Traveling to any destination anywhere in the world can be emotionally and physically challenging. Peru and South America are no exception; you must take care of your health to enjoy your Peruvian vacation. This article contains tips for healthy travel and some advice to stay healthy and fit during your vacation.
Visit a medical clinic before you travel; your doctor will be able to give you the injections you need for the locations you wish to visit. Vaccines and medications are the best ways to protect yourself while traveling. Vaccines for Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Cholera, and Travelers' Diarrhea are the most common you will need when traveling to South America.
Pack a good first aid kit, you may think you do not need this, but this is an essential part of any trip to Peru. Take the essentials like anti-diarrheal medication, antihistamines, anti-motion sickness medication, pain relievers, laxatives, antacids, anti-bacterial ointment, hand sanitizer, band-aids, cream for sunburn, and rehydration salts, if you don't need these medications, all the better, but it is better to have them, just in case.
Travel Insurance, we all know that when traveling, insurance is an extra expense you might not be able to afford, but a basic policy is essential for every trip you take. Should something happen, you can at least rely on your policy to help get you home. Without it, you may be in serious trouble.
Build up your fitness level with aerobic training or cardiovascular training. This refers to activities that adequately use oxygen to meet the demands of exercise through aerobic metabolism and should be the focus of your preparation. Swimming, running, and hiking are all good ways to prepare.
Mental Preparation. Training for Machu Picchu is about your physical endurance as your mental stamina. There will be points where the trek is particularly tough, usually on the trails up to high passes. Despite tired legs and sore bodies, you will need to be able to dig deep to push yourself up and over mountain passes. Make sure you have a good attitude before arriving in Cusco. That means preparing yourself mentally for a good challenge.
Water, anywhere you travel in the world, you need to be careful with the drinking water. Usually, most people buy bottled water; this is the best idea, but ensure that the seal is intact. For ecological reasons, we recommend a refillable water bottle that you can fill with purified water at your hotel and boiled water on the trek. Taking purification tablets with you is a good idea if you feel that you will not be able to get bottled water; the taste is a little strange, but it is better than getting sick. Hot drinks also are the way to go, as you know that the water has been boiled.
Eat healthily and in reputable restaurants to avoid illness that could take away valuable travel time on your Peru trip. Wait until after any multi-day treks to try or experiment with the local cuisine and try all the delicious dishes in Peru.
The Altitude. Take it easy when you arrive at altitude, and drink plenty of water. Do not take the altitude lightly. This can make you feel bad, and you do not want to spoil your holiday. Do nothing more than stroll around for the first few days until you feel your breathing is normal and you are used to the thinner air. After a couple of days, do some day hikes around the local archaeological sites or some mountain biking in The Sacred Valley.
Save the parties and drinking until after any trek you have planned; your body will thank you for it. Alcohol can cause terrible hangovers at altitude and should be avoided, at least while you are acclimatizing 😊
The top-end hotels throughout Peru usually have decent gyms and excellent spa facilities to help you keep fit and well during your stay. There are various wellness options for those who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle during their trip; ask us at Valencia Travel for more information on wellness options for the destinations you will be visiting.
If you plan to stay in Peru for a while, there are plenty of hiking options o help you keep fit. There are several hiking clubs in Cusco, for example, where you can stay fit and enjoy some of the more off-the-beaten-track trekking routes in the company of other trekkers.
You can also sign up for a local gym to maintain your fitness regime from home. Explain to a trainer how long you have been in Peru or at high altitudes to ensure you are not over-exerting, especially in Cusco or other high-altitude cities.
The top-end hotels throughout Peru usually have decent gym facilities and excellent spa facilities to help you keep fit and well during your stay.
Happy and healthy Travels!