I've deliberate journeys to South America for 8 years and see vacationers make the identical 9 errors in Machu Picchu, from forgetting permits to not contemplating altitude

Not taking steps to stop altitude illness from the start of the journey is a mistake.

Coca tea Marci Vaughn Kolt 9 mistakes tourists make when visiting Machu Picchu

Consuming coca tea has been confirmed to alleviate the signs of altitude illness.

Marci Vaughn Kolt


I discovered this error the arduous means, and I believe it will possibly make or break your Machu Picchu expertise, particularly for guests planning on mountaineering. 

On my first journey to Peru, I arrived in Cusco, a metropolis that is a standard start line for guests to Machu Picchu because it has the closest airport. Cusco additionally has one of many highest elevations within the area, at over 11,000 ft.

I underestimated how a lot the altitude would bodily have an effect on me, and I spent your complete first evening in mattress with a splitting headache, lacking out on a pisco tasting I deliberate. 

To regulate to the altitude extra slowly, I like to recommend my shoppers first keep in a single day within the Sacred Valley of the Incas as an alternative, which is a stretch of rural land between Cusco and Machu Picchu that averages about 9,000 ft of elevation. It is nonetheless excessive, however the discount of about 2,000 ft could make an enormous distinction in adjusting bodily, in my expertise, and you will be nearer to Machu Picchu by practice than for those who stayed in Cusco.

Ollantaytambo, Lamay, and Urubamba are just a few of the various small cities all through the Sacred Valley that I believe are nice locations to remain, that are all a few one-and-a-half hour drive from the Cusco airport, within the route of Machu Picchu. For a fair decrease altitude, Aguas Calientes is a close-by possibility at 6,700 ft of elevation.

If you do not have time in your itinerary to remain elsewhere, one other trick is to do what the locals do and drink loads of coca tea. Coca leaves have been used medicinally within the Andes for 1000’s of years, and they’re mentioned to assist relieve the signs of altitude illness, in keeping with Explorandes, an area tour firm that has been working in Peru for over 40 years.

I’ve seen the tea provided in lots of motels, outlets, and cafes in Cusco, all through the Sacred Valley, and in Aguas Calientes, and you may as well purchase the unfastened leaves to chew on. 


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