The city of Cusco is situated at an elevation of more than 3300 meters. As a result, it is natural for you to feel altitude sickness. Often known as soroche or Altitude Mountain Sickness (ASM) by the Cusco region’s locals.
You will most certainly get altitude sickness on your first day in Cusco as you try to adjust to the sudden environmental changes. It varies from individual to individual, therefore you can’t say whether this will happen an hour after you arrive in Cusco or a day.
Altitude sickness may pass in a few days, but it is always a good idea to be prepared for what lies ahead. That is why, in this post, we will discuss how to deal with altitude sickness in Cusco.
The first step in dealing with altitude sickness in Cusco is to try to relax a little. Before you go climbing or trekking, try to acclimate to the climate and steer clear of any strenuous activity the first two days you are there. And while you hike, keep in mind to climb gradually and breathe deeply to reduce stress on your body at higher altitudes when there is already limited oxygen.
Altitude sickness symptoms including nausea, headaches, dizziness, tiredness, and poor sleep might get worse if you drink, smoke, or use any other drugs that can affect your ability to function. Even if you have difficulties sleeping, keep away from sleeping medications two to three days before your trip to the Cusco region.
Your body will work more rapidly while you are at a high altitude. This is because your respiration rate will increase and you will lose water from your body more quickly than usual. The body will try and take in more oxygen when at higher elevations, where there will be less humidity. Try to drink at least 3 to 4 litres of water per day to stay hydrated at all times.
Since Cusco is more than 3300 meters above sea level, if you are travelling from a region with lower altitudes, your symptoms of altitude sickness will worsen. Therefore, it is recommended to stay in areas around Sacred Valley before spending time in Cusco and hiking to places like the Rainbow Mountains or Humantay Lake.
These two varieties of tea are provided by the majority of hotels in the Cusco region. They significantly lessen the symptoms of altitude sickness. People from Inca times used cocoa tea to treat altitude sickness, making it more popular today. You can also chew Cocoa leaves or rub Muña leaves on your palms and smell them while hiking up the mountains.
Oxy shot is an 8-litre container of oxygen that you can buy in Cusco. Because altitude sickness is caused mostly by a lack of oxygen at higher elevations getting an oxy shot is one of the best things you can do to treat symptoms like headaches, nausea, and tiredness.