Carretera 12A is a very scary high mountain road located in central Peru. It’s one of the most extreme roads in the world, bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters unprotected by guardrails. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo.
Located within the Huascarán National Park, the surface of the road is gravel. Only the suicidal, the insane, or the paid-to-do-this should ever drive down. The road is 91.5 km long and links the towns of Sihuas, in the Sihuas District of the Sihuas Province in the Ancash Region, at 2.725m above the sea level, and La Pampa, in the La Pampa District, of the province Corongo, at 1.796m asl. The drive has humbled many egos. It’s certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation. One mistake and it's a free fall to your death.
The road climbs up to 4.200m above the sea level. The drive includes hundreds of turns and tests the skill, and courage, of any driver. This terrible and exposed trail is heavily trafficked by log trucks. There is little room for error on this road. It’s incredibly disorienting to look over the edge, or even just to see the valleys a couple thousand feet below you. It’s a mind numbing vertical drop of hundreds of meters so you might want to give it a miss on a windy day. Your wheels will be astounded at the wonderful views of the mountains spread out before you!
Expect a very narrow and exposed trail, without protections, and very steep. Avalanches and landslides can occur anytime. Stay away if you're scared of heights. It is recommended that beginner riders avoid this road. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with hairpin curves and dangerous dropoffs. It shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse.