Standing in front of Machu Picchu is to observe one of the most amazing historical places in the world, built more than 500 years ago. It is one of the places that leaves all the people who are lucky enough to be there, out of breath. But not only are breathless for its incredible structures or the amazing natural environment where it was built, for its complexity, beauty or history, but also for the altitude.
At altitudes above 2,400 m, the air is thinner, that is, there is less pressure, so while the percentage of oxygen remains the same, the air is less dense, so every time you breathe, inhale less oxygen than you’re used to. To counteract this, your body, at first, feels the need to breathe faster and pump the blood more quickly in order to have the same amount of oxygen to which you are accustomed. For many people, this comes as a shock to the body, causing various symptoms.
The symptoms are variable according to the person. In some individuals the symptoms do not manifest themselves, in others they take a few days, but they can also manifest a few hours after ascending or feeling the symptoms briefly, the only way to know is to try a trip to the heights, and those symptoms are:
If you were born in places close to sea level and lived there all your life, you will feel an ideal candidate for altitude sickness (although, again, you can never really predict). It is possible, if it is your first time in Cusco, that you feel headaches, nausea or discomfort. They are some of the symptoms of altitude sickness and then we will tell you how to avoid them. For the second time, remember that altitude sickness is not something that should be taken lightly and that has caused some deaths in Cusco. In all cases, to people who did not pay enough attention. Nor will you like to spend your incredible vacation to one of the wonders of the world, in a hospital.
To prevent altitude sickness it is recommended to take Sorojchi Pills one hour before reaching altitude, and continue taking one capsule every eight hours during your stay. It can also be taken as soon as the effects of height are felt, to alleviate the aforementioned symptoms.
Do not consume the altitude sickness pills, people with hypersensitivity to one of the components of the formula. Also people with coagulation disorders, gastric hemorrhage and gastritis.
Do not administer in alcoholic patients, in diabetic patients, in hypertensive patients or with reduced renal, cardiac or hepatic function.
These leaves have been used since Inca times and have helped people cope with the altitude ever since. You can chew coca leaves or rub muña in your hands and smell it, but a popular way to enjoy them is in a herbal tea.
The drugs that would avoid this condition are the carbonic anhydrase inhibitors (acetazolamide, methazolamide); steroids (prednisolone and betamethasone) bronchodilators (salmeterol, poxillin and montelukast); inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 (sildenafil) calcium modulators (nifedipine and flunarizine) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, carbamate and ibuprofen).
Some of these medications can be found without a prescription but the recommended thing is always to talk to the treating doctor when the person knows that he will be exposed to heights above 2500 meters.
For this the patient must bear in mind that there are three main conditions that can generate the condition: ascend quickly in two to three hours over 2500 meters; be a person who lives under 900 meters and travels to a place above the stipulated height; and predisposing factors such as asthma or cardiovascular problems.
Many are the routes that take you to Machu Picchu, but none is like the Inca Trail Tours, the most famous pedestrian path in the Americas. After flying from the capital of Perú, Lima, you will arrive in Cusco to walk for four days along a path through forests and dense fog, millenary stone steps and discovering the ruins of ancient fortifications and Inca cities, and all the time enjoying majestic views.
The best season is during the dry season, which covers the months April to the end of September. In October the rains begin and you can find Machu Picchu covered by clouds. If you travel in June, we recommend you to book the Inti Raymi Tour that takes place in June 24th, and also hike the Palcoyo Mountain Tour, which is an incredible Rainbow Mountain located in the Andes.