Inca Trail Altitude
Andean Enjoy Peru advise you everybody who decides to trek the
Inca Trail along the winding and steep road that make up this
famous way, should be in a good physical shape in order to fully
enjoy this experience. However, anyone in a normal physical
condition should be able to carry out this trail. More so the
reason if you can count on an adequate support.
However, the traveler should never forget that he is visiting
the Andes and, thus he should take precautions to avoid altitude
sickness. The upward parts are often very steep and the heights
to ascend are located between 2000 to 4200 meters (6562 ft to
For this reason, acclamatization plays an important role in any
trip to high altitudes. It is considered that under normal
conditions, it takes a person approximately one or two days to
get acclimatized, depending on your physical disposition. When
visiting Cusco, and the Inca Trail, it is necessary to take
precautions about the altitude issue, which means a lack of
sufficient air, specially if you are coming from a low zone. In
order to avoid this sickness , you have to have time enough to
get accostumed to this altitude, thus gradually adjusting to
this altitude in order to avoid the inconvenience of the
altitude sickness ( soroche ). Besides, take into account just
to eat light meals, or anyway, to eat without excess, and of
course, always drink the coca infusion. We also recommend
carrying a good supply of lemon to counteract dehydration and
other altitude symptoms.
As a preventive measure, but always observing any counter
indications, one can take two to three daily pills of
Acetazolamide (125- 250mg), starting 48 hours before the
ascension until 48 hours after reaching the top.
Another efficient way to counteract altitude sickness is to take
4mg of Dexametasone every six hours always starting 48 hours
before the ascension and during the stay at high altitudes.
Also known as acute height sickness, it is a consequence of lack
of sufficient oxygen. It usually strikes non-acclimatized
persons that ascend above 2000 meters above sea level (6562 ft).
Those travelers that arrive in Cusco by air are more prone to
suffer from this.
Symptoms tend to set in within the first two days of the
ascension (although sometimes also much later), and include
everything from headaches, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite,
shortness of breath, sleep alterations, vertigo, palpitations
and problems to concentrate, even the risk of acute or edema of
the lung, according to the physical conditions of every person.
If soroche sets in spite of taking preventive measures it is
important to drink lots of liquid. Paracetamol is ideal against
headaches and Coramina helps to limit the effects of nausea.
Once again, Acetazolamide (250 mg) taken orally two or four
times a day is very efficient to combat the illness and to speed
It is always best to consult a physician in all cases and to
observe the counter-indications. Do not wait until feeling very
ill before asking for oxygen. It can be found in some hotels,
most pharmacies and in hospitals. We are also provided with
oxygen bottles for the Inca Trail, so in case you need it,
you`ll be given a well administered amount of oxygen.
Inca Trail Tips