Ensuring that you look and feel good is a strong part of Latin American culture. Many make use of spa treatments, exercise habitually to keep fit or simply dance away those extra kilos.
I try to visit Latin America at least once a year and as part of my most recent trip, as usual, I took advantage of the metabolising effects of high altitude, as well as visiting a couple of spa hotels and taking on a few new little challenges. I wanted to do a high altitude trek, and decided to prepare myself beforehand by keeping my exercise levels up and taking a vitamin supplement said to help me acclimatise to altitude quicker (Altivit).
When I landed in Lima, Peru’s capital, and was keen to make use of the facilities of the Westin Hotel Spa. Unfortunately, the spa treatments were fully booked so I had to make do with going for a swim in the pool and to use the gym to boost my energy and muscles working after the long journey from London.
My next stop was inland to Peru’s Sacred Valley, after a flight to Cusco and transfer to a wonderful hotel called Tambo del Inca. It is in a peaceful location with spacious gardens to practice yoga or relax for a couple of days.
This time I was lucky enough to have booked some treatments in the hotel’s spa. After a long journey, busy work meetings and the draining altitude effects, this water circuit was just heavenly. I felt so relaxed and looked much better, my skin was revitalised and completely hydrated: I felt like a whole new me after emerging from the last pool.
I was sad to leave this but my next adventure was waiting for me, one I have been preparing for quite some time.
My final stop was my native Bolivia, where I travelled to the Sajama National Park. My high altitude trek was a challenging, but certainly rewarding experience. I walked breathlessly among tiny dwarf tree in what is the world’s highest forest and reached 5,500 metres above sea level in some incredibly beautiful and little-visited scenery near Chile’s border.
Before flying home I visited a specialist in weight loss, who showed me that I had lost 3 kilos in a week. Once again I have proved that by keeping active while at high altitude I am able to lose more weight in a shorter period of time than I would have at at sea level.
I keep very active when away, walking as much as I can, adding some treks or biking. When at altitude it is important to drink lots of water and to be more moderate in intake of alcoholic drinks, helping the body to detox.
If you are looking to try something similar, visit our site and learn more about our high altitude detox, fitness and activity holidays.
I will keep you posted on my next high altitude adventures this year.
Here are some pictures of my trip. Enjoy!