"Coca leaves" Machu Picchu Local Custom Tip by kzapanta

Machu Picchu Local Customs: 18 reviews and 22 photos

  My coca leaf wad.
by kzapanta

Does drinking Matta de Coca tea and/or chewing Coca leaves really do help with altitude sickness? Well I can't have scientific data to show it works, but for sure it does not hurt. But by no means is a wonder drug.

All I know is that altitude sickness was not a factor in our hectic schedule in Cuzco, Machu Picchu and Puno. Did the coca leaves have a good part in that? I say sure why not, it sure didn't hinder us.

So the funny thing about eating these "cocaine leaves" is when we were talking to the conductor, of course its not cocaine yet and perfectly harmless, so we thought! Until after already chewing on my wad, I offered the helpful conductor some of my bag of leaves. He quickly and seriously said, "No I can't. I'm working right now, but thank you very much for the offer." !! I almost spit the whole thing out my mouth right then and there. "how powerful are these leaves?!" is the question my buddy and I thought immediately. LOL!

Supersize tip: Your not suppose to swallow the saliva built up inside your mouth. (I didn't know since I'm a novice at chews) Drink the tea days before high elevations.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Nov 10, 2006
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