Altitude Adjustment

Machu Picchu was voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, and it absolutely does not disappoint. Cusco was the Incan capital of Peru, and the history is almost palpable. The Sacred Valley is a magnificent gateway to both spots.

An important factor to consider when planning your trip to the center of Peru is the altitude. It doesn’t affect everybody, and the symptoms and severity vary from person to person, without much rhyme or reason, but it?s important to be prepared. Here are some tips to help hedge altitude sickness as best as possible:

1. Drink a lot of water before and during your stay.

2. Headaches are a very common symptom of altitude sickness. Make sure to have some ibuprofen or your preferred headache medicine readily available. Some suggest taking this 30 minutes before your plane lands in Cusco as a preemptive measure.

3. Take it easy. Allow yourself plenty of time to rest the first day or so.

4. Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol. This is particularly true the first day or two until you know how you?ve adjusted to the altitude.

5.The locals drink cocoa tea, which they claim helps with altitude sickness. I know others that swear by this, but personally tried only a sip of it so can?t claim its powers.

For these particular destinations, the best approach is to start at a lower altitude and work your way up. The Sacred Valley is at approximately 8,500 feet above sea level, while Cusco is approximately 11,500. When you land in Cusco, head to the valley for a couple of days. There is a magnificent hotel in Urubamba called Tambo del Inka that is perfect for taking it easy. Conveniently, the Sacred Valley is also an ideal jumping off point for a trip to Machu Picchu. After a couple of days in the valley, you should feel more acclimated and be able to head to Cusco without much issue due to the altitude.


Add A Comment