I'm going to Peru in a couple of months and worried about altitude sickness

I've read online that altitude sickness can be severe and you could actually die from it.  I'm going to be hicking Machu Picchu for about seven days.  We only have two days to acclimate to the altitude. 

I read you're supposed to take a drug called Diamox, generic name Acetazolamide, two days before the trip and the entire time you're hiking.  We are going up to 14,000 feet above sea level.

One of my mother's friends just got back from Machu Picchu and the husband got so sick from altitude sickness, that he had to be hospitalized.  I am very worried about this.  After this hike up the mountain, we are flying to the Galapagos Islands for a 20-passenger cruise for another week.  Now, this cruise was super, super expensive.  I just cannot get sick and waste all that money.  In hindsight, we probably should have done the cruise first and then the hike afterwards.  Too late now.

Was wondering if anyone has had any experience with being at high altitudes and what you did to prevent sickness.

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Did you look to see if you could get the Coca online anywhere?

I'm pretty sure I can get the coca plant in Lima for sure.  I read online that's what other people do.  They sell it. 

Well, aren't you a wealth of information on COQ10.  Wow. 

My husband and I went for a two-hour hike yesterday.  One whole hour of it was straight uphill.  Just think, we'll be walking for eight hours a day, so two hours is nothing. 

I cut and pasted that info on COQ10 off a website that I thought explained it well.  It's really good for your heart.  I've taken it for years. 120 mg tabs once a day.

I found this site:


Hi, Kelli ~

I hiked Machu Picchu in 2010, and it was one of the highlights of my life.  I did experience altitude sickness but chose not to do the Diamox because a side effect is having to pee frequently, which did not seem to suit all-day hikes.  Most of my sickness was the "acclimating" time at the hotel in Cusco prior to the hike.  However, I did recover well enough to go.  First day was a little rough.  Please feel free to call me.  I would love to share with you my experience.  I went with 16 other women, one of which was a court reporter, and another who was a teacher of mine from court reporting school.

The coca leaves were helpful for stamina, but you must stay hydrated!!

I love your site here but am mostly a lurker.

Take care,

Alane Harrold

Thanks, Alane

PM me your email address and I'll contact you directly to talk further.  I would love to pick your brain.  I'm not a real outdoors kind of gal.  I'm doing this for my husband; it's his birthday present from me.  I did talk him into staying in the cabins with the hot tubs on the backside of the mountain.  I don't want to sleep on the ground.  A girl has limits you know.

Thanks for reaching out. 

Hi, Kerry

That's chocolate.  I don't think that's the same thing as the coca leaves in Peru that's supposed to help.  I have the cacao powder at home and I put it in drinks, supposed to be healthy but I don't think it's the same thing. 

Humm...........are you sure?  Looks more like a supplement of the cocoa what you're looking for the way it's packaged.  Look at this product.  I think it might be what you're looking for, just in a snack form.


Thanks for checking it out for me, Kerry.  That was very sweet of you.


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