Altitude sickness , commonly called "Sorojche" is as real as the altitude in la paz, although sometimes is mostly a "psychological" condition, it may really affect you, there are a few general tips given to us by our guide upon arrival that may help you, not to be struck by altitude :
1.- As you arrive to the altuitude , try not to do any exersise or stressing activity, your red cells amount in your blod is much lower than any bolivians or anybody who has been here for more than 7 days, which is normally what the adjusting period takes.Red cells are the ones ioncharge of absorving the Oxigen from the air, percentages of oxigen here are much lower than the ones in lowlands!
2.- The food is very important as the "intestinal flora" is completelly different than the one we may have in other countries, so, stay away from any lactose, cheese, fresh vegetables and unbottleded water (at least for the first three days)
3.- Pills called "Sorojchi pills" may be at help, as someone posted previously "Diamox" can also be at help although I found "Sorojchi" a bit more effective and natural.
4.- The "humidity factor" in the altitude is much lower than in the "lowlands" therefore you may at first have some problems with, and find the breathing to be a bit harder than usual, this condition may also cause lung stress and headache, and even nose bleeding. (the advice our guide gave us and really worked was: to get a small towel humid and hung it very close to the bed where you will be sleeping, this really helps agains snoring and feeling a "dry nose" )also spilling some water drops on the ground around the bed may help as our guide did in Uyuni during out four day tour.
5.- Coca Tea drinking may also help but pls. make it as we were shown here: First get a cup of boiling water, then a handfull of Coca leafs, then let it soak for about 5 minutes, then using a tea spoon squeeze the leafs as much as you can, (the tip: the greener the tea, the better) if you want a stronger effect may add a pinch of salt and sugar to it... Cheers!
Hope this helps if so pls let me know.
Enjoy your trip.
Miky The people´s humbleness and honesty of some , views and the roads, colorful streets and mixed up street markets...
A valley at 3658m altitude
La Paz is first of all placed very special. In an altitude between 3600 and almost 4000 metres. It´s the highest capital of the world. Arriving with plane first of all you notice the difference in breathing at this altitidude. It´s a very special experience, you need some weeks to be really used to it.
Climbing up the hills to the airport in El Alto e.g you got a amazing overview of the city. La Paz with more than a million habitants has got its poor districts on the hills and downtown live the richer people, same is the differnece between modern and older buildings in La Paz.
Travelling to Bolivia you start noramlly here (arriving with plane or coming from Peru by bus) and it´s worth to stay some days to visit downtown La Paz, some intersting museums about Bolivian histor and e.g, the "valle de la luna" (moon valley" in the south of the city.
My route from Peru and across Bolivia
The route that I took had me go from Arequipa to Cuzco (overnight bus), then I spent a few days doing the Inca trail. From Cuzco we took an overnight bus to Puno. From Puno we took an overnight tour to three of the islands in Lake Titicaca (Uros, Amantani and Taquille). We got to stay on Amantani island with a host family for one night. We also took a tour from Puno to Sillustani (funery towers and other cultural sites).
After Puno we took a bus to Copacabana and went to Isla del Sol (also on Lake Titicaca but on the Bolivia side). Personally I felt the Peruvian islands trip on Lake Titicaca was much better than Isla del Sol which I felt was more commercial.
From Copacabana we took a bus to La Paz and spent a few days here. We then took a bus from La Paz to Sucre (12 hours overnight).
In Sucre we took a tour to Tarabuco village for the Sunday markets which I really enjoyed. We took a bus from Sucre to Potosi (3-4 hours).
Stayed at the Koala Den Hostal in Potosi which I would recommend. We also did a tour of the mines which was interesting. We then took an overnight bus from Potosi to Uyuni which to be honest was one of the worst bus rides I have ever had. It was really uncomfortable as there were no roads to speak of between the two towns. The ride took about 8 hours.
From here I took the jeep tour across to San Pedro de Atacama in Chile.
la plaza Murillo
on this place you meet the whole day hundreds of doves.
There is a lot of disposal of typical food in the street, and as at every bigger place in Bolivia you meet here some shoe shiners, the older "señores" with there owns big chairs and the little boys who only have their rag and their shoe polish in their little boxes.
up the hill
view up the hill to the northeast side. ont he other hand you could see with an amazing view the mountain Illimani (6500 m) ....I really don´t know why I didn´t take a piture....
btw, they told me that just this mountain is the one you can see as symbol of one of the great hollywood movie studios....the name is Paramount studios (thanks to Dave (shdw100)).