Traveling to the highlands is an incredible experience, but if you come from a city that is barely above sea level, altitude might try to get in the way of your trip.
For a clear understanding, altitude sickness or soroche is the organism’s lack of adaptation to the altitude. The higher the altitude, the lower atmospheric and oxygen pressure, what causes you symptoms as painful headaches, fatigue or physical exhaustion, nausea and vomiting, agitation, lack of appetite and sleep disorders.
Altitude sickness or soroche is the organism’s lack of adaption to the altitude.
We know that telling you this can make you not want to know Peru, but you have to know that this happens only when 2500 m.a.s.l. are exceeded. For this reason, there are even Peruvians, who don’t live in the highlands, who are affected by the altitude of cities like Arequipa and Cuzco. Don’t worry! Your trip can be just as wonderful if you keep informed about this issue and take into account some tips.
To begin with, it’s really useful to know how to get ready before arriving to our destination. Start by not drinking alcohol 24 hours before, since it can cause you dehydration, as well as caffeinated products. Drink a lot of water and start hydrating you well from the day before. Furthermore, certain foods as carbohydrates will help you to prevent altitude sickness by giving you more energy.
Drink a lot of water and start hydrating you well from the day before.
Once the trip has started is essential to start your activities calmly, so your organism can acclimate. Take a break! At least the first day. Don’t make much physical effort, sleep well, drink from 2 to 3 liters of water per day and eat light foods.
In the majority of hotels and restaurants, you’ll find mate de coca (coca tea). This is because it is one of the most effective natural methods to avoid or reduce altitude sickness. This hot drink not only will comfort you, but also will keep you warm in case of any temperature drop. Also, it’s possible to find this ancient medicine to “chacchar”, in other words, to chew the coca leaves keeping them in your mouth for some time, or candies made of coca that have a sweet flavor and cause the same effect.
Mate de coca is an ancient medicine to reduce altitude sickness.
Finally, if you are going to do activities that involve a greater physical effort as trekking or some extreme sport, it is recommended to ask your trusted doctor about the soroche pills that are sold at any pharmacy and increase respiratory capacity. If you have any medical problem, do not hesitate to tell it to the tour guides or people who are responsible for the activities you will do.
Make the most of your trip in the Peruvian highlands.
Thousands of foreign and national tourists visit the Peruvian highlands annually, and it is worth mentioning again that it is an incredible and unique experience. So, take the necessary steps to prevent this ill, follow our advice and above all, enjoy every single second of your trip.