I'm going to be in Cusco in December 2007 with my girlfriend and i've so far planned hotels and flights etc but im a little bit worried about the height altitude situation in Cusco (the trail to Machu Picchu) as from reading other peoples comments, there are times when it can be hard to breathe so im wondering if its best to get medical advice for oxygen masks in case one of us has difficulties or faints. In my opinion it seems drastic and i cant imagine the altitude will be too serious but i just wanted to check with others that have been.
Due to the demand of people wanting to hike and walk the 4 day trail, we will take the train/bus route via Aguas Calientes and perhaps stay over the night there if possible.
Also we will arrive into Cusco from a flight from Arequipa
Oxygen masks? WAY too drastic; just give yourself a day or two to acclimatise before starting your hike and you'll be fine.
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 20, 2006 6:45 AM by bentivogli ]
Many thanks for the reply bentiviogli, i thought as much to be honest but its always good to go prepared, and as we will be in Cusco for ten days im sure we will be acclimatised by the time we see the Machu Picchu.
Don't worry! You can drinking a cup of te "mate de coca" or take a pill to "soroche" before arrive to Cusco. This pill sell in different chemist in Lima, Arequipa or Cusco.
Don't forget, not walking fast and runnig in the first day. You are acclimatized in the next days.
Welcome to Peru!
The key to not having problems with the altitude in Cusco and the surrounding areas is TAKE IT EASY when you arrive. Don't try and cram in too much on the first day, and try and take it easy the second also.
You should ideally have 2 FULL days to get used to the altitude before doing the Inca Trail.
Many people arrive in Cusco and start the Inca Trail the very next day, which I think is a mistake. The more acclimatized you are to the altitude the more fun you will have on the trail rather than being miserable with altitude induced headaches, etc.
As was already pointed out, drink lots of coca tea (yum) and give the saroche pills a try for altitude sickness. You can ask for them at any drug store in Cusco.
[ Edit: Edited at Oct 31, 2006 7:51 AM by carlhancoc ]