Peru is a country filled with beauty, a rich history, adventure, diverse landscapes, unimaginable architectural feats, wildlife, bright colored clothing and amazing delicious food. Wandering where the wifi was weak in my hiking adventures around Peru was truly amazing.
Did you know: Machu Picchu is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Plan Ahead For Altitude: If you plan to make a visit to Cusco before setting off to Machu Picchu, make sure to plan ahead for the altitude change. Cusco is at 11,152 feet (3,399 meters). Machu Picchu is significantly lower at 7,972 ft (2,430 m). Altitude sickness generally starts affecting people at 8,000 feet or higher.
I have to admit-before jetting off to Peru, I obsessively scoured the internet for information about how to prevent altitude sickness in Cusco! I even read a couple of articles about people who died from altitude sickness (or complications from it). Yikes! But with a little planning ahead, I can happily say I never experienced any altitude sickness since arriving other than being a little short of breadth! Typical symptoms include dizziness (lightheadedness), headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing and heart racing!
Here are 4 of my healthy remedies that you may find helpful on your next adventure too...
✔️Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate 💦
The more hydrated you are, the better you will feel at high altitudes and the faster you will acclimatize, because you will be able to assimilate more oxygen into your blood stream and deliver it throughout the body more efficiently.
✔️Replace Those Electrolytes:
A packet of my Sustain electrolyte mix in my water daily helps replenish electrolytes lost from sweating and exertion. Half the calories and twice the electroylytes than gatorade, it gives me the boost I need to start the day. Plus it comes in small easy carry packets that are easy to drop in any bag! Drinking too much water without replacing electrolytes can make you hyponatremic (the flushing away of important electrolytes in the bloodstream due to excess water), which can lead to further illness.
Yep chlorophyll as in the green stuff from plants. And ProvexPlus is the amazing patented circulatory system antioxidant that contains the grape seed extract. Both of these combined increase the amount of red blood cells in your system; the more red blood cells there are, the more opportunities there are for oxygen to be absorbed, thereby reducing the effects of altitude sickness.
👉 put 18-20 drops of chlorophyll in my water at least once a day!
👉 add 1 capsule of ProvexCV to my vitamin regimen every morning too
✔️Drink Coca or Muna Tea: You will find it everywhere in Cusco. These teas are fantastic for digestion, hormonal balance and adjusting to high altitudes! ☕️
Activities: On many people’s bucket list is Machu Picchu. The site of the historic Incan civilization rests on a mountain ridge almost 8,000 feet above sea level in the Sacred Valley. You can only hike in or take a train and then a bus, but there is no easy way to get there which makes it even more impossible to believe that the whole site was built by hand over a mile up in the mountains when most people struggle to merely walk up the stairs carrying only a camera and a water bottle. It takes your breath away to be in the presence of such an unbelievable sacred place.
Climb Your Mountain-There are two mountains that you can climb when visiting Machu Picchu: Huayna Picchu (located behind the citadel and commonly seen in pictures as the background of the ruins), and Machu Picchu Mountain. Both require tickets far in advance and they only allow a certain number of people up per day. So, plan ahead to get those special tickets or better yet, talk to your favorite travel agent who can usually score you some insider deals.
Hiking the Inca Trail-Whether you do a 2 day hike or 5 day hike, I suggest planning well in advance as the hikes fill up quickly. Alpaca Tours was amazing when I did my hike. From the delicious food to the wealth of knowledge, they made the trip one to remember. The porters are amazing and they carry up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of gear -- and they carry it fast. Some actually run along the trail, somehow avoiding shredded ankles as they navigate uneven, wet stones just to ensure all's ready before the tourists stagger into camp. If you feel like racing your fellow hikers, great. Do not test the porters: They're pros, and you're at best a promising amateur.
Sand Dunes-You may not know that Peru has one of the largest sand dunes in the world. Cerru Blanco sand dune measures 3,860 feet from the base to the summit. It towers over the quaint desert oasis town, Huacachina, and the best part of all is that you can ride dune buggies for hours and up to the top of the dunes and then strap a board to your feet and sand board down it all the way to the town below!
National Drink: The Pisco Sour is Peru’s national drink. You would be remiss if you didn’t try one while you were visiting the country as they even give talks about this drink. Pisco is made from Peruvian grape brandy and is mixed with lemons, sugar water, egg whites, ice and finished with bitters to make a Pisco Sour. There is also a “lighter, healthier” version can be ordered without the egg whites and with a little bit of soda water called a Chilcano.
Food Recommends: Lima is worth seeing on your visit to Peru. Lima is Peru's largest city by far. It's home to more than a quarter of Peru's roughly 30 million people, has wonderful food, the beautiful Miraflores district (where you can drink while overlooking beaches lined with small rocks that form eye-catching patterns each time the tide rolls out) and historic museums. A MUST EAT place I recommend is Central Restaurante. If you are a foodie and love a good tasting menu, you are in for a delicious treat at this restaurant in the heart of Mira Flores, Lima. Central has been named the best restaurant in Latin America for 4 consecutive years and the 4th ranked restaurant in the world in 2015 and 2016. This restaurant books months in advance, so plan ahead for a table at either their lunch or dinner tasting. It’s worth every penny!
There are plenty of other amazing places to visit, including Lake Titicaca, Ollyantaytambo, Arequipa to Pisac and Iquitos. So much to do and see in all these locations. From salt mines to weaving communities to lakes and mountains to amazing food and spectacular views, this is a must see location to put on any bucket list.
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