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10 Amazing Tour Companies That Specialize in Accessible Travel

January 15, 2020

These tour companies go above and beyond to make adventure accessible to everyone.

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Photo: National Park Service

Travel for All

If you have special needs or are planning to travel with someone who does, many travel companies can take care of all the frustrating pieces for you. The companies on this list think of everything: They have founders or staff members who use wheelchairs or staff members have personally tried the routes while using a wheelchair to make sure it’s fully accessible. They’ve created special saddles or wheelchairs, bring portable ramps with them to open up otherwise inaccessible shops and restaurants and they’ve considered all the small but significant details that make travel easier and more enjoyable for all participants.

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Photo: Pedro Paredes-Haz / Cascada Expediciones

EcoCamp Patagonia, Torres del Paine National Park in Chile

EcoCamp Patagonia is a sustainable dome hotel in Chile’s famous Torres del Paine National Park that worked with Wheel the World to create a special hiking wheelchair that enables guests who use wheelchairs to visit remote — and stunning — stretches of the backcountry. The wheelchair requires two people to pull it on milder sections of trail, and three to four people on more strenuous hikes. Guests who need to use the wheelchair are asked to bring one friend or family member with them to help pull it. EcoCamp Patagonia also works with local organizations to create sustainability-focused experiences that cater to blind and visually-impaired people who want to connect with the landscape on a deeper level.

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Photo: Joyce Silberstein / Wheel the World

Wheel the World

Wheel the World offers adventure trips for wheelchair users in Peru, Mexico, Chile — including experiences with EcoCamp Patagonia — South Africa, Europe, Tanzania and the United States. The company has specialized wheelchairs to make it possible for travelers to tackle many different kinds of terrain, including amphibious wheelchairs for water activities. Guests can go scuba diving, tandem kayaking, ziplining, take a safari and more. Wheel the World offers many multi-day trips with set departures but can also tailor any trip to suit the exact needs of you and your family or group of friends.

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Photo: Ernesto Millan

How Not To Travel Like a Basic B

What started as a blog and Instagram account targeted at helping people become more informed travelers has more recently launched ultra-inclusive educational tours in Cuba. HNTTLABB works to make these trips like study abroad programs for adults, using local guides and experts to teach about Cuban history and show how the country isn’t actually “stuck in time” as so many people say it is. The company makes sure each of its departures includes an ethnically diverse group of people and works with each guest individually ahead of the trip to make sure their needs are met. The tours can’t accommodate wheelchairs but they can work with anyone who is able to climb stairs. They bring extra guides to help people with mobility issues and work hard to make sure people with invisible disabilities, like fibromyalgia and chronic joint pain, feel comfortable, supported and included. HNTTLABB is also launching trips specifically for people who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community and for women who identify as plus-sized.

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