How To Avoid Altitude Sickness - Peru Travel Advice
It is highly unlikely that you will travel to Peru and NOT ascend the lofty ruins of Machu Pichu (almost 8000 feet up), possibly one of the country's greatest highlights, after its delicious cuisine.
One of the slightly less pleasant experiences you may want to factor into a trip through Peru's high-altitude wonders is the likely possibility of altitude sickness. Known as saroche, this is an extremely common problem for visitors to the country, especially when moving from the coast to the high Andes or from low to high altitudes in a short space of time. Be warned: don’t think you’ll be immune just because you’re fit and healthy; altitude sickness has little to do with fitness and can affect the fittest of us.
Don't worry: our experts will tell you exactly how to avoid any possibility of this happening to you; nothing must get in the way of your precious vacation time, but a little knowledge and awareness certainly cannot hurt.
So bear in mind that if you do find yourself struck down with nausea, headaches, breathlessness, dizziness, or lethargy in the middle of the mountains altitude sickness is probably to blame. However, this pesky condition can be combated by eating light meals of carbohydrate-rich foods, drinking plenty of coca tea, keeping hydrated or even chewing coca leaves as the locals do (though as coca leaves will make you test positive for cocaine, perhaps not the best option for everyone).
Other than that, the best way to avoid the sickness is to give yourself plenty of time to adjust to modest changes in altitude and do not exert yourself. If you start to feel exceptionally awful or even develop a cough, head right back down and seek medical attention immediately.