The city of Cusco is located at 3,400 meters above sea level. It is possible to feel some discomfort and dizziness due to altitude, known in Peru as soroche. It is recommended to take a pill for seasickness 30 minutes before arriving in the city. Now Do you imagine the feeling of been at 4580 m.a.s.l at the imposing Salkantay Pass? The altitude sickness is basically a consequence of lack of oxygen. It usually occurs in non-acclimatized people who ascend above 2,000 masl. in less than 1 or 2 days. The tourist who arrives at Cusco by plane is the most likely to suffer "soroche". Symptoms usually occur within the first 48 hours of ascent (but also much later) and include headache, nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, choking sensation, sleep disturbances, vertigo, palpitations and problems of concentration. It usually appears after 6 or 10 hours of exposure to hypoxia and is more frequent in children under fifty years of age and in subjects who habitually reside at less than 900 meters of altitude. Learn with us the most important tips to avoid the altitude sickness and have the best experience at Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu.Also you can see an infographics as an extra information at the final in the post with some tips and symptoms that you must take in count before your trek.
The so-called colloquially mountain sickness or altitude sickness is the lack of adaptation of the organism to the lack of oxygen (hypoxia) of altitude. It is a common mistake to think that the amount or concentration of atmospheric oxygen decreases with altitude. Actually the oxygen concentration is always the same (approximately 21%) regardless of the altitude. What happens is that, as we ascend, there is a progressive decrease in atmospheric pressure and also the partial pressure of oxygen in the air that we inspire.
For some time now, the mountain teams have experienced a great improvement and mountaineers are getting better prepared. There are more routes to climb the more complicated mountains, although in the high mountain there is still a high rate of losses in the ascents. According to studies, the main cause of sickness in high mountain are not injuries or exhaustion, but pathologies derived from altitude, especially cerebral and pulmonary edema, That is why you have to be prepared and adapt your body some days before Salkantay Hike in Cusco.
Cusco is located south east of Peru at 3400 m.a.s.l. one of the highest cities for a person who almost lives from 0 to 2000 m.a.s.l. Now imagine the 4580 m.a.s.l at Salkantay!.
One of the discomforts that a person experiences at that height is: