Recently I crossed something big off my must-see-before-I-die list: Machu Picchu. I took a day-trip to the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site during my volunteer vacation to Cuzco, Peru. Machu Picchu is situated 8,000 feet above sea level and Cuzco, where I spent the majority of my time, was at 10,800 feet.
Leading up to the trip, every single pamphlet, website, and guidebook I read discussed how to avoid altitude sickness and I must confess, I skimmed it. It didn’t feel like there were any good options. For instance, the side effects of the prescription medicine for altitude sickness are often worse than the actual symptoms of it. One woman on my trip who was taking it kept saying, “My nose is tingling! I can’t feel my fingertips!” Uh…no thanks.