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Published: April 13th 2005
So I have gotten a number of emails and a few comments about altitude sickness...
1- Definitely Drink Mate de Coca and chew coca leaves....it helps! They serve Mate de Coca everywhere..so drink up!
2- You will most likely feel out of breath after walking a block or two of even the shortest incline..it sucks but there is nothing that you can do about that!
3- I definitely felt ill in Cuzco...lay down for a bit and relax...spend a day or two just hanging out before heading off to Machu Picchu.
4- Bolivia is super high up..Lake Titicaca is around 2.5-3 miles above sea level..thats a LOT...La Paz is even higher so if you havent already done Cuzco-Machu Picchu...TAKE YOUR TIME!!!! Even after a week of being in high altitude areas..we werent used to it...
5- Take Anti-Altitude Sickness Pills!! I took only one on the morning that I went up to Machu Picchu...they dont work for everyone but they are definitely worth trying ..they are cheap and you can find them everywhere in Cuzco, Aguas Calientes and Bolivia!!!
6- Three of us came back with parasites after spending time with a family on one of the islands at Lake Titicaca....definitely only drink bottled water...dont eat fruits where you have to eat its skin, dont get ice in anything (they never really even serve it to you)...Just be AWARE!!! Cause the effects of these parasites are awful, and they will definitely put a large damper on your travels....Imagine your in South America and you pretty much have to move into a bathroom !!! Yea, ok...just take my word for it!!
7- Altitude Sickness can also have similar effects..they just dont last as long....but it definitely put a damper on my friend´s day the day we were headin up to Machu Picchu 😞
8- Totally just take your time and relax... we ran into soo many people who were just drained....the altitude really takes a toll on your body so give your body time to adjust...it can hit really bad or for some people it barely takes anything outta them (but very few!).
Just some suggestions, after what my friends and I had to go through..and after hearing from other travelers that we met along the way..... Good Luck!
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