Cerro de la Muerte is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.451m (11,322ft) above the sea level filled with steep curves and potholes. It’s the highest point in the Costa Rican section of the Inter-American Highway, the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway.
The name of the pass means "Mountain of Death", since many travelers succumbed to the cold and rain in the past. This part of the highway has excessive potholes, steep, narrow curves, and plenty of fog. Due its climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and pass through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. Do not take this drive if you have respiratory problems or any type of heart condition. Notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters. Extremely low oxygen for engine combustion. A major hazard of altitude is the sickness that can indiscriminately affect anyone regardless of age or fitness. The summit has about 40% less oxygen than at sea level, thus breathing is more difficult. Your pulse rate will increase and movement will be more laborious at the summit. The high elevation with its risk of altitude sickness, weather concerns, steep road grade, and overall inaccessibility make the pass dangerous and summit trips difficult. This road goes through different various climates and temperatures.
This road is usually open all year long. But flash floods and landslides as well as narrow curves and steep cliffs make the pass extremely dangerous.
Pic: Gianfranco Vivi