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Cuzco Plaza de Armas CuscoWorried about altitude sickness in Cusco Peru? 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 visit the city of Machu Picchu, one of the world’s best known archeological sites, but you’ve heard and read stories of altitude sickness, and you are now a bit apprehensive – don’t be!! Our SouthAmerica.travel experts will give you tips on How to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco, Peru so you will be able to enjoy this magical destination without fear or hesitation.

What is Altitude Sickness?

Before you can prevent altitude sickness, 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:

Cobblestone Streets in Cusco Peru To 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, coca 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 sorroche, 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 SouthAmerica.travel Plan Your Trip to Peru:

Peruvian Ruins nearby Cusco Our Travel Consultants at SouthAmerica.travel 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 about the destination and our client’s experiences as well.

>> View more information about our Peru Tours

 Contact our Travel Consultants today and book your trip to Peru.


Mary Bergan

Mary grew up in Vermont and moved to Seattle, Washington sixteen years ago. She now considers herself a Pacific Northwesterner. Mary started working in the Adventure Travel industry fifteen years ago where she got bitten by the “travel bug” after her first trip to the Federated States of Micronesia. Since then she has traveled to several different countries including Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, Chile and Easter Island, Argentina, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Russia, Japan, Norway and France. In all, she has traveled to six continents including Antarctica and hopes to complete her seventh continent to Africa in the next five years. Mary has a passion for adventure and a deep appreciation for wildlife, unique cultures and pristine landscapes. Mary is incredibly excited to be part of the SouthAmerica.travel team and to help others plan their own adventures of a lifetime. When not working, Mary enjoys spending time with her friends hiking, biking, wine tasting and wandering around Seattle (rain or shine!). You can contact her at our Seattle sales office or by email at Mary(at)SouthAmerica(dot)travel.

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