Want to visit Machu Picchu but scared due to high altitude? Don’t be alarmed, just be informed and spare some time to get acclimated to the high altitude before your trek to this archeological place.
Before understanding the ways to acclimate the high altitude of Machu Picchu, it is important to understand
At high elevations- above 8,000 feet, the air gets thinner. It means at high altitudes there is less pressure but the oxygen percentage remains the same. As the air is less dense so with your every breath you inhale less oxygen than what you need or used to.
To counteract this, your body starts breathing faster and pumps blood more rapidly so that it could take the same amount of oxygen it needs. This counteracts of the body comes as shock to the body for many so they can feel some of the below-mentioned symptoms of altitude sickness:
• Difficulty breathing
• Heart racing
• Diarrhea or constipation
Altitude sickness can happen but information about what it is and what are its signs can minimize your chances of falling to altitude sickness. Following are some ways to quickly acclimate to the high altitude of Machu Picchu:
Take it easy! After all, you are on vacation! Right? It is the easiest and best piece of advice to prevent altitude sickness.
Don’t get panic and let your body work to oxygenate your blood. As your body is already doing overtime to get accumulated in the new environment, so don’t give much stress to your body. Avoid long walks and hikes and take it easy for a few days while visiting Machu Picchu.
Deep breaths can help your body to get more air in due to which you could inhale more oxygen. Deep breaths can make the work easier for your body and it can easily and rapidly oxygenate your blood.
Alcohol consumption is not advisable especially at high altitudes. Many studies have claimed that at high altitudes the effects of alcohol get enhanced. Even alcohol consumption can exacerbate the effects of altitude sickness.
There is a fine line between altitude sickness and dehydration so it is hard to tell that dehydration could alleviate altitude sickness or not. High elevations tend to be very dry; it means you need more water and hydration at heights to keep yourself fine. So don’t forget to take water bottles while trekking.
It can be hard to follow as it can change your trip plans but it can work to prevent sickness at high altitudes. By doing this your body can acclimate at a lower altitude and when you will move to higher altitude then chances of your sickness can get lower.
Some medications like Diamox and chlorophyll drops may help you to treat altitude sickness. But these drugs must be taken after the prescription by some professional health provider.
Listen to your body and take precaution, you will be fine at the high altitudes of Machu Picchu. Don’t let your fear of altitude sickness spoil your trip!