Howdy, all! Welcome back to the Disabled Travelers blog.
We’ve been to a lot of different places since I joined the team here a few months – we’ve seen some of the best in wheelchair travel where it’s hot, cold, high, dry, and wet. We’ve pushed the boundaries and gone a long way, and now I’d like to cover a topic that’s near and dear to me, accessible ecotourism. Ecotourism usually means getting in touch with nature, but it can also involve volunteering and really becoming aware of the community while you’re there. This kind of experience has long been the preserve of young folk, and handicapped travel is starting to embrace the opportunities, too. Let’s have a look …
Responsible Travel is a great place to start on any ecotourism journey. They review and catalog the best in socially responsible tour operators, accommodations, and more. Accessibility is part of the criteria in many cases, and I was happy to see that the community includes plenty of handicapped travelers. One good article on disabled travel is right here: Holidays From a Chair – A Different Perspective. There’s even a forum, where quite a few discussions on accessibility and informal access guides are taking place. All of that happens at the community forum, I Know a Great Place.
GoToStCroix.com offers extensive information on one great destination, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. There are articles for every aspect of enjoying St. Croix, including – yes, and thank you – info on wheelchair accessible accommodations and activities. This is reliable stuff, much of it courtesy of a wheelchair user and long-time resident of St. Croix, Michael Rodenhaven – who has his own page about living the good life on the island. His motto is “Adapt, Adjust, Overcome & Enjoy” – and it sure looks like he’s done it! I recommend checking it out, even if St. Croix isn’t on your itinerary.
One of the ultimate destinations for ecotourism is Costa Rica. This is thanks to the simple fact that though Costa Rica is a relatively small country, it contains almost 6% of the world’s known animal species. Thanks to the huge conservationist interest in the region, and the great tourist trade, there’s more in the way of accessible transportation and attractions. The Real Costa Rica has the hookup on disabled travel in the country. Apparently, there’s a fairly formidable fleet of wheelchair taxis. According to the blog at the same site, accessible bus travel is still a little rough, but laws are being enforced.
For more general interest information on a whole slew of destinations around the world, I’d like to recommend Bradt Travel Guides’ article index. There are plenty of pieces here on mobility impaired access and world travel, from the general (“Traveling With Limited Mobility”) to the rather specific (“Access Africa.”) Bradt is a respected source for all kinds of travel information and even runs an annual contest for travel writers. Another highly recommended source for Europe, the British Isles, Australia, Asia, and more. For expanded options, Gray Line offers accessible buses and even trip planning.
And that brings us to the close of today’s visit. Next time, some great resources for disabled air travel and dealing with airlines. After that, I have some trip planning resources I’m excited to share. Until then, in honor of Mr. Rodenhaven and with no infringement intended: Adapt, Adjust, Overcome & Enjoy!