on a touring bike, I dare you. Mighty fine list though… Hit YouTube, most of these can be found there for you to virtually check out.

  • Jonny Langston

    Just for the record, Fellas: this was a list of “Top 10 FANTASY RIDES” – dream rides we’d take if money, time and all those other little details of life were not a consideration.
    Not sure when, how or why it turned into “Top 10 Motorcycling Roads Around the World.” But I can say if I’d been conscripted to put together THAT list, it likely would have looked a bit different….and yes, included some North American roads. Maybe. ;)

  • Roger Clark

    Guys – Australia – Great Ocean Road!!!!!

    • Netbikes Cool

      done it, nice road but, too slow, too many grey nomads, too many cops, which imo takes it out of the top ten.

      • Roger Clark

        Fair enough, just have to do it at the right time in the right direction….early in the morning to the west….

  • LUIGI

    OH YA BABE, That is amazing..that is my home…been there many times! amazing to see it making on this site – Brasil-Santa Catarina e Parana! The mighty Atlantic Forest SERRAS!
    THUMBS UP…

  • Gixxer

    Great writeup, but it isnt Troll Ladder, it should be Troll Path.
    I have been there a couple of times and its a great road/path and nature, and the norwegians are great.

  • Marcel Martinéz

    why stop at 10? lets see all of them

  • Eduardo

    Jon, should try coming to Lima, Peru – from here you can drive 98 miles up to 15,800 feet on the most spectacular scenery, this is the highest rail mountain crossing in the world.-