An adventure tour can mean different things to different people, depending on what their experience is. For some people that might just be leaving their city or state, while for others it might be just venturing to another country for typical tourist type of group bus tour. But other might have bigger dreams...
Some people have problems with altitude sickness when traveling at high altitude destinations in South America such as Cusco, Lake Titicaca, Uyuni Salt Flats and the altiplano areas in Chile and Argentina - and sometimes even when in Quito, which is at about 9,000 feet. Cusco is at about 11,000 feet and other areas mentioned can be up around 14,000. The best viewpoint at Rainbow Mountain, which is becoming more popular, is at about 17,000 feet. You can get up to 13,000 feet and higher on treks from Cusco.
I've never had a problem in Cusco, but my wife did. I did have a headache at Lake Titicaca though after too much walking on my arrival day. Luckily my guide gave me a pill that helped.
Rapid ascent to heights exceeding about 8,000 above sea level can cause oxygen saturation of hemoglobin in the body to decrease. Breathing and heart rate increase immediately, and the heart beats faster. For most people, that's the worst of it since their bodies adapt and the concentration of red blood cells increase. For others, that feeling of breathlessness soon leads to a pounding headache, nausea and vertigo.
What can you do to try to prevent this, or at least make it more tolerable?
Jim has been an agent for over 20 years and has specialized in South America for much of that time