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.
Fondest memory: The people´s humbleness and honesty of some , views and the roads, colorful streets and mixed up street markets...
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.
Favorite thing: It is not very common but you can seldom find small houses in brilliant colours with nice balconies and colonial architecture of the 19th century. Some have even been restored, like these ones here in a centrical area of the capital.
Go to the market in the native quarters. Here you see dried up llama fetuses, Ekeko (their local version of Santa Claus) and assorted potpourri items which are offered to Pacha Mama, the godess of nature. The native women are all dressed in their local regalia ie shawls, fancy skirts and bowler hats. It's a great place to wander and explore. They are also not very pesky merchants which makes it even more pleasant.
Fondest memory: The view from above the gargantuan crater where La Paz is situated. It's like a lunar setting but with a fully functioning modern city in it. Space 1999 here I come!
While I know it is done by many tourists, going to the SW Altiplano is like no other expereince I have ever had on Earth. I do beleive it is God's own Canvas complete with color, creativity, vastness, and complexities. The Grand Canyon is awesome. The Serengeti magical. But this is one place I will never forget.
Fondest memory: My fondest memory of La Paz is going to the worlds highest Mickey D's and getting Coca Tea. I know really western but I had been camping for almost two months at that point!
The greatest thing I experienced of La Paz was how it was situated in the landscape the the Andes Mts. Be sure to take a BUS there because it is amazing to see how the land changes as you get farther into the mountains. Since La Paz is located in a valley, it is possible to see the entire city when you arrive by bus. There is also another high view point inside the city to see all around and this is an absolute must!
Fondest memory: My best memory of La Paz is when I was walking around in the city and just looking up towards the crest of the city where it meets the mountains and seeing the large snow capped peaks that are next to the city. Since the city is at such a high elevation, the landscape is barren which makes the mountains look even more astounding.
I travel in the north of Bolivia, in the jungle and it was a great journey
Fondest memory: I visit the jail of La paz and I met an english guy who was staying there for three years. He explain to me that it's the most famus place to make all kinds of business : welcom in south-america !
The people. Just watching the locals go about their daily tasks. The culture, the Women wandering around in their bowler hats and big frilly skirts.
The photo attached is a small section of a crowd watching a street play in Plaza San Fransico, it's not far from the Witches Market and a whole bunch of cheap hostels.
La capitale de la Bolivie se trouve au fond d'une cuvette de 3600 à 4100m.
IL s'agit de la capitale la plus haute au monde.
Favorite thing: the richer people downtown, the poorer ones up the hills. The only capital in the world with that kind of dispartment.
A hike to the top of the Chacaltaya
Take a look here to see the complete trip.
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