Most of the time, when you travel to Cusco and decide to do the famous trek, it is possible to get the Inca trail sickness or most common called “soroche”. and experiment the worst symptoms that can disturb your pleasant stay, for that reason travelers has to be aware and take all the measures in order to be prepared.
The beautiful city of Cusco is considered one of the highest in Latin American, it is located at about 10,800 feet above sea level and The Inca Trail (Machu Picchu) is Peru’s most famous trekking route and possibly one of the most amazing in the America, being the Highest point of the Inca Trail (Dead Woman’s Pass) at the second day of the trek reaching 4,200 metres above sea level.
However it’s impossible to predict who will be affected by altitude. Your ability to adapt to high altitude could be determined by genetic and have an appropriated fitness or health condition, although it is fundamentally have a mental attitude ; anyway even that, in some cases does not guarantee the risk of do not getting sick.
The altitude sickness could be severe or moderate, that’s depends of the insensitivity and some of the most typical symptoms or indications of Soroche are the following:
* Feeling breathless (difficulty of breathing)
* Strong headache
* Dizziness, nausea or lack of appetite
* Stomach illness
* Fatigue or acute weakness
* Bleeding nose
* Lessening volume of urine
*The following recommendations are basic at the moment of your arrival to Cusco.
We recommend you as soon as you arrived to Cusco to take some rest, don’t eat food that are hard to digest, I mean eat a light lunch (preferably carbohydrates in a small quantity) remember that the digestion takes more time in altitude, at least the first day it is very important, drink plenty of liquids (one liter of water minimum). In Cusco or the sacred valley area prior the trek will help, avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. Not to run or walk fast and do their activities gradually, wear an appropriate clothes in order to keep warm and of course enjoy a delicious Coca Leaf tea the most natural medicine that the Incas’ used to take.
Definitively the time and quality of the acclimatization process varies from person to person. Another method considered effective is start visiting other cities with high altitude such a Puno or La Paz, if you pass for those places you could feel ready to be in Cusco without any problem.
Also other suggestions is that you take some lemon candy (sugar helps), consumed dried fruits, drink an herb called muna (pronounced mun-ya) these are good options too.
Do not worry because if you follow all these terms and you are precautious you will be fine. Just in case you start to feeling sick and if nothing of these recommendations makes effect on you, contact a doctor in order to be assisted and you can get a prescription for some high altitude pills. Like soroche Pills, Diamox Tablets, etc.
Inca Machu Picchu
Inca Trail Guide