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Person on a wheelchair on a wheelchair accessible trail in Costa Rica

Why Costa Rica is the perfect wheelchair accessible destination

As a wheelchair user and avid traveler, I went on a mindblowing adventure to test the country’s beautiful, accessible destinations. There I found amazing people, gorgeous landscapes and wheelchair accessible facilities to have an amazing experience as any other traveler!

Firstly, a little backstory: I’m one of the founders of Wheel the World, an accessible travel company dedicated to empowering people with disabilities to explore the world without limits. Therefore, our tours are fully accessible for everyone in mind and we’re always looking for new places to take our services to.

I took the opportunity to test first hand if Costa Rica was really wheelchair accessible. I’d heard some great things, but would it live up to the hype?

Spoiler alert: it so did. Stick with me to read why it’s the perfect wheelchair accessible destination for you, your friends and family.

Above all, accessibility is our priority. I headed to Costa Rica with a diverse team of people with and without disabilities to test everything out, plus accessible equipment to create some amazing experiences to offer. What we brought included adapted kayaks, trekking equipment, and beach wheelchairs for everyone to enjoy, which we left on site. Now, most importantly, let’s get to the good stuff, and let’s share what I found!

Check out accessible Costa Rica experiences!

Great public wheelchair accessible facilities everywhere

Public spaces and buildings like parks and museums have fantastic public accessible facilities such as restrooms and parking spaces, everywhere. National Parks have well thought accessible paths for people with reduced mobility to explore in a fun, dignified way. There are accessible restrooms available all through the way. The National Park that most caught my eye was OTS Selva Verde. Paths included accessible signs and podotactile ground. Another highlight was Jacó beach, which is relaxing and fully accessible, with restrooms and wheelchair friendly paths.

The weather is enjoyable and will make people with disabilities really comfortable.

As I have experienced as a wheelchair user, people with limited mobility can sometimes get a bit cold if they don’t get enough movement. On the other hand, excessively hot climates can be really uncomfortable.

Costa Rica’s climate is warm and humid, very comfortable for people of all ages and conditions to spend time outside moving around. We did get rain, but it didn’t last long, plus it was easy to cope with capes and coverage. Rain tends to be short and happen during the night time.

The people are beyond incredible.

It amazed me how warm and friendly people were towards everyone in the team, and the locals were especially eager to help when needed! The most popular saying in Costa Rican culture, “pura vida” – which directly translates into “pure life”- is a true way of living. It’s a collaborative society that made me feel welcome and included. Sometimes people with disabilities might need a little extra help. The locals were naturally inclined to help with a wonderful disposition. Also, people from Costa Rica usually speak both English and Spanish. Tourists can move around very comfortably around the country. People with disabilities and without are guaranteed to feel Costa Rica like a second home due to their amazing people.

A snippet of my trip to Costa Rica

Wheelchair accessible transport is available and works smoothly

During my trip, we used group buses and smaller van services. All of them had the features to accommodate all kinds of wheelchairs. Even powered wheelchairs. Most of them had ramps or elevators, and the chairs could be anchored to the bus or people could be transferred to a seat. All around, a very comfortable, smooth experience! I will be happy to help you arrange ground transportation if you ever decide to travel.

If you’re thinking about your next accessible trip, you shouldn’t miss out on experiencing Costa Rica with us. It is an inclusive country that invites everyone to enjoys its wonders. I experienced ziplining, hiking, kayaking, surfing – all tailored to the needs of people with disabilities. I had never thought I could enjoy such a wide variety of activities! There’s wildlife exploring where you’ll get to see impressive flora and fauna. Also relaxing beach experiences awaiting. Explore the destinations we discovered with the help of Red Costarricense de Turismo Accesible and ICT – we did it and fell in love with the country.

Contact us to make this life changing trip yourself! We’ll be happy to help you out and show you the tours we’ve been working on, all adapted and inclusive.

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