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Machu Pichu or not if one has a heart stint? Hiram Bingham train.

Machu Pichu or not if one has a heart stint? Hiram Bingham train.

Old Jul 13th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Machu Pichu or not if one has a heart stint? Hiram Bingham train.

I live above 6000 feet in Colorado and am reasonably active but unsure if undertaking the higher elevation in Machu Picchu is a problem or not. I'll not be hiking the Inca Trail. Instead, if I go to Machu Pichu, I'll be taking the Hiram Bingham train from the Cuzco area. Where does the train end its run from Cuzco to Macchu Pichu? [The train's website doesn't answer this question.] I am planning a trip in May of 2013 with two nights stay at the Sanctuary Lodge. Is it necessary to take a bus or a long hike from the end of the rail line to the Lodge, or, does the train end within a very short walk of the Lodge?

If anyone by serendipity has undertaken the trip to Macchu Picchu with a mild heart condition, and lived to tell--your insights on your experience would be most appreciated.
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Old Jul 13th, 2012, 05:54 PM
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Really should ask your doctor this question!

I think if you are taking blood pressure meds there can be some issues with adjusting dosages.

If you want to avoid high altitudes, get out of Cusco as soon as you arrive, and stay in the Sacred Valley/Ollantaytambo. You can even go to Aguas Calientes (6690 feet) for your first night, although probably better to do it on the second day in case flights are delayed or you miss a connection, you would lose your train reservation.

There is a luxury train from Ollantaytambo "special service" you can tell from the price. Hiram Bingham is the name of the train service from Cusco.

All the trains end in Aguas Calientes and you bus up the hill to Machu Picchu. It isn't very far to walk from bus to entrance.
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Old Jul 14th, 2012, 09:12 AM
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The real trial is not Machu Picchu (8,000 ft). It's Cusco (11,000 ft).

Agreed that only your doctor can or should answer this question for you.
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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I completely agee that this is something that is best decided between you and your doctor.

However,to answer your question, I had a heart attack and a stent in 2006. In 2008, I traveled to Peru and went to Cusco and Machu Picchu. I had absolutely no problems with the altitude. I also went to Bolivia and even there, at higher elevations, had no trouble. BUT, it is important to keep in mind that elevation affects everyone differently, heart condition or not. There are people in tip-top shape who syffer mightily from the altitude, and there are 300-pound couch potatoes who have no difficulties. As my doctor explained to me, your past heart history isn't necessarily an indicator that you will have a problem. The advice I got was the same advice they give everyone: If you start experiencing problems, descend to a lower altitude. I realize this is somewhat useless advice after you've bought a ticket and traveled all that way.

Of course, talk to your doctor. If s/he gives the OK, go and enjoy. Take it easy for a day or two after you arrive in Cusco and then head off on your adventure. As has been mentioned, Cusco is quite a bit higher than MP. If you do fine in Cusco, MP will be a breeze. And also as been said, if you aren't hiking the Inca Trail, no worries. It's an easy bus ride from Aguas Calientes to the ruins and the lodge.

¡Buen viaje!
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Old Jul 15th, 2012, 08:16 PM
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Will be in Lima, Cusco and Machu Picchu next May as well. Interested in the replies!

Agree that elevation affects everyone differently. While hiking Colorado 14ers last year, a 22 yr old (and very healthy) friend had a bad reaction to the elevation. I and the rest of the group were fine. Go figure.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 08:01 AM
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As mlgb writes above, all trains end in Aguas Calientes. If you want to take the Hiram Bingham (HB) train service, you have a few things to consider:

-HB only departs from and arrives to Cusco (Poroy Station), not from Sacred Valley
-If, upon arrival to Cusco, you're planning an immediate transfer to lower elevations in the Sacred Valley, you'd have to plan into your itinerary a transfer to Cusco to catch the HB train which departs 9:05
-There is another train service called Servicio Especial which departs from and arrives in Ollantaytambo, and while this is a step above the Vistadome train, it's different from the iconic HB

-Hiram Bingham service to Aguas Calientes includes a transfer up to Machu Picchu entrance/Sanctuary Lodge. Train staff takes care off all the logistics.

I'll echo the previous posters in recommending discussion of medical issues with your physician.

Happy travel planning!
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