Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness, is a common issue for visitors to Cusco and other high-altitude destinations. Here are some tips to help prevent altitude sickness:
- Acclimate gradually: If possible, arrive in Cusco a few days before you plan to do any hiking or other strenuous activities. This will give your body time to adjust to the altitude.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important at high altitudes. Drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine: Both alcohol and caffeine can dehydrate you, which can worsen altitude sickness symptoms. Avoid them or limit your intake.
- Eat light meals: Digestion can be more difficult at high altitudes, so eat light, easy-to-digest meals.
- Consider medication: Talk to your doctor about medications that can help prevent or treat altitude sickness, such as acetazolamide.
- Rest and take it slow: Take breaks and rest frequently, especially during the first few days at high altitude. Don’t push yourself too hard.
- Oxygen therapy: In severe cases of altitude sickness, oxygen therapy may be necessary. Oxygen can be found at most hotels in Cusco.
Remember that altitude sickness can be serious and even life-threatening in extreme cases. If you experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or chest pain, seek medical attention immediately.