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How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco Peru
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Peru Tours

How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco Peru

4 min read

May 31, 2013


By Mary Bergan

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How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco PeruHow-to-Avoid-Altitude-Sickness-in-Cusco-Peru

Planned your Peru Vacation but worried about altitude sickness in Cusco Peru? Many people do. First, we need to figure out what is the altitude of Machu Picchu, from there we will cover how to avoid altitude sickness in Cusco Peru. So, what is the altitude of Machu Picchu in Peru? Macchu Picchu is at 7,972 feet above sea level, or 2,430 meters. Here are a couple of quotes to help you find out how to avoid altitude sickness in Cusco Peru, and inspire you to make the journey:

“The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. Remember, the greatest failure is to not try.” – Debbi Fields “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

So you want to go to Cusco, Peru and do the famous Machu Picchu Tour, one of the world’s best known archeological sites, but you’ve heard and read stories of Machu Picchu Peru altitude, and you are now a bit apprehensive – don’t be!! Our experts will give you tips on How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco, Peru or so you will be able to enjoy this magical destination without fear or hesitation. The Cusco Peru altitude is 11,152 feet above sea level.

What is Altitude Sickness?

Before you can learn How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco Peru, you must know what it is. Altitude Sickness, known as soroche in Peru, can occur for many people at heights starting at 8,000 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level. Altitude sickness is caused by insufficient oxygen in the blood and can cause dizziness, nausea, and shortness of breath. Many people have said altitude sickness feels like having a hangover. Everyone is susceptible to experience altitude sickness. It doesn’t matter your age, gender or weight. It can affect even the fittest, healthiest traveler. You must know your own limitations and always consult your physician to get their medical advice before you go as they know your medical history and can give you the best information related to you and your needs.

Tips to avoid altitude sickness:

How-to-Avoid-Altitude-Sickness-in-Cusco-PeruTo enjoy your trip to its fullest follow these simple tips and it will assist you in the prevention of altitude sickness:

  • Drink lots of water – STAY HYDRATED! You should be drinking at least 6 -16 ounces of bottled water a day.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages
  • Participate in mild activities your first few days in Cusco, Peru. Walk slowly and take it easy. Don’t overdo it and listen to your body!
  • Eat Carbs! (pasta, bread, and potatoes) – but be sure not to overeat!
  • Eat coca – coca tea, coca candy, cocoa brownies or the raw coca leaves themselves. Coca can be found everywhere in Cusco, and it can help alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness.
  • Before you go – consult your physician. Talk to him/her about your trip to Cusco. Your physician may advise and prescribe you an “altitude sickness tablet” and will most likely advise you to take these at least one day before your arrival.
  • If you find yourself affected by soroche, you can take Diamox/Acetazolamide. This medication is available at pharmacies in Cusco. There are also health clinics in Cusco, some of which have English speaking personnel. Bring your travel insurance card when you go.
  • Many 4-star and 5-star hotels in Cusco offer oxygen supplementation or oxygen-supplemented rooms as well as some medical services. Talk with your hotel to see if oxygen is available. Some hotels that offer oxygen enrichment include El Monasterio, Casa Cartagena, Hotel Libertador Cusco, Inkaterra La Casona, Casa Andina Private Collection Cusco, Novotel Cusco, and the Picoaga Costa del Sol.

Let Plan Your Trip to Peru:

How-to-Avoid-Altitude-Sickness-in-Cusco-PeruOur Travel Consultants at are experts in this destination and have been sending clients to Cusco, Peru for 15 years. Several of our consultants have been to Cusco and Machu Picchu themselves and can give you excellent advice on being prepared and help you avoid altitude sickness. Be sure to also read our client testimonials, as this will give you some more insight into the destination and our client’s experiences as well.  

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