Acclimatization necessary for travelers in Cusco

The acclimatization in Cusco should be taken seriously, especially if you fly at an altitude (which is above 2,400 m more) from a place at sea level.

Your body needs time to adapt to lower levels of oxygen in the air and needs to produce more red blood cells.

This is particularly a problem in Peru, as many travelers come directly to Cusco from Lima, which is a 1,800 m jump.

Not everyone is affected by altitude, although most people will feel some differences during the first day or so. It is not known before traveling how it can be affected, since it has no correlation with physical condition.

That said, if you have suffered before, you can expect to be more prone than others.

The symptoms of altitude sickness in Cusco

Symptoms of mild altitude sickness include some or all of the following:

  • Headaches.
  • sickness.
  • short of breath.
  • lack of appetite.
  • dizziness
  • fatigue.

It is important to remember that these effects are simply because your body is adjusting and, although you may feel bad, you are not really sick.

The best way to acclimatize in Cusco is to lie on the first day of arrival, avoid alcohol, drink plenty of water (and / or) coca tea, a local homeopathic remedy.

If you rest and resist the need to go for a walk, in 24 hours you should start feeling much better.

On your second day at altitude, you should begin to feel that your body is adjusting to the altitude and should be able to try some mild activity.

By day 3, you will be in better shape. We recommend at least 2 to 3 days of acclimatization in Cusco before starting a walk.

In addition to the previous local remedies, there are also some over-the-counter remedies to combat altitude sickness.

Diamox to help acclimatize, can be prescribed and should be taken a day before reaching altitude. However, this medicine is not free of side effects (nausea and frequent need to urinate) that may end up being more an obstacle than altitude sickness itself.

Acclimatization of children in Cusco

The altitude should not prevent you from visiting children.

We have sent families to Peru with children as young as 3 years old, so there is no need to avoid it. In fact, we often find that children recover from altitude faster than their parents.

The same rules apply to children as to adults; Rest, relax and keep your liquids. We recommend packing some familiar snacks from home for some energy at home.

Acclimatization in Cusco and Trekking through its mountains

If you are trekking, you will surely feel the symptoms of altitude sickness when you rise above the altitude of Cusco to one of the high passes.

Your headaches and nausea may well return and you will find yourself out of breath regularly, needing to make many rest stops. This happens to everyone, including guides and goalkeepers, and is no cause for concern. Once you descend, your symptoms will disappear.

The important thing to remember is to listen to your body and make the walk at a slow and comfortable pace, it is not a race to reach the goal. And remember, your guides have a lot of experience and know the difference between mild and severe altitude sickness.

Remember to make sure your travel insurance covers you for altitude trekking. Many policies include altitudes up to 3,000 m as standard, but you may have to pay a premium above this height.

Peace of mind

For our customized clients in Peru, we include an assistance program that allows up to two consultations to your hotel and assistance in acclimatization and relaxing massages.

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