Think about this: You might have simply arrived within the lovely Peruvian Andes, which is crammed with majestic mountains, mysterious ruins, and vibrant cultures. 

The size of Peru’s high-altitude websites really takes your breath away as you make your journey as much as the dizzying heights of Machu Picchu or the breathtaking great thing about Cusco. A harmful menace for the reckless traveler, altitude illness might rapidly rework your journey right into a nightmare. 

This weblog dives into all it’s essential to find out about altitude illness in Peru, offering insightful info and sensible recommendation to make your journey to Peru’s excessive areas a breath of recent air in each manner.

Associated learn: How to Structure Your Peru Itinerary

Right here is an outline:

What’s Altitude Illness?

Vacationers who journey to excessive altitudes, equivalent to Cusco, Arequipa, Colca Canyon or Puno, the place the air strain and oxygen ranges are a lot decrease, might expertise altitude illness, generally generally known as acute mountain illness (AMS). 

Your physique will get much less oxygen at excessive altitudes, which might trigger a wide range of signs, from minor discomfort to severe illness. Though not everyone seems to be in danger, it’s crucial to know the medical results of altitude illness as a result of extreme circumstances will be harmful.

The vast majority of vacationers in Peru who get altitude illness are those that arrive by airplane from a location with larger temperatures and decrease altitude. The sudden modifications in altitude and temperature, the place the air is thinner, and it’s colder, are liable for this.

Journey Locations in Peru Susceptible to Altitude Illness

The various panorama of Peru varies in altitude from coastal deserts to excessive mountain summits. It is likely to be pleasant to journey to the nation’s high-altitude areas, however it’s essential to pay attention to the place altitude illness is extra more likely to occur. 

Listed here are A number of Locations in Peru The place Altitude Illness is a Potential Subject

  • Cusco: You may attain Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley from Cusco, which is positioned round 11,000 ft. (3,400 m) above sea degree. Spend a day or two in Cusco earlier than starting hikes or treks to larger altitudes to permit for acclimatization.
  • Machu Picchu: Whereas the Inca citadel is simply about 7,970 ft (2,430 m) excessive, lots of the hikes and trails that go there have high-altitude elements. If you wish to discover this pure treasure, a gradual ascent and acclimatization are essential.
  • Arequipa: Also referred to as the “White Metropolis,” Arequipa sits at a peak of round 7,660 ft. (2,335 m). Spend a couple of days adjusting to the altitude earlier than touring the town or beginning treks to the Colca Canyon.
  • Lake Titicaca: At elevations of as much as 12,500 ft. (3,810 m), Lake Titicaca is the very best navigable lake on the planet. Be cautious of the altitude when visiting the Uros islands or different locations close by. The best technique for making the journey throughout the crystal-clear waters remains to be rising slowly.

Associated learn: Where to go in Peru Besides Machu Picchu

What are the Signs of Altitude Illness?

The vast majority of vacationers sometimes expertise signs of altitude illness 6 to 24 hours after ascending over 9,842 ft. (3000 m). The lowered air strain and oxygen ranges could cause a spread of signs.

The Following are Some Traditional Indicators of Altitude Illness

  • Complications
  • Nauseous and dizzy feeling
  • Tiredness
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Respiratory points
  • Lack of urge for food

Altitude illness typically lasts between two and three days. That is typical, provided that it takes a traveler in Peru about two days to acclimate. Nevertheless, there’s all the time a manner round an issue. On this scenario, cautious planning is important.

There are some suggestions to stop altitude illness. The following tips come from vacationers who’ve visited Peru earlier than and from those that reside within the Peruvian highlands.

Avoiding Altitude Illness

Lake Humantay in Peru. How to avoid altitude sickness.
Lake Humantay in Peru. The way to keep away from altitude illness.

Your high-altitude experiences in Peru don’t must be impaired by altitude illness. You may scale back danger and fully benefit from the Andes’ magnificence with cautious planning and sensible choices. 

Under are some important strategies to ensure a risk-free and joyful journey.

Take the Proper Drugs

The next are a number of the hottest drugs used to stop and remedy altitude illness and related signs:

  • Altitude illness capsules (e.g., Sorojchi capsules, obtainable in Peruvian pharmacies)
  • Acetazolamide, branded as “Diamox,” is used to each stop and remedy excessive altitude illness.
  • Paracetamol with Ibuprofen for Complications
  • Gravol or Promethazine to alleviate nausea.

Each pharmacy sells drugs, and the workers at your lodge or hostel will even be capable of help you. 

To forestall altitude illness, it is best to take Diamox or Sorojchi capsules 1-2 days previous to ascending to larger altitudes. You must nonetheless train warning and improve your altitude step by step somewhat than rapidly.

Drink Coca Tea or Chew Coca Leaves

Traveler Vinicunca. How to avoid altitude sickness.
Traveler Vinicunca. The way to keep away from altitude illness.

Within the mountains of Peru, mate de coca, or coca tea, is probably the most typically consumed beverage. You may simply put together coca tea your self. Simply add some coca leaves to scorching water, wait a couple of minutes, then, if wanted, add some sweetness.

Necessary: When you should undergo a drug take a look at to your job, avoid coca tea. Even when the leaves solely comprise a tiny quantity of cocaine, a drug take a look at may nonetheless come out optimistic.

Chewing coca leaves is sort of widespread amongst others. They declare it helps them focus higher and is part of their tradition. We’ve carried out it on quite a lot of walks, together with the 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu and the Rainbow Mountain Vinicunca journey, and it actually helped us.

Moreover, each vacationer store sells coca leaves within the type of cookies or different treats. They’re the perfect “on-the-go” snack.

Adapt to the Altitude Progressively

Usually, it takes your physique a couple of days to regulate to the elevated altitude. You must want two to a few days to get used to it due to this. 

The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu must be seen first after arriving in Cusco as a result of they’re positioned at decrease altitudes. After that, you may go on climbing excursions, equivalent to to Humantay Lake or the Rainbow Mountains.

Usually, it is best to keep away from ascending larger than 984–1,640 ft. (300–500 m) each day and take a time without work each 1,968–2,952 ft. (600–900 m), or each 3–4 days.

This Best of Cusco in 4 Days Tour offers all of that in a single tour. Discover extra particulars on the backside of the article.

Book directly with the tour operator

Eat Low-Fats Dishes and Keep away from Fatty Meals

Lomo saltado. How to avoid altitude sickness.
Lomo saltado. The way to keep away from altitude illness.

Nice low-fat meals embody soups, rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, fruit, and poultry, which offer your physique with the power it requires. A high-carb weight-reduction plan has been confirmed to enhance temper and is a brilliant technique to stop altitude illness. Nevertheless, differ it up and add lean protein, equivalent to rooster, and a few wholesome fat, equivalent to avocado or almonds.

As a result of they take much less oxygen to your metabolism than fats and protein do, carbohydrates are wonderful for you.

Keep away from consuming something creamy or salty as a result of these meals take longer to your physique to digest. As an illustration, consuming salty meals will make you lose water out of your physique extra rapidly.

Because of the altitude, many vacationers expertise a scarcity of urge for food after arriving. They eat as much as 40% much less energy than ordinary because of this. Subsequently, even in the event you don’t really feel hungry, it’s essential that you just eat sufficient meals once you get to your vacation spot.

Different Tricks to Keep away from Altitude Illness

Listed here are another suggestions that it is best to comply with to keep away from the altitude illness in Peru:

  • Drink a number of water: Add 1.5 l to your each day utilization, as preserving your physique hydrated is essential.
  • Keep away from alcohol and don’t do strenuous actions: It’s really useful to keep away from alcohol, smoking, and interesting in strenuous bodily exercise within the first 24 – 48 hours. 
  • Get Agua de Florida: It’s a tiny bottle of herbal-infused yellow fragrance. This one helps in case you might be experiencing issue with altitude, complications, or respiratory points. Inhaling it’s thought of to be useful. 
  • Purchase Oxishot: A small dischargeable referred to as Oxishot has as much as 8 l of oxygen in it. It reduces your complications, weariness, and respiratory difficulties. 

Acute Mountain Illness (AMS) and Persistent Mountain Illness (CMS)

Acute Mountain Illness (AMS) and Persistent Mountain Illness (CMS) are completely different manifestations of sickness that may happen with publicity to excessive altitude.

Acute mountain illness is fast and often happens inside a couple of hours of ascending to altitudes above 2,500 metres (about 8,000 toes). The signs are described above.

Alternatively, persistent mountain illness, often known as Monge’s illness, is a long-term sickness that develops over years of residing at excessive altitudes. It’s characterised by an overproduction of crimson blood cells in response to the extended lack of oxygen related to residing at excessive altitudes. This ends in a situation generally known as polycythemia, which thickens the blood and might result in pulmonary hypertension, coronary heart failure and different severe issues.

Persistent Mountain Illness (CMS)

Persistent Mountain Illness (CMS), or Monge’s illness, is the physique’s adaptive response to long-term publicity to excessive altitude. The important thing physiological response in CMS is a situation referred to as polycythemia, the place the physique overproduces crimson blood cells in an try to hold extra oxygen to the tissues.

Whereas this will appear helpful, it will increase the viscosity (thickness) of the blood, making it tougher for the center to pump blood all through the physique.

Over time, this elevated workload on the center can result in severe issues, equivalent to:

  • Proper-sided coronary heart failure: The proper aspect of the center, which is liable for pumping blood to the lungs for oxygen, can develop into enlarged and weakened over time because of the elevated strain required to push blood by the lungs.
  • Pulmonary hypertension: Elevated blood viscosity can result in hypertension within the lungs’ arteries, affecting regular respiratory.
  • Stroke: Thicker, slower-moving blood will increase the chance of blood clots, which might trigger a stroke if a clot blocks an artery within the mind.
  • Irregular bleeding: Though uncommon, some sufferers with persistent mountain illness might expertise irregular bleeding because of modifications in blood clotting mechanisms.

As CMS impacts a number of organ programs, sufferers may expertise non-specific signs equivalent to fatigue, dizziness and lowered bodily endurance. As CMS progresses, sufferers might develop cyanosis (blue or purple coloring of the pores and skin) because of poor oxygen supply to the physique’s tissues.

It’s necessary to notice that CMS is an opposed response to excessive altitude and isn’t skilled by everybody who lives in such circumstances. Some populations are genetically tailored to residing at excessive altitudes and don’t develop CMS. Medical intervention, together with focused remedy and recommendation on way of life modifications, can assist those that are adversely affected.

Private Expertise with Altitude Illness

Every year, we spend a considerable amount of our time in high-altitude places, equivalent to Puno, Cusco, Arequipa or Huaraz. For that motive, we’re effectively conscious of the significance of getting used to the altitude and tips on how to stop it. 

What personally helped us probably the most had been the next issues:

  • Take Soroche capsules 1-2 days earlier than flying out to excessive locations.
  • Drink a number of water and coca tea to maintain the signs low. 
  • Don’t eat a number of carbs, and keep away from strenuous exercise/excursions for the primary 24 – 48 hours.  

Everybody reacts in a different way to locations positioned at excessive altitudes, however it’s essential to take the proper measures to keep away from spending your holidays in your lodge room or on the hospital. 

Couple at Machu Picchu - exploor Peru. How to avoid altitude sickness.
Couple at Machu Picchu – exploor Peru. The way to keep away from altitude illness.

Altitude illness presents a barrier when exploring Peru’s high-altitude treasures, that are a pleasure to find. To make your journey safer and extra pleasurable, take into accout these necessary classes:

  • Gradual ascent and acclimatization are your greatest allies.
  • Preserve your self hydrated, make sensible meals decisions, and search medical recommendation when obligatory.
  • Don’t push your limitations, and take note of your physique.

When you think about all of those factors, then you may uncover our Best of Cusco in 4 days tour with none doubts and points with altitude illness.

4 Days: Better of Cusco

This wonderful 4-day Machu Picchu tour gives you a singular and vivid expertise of Cusco’s nature, native tradition, historical past, structure and the unimaginable New Surprise of the World.

Prepare for 4 unforgettable locations in simply 4 days: Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, Rainbow Mountain and Lake Titicaca.

The skilled guides will make sure you keep away from the crowds and uncover the very best spots for gorgeous images.

You may select to journey in a small group (max eight individuals) or on a non-public tour. One other good possibility is that you might e book your individual lodging or let this be carried out by the Exploor workforce (2-5 star choices to select from).

Key Advantages of this Tour Choice

  • Discover the wonders of Machu Picchu with an skilled information who has led over 1000 excursions.
  • Embark on our intimate group excursions with 2-8 fellow adventurers (or go for an unique non-public tour), making certain early entry to the websites and avoiding giant crowds.
  • Expertise impeccable planning and execution as they’re proud to be seasoned professionals within the discipline, acknowledged with a exceptional 95% Excellence ranking on TripAdvisor.

Price: from USD 839 per person

Rainbow Mountain in Peru with exploor Peru.
Rainbow Mountain in Peru with exploor Peru.

Cusco Itinerary

Day 1: Sacred Valley – Immerse Your self in an Genuine Tour of the Valley’s Should-See Ruins

You’ll be picked you up at round 6:45 am to start exploring the principle websites of the Sacred Valley. You’ll go to locations equivalent to Moray, the Maras salt mines, Ollantaytambo, in addition to stopping at a standard chicheria to pattern Inca beer and a neighborhood textile heart.

On the finish of this enriching tour, you’ll have two choices: return to Cusco or proceed on to Aguas Calientes, the place you’ll go to Machu Picchu the subsequent day.

Lunch is included, and also you’ll keep in a single day in both Cusco or Aguas Calientes.

Day 2: Machu Picchu – Uncover this Surprise of the World with our Educated Information

Embark on an interesting 2 hour guided tour of a very powerful areas inside the Machu Picchu ruins. Find out about its fascinating historical past and immerse your self in Inca tradition as your information unveils exceptional constructions that showcase historic knowledge at its best.

As soon as your exploration is full, you can be transfered again to Cusco for one more night time.

Day 3: Rainbow Mountain – Expertise Vinicunca With out the Crowds

Begin early to get pleasure from some quiet moments on the prime of the Andes! Marvel on the vibrant colours of Rainbow Mountain, with its breathtaking crimson landscapes, and meet llamas and alpacas alongside the way in which. Your small group (additionally the non-public excursions) ensures exclusivity by making certain you might be among the many first to succeed in the summit.

Breakfast and lunch are included. In a single day in Cusco.

Day 4: Lake Humantay – Benefit from the Turquoise Lake Earlier than the Huge Teams Arrive

Located at an altitude of 4200m, this hidden gem is surrounded by majestic glacier mountains that supply breathtaking views. After a 1.5-2 hour hike, you can be one of many fortunate vacationers to benefit from the tranquil great thing about the turquoise Humantay Lake with the snow-capped Mt. Humantay as a backdrop.

Breakfast and lunch are included. In a single day in Cusco.

Book directly with the tour operator

Good to have:

  • Entrance, practice and shuttle bus tickets for Machu Picchu are included.
  • Trekking poles, first help equipment and oxygen for the treks included.
  • Vegetarian and vegan choices can be found.

Probably the most exceptional side of selecting Exploor is the conquer the crowds. You make a degree of getting up early to be among the many first to discover your locations. Given the present reputation of Peru, this method really transforms your expertise. Plus, smaller teams offer you extra flexibility throughout your journey.

  • Exploor Peru

    Having crafted distinctive journey experiences for over 7 years, Exploor Peru is your one-stop store for Peru travels. Staying in tree homes within the Amazon jungle, climbing with alpacas to a area people within the Andes or making an attempt the normal dish “Pachamanca” cooked underground are a number of the issues we provide. With over 20,000 vacationers and greater than 1100 5-star opinions on TripAdvisor, you may relaxation assured that your journey will probably be unforgettable. Exploor Peru is thought for small teams, itineraries that keep away from the crowds and genuine experiences.


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