Top 3 Altitude Pills For Machu Picchu

Altitude Pills Machu Picchu

When visiting Machu Picchu for the first time, it’s tempting to throw caution to the wind and run wild. But that’s a mistake. You’ll find yourself gasping for breath almost immediately. Altitude sickness is a real thing and should be taken serious before traveling. Get altitude pills Machu Picchu for your trip now!

Altitude pills for Machu Picchu are the best precaution you can take to help relieve symptoms of altitude sickness at altitudes above 8,000 feet. We'll review the top three altitude pill options for Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu Altitude Sickness 

In this article, we will present you the top 3 altitude pills for Machu Picchu. But first of all, it is very important for you to know more about Machu Picchu and what altitude sickness is.

Machu Picchu (mäˈchō pēˈchō), formerly called the Lost City of the Incas, is located at 7972 feet (2430 meters) above sea level on a mountain ridge. Machu Picchu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South America, and for good reason.

It is situated in the Cusco region of Peru, about 50 miles from Cusco. The city is situated high in the mountains above sea level and can only be reached by foot or via a train ride from Cusco.

Can you get altitude sickness at Machu Picchu? Yes.

Altitude sickness, also known as acute mountain sickness (AMS), is a common condition that can affect anyone who has ascended rapidly to an altitude of 8000 feet (2500 m) or higher. Altitude sickness occurs when you cannot get enough oxygen from the air at high altitudes, which causes symptoms such as a headache, loss of appetite, trouble breathing, and sleeping issues to name a few.

It’s most commonly experienced at 8000 feet, but don't be fooled, mild symptoms can occur anywhere above even 3000-5000 feet. For example, here in our backyard of Denver Colorado at 5279 feet, some visitors will feel the effects of altitude when they first fly in to visit. With almost 3 million people visiting Machu Picchu each year at altitude of 7972 feet, some of them will experience altitude sickness, and it's hard to tell who will and who won't. 

If you plant to visit Cusco too, at 11152 feet (3,400 meters), you have even a higher likelihood to experience altitude sickness.

One thing to note is that altitude sickness severity can also be effected by how fast you ascend and how much you exert your body.  If you're taking the train to Machu Picchu, while much easier on your body, your ascending rapidly which gives your body little time to acclimate. If you're hiking Machu Picchu, while you're giving your body a lot of time to acclimate, your body is working hard and has much more physiological stress.


Top 3 Altitude Pills For Machu Picchu

This helps prevent altitude sickness such as headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and fatigue.

There are many different altitude pills and remedies available. Machu Picchu is situated at approximately 7,970 feet above sea level. This means that it is a high altitude location at risk of altitude sickness.

So, if you are planning to travel to Machu Picchu then you might want to consider taking some kind of altitude pills in case you experience any symptoms of altitude sickness. This helps prevent altitude sickness such as headaches, nausea, shortness of breath and fatigue. Altitude sickness is more common among those who live at lower elevations and are not used to the thinner air at higher elevations.

There are many different altitude pills and remedies available. Based on our research, below are three of the top altitude pills for Machu Picchu:

1. Natural High Altitude Pills

If you want to know how to prevent altitude sickness naturally, more and more people are discovering that natural remedies can help with acclimatization at high altitudes. Such as with Zaca, natural supplements for altitude sickness are made from 100% natural ingredients so that it does not contain any chemicals or elements that can be harmful to your body.

They may go by different names such as altitude adjustment pills, supplements for altitude sickness, altitude sickness pills, or high altitude pills -- either way they're all made from plants and herbs designed to help in high altitude sickness. The best part about these high altitude pills is that they do not contain any chemical or elements that can be harmful to your body.

With so many options as you plan for your trip to Machu Picchu, we'll condense our research into three ingredients you should look for in high altitude pills that are best shown to help with altitude sickness:

  • Glutathione

    A study in India found that high altitude causes lower levels of glutathione in the blood and muscles, the altitude decreased glutathione up to 45%.¹

    High altitude causes the body to fight free radical damage and as the body's master antioxidant, supplementing Glutathione helps to scavenge and neutralize them.

  • Glutamine

    Glutamine was found in research to play a possible role in the prevention of mood and cognition decline from low oxygen, high altitude conditions.²

    As an essential amino acid, glutamine not only helps with hydration that it critical at dehydrating higher elevations, it also supports the immune system and muscle recovery.

  • Dihydromyricetin (DHM)

A study on this herb from eastern Asia, suggests that taking Dihydromyricetin under simulated low oxygen conditions is beneficial to improve high altitude performance.

As a safe, novel compound, it also can potentially protect you from other altitude related illnesses due to hypoxia (low oxygen).

    These three ingredients -- Glutathione, Glutamine and Dihydromyricetin -- we have found to be the most helpful at high altitudes and backed by research. As contained in the Zaca chewables, it's best to find high altitude pills that have one, two or all three of these superior ingredients, especially for your Machu Picchu trip.

    2. Coca leaves For Altitude

    Although not specifically altitude pills, the most widely used local remedy in Peru and at Machu Picchu is coca leaves. Indigenous peoples have used coca leaves for centuries at high altitude as both food and medicine.

    Coca Leaves are helpful in treating altitude sickness and they also boost energy levels of your body.  It has been used in ceremonies and rituals, as well as a mild stimulant, to reduce hunger, thirst, pain and fatigue. It is very popularly used to treat altitude sickness and alleviate the discomfort.

    When you visit Machu Picchu in Peru, you might be advised to buy coca leaves from the local market in Aguas Calientes or from vendors near the entrance to the ruins of Machu Picchu.

    The locals chew on a few leaves at a time throughout their day to relieve altitude symptoms and even just as a mild stimulant (similar to coffee). You may see many tourists buying the leaves so they could do the same.

    Although illegal in the US, coca leaves are legal in Peru. They are typically sold in little bags of dried leaves. You can either chew the leaves, or take a cup of boiled water in which add 3-4 cocoa leaves and steep them for 20 minutes. Drink this tea during the day or 30 minutes before going to bed, this will help you to feel better and may also deal with headaches.

    3. Diamox (Acetazolamide) for Altitude Sickness

    Diamox or Acetazolamide pills is a prescription medication that is used as a diuretic, to treat epilepsy and glaucoma, but most importantly it can used as altitude sickness pills for Machu Picchu. Acetazolamide (Diamox) is the most effective drug for relieving the symptoms of AMS (altitude sickness), and you can even take it proactively to prevent AMS from occurring in the first place.

    The dosage from a doctor is typically 125 to 250 milligrams a day in pill form or the same amount given intravenously (IV) by your doctor. It should be taken one day before arriving at high altitude and continued for two to three days after reaching your destination.

    It works by alkalinizing the blood slightly, which stimulates breathing and increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. One downside, it's also a mild diuretic and may cause you to urinate more frequently at first.

    Therefore, you need to stay properly hydrated when taking this altitude sickness medicine and even consider taking electrolyte chewables or some kind of hydration product.


    Final Thoughts

    If you’re planning on visiting Machu Picchu, don’t take the altitude lightly, get properly prepared beforehand.

    We've highlighted the different altitude pills for Machu Picchu that can make the biggest difference -- including natural high altitude pills, coca leaves and diamox. No matter what you choose to do, knowing about successful strategies for your particular trip is essential to a safe journey.

    In order to enjoy your trip, you owe it to yourself to have the right education and best preparation possible! Best of luck on your Machu Picchu trip, and have fun.

    Want a natural supplement that contains all three altitude ingredients --  glutathione, glutamine and dihydromyricetin? Try our Zaca chewables that are loaded with all three ingredients!



    1. Effect of high altitude (7,620 m) exposure on glutathione
    2. The Possible Importance of Glutamine Supplementation to Mood and Cognition in Hypoxia from High Altitude
    3. Dihydromyricetin Improves Physical Performance under Simulated High Altitude