I am going to be spending the summer in Peru working for a local NGO. I am arriving in Lima and then plan to fly directly to Puno ...but am a bit worried about fainting at the airport in Juliaca. It sounds extreme and probably silly if it's not true but I hear different reports from different people about this. Anyone any advice? Also since I'm going to be there for 10 weeks if anyone has any tips for trips that can be done over a weekend that would be great
For the altitude, we got some tablets, which are basically aspirin, but a lower dosage especially for people with heart conditions. You take one daily. Apparently a quarter of an aspirin will do the same job. Also take this before you fly.
The only thing I can suggest is maybe arrive a couple of days before you plan to work to get used to it & drink PLENTY of bottled water & take it easy for a while.
This best advice for the high lands is to keep in bed inmediately you arrive to the hotel if you feel bad. It last around 6 to 8 hours. After that, the body get used to the lack of oxigen that is the reason of the sickness. Of course it is much better if you eat very light the day before, and if you get hungry in Puno the first days, try to eat also very light avoiding food too grease (red meats for example).
Peru an Bolivia has developed drugs for this problem. Coca mate is not the solution if you really feel bad. Do not try it.
I am telling you all this because I have this problem each time I have to go to the high lands. After many times laying in bed (inside it, not over), a doctor in Cuzco gave me a very good solution: to take one "Hanalgese" and 1 "gravol" before to go in the plane, then the same when I arrive, then in at noon and at night. After 2 days I do not need to take any pilds and feel very good.
Be aware that once you adapt to the high lands in the city of Puno and go to a higher place (which is usual) you need to do the same. Always ask for the altitude to be sure. ok?
Bolivians has a pild called "sorochin" from "soroche" that is the term known here.
Do not worry about the weekends, people from the ONG can advice you to make visits outside Puno.