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Altitude sickness in Quito


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1 minute ago, bkfs said:


Has anyone experienced altitude sickness in Quito Ecuador? If so suggestions for prevention are welcome

But it's only 9,000 feet above sea level !

I've skied in the Swiss Alps at 12,000 feet so you get out of breath a little quicker.

If you have respiratory concerns then perhaps you should give it a miss.

 

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No, I was fine and spent six days there.  I did visit my doctor for advice beforehand and he told me that the altitude sickness drugs would most likely make me feel worse and at 9,300 feet as Quito is, it’s unnecessary.  If i were going to spend time in Cusco for instance which is another 2,000 feet higher he said I should think about it.  I kept myself hydrated, didn’t drink any of the special tea and apart from feeling a little puffed when I first arrived (which was better after a day or two), no I’ll effects.

 

Obviously I don’t know your own medical history.  If you have any doubts you should ask your GP.

 

Phil

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Stay hydrated! Don't exert yourself until you know how your body is going to respond. I live my life at sea level (literally) so when I visited Colorado I had definite symptoms even at altitudes others felt nothing. Mostly it was light headedness. Everyone there cautioned me to keep drinking water. LOL

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While it isn't incapacitating, both my wife and I felt the altitude.  When we arrived on our flight from Miami, my wife almost couldn't get up to get off the plane....I was just fine.  On the return trip from the Galapagos, we had the reverse...I felt the altitude, she didn't.  We both tired easily, but we walked around Quito. The hotel had oxygen, but we didn't need it.  The treatment for altitude sickness is to go to a lower altitude...which we did, of course...we were going to the Galapagos.  It's really just an adjustment....walk slowly and take your time going up hills/steps.  

 

There is prescription medication you can take, but if we went again, we wouldn't take it.

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The issue is sometimes triggered by a fast change. If you live at a low altitude spending a day or two at say 5000 feet fist helps with acclimatizing. Most healthy people will have no issue, but COPD or other lung issues might suggest another place to visit.

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2 hours ago, bkfs said:


Has anyone experienced altitude sickness in Quito Ecuador? If so suggestions for prevention are welcome

 

Yes, I had a very strong headache. I'm healthy, and had no shortness of breath.

I was told to drink "coca" tea, but at the Marriott was told it's not legal... 🤪

I took aspirin (Bayer) and it went away quickly. I was in Quito 2 days pre-cruise.

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Good to hear. Thank you all for your experiences. I think I’ll take nothing and just walk slowly. Only in Quito for two days before Galapagos

Edited by bkfs
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3 hours ago, bkfs said:

Good to hear. Thank you all for your experiences. I think I’ll take nothing and just walk slowly. Only in Quito for two days before Galapagos

You are going to have a fantastic time.  We went in 2015 (me, Mom, my daughter) and we all agreed it was the best trip.  Very well done.

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7 hours ago, Esprit said:

But it's only 9,000 feet above sea level !

I've skied in the Swiss Alps at 12,000 feet so you get out of breath a little quicker.

If you have respiratory concerns then perhaps you should give it a miss.

 

 

Everyone's body reacts a little differently.  For me 9,000 ft is the lowest altitude where I have to take acclimatizing measures while doing hikes and backpacking in the Sierra.

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We did the Galapagos/ Machu Picchu  on Celebrity in the spring of 2019.  We arrived in Quito and spent 2 days there on a pre-cruise tour, went to the Galapagos for a week, then on to  Machu Picchu the following week. It was spectacular. As for taking medication, we did. I found I was very lightheaded and short of breath at times in Quito the first day and was glad to have started on acetozolamide for altitude sickness. You are usually directed to take a few doses starting a day or two before your maximum altitude location and then stop once you are there and acclimated. However, because of our trip to the Galapagos in the middle of two high-altitude locations, that did not work well for us. I had to start some before our Quito arrival, stop during the Galapagos, and start up again before we left the Galapagos so I would be ready for Cusco, which is higher than Machu Picchu if I recall. I talked to my doctor about this in advance and she prescribed some extra medication since I would need it for essentially two high-altitude visits. I found it worked well for us. 

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