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How many days do i need to acclimate before the trek?

Salkantay Trek Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: How many days do i need to acclimate before the trek?

It is really important to be well acclimated to the altitude before exerting yourself on a trek. 
We do recommend that you arrive in Cuzco at least 2 days before the trek departs to help you become acclimatised to the altitude and avoid possible problems with altitude illness while on trek. All treks from Cuzco gain altitude quickly on the first day(s) with some treks gaining more than 2000m in altitude in a single day and it is important to be well accliamtised before commencing the trek.
It is advisable to have two full days in Cuzco to recover from your travel and to do at least one day hike to higher altitudes help with acclimatization. We can organise day hikes & other tours around Cuzco for you.

If you have already been in another area of Peru at high altitude before arriving in Cuzco, we still recommend you have a complete day in Cuzco to rest, recover from your travel and enjoy the sights and sounds of Cuzco before departing for the trek.
To avoid altitude sickness on the trek, we recommed that you spend time in Cusco or in the Sacred Valley. If you have never been in high altitude, we recommend that you spend a day in the Sacred Valley because it is at lower altitude than Cusco city. 

Prevention of altitude sickness

Climbers should be informed of the risks, symptoms and treatments for altitude sickness. If the ascent is to take place in a remote mountain it is important to be prepared and to take precautions.

  • Acclimatization - the best way to prevent altitude sickness is to ascend gradually, so that your body can become acclimatized to the changing altitude. Plan the acclimatization and make sure your trip includes enough time for this. Make sure everyone in the group is fully acclimatized before ascending.
  • Vacation packages - beware of vacation packages that promise to ascend a mountain in just a few days.
  • Fluids - consume between 4 to 6 liters of water per day.
  • Food - eat a high calorie diet while at high altitude.
  • Worsening symptoms - if moderate altitude symptoms worsen you should descend immediately.
  • Sleeping - when your altitude is over 3,000 meters, ascend no more than 300 meters each night. In other words, do not sleep at more than 300 meters higher than you slept the previous night. Even if you ascend more than 300 meters during the day, before going to sleep come back down so that you are no more than 300 meters higher than the night before when you go to sleep.
  • Smoking - do not smoke.
  • Alcohol - do not consume alcoholic drinks.
  • Acetazolamide/Dexamethasone - these medications can also be used to prevent altitude sickness.
  • Moderate symptoms - people with moderate symptoms should stay at their current altitude until their symptoms have gone completely.
  • Other medications - some medications may make symptoms worse while at high altitude, or ascending, including tranquilizers and sleeping pills.

Salkantay Trek Packages

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