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Altitude Sickness

Orange Park, Florida
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58 posts
21 reviews
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Altitude Sickness

As we live near sea-level (Florida) we have been warned, by people I trust, to not take altitude sickness lightly. It has been recommended that upon our morning arrival in Cusco we immediately make arrangements to get to Ollantaytambo and sit back and enjoy the local tea. It appears (although no money has yet changed hands) we will need to be back in Cusco the second night in Peru, to be picked up the next morning to go on a Manu Tour. Is it necessary to go all the way to Ollantaytambo to reach lower altitude? (Our friend has some kind of connection to El Alberque Hotel)

What should the cab fare for two people be for this far of a ride? (Our friend also recommends paying the $65.00 fee to be picked up by their reliable driver rather than chancing our Spanish to haggle with a local cabbie)

Is there an overnight option that is lower in altitude without traveling that far?

Will altitude sickness affect us immediately upon arrival?

Would we be safe to "tour" our way over to Ollantaytambo and then "tour" our way back to Cusco the next day? Or is this too much, too soon?

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152 posts
97 reviews
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41. Re: Altitude Sickness

Lyle, thanks for posting that link. I am a physician and perhaps this feeds into my apprehensions. The trip to Cusco is for a potential medical mission, and really would involve a flight directly from Lima with loads of equipment, hence no chance for a gradual acclimatizing ascent. There is a plan for an extra day or two before the medical work is to start to get used to altitude.

Cusco, Peru
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4,624 posts
103 reviews
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42. Re: Altitude Sickness

No problem Robert, although I cant take full credit, the link was given to me by a fellow advisor, vistet I do believe is who shared it with me.

Hope you can find some time while you are here to see a few sites.

Brisbane, Australia
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1,035 posts
32 reviews
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43. Re: Altitude Sickness

Hi Captain Steve, hope all the plans have come together since our previous chats. I would pay the money to get your vaccinations and any medication from home (USA in your case) so that you can discuss symptoms, side effects etc with a travel doctor , a doctor who knows you or one who you trust. This will allow you to arrive fully prepared. You do not want to be trying to find pills etc late at night or waste precious time whilst on holiday if it can be avoided.

I would rather return home having experienced no illness and with unused medication than be unprepared and wishing I had done things differently. Good luck

Destination Expert
for Leh
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4,777 posts
2 reviews
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44. Re: Altitude Sickness

Yes , I was the original poster of the Cusco study , in another thread here. The rest & acclimatization day that you already have planned is a key point. In a situation where others depend on us you want to have all your ducks in a row : stay as close to guidelines ( http://korta.nu/prev ) as possible , medicate when appropiate , and avoid exertion first day(s).

A graphic illustration of doing all of this the wrong way was the Yushu earthquake in 2010 : thousands of rescue workers were flown in 3800 meters unmedicated , rushed in to dig out victims - and became a main task for the local health workers , with over 80 % incidence of AMS . Whole groups ( like the 300+ strong group from Guandong ) had to be airlifted out , hobbling the resources for the initial victims.


Dire Diamox side effects is a frequent theme in travel forums , after random googling. To put this in perspective the same sources used ( drugs.com and the likes ) also mention death from single doses of Cipro , etc.

Edited: 7:36 am, March 26, 2013
45. Re: Altitude Sickness

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