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Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

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posts: 3
reviews: 13
Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

Hey fellow travelers,

I've read a lot of helpful posts on here about altitude sickness, the level of elevation of certain cities etc. I am faced with a tough choice to make however and I could use the advice of the experienced.

I get to Cusco on a Saturday at around 11am and I depart for the Inca Trail on Monday. I will have invested in Diamox but want to know if it is too much to take a city tour the same day we arrive (Saturday) and do the Sacred Valley the next day (Sunday) before heading to the Trail the following day (Monday). We are doing all tours with Llama Path, but I am cautious reading the "rest" "Take it easy" posts. We are only in Peru for 7 days and I really want to maximize our time there, but I don't want to go overboard either. Any advice is welcome. Thnx!

Evansville, Indiana
Destination Expert
for Peru
posts: 2,964
reviews: 14
1. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

Where are you based at? There is no way of knowing how your system will react to altitude until you get there. Some have recommended doing a trial before traveling to Cusco but that depends where you live.

Diamox can help but still, there is no way to predict your response. Sacred Valley is a popular choice because you are going down in altitude. The problem lies in Cusco.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294311-c15318/Peru:A…

posts: 3
reviews: 13
2. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

We are living in Florida right now, so there are no mountains let alone hills here. Would you think that in general, doing a 4 hour guided tour the day of arrival is too much? I guess it ultimately is a roll of the dice either way...

jersey
posts: 1,019
reviews: 19
3. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

It all depends on various things. Certainly chewing coca leaves with 'lichta' would make it a lot easier.

Taking it easy would be considered leisurely checking out Cuzco's attractions. I think you'll be fine.

4. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

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Removed on: 11:05 pm, February 10, 2013
Lima, Peru
posts: 115
5. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

Great question, I have the same question for all those who have answered more than 8000 times...... recommended time to be in cusco before the trek 2 days but probably not to acclimate probably just to get used to the weather because altitude affect differently to everyone , even you are more than 5 days you might still get altitude sickness , the thing is that you need to go slow and take easy on the trail always listening to your body. ENJOY YOUR TREK TO MACHU PICCHU

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 6,012
reviews: 14
6. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

Really, Robert W, what is your problem? You just pretty much hijacked TravelOT-Mike's thread.

Mayflower2395 was giving good and helpful information, with a link back to TA's more complete information about altitude sickness. This is completely within Trip Advisor's guidelines. There was no advertising or solicitation, just valuable information. Forum members can include tour guides or people who work for tour agencies, hotels or restaurants, as long as they aren't advertising or soliciting for business. Often, they have very good information for forum members. http://www.tripadvisor.com/help/community

And there is no limit to the number of contributions one can make to Trip Advisor forums. On some of the other forums, there are members who have made 15,000 to 20,000 posts.....

to the OP: upon your arrival in Cusco, you should just see how you are feeling & what you feel up to. With your short time in Peru, you should maximize your time in Cusco acclimatizing to altitude as much as possible. I wouldn't pre-book anything, but if you feel up to touring Cusco, Sacsayhuaman, and maybe some of the Sacred Valley, then you can book something on the spot. On the other hand, if you are feeling bad, then just rest & take it easy. Make your first hours in Cusco easy & don't stray too far from your hotel until you've been there a while to make sure you will be OK.

I don't think two days in Cusco prior to the trek has anything with getting used to the weather. It's all about getting acclimatized to altitude. The main reason people fail to complete the Inca Trail is due to altitude problems, no matter how physically fit.

But maybe you will be one of the lucky ones who has no problem with altitude! Have a great time!

Edit: just saw that the post #4 I referred to was removed before I finished typing my answer.

Edited: 11:26 pm, February 10, 2013
posts: 3
reviews: 13
7. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

Thanks guys! All helpful information. For some reason I've been acting like since Llama Path is offering the tour I have to take it or not do it at all (I know that is not the case). I will cancel the tour and if I am feeling up to it, I can always book on the spot or do a DIY tour using the ample resources on the Cusco forums and the internet. Glad they removed that spam.

gps
posts: 1
8. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

I'm going to Cusco almost the same time on Friday.I would like to inform you no any Inca trial to Machu Pichu in February.Inca trial is closed all month, remember.

Yorktown, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Machu Picchu
posts: 6,012
reviews: 14
9. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

I believe TravelOT-Mike has already booked the Inca Trail --and not going in February (definitely not this week).

Buen viaje!

Edited: 8:39 pm, February 12, 2013
Mass
posts: 367
reviews: 17
10. Re: Help!First timers in Cusco two days before Inca Trail!

I just came back from Cusco, SV, MP and Amazon. I landed in Cusco and rushed through the airport, booked my tours and hustled into a taxi headed to Sacred Vally - Yucay. I was shocked that after about 10 mins in the taxi I began to feel nauseous and have a headache. I didn't have anything to take except a little coca tea. I think the combination of descending into the valley and the tea helped. I was fine within an hour. After MP and Amazon I came back to Cusco at the end of the week and never felt sick. Good luck and enjoy!