Cusco is the main tourist center of Peru and one of the main destinations in South America. The attractions begin in the same city and extend along its valleys and snowy peaks, until reaching the very marvel of the world.
The moment you land in the city of Cusco, you can feel that you have reached a very special place. Located in the area of the Central Andes, the capital of the Inca Empire will welcome you among large meadows, brick-colored houses and smiling faces ready to show you everything that this magical place has to offer.
Among so many novelties, it is normal to perceive suddenly with a faster palpitation and a more intense breathing than usual. Yes, it can partly be due to the emotion of having landed in the area where a new civilization was created, but it can also be due to the height
Therefore, travelers should be cautious upon arrival in Cusco, the gateway to Machu Picchu. The imperial city of Cusco has a height of 3,399 m.s., which is significantly higher than Machu Picchu. Upon your arrival in Cusco, especially if you have flown directly from Lima (at sea level), in a rapid ascent (1 hour), you should take the recommendations to acclimatize.
Newcomers usually want to move from Cusco to the villages of the Sacred Valley of the Incas. These cities are slightly at lower altitudes, so they offer a milder form of acclimatization, before returning to Cusco. Once you have acclimatized in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley, you should not have problems with the altitude of Machu Picchu. You may still feel out of breath as you travel the site, but the risk of altitude sickness will be reduced.
Machu Picchu is located at an altitude of 7,972 feet (2,430 meters) above sea level; In front of it rises Huayna Picchu, which gives the classic geography to the archaeological zone, its peak reaches 2,720 meters above sea level. At this point, no matter how fit you are, you may experience symptoms of altitude sickness. (Acute mountain sickness) (AMS), this evil can usually occur when you exceed a height of 2,500 masl, especially if you come from low altitude places, if we speak in terms of risk, only the cusps of The Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu mountains would be the places where you would be really prone to acquire such evil. However, despite the situation, statistically very few visitors to the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, who come to suffer from this evil.
Many people who want to come to Peru and especially to Cusco, (Machu Picchu), have the fear of altitude sickness, but the truth is that not many give them this altitude sickness, Cusco is at 3,399 meters above sea level, and some can give an account if it is very high or not.
Acute mountain sickness is also known as mountain sickness, altitude sickness, soroche, yeyo or apunamiento and is about the body's lack of adaptation to heights and all the symptoms that this presents in the body. In general, those who are accustomed to the plain or more or less low heights, begin to feel it at 2,500 meters above sea level and, higher, more likely to be noticed and suffer.
It is that the more you ascend the more the atmospheric pressure and oxygen pressure decreases and, thus, the inspired oxygen is lower and that is when hypoxia or lack of oxygen in the blood occurs.