Subject: Re: Re:Peru Altitude Sickness

I visited those cities a few years ago. Lima, of course, is not a problem at all.

I was with a group, and the kind of shape someone was in seemed to have little to do with how one reacted to the altitude, except that someone with respiratory or heart problems definitely needs to consult with a doctor.

Headaches seemed to be a uniform reaction, as did sleeplessness. The most important thing to do is to go slowly. Unfortunately, most people have such short periods of time to visit that they get off the plane and start running around. Most anyone will definitely feel fatigue and shortness of breath. The greatest risk is pulmonary edema and cerebral edema. No one I know experienced either, but they are very dangerous and anyone planning to travel to high altitude should be familiar with the symptoms, which I am sure were available on those web sites. The only thing to do in such cases is to immediately move to lower altitude.

Cuzco and surroundings range from 11,000 feet to 14,000 feet. Macchu Picchu was, I believe, 6,000 to 9,000. Coming from Cuzco, at first it felt as if we had descended to sea level. After walking and climbing a bit, it was obvious that we had not. The most noticeable symptom for me was early muscle fatigue, which I suspect was because of oxygen deprivation. Although I did not feel the shortness of breath at Macchu Picchu, I found it necessary to be careful with the climbing and walking because of the muscle fatigue.

I hope this helps.

Lisa in Chicago