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altitude sickness

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17 posts
27 reviews
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altitude sickness

I am off to Peru in March/07. Am staying in the Lima one night, then fly into Cusco and go to the SV for 2 nights,then Cusco, then Lake Titicacca.

Am concerned about the altitude.

Please advise re any medication I could take or any other tips.

Is oxygen in the hotel common or necessary for most people?

Is the order of the itinerary practical?

Fox Island...
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610 posts
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1. Re: altitude sickness

I never saw anyone that actually had to use the oxygen but someone must because all the hotels in Cusco have it available. Walk slowly, drink a lot of water, don't eat too much the first night, if you get a headache try Excedrin Migraine. That worked better for us than the medication we got from the travel clinic. Most people do just fine. I think your itinerary is perfect.

Lima, Peru
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for Cusco, Lima, Arequipa, Peru
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2. Re: altitude sickness

You should be able to do just fine.

Yr itinerary looks perfect, but one never knows. Take as many precautions as you can.

Read the article on altitude sickness on the Peru Inside pages for more info.

Oxygen is an excellent remedy for the sickness, so every hotel has it available.

New Zealand
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30 posts
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3. Re: altitude sickness


Did a similar trip in early Dec 06. My advise would be to take it easy when u get there. I was a mess the first night I got into Cusco, even though I had 1 night rest in Lima. Got into Cusco in the late morning, had 1.5hrs rest, then did the half day city tour. My head was pounding when I got back to the hotel. I had to lie down & close my eyes to keep the room from spinning... it was bad! I didn't factor in the long flight and the jet lag catching up with me when I got into Peru... so - drink lots of fluids ( coca tea helps - but not after 4pm - it kept me awake ! ) , take deep breaths, take it easy & ENJOY.. I had a GREAT time after the initial 48hrs.

Medication is available at any of the pharmacies if you didnt manage to get it at home.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
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4. Re: altitude sickness

traveller 1 You can get prescription diamox before you go.We had this with us but didn't use it..didn't like the sound of the side effects. One of our party of 4 had the problem of waking in the night unable to breathe. We purchased Soroche in Cuzco and it helped immensely without the side effects. Also one of our party had headache as described by previous poster.. we took Exedrin Migraine with us and this worked within 1/2 hour.. no more headaches. The excedrine was a recommendation from this site.

Drink lots of water.. by this I mean about 2-3 litres ( or quarts) per day... it sounds like a lot but seemed to make a real difference. Also as previously mentioned coca tea may keep you awake.. didn't bother any of us ( and two can't drink coffee after 4 pm) but did speak to people who had this happen. Just "walk slowly, my friend" as our terrific guide David kept saying. We went directly from Cuzco to SV and MP for 5 nights total before heading back to Cuzco.. really did make a difference. Peru is wonderful so have a good time.

5. Re: altitude sickness

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