Altitude Sickness in Mexico City? Here's what to know and what to do. (2023)

Altitude Sickness in Mexico City? Here's what to know and what to do. (1)


What to do for Altitude Sickness in Mexico City

Altitude Sickness in Mexico City? Here's what to know and what to do. (2)

Mexico City is high, but for most visitors, not that high.

(Video) Avoiding altitude sickness in Mexico City

If you’re not here en route to one of the mountains (as in the photo above), you only need to take some minor precautions.

The best advice is to be aware that it is a high altitude location, and that you may experience some symptoms. Age, sex, or your level of physical fitness have essentially no bearing on your likelihood of experiencing some symptoms.

Altitude sickness usually occurs above 1,500 metres, and the effects becoming more severe as you go higher. At 2,240 meters, Mexico City is well above the limit, although lots of people visit with no symptoms of sickness at all.

(Video) Getting Sick in Mexico

As you go up in altitude, available oxygen for sustaining mental and physical alertness decreases. Air pressure is lower even though the percentage of oxygen in the air is essentially the same.Dehydration can aggravate matters as more water vapor lost from breathing.

But more importantly, the reason people feel sick is that more red blood cells are required at higher altitudes to deliver oxygen through the body. It takes about three months living at a high altitude to develop sufficient red blood cells so that you can do all the things you did at sea level, assuming you normally live much closer to sea level.

Symptoms of altitude sickness

Symptoms of altitude sickness can develop between six and 24 hours after reaching altitudes above 3,000 meters (9,842 feet) above sea level. Mexico City is not quite that high, and so symptoms can take longer to develop, and they’re also not so severe.

(Video) Altitude in Mexico City could affect Chiefs

The most common symptoms visitors experience are:

  • Sudden, extreme shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite

Symptoms for some visitors can tend to be slightly worse at night.


Sensitive individuals may want to consider travelling with medicines for altitude sickness:

(Video) How To Beat Altitude Sickness: The Struggle is Real

  • Ibuprofen or paracetamol for headaches or body aches
  • Motion-sickness medication, like promethazine, for nausea

Treating altitude sickness

The most important thing is to realize what altitude sickness is, …and then slow down.

  • Stop and rest frequently, especially as shortness of breath or fatigue come on
  • Treat headaches with ibuprofen or paracetamol
  • Treat nausea with sea-sickness or car-sickness medications, like promethazine
  • Drink extra water
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking
  • Avoid strenuous activities
Remember, it’s very rare for international visitors to experience any extreme symptoms in Mexico City. The few exceptions will be those traveling on to serious mountain climbing activities outside the city. If you feel that you do need medical attention, LOCATEL, the Mexico City information line, can make a professional referral. Don’t hesitate to call them. Just press 6 for the English language line.
Altitude Sickness in Mexico City? Here's what to know and what to do. (3)

Seven Centuries of Mexico-Tenochtitlan | Mexico City Alt-Travel Highlights


1. Before You Go to Mexico City, This is What You Need to Know
2. Preventing Altitude Sickness | James Maloney, MD, Pulmonary disease & Critical care | UCHealth
3. My First Day in Mexico City.
(No Joke Howard)
4. Safety Tips in Mexico City
(Adam Ventures)
5. How to Prevent and Treat Altitude Sickness in Peru (From Cusco)
(Andy's Awesome Adventures)
6. How to avoid sickness in Mexico City
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 03/20/2023

Views: 6096

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Birthday: 1998-01-29

Address: Apt. 611 3357 Yong Plain, West Audra, IL 70053

Phone: +5819954278378

Job: Construction Director

Hobby: Embroidery, Creative writing, Shopping, Driving, Stand-up comedy, Coffee roasting, Scrapbooking

Introduction: My name is Dr. Pierre Goyette, I am a enchanting, powerful, jolly, rich, graceful, colorful, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.