Altitude Sickness

Has anyone who has taken this tour experienced altitude sickness themselves or witnessed others in their group get sick at the higher elevations? Would you recommend bringing Diamox as I believe at some point you are higher up than 11,000ft?


  • I haven't been on that tour, but have done Peru and the Galapagos where Cuzco is at a similar elevation. Are you prone to altitude sickness or are you just concerned? Diamox will work, but it is often taken only if you will make a rapid ascent without acclimating and will be at altitude for a day or more. Unless you are susceptible, you are at altitude so little time at the Jungfraujoch, if you stay hydrated you should be OK, maybe just a mild headache. All other locations are at or below 6,000'. The treatment listed first in all discussions of altitude sickness is to descend which causes the symptoms to immediately go away. If you have medical issues that might be compounded by altitude you should consult with your physician.

    Here is a like to a short TripAdvisor discussion of altitude sickness on the Jungfraujoch:

    Just Google: "elevation sickness when visiting jungfraujoch"

  • Diamox is not an innocuous drug. There are potential side effects.

  • I experienced shortness of breath for a few minutes while climbing steps to the top. It was unexpected so I just sat down. The only place on the trip that happened and I am in good health. I did not see many others affected. There are elevators and I did not experience the issue in the elevator. In Peru, I took a rx prior to accent nd for a few days - no issues. However others on the trip were surprised they did feel awful. On that trip we were at higher altitudes for several days.

  • When we landed in Tibet airport we were at 11713ft and I was a little dizzy when getting off the plane.  This was about eight years ago. My doctor refused to give me Diamox and suggested that when I get to the hotel just lie down for a few hours.  Also, suggested taking aspirin with breakfast each morning.  It worked.  I was on the Switzerland tour last September and had no problems.

  • On the Peru/Galapagos tour you fly in/out of Cuzco, Peru which is 10,860 feet above sea level. There they offered coca candies for the altitude. I'm not sure if there is any scientific value to them or if it is just a local thing.

  • edited July 2022

    Be advised that coca candy is illegal in most countries. No wonder Sam is always Smiling. :)

    Seriously though, the coca candy has no hallucinogenic effect.

    (edited for typo)

  • On my Alps trip in 2011, we went up Jungfraujoch. To my knowledge, no one suffered any altitude sickness. (And I second BKMD's caution about the coca candy, which we enjoyed -- along with coca tea -- on our trip to Peru & Bolivia, where some people on the tour did have problems with the altitude. It's illegal to bring it into the US.)

  • edited July 2022

    My hotel in Lima had both coca and emoliente (a general tonic) tea brewing at reception. No one confiscated my coca teabags, and I also have this Swiss souvenir, which I found at Schiphol circa 2006.

  • I always take some ginger in crystalized/hard candy form when traveling. You can find it in Asian markets or stores like Whole Foods or Mother's Markets. It will help alleviate altitude sickness, sea sickness, minor sore throats, stomach issues, etcetera. The key is to take it before symptoms start. Ginger tea is also good but certainly not as potent when in tea bag form. Staying hydrated is important.

  • ...and avoid (or at least limit) alcohol. I had no alcohol on my Peru & Bolivia trip -- not even the featured (and free) pisco sours!

  • I did the Switzerland tour in September 2019 - one month after having heart ablation surgery. I had no problem with the altitude and neither did anyone else in our group.

  • Not anyone on our tour of 2017 had any issues with the altitude. The view is out of this world and definitely worth it. You’re on top of the world! It will certainly be cold. You’re not outside that long at all. Again, bring gloves, hat scarf, wool socks, puffer coat or jacket.

  • Altitude sickness was discussed on our current tour in Alaska. I am fully aware of it’s dangers, but it was emphasized that if you have true altitude sickness which causes cerebral or pulmonary edema or indeed both, it can be deadly and the only way to help is to get you down to a lower level as soon as possible. I do know someone who had this happen to them and it was rough and go, but he loved to tell the tale. My husband and son seem prone to it, both very fit, which is why we have been cautious about visiting Peru and several other places we would really like to see.

  • When we took this tour, one person in our group did pass out. She recovered in time to take the train back down. They have medical personnel at the topic to help out. Additionally, a number of young Japanese tourists who ate some noodles right after getting to the top had difficulty keeping the food down.

  • My husband, who has had motion sickness and altitude sickness in the past, did fine this fall on this trip. The only place he felt a little lightheaded was at the Jungfraujoch. And that was only for a few minutes. No one else had any problems on our small group tour.

  • Remember, you are not climbing some peak in a remote corner of Nepal or Peru. Millions of tourists ascend the Jungfraujoch, so they are prepared for the occasional person who has a problem.

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