Can I bring coca tea or coca leaves on the plane?

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<br /> Can I bring coca tea or coca leaves on the plane?<br /> |<br /> Non Stop Family<br />



One of the
curiosities we had for our trip to Peru was, of course, the existence of coca
tea and even the famous coca leaves, which are easily accessible in the area of
​​the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Coca (from
Quechua Kuka) is a plant of the family Erythroxylaceae, with the scientific name
Erythroxylum coca (wikipédia). It is a plant that has its origin in Bolivia
and, of course, in Peru, and is the source of cocaine.

Well, the
truth is if you think you’re going to “party” with tea or coca
leaves, it will not happen. Although it is on the basis of cocaine that, let’s
say, is prohibited in Peru, the traditional ways of eating places are through
the chewing of leaves and their use in tea.

Qualities of Coca

And since
the time of the Incas, coca leaves were already used because of they’re various
properties and benefits that, besides being nutritious, are rich in several
essential vitamins, proteins, fibers, and minerals, namely calcium, potassium
and phosphor.
In addition
to the nutritional qualities, coca leaves were traditionally used to combat the
signs of fatigue, hunger and, of course, to alleviate the symptoms of altitude
sickness (you can read here our article on how to prevent and deal with the
symptoms of altitude sickness ). There were several medical uses attributed to
Coca leaves, so they have always had great importance in Peruvian culture,
even to the present day.

Use of leaves and coca tea in Peru

A curious factor that occurred during the Spanish occupation has to do with the
prohibition that has occurred of the consumption of coca leaves by the locals
during a period of time. However, the Spanish occupiers began to see that, in
the high Andes, local productivity declined significantly when deprived of the
benefits of Coca, and quickly had to end their ban, otherwise their profits
were declining.
The truth
is that, until today, the benefits of coca leaves are used and, contrary to
what you may think, it is not only something for tourists because it was with
frequencies that we saw locals consuming coca leaves naturally throughout the Sacred Valley of the Incas, even on top of Machu Picchu, space watchers often take
out coca leaves to chew from their pockets.


Use of leaves and coca tea by tourists

Although in
the capital of Peru do not often observe coca leaves or tea when you arrive in
the Sacred Valley of the Incas, you will notice that the offer is huge. In
fact, it is even recommended, to mitigate the effects of altitude sickness, so
you will not have any difficulty in buying coca tea, coca leaves or other
derivatives such as sweets, sweets, even sweets intended for children.

When you
arrive at your hotel in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, there are few chances
that you will not have a good coca tea available to receive it, or available
for breakfast. Of course, we have also used it, and although it is a good tea,
it is not the best and perhaps it has helped us to deal with the symptoms of
altitude because we felt few. We also tried the coca leaves, namely chewing
and, we have to say that we preferred the tea experience, we did not find it as
nice to chew the leaves directly. However, there is nothing like experiencing
it.

Can I bring Coca tea or Coca leaves to Peru?

This was
then the issue that we put up during our stay. Who would not find a formidable
memory of Peru carrying a set of coca tea or even some leaves to make tea with
friends at home?
We wondered
if it was possible to surprise our friends. After all, tea was something so
harmless, and it was something sold in every corner of the Sacred Valley that
we hoped to be allowed.

And the
truth is that it is even possible to fly in Peru, but what worried us was
whether it would be possible to transport it from Peru to Europe. Of course we
did not want to risk being arrested, or a fine we would not risk without being
sure, so we began to investigate.
In a quick
search on the internet, we have even found reports of people successfully
bringing coca tea from Peru to their home country, but the fact that some
people have successfully brought coca tea to their destination does not mean that
and we wanted to do it without any risk, so we had to increase our research.
And what we
discovered was not very good in relation to our intention to bring coca tea to
Europe, particularly since what is happening is that, in the great majority of
the countries of the world, the transportation of any product containing Coca
is illegal, and the same applies when you want to leave the country.
It is true
that many people can tell happy experiences they have had in bringing this
different “souvenir” in countries like Peru and Bolivia, but the
truth is that if you try to catch a plane with coca leaves or coca leaves from
one of these countries for your country, you may have problems, serious
problems that, the risk does not pay.
When we
went from Cusco to Lima, we did not check for any security check, but at Lima
International Airport, while we waited to check in to Madrid, police control
was enormous. There were 3 police dogs smelling all the bags, and when we refer
to all the suitcases, they are all individually, both hand and basement baggage. 

In addition
to the 3 dogs, there is a set of police that, their presence, is certainly
intimidating to anyone who might want to bring something illegal with you and,
will verify, that they will look for themselves looking for some suspicious
sign and case find him, will likely search all his luggage, at least.
In this
way, we have to leave the recommendation that, as much as it costs you, to
leave for your trip any experience you want to have with coca leaves or coca
tea for during your trip. Looking for a ride home may cause you problems, and
it’s not worth the risk.
If you go
on your trip to Peru, we highly recommend you try muña tea, which is excellent
for digestion and totally legal and free to transport to your home. Incidentally,
this is also a very useful tea to use to deal with the symptoms of altitude
sickness and, therefore, also very frequent in the area of ​​Cusco and the
entire Sacred Valley of the Incas.
If you are planning your trip to Machu Picchu, we always do our reservations with booking, they are our partners and its with them that we get the best deals. You can look for the best deals by clicking here, it won’t cost you any money and, it helps us to support our blog.


We would also like to invite you to leave your opinion and questions and, in case you have already visited Machu Picchu, let us know what is your opinion and experience using our comments box. Thanks for your visit to our Non Stop Family Travel Blog, come back often and, if you liked our article, don’t forget to share it with your friends.








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