Here’s How to Conquer Altitude Sickness in Cusco, Peru

Plaza de Armas, Cusco, Peru. Photo by Raul Varela on Unsplash

Cusco, Peru is one of the most fascinating cities in South America and the beginning point of many an excursion to the archeological site of Machu Picchu. Located at over 11,000 feet above sea level, it can be hard to get your body adjusted to the lack of oxygen in the air in this Peruvian city.

However, with these tips, you will find that your adjustment to Cusco’s elevation will go much smoother.

Drink Coca Leaf Tea

Coca leaf tea has been used for centuries by the native Incan people in Peru to lessen the effects of altitude sickness. While its science isn’t fully understood, people report having more energy and fewer headaches after consuming this ancient drink.

Build Up Physical Activity

Instead of hitting the ground running with a day full of activities upon arrival in Cusco, take things easy at first and gradually build up your levels of physical activity in order to let your body get acclimated to the high elevation. If not, you could find yourself incapacitated for days.

Stay Hydrated

One of the biggest allies in the fight against altitude sickness is hydration. Be sure to always have a bottle of water with you, and do your best to consume at least two liters of it per day in order to avoid dehydration, a common side effect of altitude sickness.