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Acclimatisation in Ladakh

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Acclimatization is an important process when visiting high-altitude destinations like Ladakh. Located in the northernmost part of India, Ladakh is known for its stunning natural beauty, including snow-capped peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and vast expanses of desert. However, due to its high altitude (Leh, the capital city of Ladakh, is at an altitude of 11,500 feet), it is important to acclimatize properly to avoid altitude sickness and enjoy your trip.

Here are some tips to help you acclimatize to the high altitude of Ladakh:

  1. Put on warm clothes upon arrival in Leh: Guests are advised to put on warm clothes/jackets once they deplane at the airport.

  2. Eat light meals: Avoid overeating and heavy meals on 1st day of arrival.

  3. Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated is important to avoid altitude sickness. Intake of fluids like warm water, green tea, and ginger tea helps you to acclimatise better. Avoid drinks like coffee and alcohol, which can dehydrate you. .

  4. Eat light: Eat light, easily digestible meals during the first few days. Heavy or rich foods can be difficult to digest at high altitude. Stick to a diet rich in carbohydrates and low in fat to help your body adjust.

  5. Rest: Rest as needed and avoid strenuous activity during the first few days. Listen to your body and rest if you feel tired or out of breath. Take short naps throughout the day if needed.

  6. Avoid physical intimacy/ Exercise on first two-three days. Your body need time to adapt to the altitude. Hence, you must avoid anything that exerts your body.

  7. Avoid alcohol and smoking: Avoid alcohol and smoking during your trip to Ladakh, as they can increase the risk of altitude sickness.

  8. Consider medication: Some travelers may benefit from medication to prevent altitude sickness. Consult with your doctor before your trip to see if this is an option for you.

  9. Altitude sickness remedies: Carry altitude sickness remedies like Diamox or garlic pills, which can help alleviate the symptoms of altitude sickness. You can also try local remedies like ginger tea and salt water.

  10. Take it slow: When arriving in Ladakh, it is important to take it slow and not push yourself too hard during the first few days. Allow your body time to adjust to the high altitude and lower oxygen levels. Plan your itinerary carefully, and avoid ascending too quickly. Spend a few days in Leh before heading to higher-altitude destinations like Nubra Valley or Pangong Lake.

  11. Be aware of symptoms: Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness, which can include headache, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

In conclusion, acclimatization is an important process when visiting Ladakh. By taking it slow, staying hydrated, eating light, resting as needed, avoiding alcohol and smoking, considering medication, carrying altitude sickness remedies, and being aware of symptoms, you can acclimatize properly and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Ladakh without any health problems. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make the most of your trip to this unique and beautiful destination.

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