Did coffee or tea make you sick in Peru?

Old Oct 1st, 2009, 07:40 PM
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Did coffee or tea make you sick in Peru?

I am leaving tomorrow morning for a two week trip to Peru. We're visiting Lima, Puno, Cusco/Sacred Valley, and of course, MP. I've read so many warnings about coffee and tea being dangerous because water boils at much lower temps in high altitude and may not kill all the bacteria in unclean water. However, I'm not really reading much about many (or any) people getting sick from drinking tea/coffee.

I do love my caffine jolt in the morning, but am willing to go without if it means I could ruin this trip of a lifetime.

We're staying in the following hotels, which would be the logical place I would procure some java:
Antigua Hotel in Lima
Rumi Punku Hotel in Cusco
Pakaritampu Hotel, Sacred Valley
Sanctuary Lodge, Aguas Calientes
Puno Plaza Hotel

I'll be checking this posting as I can access the internet. Your experiences and advice are very appreciated! I promise to post a trip report upon our return : )
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Old Oct 1st, 2009, 08:14 PM
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I doubt that anyone can really pin down exactly what gave them the tourist trots, since it is not necessarily something you ate that day or even the day before. It might not even be something that they ate, but rather poor handwashing practices.

it's actually not the greatest idea to indulge in caffeine at altitude since your heart rate will already be rapido from reduced oxygen.
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Old Oct 1st, 2009, 11:55 PM
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I agree with mlgb. It is virtually impossible to determine what has caused the trots. Hand regular hand washing will certainly cut down the opportunities for the bugs to get into your system.

After years of travelling the world staying iand eating in some of the best and the worse places, is yes take all REASONABLE precautions but I would not let it stop me doing any of what are often percieved as the riskier things such as eating at street stalls or in markets (wher some of the best and most authentic food is to be found).

I do however travel prepared with precautionary doses of the approriate anti - diarrhoea and anti-biotics e.g. Ciproflaxin , Loperamide obtained fro my doc.

2 Months in Peru and I was ill once in Aqua Calientes where the food hygeine standards are renowned for being really bad. But I see that you are stying at teh Sactuary Lodge so that sholdn't be a problem for you.

Enjoy your trip and post a report when you return!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:39 AM
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all of your hotels will have coffee

drank it with the free breakfast every day

a lot had no problems drank Coca tea also...

www.mdtravelhealth.com Peru will have good

info your biggest risk raw stuff and stuff

that sits out like buffets...

great culture media for backteria...

Always carry a little Cipro in my travel kit

just in case...
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Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 05:51 AM
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Take Immodium with you.
I get sick no matter where I go , Jamaica almost killed me and Mexico did put me in the hospital .. (in Mexico it was a melting ice cube that I didn't see in time ) ..
Ask your doc for one of those good antibiotics mentioned above.
Don't eat any fruit that you have not peeled yourself and eat Plain food.. no sauces etc.
In Jamaica, we had a cook ( we rented a villa for 2 weeks) and while we saw the kitchen and knew it was clean , she shopped in the village, god knows what the sauce ingredients were, she would always just show us a bottle of Ketchup lol.
It might have been the curried pumpkin soup we had .. who knows... just take lots of meds with you and try not to eat anything lol ...
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Old Oct 2nd, 2009, 06:19 PM
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I've read about a couple of studies that were too small to prove anything definitively. Anyway, in one, a number of U.S. med students attending classes in Mexico City were randomized to take Pepto Bismol or not to take Pepto Bismol daily during their stay. Those who took Pepto Bismol had fewer stomach upsets -- although Pepto can turn stools a nasty color.

In a much better study , nonnatives took wine with meals or didn't take wine with meals. Those who drank wine had fewer stomach upsets -- the wine presumably killed some bad organisms.

Your choice: wine or Pepto Bismol.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 01:08 PM
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islebethere, no wonder my husband never has a stomach upset lol
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Old Oct 3rd, 2009, 02:01 PM
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I was in Peru for 2 weeks and I drank coffee and tea daily. It was only on the last day I got a small touch of runs. It was minor and most likely caused by food, since I had coffee and tea every day of the trip. Bring some meds along just in case, but I wouldn't worry about it.

islebethere, I did have wine with most meals, I'm sure that helped.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 05:34 AM
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To wrap-up this thread, I had a great time on my trip, and I did drink coca tea regularly and didn't get sick. Didn't drink coffee (avoiding caffine- altitude) but I'm guessing it would have been fine too.

A couple of times we had drinks made with ice (pisco sour) and were very conflicted as we drank them- but we had no problems. Fortunately, I didn't really like pisco sours, so it wasn't a huge temptation for me.

Thanks to everyone for your great advice!
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 06:13 AM
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Thanks for the update and I'm glad you didn't get sick.
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