How to prevent altitude sickness

  • The body usually needs 3 to 5 days at altitudes above 2438 m (8000 ft) to acclimate to the new environment before going higher.
  • Rest. Fatigue causes altitude sickness.
  • Take prophylactic medications. Talk to your doctor about your medical history and explain that you will go up to 2438 or 2743 m (8000 or 9000 feet).
  • Buy coca leaves.
  • Drink a lot of water. Dehydration reduces the body’s capacity to acclimate to new altitudes. Drink 2 to 3 liters a day. Start the day before traveling.

What to carry

–  You can carry a big backpack, but I recommend you to travel with a small handbag with the basics. Otherwise you will have to raise it and lower it from the jeep’s roof daily.

– Take warm clothes, a sleeping bag and good shoes. Nights in the salar are icy and there is no heat in the the accommodations.

– Don’t forget your sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat or cap. The sun can be blinding in the salt. During the day, temperatures can be high.

– Cash. You will have to pay an entrance fee to Isla Pescado ( B$ 30), to Eduardo Avaroa Reserve ( B $150), the hot springs ( B $6), to the washrooms and for tips or things that you want to buy. During the tour there are no banks or ATMs.

– Towel and toilet paper. Hostels don’t provide them.

– Lantern. As I mentioned, some accommodations don’t have electricity during the night. If you have to go to the bathroom, you will need one.

– Don’t forget the camera and video and, if you can, extra battery for both!

– Sandals, to be able to walk through the puddles of the salt without ruining your feet.