Call Today

+1 888-812-8687

Mail

info@tourleadersperu.com

City Tour Cusco Half Day

Salkantay Trek Altitude Sickness Tips How to Treat Side Effects

Sep 6, 2022 | Peru Travel Blogs | 6 comments

Worried about altitude sickness on The Salkantay Trail?

Salkantay Trek Tips for Altitude Sickness & How to Treat Side Effects. The Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu 5 Days is one of the most stunningly beautiful and rewarding treks. Though perhaps not as well-known as the Inca Trail. The Salkantay Trek offers a wide variety of terrain ranging from high altitudes, rural paths and trails, and rugged mountain terrain. 

Depending on your choice among several options. The treks range from 30 to 40 miles, often over three to five days with different distances traveled each day, depending on the terrain. Elevation variation during the hike will be extensive, and one of the trek’s highlights is its varied terrain. Elevation will vary from approximately 1,500 meters to approximately 4,600 meters (5,250 feet to 15,250 feet). 

Also, you can read our BLOG:

  1. PROS AND CONS OF HIKING THE SALKANTAY TREK
  2. Salkantay Trek Difficulty How to Prepare your Hike
  3. Altitude Sickness In Cusco Peru
salkantay-trekking-peru

Salkantay Trek 4 Days Express

The Salkantay trek is a perfect choice for those who want to see more than just the Inca Trail. You will pass through snow-capped mountains, visit a sacred mountain of Peru’s ancient culture and go down into the lush jungle below Machu Picchu!

Since this route doesn’t have any restrictions so it can provide guests with access from behind enemy lines when hiking up into greatness at Mount Larquhumaukiviq (Machu Pich).
The 4-day adventure offers scenic views not seen on other treks while still providing easy accessibility making sure everyone has their own unique experience


How Difficult Is the Salkantay Trek?

Because of the variety of terrain and altitude changes along the Salkantay Trek route, this question needs a bit of nuance to answer. Any hiker will find some days of the trip and some types of terrain more challenging than others depending on their experience, gear, and fitness. Generally speaking, though, consider the Salkantay Trek as moderate to difficult. While moderate to difficult, though, hikers with some experience will find the trek achievable, though some days and portions may be more challenging than others, that’s a big part of the adventure. 

The most demanding segments of the route are challenging because of the altitude, the length of the day’s hike (which will vary from day to day), and some portions of the route which can be steep (both uphill and downhill). One way to manage the difficulty and even the altitude sickness-related potential danger of the trip is to ensure you’re fully acclimatized to higher altitudes before embarking. 

Salkantay Trek Elevation

If you’re looking for a challenge, the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu is not for the faint of heart. With an elevation of nearly 15.000 feet, 4600m it’s one of the highest treks in Peru. But the views are worth it. The trail takes you through stunning scenery, from snow-capped mountains to lush rainforests.

And of course, Machu Picchu is the ultimate destination. Built high in the Andes, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. So if you’re looking for a trek that will take your breath away, literally and figuratively, the Salkantay trek is a great choice.

Best Time To Visit Salkantay Trek Via Salkantay Trek?

Machu Picchu is one of the most iconic sites in South America and is a must-see for any traveler. The question on everyone’s mind is when is the best time to visit Machu Picchu? 👈 visit The Link. Here’s everything you need to know about the different seasons and how they affect your experience!

The rainy season in Machu Picchu runs from November to March, and while this may seem like the worst time to visit, there are actually some benefits. The crowds are thinner during these months, so you’ll have a more intimate experience. Plus, the rains bring out the vibrant colors of the landscape and make for some stunning photos.

Salkantay Trek Weather

The weather on the Salkantay trek can be unpredictable. During the day, it can be warm and sunny. But at night, the temperature can drop below freezing. So it’s important to pack accordingly. Be sure to bring plenty of layers, including a warm jacket and gloves. And don’t forget your sunscreen and sunglasses. The sun is strong at high altitudes, so you’ll want to protect yourself from the UV rays.

Umantay lake with Salkatay Trek
Salkantay Base Camp 1st Day Hike

Is The Salkantay Trek Dangerous?

Here’s the truth of it.  Even the most routine treks can be dangerous if hikers and trekking companies are not adequately prepared, equipped, rested, attentive, and disciplined. Tour Leaders Peru has long experience in leading treks along the Salkantay Trek safely, not to say that you need to know there are no risks. The most significant risk related to the Salkantay Trek, aside from the common but significant risks related to terrain, footwear, and alertness on the trail, can be the risk of altitude sickness. 

The Salkantay Trek typically departs from near Cusco’s town, where many people fly in to embark on their adventure toward Machu Picchu. Because Cusco is located over 10,000 feet above sea level (3,300 m), you’ll likely immediately notice the “thin air” when you arrive. You’ll find yourself winded much more quickly than you imagined just walking around and up and down the stairs in the city. 

Before you begin the Salkantay Trek, it’s essential that you acclimatize to the thin air and higher altitudes to avoid the risks and dangers of altitude sickness. Our team at Tour Leaders Peru has years of experience supporting hikers through this process and staying safe despite these risks. Trust their expertise and follow their advice.

Salkantay Trek Tips for Altitude Sickness prepare yourself

If you are planning to hike in Peru – First, I want to thank all of my ex-customers for such a nice opportunity to hike together on this wonderful trail. Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is one of the complete hikes in Peru because it has stunning views, Nature, Snow, archeological sites, and many waterfalls, in the short term is all in one hike. Also, this Salkantay trekking has been considered one of the best hiking trails in the world by National Geographic.

  • Salkantay Altitude: 6,271 m/20,574 ft. (is the glacier you will not going to rich this peak)
  • Salkantay Pass elevation: 4600 meters /15090 ft. (The highest Elevation that you will hike)
Salkantay Trekking Tour 5 Days
Salcantay Glacier 6200 m / Picture by Tour leaders

Most of my Peru trekkers survived the altitude sickness on the Salkantay Trek which is over 15,000ft! also Thank you for all of your hard efforts hiking with me and mostly for your recommendations and tips for this blog post. I hope this article is going to help or resolve Salkantay Trek Altitude Sickness for other future hikers because Altitude Sickness is not a joke.

Other tour operators offer this Tour Package as if it was an average walk in the park, but know that it is not. There are sometimes when people have to return back to Cusco after the first day because the hike is too arduous for them.

keep in mind, in this Peru trekking. The emergency horse is necessary which is included in our Company Tour Leaders Peru. Most of the other travel agencies do not include a horse, you are required to pay it price of approximately 30 to 40 US dollars only for 2 hours.

Salkantay Trek Tips for Altitude Sickness
Top of-the-line Equipment REI – Co-Up

Why do We Need Horse Riding? (ExTourist Suggestion)

It is in case you get too tired and need some rest. You can use the horse for free on the way up to the summit of Salkantay Trek before getting Altitude Sickness.

We made this article Titled Salkantay trek & Altitude sickness because I have been hiking the Salkantay trek for more than 300 times and know how intense altitude sickness can be. If you don’t acclimatize properly before your hike you will have a hard time.

Please consider this Blog not only for the Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. You can keep this article as a reference for other trips around Cusco Region because we have a lot of hiking options and most of them are almost at the same elevation as the Salkantay trek. Keep this advice for The Inca Trail to Machupicchu 4D/3N, Lares Trek to Machupicchu 4D/3N, Choquequirao Trek 5D/4N, or any other tour related to Salkantay Trek Tips for Altitude Sickness & How to Treat Side Effects.

Salkantay Trek Tips Altitude Sickness
The highest point along the Salkantay trek is 4600 m

What Makes it Unique and special about Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu?

Salkantay Trek is considered one of the best and most unique alternative hikes in Cusco, Peru. One of the most popular options for hiking to Machu Picchu is very recommendable.

This trek is full of beautiful landscapes as you hike from the bottom of the Glacier to the tropical jungle. Throughout your hike, you will observe the gorgeous glacial Umantay Lake, and waterfalls, and hike through the Peruvian cloud forest. The air you breathe will be pure and fresh as you are up at approximately 4,600m/15,000ft.

Salkantay Trek Tour Leaders Peru
Umantay Lake along this wonderful trek

Awesome Pictures of Salkantay Trek

What Exactly is Altitude Sickness? Does it really dampen your Trip?

At high elevation the air is thinner and cold, meaning each breath you take contains less oxygen than what you’re used to. Altitude sickness will affect some travelers regardless of acceding your physical condition, age, and gender.

Also, your body needs to breathe faster. Pumping blood more rapidly in order to take in the same amount of oxygen it is accustomed to receiving in the place you come from. But for many hikers, Salkantay trek adventure comes as a shock to the body causing various symptoms such as:

Symptoms

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart racing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble sleeping

For some, it will pass within a few hours, however for many the condition if gone untreated may last for several days.

There is not really a “cure” for altitude sickness, other suggestions would be descending back down to a normal elevation. Cusco is at 10,826 feet (3,300 meters). Machu Picchu is significantly lower at 7,545 ft (2,300 m). Altitude sickness generally starts affecting people at 8,000 feet or higher, so Machu Picchu isn’t really the potential problem–Cusco is. Everyone who goes to Machu Picchu must pass through Cusco.

How altitude sickness is going to affect you on Salkantay Trek & Altitude Sickness?

According to our Experience is more probable if you did not Acclimatize very well before this trip. You will have side effects according to the day of hiking thanks for reading Salkantay Trek Tips for Altitude Sickness & How to Treat Side Effects along This astonishing Trip.

Day one: 

It’s most probably you will star with a little headache, nausea, and less appetite.

Second Day:

Is considered Challenge day for many reasons.  If you still with altitude problems you will continue with a hard and painful headache, and you will feel full lest appetizers but keep in mind is just the gravity and the pressure of the air which is going to put you in this situation. It is very uncontrollable don’t be shy or pretended to be strong enough to talk with your Tour Leader.

In case get worse you have Altitude sickness hiking on the way up to the Summit ask for Oxygen from your Tour Leader. they usually carry oxygen for an emergency in their backpacks. as soon you will start descending after Salkantay pass,  believe me, you will feel better and probably you’ll start getting the appetizer. (Remember this depends on your Immune System and how quickly are going to adapt on the Salkantay trek)

The third day:

Consider a Normal as a normal day no more Salkantay Trek & Altitude Sickness

We highly recommend you read and follow these suggestions in order to reduce the chances and/or severity of Salkantay Trek & Altitude Sickness to Machu Picchu.

Prior to departure, speak with your healthcare provider. They may recommend the medication Acetazolamide (Diamox), which in the U.S. is a prescription drug often used to treat Glaucoma; however, it has been found to reduce altitude sickness. the symptoms if taken a day or two before you arrive in Cusco. learn more about Diamox peels here

Diamox Side Effects and how can help along Salkantay Trek Tips for Altitude Sickness.

Hard bits faster than normal you’ll probably need to pee more frequently:

Not very convenient when you are traveling as soon you get the effect of Diamox in your system probably your fingers start getting Nam or Tingling. Don’t Panic because sometimes it’s very strong. and you can get these effects on any part of your body mainly in your Fingers and Feet.

Make you void all the time: this can be funny. When you are already hiking any trip probably you will Urynete more than normal. along the Salkantay trek, we already create a phrase (Pick a flower), meaning you need to find your special spot for void or series business which could be behind the rock o tree.

Upon arrival take it easy. Allow your body to adjust by lying down for 10-15 minutes. Rest as much as possible during the trip. Overexertion can exacerbate the symptoms.

Salkantay Trek Packing List

When you’re packing for the Salkantay trek, it’s important to pack light. You’ll be carrying your own gear, so you don’t want to be weighed down by unnecessary items. But at the same time, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. Here’s a basic packing list to help you get started:

-Hiking boots

-Comfortable clothing

-Jacket

-Hat

-Gloves

-Sunscreen

-Sunglasses

-Trekking poles

-First aid kit

-Water bottle

-Snacks

-Camera!

FINALLY:

Top Tips to Avoid Altitude Sickness in Cusco – Salkantay

  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before and during your stay. Many find saline nasal drops/sprays beneficial.
  • Stick to a light diet the day before traveling to a high-altitude area. Foods found easy to digest include fish, chicken, and hot liquids. Avoid fried foods, beef, lamb, and caffeinated or alcoholic beverages.
  • Oxygen can be beneficial and is easily found Hiking along the Salkantay Trek to Machupicchu. Or could be at airports, hotels, and pharmacies.
  • For headaches, over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) have been found to be helpful.
  • Coca tea and wild mint (Muńa) may ease the symptoms.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink bottled water and avoid consuming ice cubes made with tap water.
  • A diet high in carbohydrates, bread, cereals, grains, and pasta can also help alleviate the symptoms.
  • Once again, we highly recommend that you consult your personal healthcare provider before making the decision to travel to any high-altitude destination and before choosing any course of treatment.

6 Comments

  1. fb88vn

    A big thank you for your post.Thanks Again. Really Cool.

    Reply
  2. Hedy Elvis

    Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really understand what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice from my web site =). We could have a hyperlink exchange arrangement between us|

    Reply
  3. Tenesha Forro

    It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!|

    Reply
  4. Donnie Barton

    Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the gratifying work.|

    Reply
  5. Johnathan Nipps

    What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious knowledge about unpredicted emotions.|

    Reply
  6. Jae Pallares

    Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info particularly the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.|

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cesar Conde

Cesar Conde

Position: Tour Leaders & Digital Creator

I’m Cesar Conde, Tour Leader In Peru and my other side job is Nomadic Digital. I share my own Hiking Tour Experiences, travel stories, guides, and itineraries for travelers like you and me!

SHOP

This post contains select links to products from our sponsors. When you click on these links, we may earn a commission. For more information about our Advertising Policy, please visit this page..

Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 GTX Hiking

Salomon Men’s X Ultra 4 GTX Hiking

Rubber sole
Heel measures approximately 1″
Waterproof Hiking Shoes: Power through uphills and descents with the X Ultra 4 GTX; It has the agility of a trail running shoe but with the stability, grip, and waterproof protection you need for technical hikes

SCARPA Women’s Rush GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Shoes for Hiking and Trail Running

SCARPA Women’s Rush GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Shoes for Hiking and Trail Running

Polyurethane sole
Traction and Weather Protection | With a women’s-specific fit, the new Rush GTX combines support and weather protection in a lightweight package ideal for fast day hikes and trail runs alike.
GORE-TEX Extended Comfort | Waterproof protection that doesn’t sacrifice climate comfort for all-day wear in moderate to warmer conditions.

Related Post

Machu Picchu Trip Planning

Machu Picchu Trip Planning

Planning the Perfect Adventure to Machu Picchu. Peru is one of the most beautiful and serene places in South America - This guide will show you how to get to Machu Picchu. When is the best time to visit Machu Picchu? Machu Picchu Hike is one of the most beautiful and...

What To Pack For Machu Picchu

What To Pack For Machu Picchu

What To Pack For Machu Picchu? What an amazing view from Machu Picchu! If only I had known what to pack for Machu Picchu before my trip. Lucky for you, I'm going to share with you 10 Essential Items You Must Pack for Your Trip to Machu Picchu I mean everything you'll...

Ausangate Trek Without Guide to Rainbow Mountain 6 Days

Ausangate Trek Without Guide to Rainbow Mountain 6 Days

Ausangate Trek Without Guide and survive the Andes in Peru. Want to hike the Ausangate Trek but don't want to pay for a guide? Here's how to do it yourself on a budget! This trek is one of the most popular in the Cusco region, and for good reason – it offers amazing...

Ausangate Trek To Rainbow Mountain Without Guide From 4 to 6 Days

Ausangate Trek To Rainbow Mountain Without Guide From 4 to 6 Days

Ausangate To Rainbow Mountain Trek Comprehensive Hiking Guide in Cusco Peru. The Ausangate Trek is a high-altitude 70km hike in the Peruvian mountains near Cusco with an average altitude of over 4000m. Unlike most other hikes in the region, Ausangate is not about Inca...

How To Travel To Machu Picchu | Most Of Your Visit To Peru

How To Travel To Machu Picchu | Most Of Your Visit To Peru

How To Travel To Machu Picchu from the US? When to visit machu Picchu? here in this travel article, we'll answer the most important questions about Peru Travel & Best hiking trips to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in...

Best Hiking Shoes Amazon And REI Compare Prices

Best Hiking Shoes Amazon And REI Compare Prices

It is no secret that a good pair of best hiking shoes for women or men can make or break your hike. With so many different brands, materials, and styles on the market, it can be tough to decide which best women's hiking shoes are right for you. This comprehensive Best...