Experiences In The Mountains Of South America / Mexico?

Discussion in 'Ask For Help or Advice' started by Energizer, Sep 17, 2017.

?

If you could pick a high altitude country abroad to live, where would you want to live?

  1. Columbia

  2. Ecuador

  3. Mexico

  4. Peru

  5. Bolivia

  6. Tibet

  7. Other (please specify)

  8. Undecided

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    Hi, I've looked through all the threads on high altitude and I've been looking into visiting Mexico and South America. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems like Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, and Columbia would be nearly ideal countries as far as altitude goes and quality of life.

    Would any of you be interested in sharing your experiences in South America and Mexico? My purpose in creating this thread would be to gather information for myself and others who are interested in visiting and possibly living in the mountains abroad. Of course I can and do troll through the usual expat and city-data forums (and I looked through all of the high altitude threads), but I wanted to see what some of our fellow forum members had to say too. I'm also interested to hear from any locals here on RPF from SA/Mexico who would like to share their insights with foreigners.

    Some high elevation cities that look interesting:

    Puno, Juliaca
    (Peru); Coeneo, San Miguel de Allende, Toluca, San Cristobal de Casas (Mexico); Quito, (Ecuador); Bogota, Medellin (Columbia), La Paz (Bolivia).

    If you have visited Mexico or South America, please state which city, how long you were there, and what your experience was like there. I also added an optional poll because I'm curious for those who haven't traveled abroad (or perhaps have) where you would like to live of the above countries.
     
  2. johann1988

    johann1988 Member

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    Don't forget Cusco in Peru (3400m). It's very nice there.

    My experience with the altitude was bad. I traveled 4 weaks in bolvia and peru and stayed always above 3000m. I felt so bad (chronic headaches/diarrhea), I am not sure the reason is the altitude could also be the bad food quality there.
    I prefer Chile, stay at the sea level and enjoy the seafood and baths in the ocean. ;)
     
  3. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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  4. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    Thanks for replying and mentioning Cusco I will add that edit: nvm, won't let me edit the OP. I've had headaches as well at over 9000 ft for snowboarding, not diarrhea though, I'm assuming you got a bug from the food/water cause I've never heard of diarrhea from altitude. i wonder if you acclimatized more gradually if you wouldn't feel so awful, Peru is notorious for altitude sickness in tourists I've heard, that is after all a high climb if you live near sea level. then again the highest i've been is 3000m at the most for a ski trip so I can't really compare. Yeah, I'd probably enjoy Chile then too haha, that sounds quite nice. That reminds me I went to Spain over the summer a while back, the paella was so good, fresh fish eaten right off the boat, heavenly. a lot of cute girls too in Catalonia :sunglasses:.
     
  5. johann1988

    johann1988 Member

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    Maybe it was only the food, couldn't think properly because of the altitude. ;)
    For me the borderline was 4000m, above everything got worse exponentially. The highest point was 5000m. But some tourists didn't show any sign of sickness, especially females. Don't know the connection.
    Yeah, definitely go to Chile, it's not like the costa Brava in Barcelona or the Copacabana in Rio, it's the cold rough Pacific. But the people are so crazy nice there and the landscape in the south is amazing. I will go again in 2018...
     
  6. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    I started another thread about where to live for good food... I would not optimize for altitude, though you have some very reasonable places on your list for healthy living. Also depends on your job and what kind of local network you might need - Mexico is probably the most well rounded on your list.
     
  7. Sucrates

    Sucrates Member

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    I've been to Cuzco and Puno. I liked Cuzco a lot, perhaps the tourist aspect of it would be grating after a while, considered moving there for a while though. I didn't like Puno at all, it's a pretty brutal town aesthetically and their is a rougher aspect to the people than I found elsewhere in Peru, there's also a strange light to the place, more blue/UV spectrum I'd guess might describe it. I spent about 10 days between those points and never fully acclimatised to the altitude, had bad headaches and nosebleeds the first few days. Coca tea helped most of the altitude problems, not sleep though.
     
  8. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    If you have the cash to go and live in any of these places you want to without local support for your income source, then you have the cash to visit more and see how they affect you ;)
     
  9. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    So we have a few people here who enjoyed Cuzco. Not sure about the light but maybe since Puno is slightly higher than Cuzco there would be less atmosphere causing more intense rays including UV.
     
  10. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    I wouldn't necessarily rule out a great city near sea elevation. But I'm definitely more attracted to staying somewhere in the mountains for longer-term. Might have to compromise on food a bit but I'm sure if I looked through local markets I probably wouldn't have too much trouble finding healthy options (and if I did, I wouldn't stay there long), like Danny Roddy showed in his San Miguel market video. I think you're probably right about Mexico being a more balanced option for foreigners.
     
  11. FredSonoma

    FredSonoma Member

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    Are all of these places completely safe for foreigners that would obviously stick out? and not know the local language?
     
  12. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    Well, I haven't visited any of these countries but I wouldn't feel uncomfortable doing so. Danny Roddy said he felt safer in San Miguel de Allende than he ever felt in San Francisco. I assume there's some inherent risk involved, but I don't think any of these countries are especially dangerous if you practice common sense, research the area beforehand, etc. Obviously this will vary by city and neighborhood, but in general, you have a lot of the same risks as you would in a big city - pick pocketing, car jacking, theft, robbery, scammers, etc. I don't know if it's absolutely necessary to learn the local language, that again depends on where you go, but I think in general knowing the language levels the playing field, for one thing, it's harder to scam you if you are well-versed, and plus it enriches your experience when you can communicate and understand what's going on. If two guys try to run up on you and they're talking in front of you or maybe in earshot in Spanish together about how they're gonna rob you, knowing the language could save your life. But again, having not visited anywhere except Spain, I could be wrong all of this, but I think as a rule of thumb it still could apply here.
     
  13. FredSonoma

    FredSonoma Member

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    Wow that's crazy! Safer than San Francisco! That's good to hear
     
  14. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    Yeah. Here's his comment in case anyone wanted to read the whole thing.

    mexico.png
     
  15. Sucrates

    Sucrates Member

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    I'd be careful where you go, especially at night, during the day in safe areas there's a constant problem with petty crime and harassment by all sorts of scammers.
     
  16. Waynish

    Waynish Member

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    Don't be silly; Danny *felt* unsafe. The girls kidnapped and murdered in Mexico *were* unsafe... Use evidence folks. I'm all for living in Mexico, of course.
     
  17. Stramonium

    Stramonium Member

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    I live in ColOmbia, technically in one of the branches of the Andes. We have good fruit all year round as well as sunlight. Water comes from the mountain better than the water I've had while visiting in the US, overall diet isn't as focused on processed foods in comparison to first world countries and we have peaty snacks like gelatin mixed with sugar cane (see below):hearteyes:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. ddjd

    ddjd Member

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    I've done quite a bit of traveling in south America and lived in Bolivia for 4 months.

    Bolivia was my favourite but that's just me. Small town called sucre. Awesome town. Dirt cheap, great people and 9000 feet attitude.

    La Paz not so great but 13000 ft altitude. I was there A month. It's a huge city but I got out to surrounding areas which I loved.

    Cusco in peru is very good. But much more touristy than Bolivia. I think it's 11000 ft.

    Bogota I think it's 8-9000ft. Colombia is an awesome country and Bogota great place to explore from.

    Guatemala- lake Aititlan. I think it's about 6000ft. Beautiful beautiful beautiful place. Quite touristy. But good hippy vibe in some places.

    I would go back to Bolivia if I had the choice. I'd also like to go to visit high altitude places in Mexico if I had time.
     
  19. ddjd

    ddjd Member

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    Can you link to San Miguel market video?
     
  20. OP
    Energizer

    Energizer Member

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    Informative post, thanks!


    You're making me want to visit Columbia. What are some cities or towns you might recommend checking out?
     
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