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"Hiking the Salkantay" South America Local Custom Tip by cium

South America Local Customs: 21 reviews and 34 photos

While hiking, do as the locals do and chew (chacta) coca leaves. There is a whole ceremony involved in chewing too, but for your purposes just chew a quinto, meaning five leaves together folded up. It will take care of or prevent altitude sickness and will give you energy (and NO, coca leaves are not a drug and are not cocaine). It's a hard hike but not too hard either. Go slow if you get tired, take your time and if you are already working out you will be fine. It's so amazing that the magic of the place will give you all the energy you will need. Layer up, sierra weather is tricky. One minute very warm/hot the next very cold. Bring extra pairs of socks, a hat, scarf and a great attitude.
Please don't forget to tip your porter.

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  • Written May 22, 2008
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