If you, for some personal or medical reasons, want to avoid going up to 3000 m (9,842 feet) you can still travel in Peru and even see Machu Picchu!
20% of the country are coastline and 60% are rainforest, so don't worry - there is plenty to see!
World famous Machu Picchu is located on 2.000 - 2.400 m, far below the "magical" 3000 m (9,842 feet) .
Here is how you could travel with us in Peru:
In South America where lots of touristic places like Cusco are located on an altitude of more than 3.000 m (9,842 feet) , the so called „Soroche“ can make your travel somehow challenging. Please consider the following before ascending:
- Take your time going up, you need several days for a gradual acclimatisation (5 to 7 days)
- While going up you need to take regular breaks or even a longer rest.
- Drink enough, about a 1 to 1.5 litres more than you would usually.
- Avoid travel if your medical condition is not stable.
- No sleeping pills, no smoking, avoid to much alcohol
- Carbs, carbs, carbs, because they need less oxygen than fats and proteins while digested.
- Warm clothes
- Note: As your body makes normal adjustments to adapt to a high altitude, you may experience a few symptoms that are bothersome but are not cause for concern, such as rapid breathing, shortness of breath with strenuous exercise, occasional short pauses in breathing while you sleep, and frequent urination. Also: Acute mountain sickness causes symptoms at least 8 to 36 hours after ascent, not within 2 hours after ascent. Don't think that every pain you feel is related to altitude sickness.
- - The first rule of treatment for mild symptoms of acute mountain sickness is to stop ascending until your symptoms are completely gone.
- - If you have symptoms of altitude sickness, avoid alcohol, sleeping pills and narcotic pain medications. All of these can slow your breathing, which is extremely dangerous in low-oxygen conditions.
If you have experienced high-altitude illness in the past and are planning to again go to high altitude, you may want to discuss with your doctor the option of taking a prescription drug. The ones often used are acetazolamide (Diamox) and the corticosteroid medicine dexamethasone (Decadron). These drugs do not prevent serious forms of AMS. Here are some explanations of what a drug could do for you. WARNING: Drugs should be used with caution and only on the advice of a physician.
Ibuprofen or Aspirin
Suggestion of Stanford Hospital & Clinics: ".. availability alone makes ibuprofen an appealing drug for individuals who travel to high altitudes. In addition, ibuprofen was effective when taken six hours before ascent, in contrast to acetazolamide, whose recommendations include that it be started the day before travel to high altitude ..."
Studies have shown that prophylactic administration of what you may know as Diamox at a dose of 250 mg every 8 to12 hrs before and during rapid ascent to altitude results in fewer or less severe symptoms (such as headache, nausea, shortness of breath) of AMS. Also pulmonary function is greater and treated persons had less difficulty in sleeping.
A medication for high blood pressure, has been shown to be beneficial for high-altitude pulmonary edema. Nifedipine is used to treat hypertension and chest pain. Nifedipine not only can prevent or attenuate high-altitude pulmonary edema but also has a beneficial effect on the symptoms of acute mountain sickness.
A drug that decreases brain and other swelling reversing the effects of AMS. The dose is typically 4 mg two times a day for a few days starting with the ascent.
This prevents most of the symptoms of altitude illness from developing.