Health and Safety

Visitors unaccustomed to traveling at great heights may be susceptible to soroche, or altitude sickness, resulting in shortness of breath and headaches. Walk slowly, eat light meals, and drink plenty of fluids (but avoid alcohol). Locals swear by the coqueando remedy: sucking on coca leaves (sold at corner groceries and street vendors for around 10 pesos). Tear off the stems and stuff several leaves into the space between your teeth and cheek; leave them in for an hour or so, neither chewing nor spitting, but swallowing when you salivate.

Aside from being sold an overpriced tour (recommended rates are listed in Salta’s tourism office), you're unlikely to encounter crime, and local people are happy to receive visitors. Many hotels pride themselves on not needing safety deposit boxes.

The many roadside shrines marking car accidents, especially on winding mountain routes, are a reminder to check your speed. Also take care on the many bumpy, unpaved roads. And wear your seatbelt, as it is the law.

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