Tips To Avoid The Altitude Sickness While Traveling In South America

Tips To Avoid The Altitude Sickness While Traveling In South America

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  • Types Of Altitude Sickness
  • What Are The Symptoms Of Altitude Sickness?

Exploring the salt flats in Bolivia or planning a visit to Machu Picchu in Peru usually seems like a dream come true. Yet, whereas planning an journey in South America, many vacationers overlook the altitude and are sometimes shocked when they’re affected by the altitude illness, generally known as soroche in some nations in South America.

Many cities in South America, together with Bogotá (Colombia), Cusco (Peru), and La Paz (Bolivia), are situated in excessive altitudes, and many individuals report feeling sick shortly after arriving in these places. When an individual travels to a spot with excessive altitudes rapidly, the physique tries to adapt to an space with decrease air strain and oxygen ranges, making them undergo from altitude illness. It can occur even to suit vacationers who train often. Although the signs disappear in a couple of days generally, they’ll additionally get extra extreme. Therefore it ́s important to rent dependable journey insurance coverage earlier than touring.

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Types Of Altitude Sickness

There are three several types of altitude illness. Luckily, most individuals undergo from gentle signs and get better after a couple of days. The most extreme sorts usually occur at excessive altitudes, which isn’t the case for South America’s most visited points of interest.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) is the most typical sort and sometimes causes complications, nausea, and fatigue. Even strolling a brief distance turns into difficult as a result of issue to beath. It is handled with remedy and goes away as soon as the physique will get used to the altitude.

High-altitude Cerebral Oedema (HACE): It occurs in excessive elevations and can also be referred to as mind swelling, brought on by the shortage of oxygen. Besides the AMS signs, folks affected by HACE may really feel confused and wrestle with coordination. They needs to be taken to a decrease altitude instantly and obtain therapy.


High-altitude Pulmonary Oedema (HAPE): It additionally occurs at excessive elevations and might deliver fluids to the lungs. People affected by it will have a bluish pores and skin shade, really feel tightness within the chest, and have a persistent cough. It can seem a couple of days after the arrival and needs to be handled instantly.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Altitude Sickness?

Nearly 50% of people that journey to locations standing at the least 8,000 ft above sea stage report some signs: complications, dizziness, fatigue, lack of urge for food, and shortness of breath are the most typical of them. The signs begin six hours after the arrival and have a tendency to worsen at evening.


So folks can undergo from soroche even when not pushing their our bodies into trekking or climbing. Although anybody can have it, people who find themselves pregnant, have coronary heart and lung circumstances, reside in a spot with low elevation, or beforehand suffered from altitude illness usually tend to have soroche.

How To Prevent Soroche

When creating an itinerary in South America, vacationers ought to take note of the altitude of every vacation spot. The smartest thing to do is to plan the journey in order that heights get increased slowly and keep away from ascending greater than 1,000 per day. This manner, the physique will not undergo a lot whereas attempting to regulate.

Keep The Itinerary Flexible

It is really useful to plan a versatile itinerary and embrace two days with out excursions. For instance, do not schedule hikes or excursions for the primary two days when arriving in Cusco. Use the time to discover the neighborhoods and stroll within the metropolis. This time provides the physique time to regulate earlier than doing bodily actions.

For these touring in Bolivia, staying at the least in the future in La Paz earlier than heading to the salt flats is a clever choice.

Keep Hydrated

Doctors advocate consuming at the least one liter extra of water per day when visiting a spot at a excessive altitude. Dehydration and soroche have comparable signs, so it’s important to stay hydrated and enhance the consumption of carbohydrates.

Smoking, alcohol, and a few remedy may decelerate the acclimation course of. So it is strongly recommended to keep away from them within the first days.

Coca Leaves

Andean folks have been utilizing coca leaves to deal with the soroche for hundreds of years. Therefore, it’s doable to see them chewing the leaves, they usually usually supply them to vacationers.

It can also be doable to have it on tea and discover candies that promise to alleviate the signs. Although there is no such thing as a scientific proof saying the coca leaves work in opposition to soroche, many vacationers report feeling higher after chewing the leaves or consuming tea.

Medications To Consider

Visiting a physician earlier than heading to South America is perhaps a good suggestion. Some docs prescribe acetazolamide (Diamox) to stop altitude illness, and the remedy helps to cut back most signs. Doctors may advocate taking particular medicines a couple of days earlier than the journey to stop the soroche.

In Peru, it’s doable to search out medication to deal with soroche in nearly each drugstore. It is frequent to see them in resorts and tour guides however all the time learn the bundle insert earlier than having it.

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Have Oxishot

In Peru, it’s also simple to discover a small can with 8 liters of oxygen referred to as Oxishot. It helps to mitigate fatigue and launch the headache. When happening a hike at increased altitudes, it’s also good to examine if the guides use to hold one with them.


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