Think about this: You’ve gotten simply arrived within the lovely Peruvian Andes, which is full of majestic mountains, mysterious ruins, and vibrant cultures. 

The dimensions 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 fantastic thing about Cusco. A harmful menace for the reckless traveler, altitude illness could shortly rework your journey right into a nightmare. 

This weblog dives into all you want to learn about altitude illness in Peru, offering insightful info and sensible recommendation to make your journey to Peru’s excessive areas a breath of contemporary 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, akin to Cusco, Arequipa, Colca Canyon or Puno, the place the air strain and oxygen ranges are a lot decrease, could expertise altitude illness, generally often known as acute mountain illness (AMS). 

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

Nearly all of vacationers in Peru who get altitude illness are those that arrive by airplane from a location with higher temperatures and decrease altitude. The sudden adjustments in altitude and temperature, the place the air is thinner, and it’s colder, are accountable for this.

Journey Locations in Peru Liable to Altitude Illness

The varied panorama of Peru varies in altitude from coastal deserts to excessive mountain summits. It may be pleasant to journey to the nation’s high-altitude areas, however it’s essential to concentrate on 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 Situation

  • Cusco: You’ll be able to attain Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley from Cusco, which is positioned round 11,000 ft. (3,400 m) above sea stage. 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 just about 7,970 ft (2,430 m) excessive, most of the hikes and trails that go there have high-altitude points. 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 number 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 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 continues to be rising slowly.

Associated learn: Where to go in Peru Besides Machu Picchu

What are the Signs of Altitude Illness?

Nearly all 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 may cause a spread of signs.

The Following are Some Basic 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, on condition that it takes a traveler in Peru about two days to acclimate. Nonetheless, there’s all the time a manner round an issue. On this scenario, cautious planning is crucial.

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

Avoiding Altitude Illness

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

Your high-altitude experiences in Peru don’t need to be impaired by altitude illness. You’ll be able to cut back threat and utterly 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 few of the hottest drugs used to forestall and remedy altitude illness and related signs:

  • Altitude illness drugs (e.g., Sorojchi drugs, obtainable in Peruvian pharmacies)
  • Acetazolamide, branded as “Diamox,” is used to each forestall 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 resort or hostel may even have the ability to help you. 

To forestall altitude illness, it is best to take Diamox or Sorojchi drugs 1-2 days previous to ascending to larger altitudes. It’s best to nonetheless train warning and enhance your altitude step by step slightly than shortly.

Drink Coca Tea or Chew Coca Leaves

Traveler Vinicunca. How to avoid altitude sickness.
Traveler Vinicunca. The right 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’ll be able to 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.

Vital: In case you should undergo a drug check in your job, avoid coca tea. Even when the leaves solely include a tiny quantity of cocaine, a drug check may nonetheless come out optimistic.

Chewing coca leaves is sort of fashionable amongst others. They declare it helps them focus higher and is part of their tradition. We’ve executed 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 definitely helped us.

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

Adapt to the Altitude Regularly

Usually, it takes your physique a number of days to regulate to the elevated altitude. It’s best to want two to a few days to get used to it due to this. 

The Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu ought to be seen first after arriving in Cusco as a result of they’re positioned at decrease altitudes. After that, you may go on mountaineering excursions, akin 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 break day each 1,968–2,952 ft. (600–900 m), or each 3–4 days.

This Best of Cusco in 4 Days Tour gives 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 right way to keep away from altitude illness.

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

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

Keep away from consuming something creamy or salty as a result of these meals take longer in your physique to digest. For example, consuming salty meals will make you lose water out of your physique extra shortly.

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

Different Tricks to Keep away from Altitude Illness

Listed here are another ideas that it is best to observe to keep away from the altitude illness in Peru:

  • Drink a whole lot of water: Add 1.5 l to your every day utilization, as preserving your physique hydrated is essential.
  • Keep away from alcohol and don’t do strenuous actions: It’s really helpful to keep away from alcohol, smoking, and fascinating 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 Power Mountain Illness (CMS)

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

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

Then again, power 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 purple blood cells in response to the extended lack of oxygen related to residing at excessive altitudes. This ends in a situation often known as polycythemia, which thickens the blood and may result in pulmonary hypertension, coronary heart failure and different critical problems.

Power Mountain Illness (CMS)

Power 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 purple blood cells in an try to hold extra oxygen to the tissues.

Whereas this will appear useful, it will increase the viscosity (thickness) of the blood, making it more durable for the guts to pump blood all through the physique.

Over time, this elevated workload on the guts can result in critical problems, akin to:

  • Proper-sided coronary heart failure: The proper facet of the guts, which is accountable for pumping blood to the lungs for oxygen, can turn out to be enlarged and weakened over time as a result of elevated strain required to push blood by means of 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 may trigger a stroke if a clot blocks an artery within the mind.
  • Irregular bleeding: Though uncommon, some sufferers with power mountain illness could expertise irregular bleeding resulting from adjustments in blood clotting mechanisms.

As CMS impacts a number of organ methods, sufferers can also expertise non-specific signs akin to fatigue, dizziness and lowered bodily endurance. As CMS progresses, sufferers could develop cyanosis (blue or purple coloring of the pores and skin) resulting from poor oxygen supply to the physique’s tissues.

It’s essential 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 treatment and recommendation on way of life adjustments, can assist those that are adversely affected.

Private Expertise with Altitude Illness

Annually, we spend a considerable amount of our time in high-altitude places, akin to Puno, Cusco, Arequipa or Huaraz. For that purpose, we’re effectively conscious of the significance of getting used to the altitude and methods to forestall it. 

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

  • Take Soroche drugs 1-2 days earlier than flying out to excessive locations.
  • Drink a whole lot of water and coca tea to maintain the signs low. 
  • Don’t eat a whole lot 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 suitable measures to keep away from spending your holidays in your resort room or on the hospital. 

Couple at Machu Picchu - exploor Peru. How to avoid altitude sickness.
Couple at Machu Picchu – exploor Peru. The right 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, have in mind these essential classes:

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

In case 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 offers you a singular and vivid expertise of Cusco’s nature, native tradition, historical past, structure and the unbelievable New Marvel of the World.

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

The professional guides will make sure you keep away from the crowds and uncover the perfect spots for beautiful pictures.

You’ll be able to select to journey in a small group (max eight individuals) or on a non-public tour. One other good possibility is that you possibly can e book your personal lodging or let this be executed by the Exploor crew (2-5 star choices to select from).

Key Advantages of this Tour Possibility

  • Discover the wonders of Machu Picchu with an professional information who has led over 1000 excursions.
  • Embark on our intimate group excursions with 2-8 fellow adventurers (or go for an unique personal 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 subject, acknowledged with a exceptional 95% Excellence score 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 akin to Moray, the Maras salt mines, Ollantaytambo, in addition to stopping at a conventional chicheria to pattern Inca beer and a neighborhood textile middle.

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 Marvel of the World with our Educated Information

Embark on an enchanting 2 hour guided tour of crucial areas throughout the Machu Picchu ruins. Study its fascinating historical past and immerse your self in Inca tradition as your information unveils exceptional buildings that showcase historic knowledge at its most interesting.

As soon as your exploration is full, you may be transfered again to Cusco for an additional evening.

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

Begin early to get pleasure from some quiet moments on the high of the Andes! Marvel on the vibrant colours of Rainbow Mountain, with its breathtaking purple landscapes, and meet llamas and alpacas alongside the way in which. Your small group (additionally the personal 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 may be one of many fortunate vacationers to benefit from the tranquil fantastic 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, prepare and shuttle bus tickets for Machu Picchu are included.
  • Trekking poles, first assist package and oxygen for the treks included.
  • Vegetarian and vegan choices can be found.

Essentially the most exceptional facet of selecting Exploor is the overcome the crowds. You make some extent of getting up early to be among the many first to discover your locations. Given the present recognition of Peru, this method actually transforms your expertise. Plus, smaller teams provide you with 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, mountaineering with alpacas to a area people within the Andes or attempting the normal dish “Pachamanca” cooked underground are a few of the issues we provide. With over 20,000 vacationers and greater than 1100 5-star evaluations on TripAdvisor, you may relaxation assured that your journey might be unforgettable. Exploor Peru is thought for small teams, itineraries that keep away from the crowds and genuine experiences.


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