Peru is a destination known for its culture and history. Machu Picchu is what attracts most travelers to Peru, but its diverse geography, culture, and cuisine make it an ideal place to explore.
Needless to say, Peru is one of the most popular destinations in South America, but did you know that Peru is a wheelchair accessible destination? You can wander the ancient city of Machu Picchu, explore Peru’s Sacred Valley by handbike or kayak in its lakes, experience the capital city of Lima, or even visit the Amazon.
Here is how to make the most of your trip in wheelchair accessible Peru!
Wheelchair Accessible Lima
Let’s start with Lima. Peru’s coastal capital city is sometimes overlooked, as it is often the gateway to explore the rest of Peru. But, with it’s beautiful oceanside setting, Lima is full of interesting places to visit and is known as a gastronomy haven. Whether you’re passing through Lima on your way to the rest of Peru, or you’ve chosen it as your destination, you can easily enjoy a few days enjoying what Lima has to offer.
Getting Around Lima
As far as public transportation, the Metropolitano is Lima’s above ground rapid transit system. It has three lines, and its stations and buses are wheelchair accessible by ramp. During peak hours, cars and stations can get very crowded, so it can be more difficult to maneuver. Uber is also available for travelers looking to get around the city in a more direct way.
If you’re looking for private accessible transportation, Wheel the World can arrange an accessible van with a trained driver and guide. You can start planning your travel package here.
Things to Do in Wheelchair Accessible Lima
Wander the Malecon. The Malecon is a boardwalk that spans various neighborhoods in Lima. It passes through Miraflores, a popular place to stay, where many hotels and newer construction are located, offering wider pathways for getting around. It runs along the cliffs beside the ocean, where a walk or roll along the mostly flat cement path (it has some incline at different parts) lets you feel the ocean air and enjoy the sounds or views of the Pacific Ocean.
Take a city tour. Wheel the World offers a city tour of Lima in the 3 day Lima package, which includes accommodation and activities. The city tour takes you to Lima’s historic center and museums, and gives you the chance to experience various neighborhoods, including Chinatown.
Indulge in a nice meal. Lima is famous for its gastronomy. If you’ve tried Peruvian food, you may have realized that it’s a fusion of flavors from many different cultures. Japanese and Chinese influence has left a mark on Peru in the form of its cuisine. These flavors are mixed with flavors more indigenous to the region, like the 4,000 varieties of potatoes native to Peru. There are so many places to get traditional Peruvian cuisine and many highly rated restaurants in Lima. One option is the fully wheelchair accessible Central, ranked 6 out of the 50 best restaurants in the world.
Where to Stay in Accessible Lima
The Miraflores and Barrancas neighborhoods are the most popular districts for tourists to stay. Casa Andina Miraflores is a four star hotel located in the modern seaside district of Miraflores. It’s hallways and guest rooms are spacious and it offers wheelchair accessible bathrooms with roll-in showers. A travel expert at Wheel the World will happily help you find the right accommodation. Contact them here to start planning your stay in Lima.
Wheelchair accessible Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is one of the most popular destinations for travelers to visit, and for a good reason. Wheel the World co-founder Alvaro remembers his first time visiting Machu Picchu, “I felt a special energy I had never experienced before. It was enough to understand why millions of people go there every year and why it is considered one of the marvels of the world.”
Aguas Calientes is the “base” of Machu Picchu. It’s the nearest town and is the first stop before heading up the mountain to the ruins. Travelers arrive to the town of Aguas Calientes by a train that leaves from Cusco or Ollantaytambo. Wheel the World offers travel packages that combine a Machu Picchu visit with a stay and other activities around Cusco. Travelers can also book a Machu Picchu visit that starts in Cusco or directly in Aguas Calientes. You can check those options out here. All include a trained guide, adaptive equipment, and accessible transportation.
Visiting The Sacred Valley in a Wheelchair
Wheelchair accessible Peru is much more than just Lima and Machu Picchu! Urubamba, also known as the Sacred Valley of the Incas, is about 10 mi (15 km) north of Cusco. The valley made up part of the heart of the Incan empire and is dotted with beautiful traditional towns and small villages.
Pisac is a colonial town built in 1570. Its market is world famous, known for its agricultural and artisan products, and is usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Ollantaytambo is another beautiful town in the valley. It’s a colonial city built on an Incan city, its architecture full of history. Ollantaytambo has a station to board the train to Machu Picchu.
Wheel the World offers a day tour to explore the towns and villages of the Urubamba Valley, and if you’re looking for something active, you can take an adaptive bike tour of the valley or kayak on Piuray lake, 3,720 m above sea level. For more information on experiencing the Sacred Valley, you can contact a travel expert here.
Wheelchair Accessible Cusco
The Sacred Valley, Machu Picchu, and Cusco make up what once was the heart of the Incan empire. With its cobblestone streets and old colonial architecture, Cusco isn’t the most accessible destination. But with professional guides and adaptive equipment, you can experience all that Cusco has to offer.
Cusco’s architecture, history, and proximity to Machu Picchu put it on the top of many traveler’s lists. Wheel the World offers a package that allows you to experience the highlights of Cusco, the Sacred Valley, and of course, Machu Picchu in 4 days. It includes professionally trained guides, adaptive equipment, activities and accommodation. You can explore all package options or contact a travel expert to plan your perfect package here.
Wheelchair Accessible Amazon
Last on our list is the Amazon Rainforest. Peru is home to a pocket of the rainforest, but the largest protected part of the Amazon in the world. It offers an adventurous experience and the chance to observe an incredible amount of biodiversity.
Iquitos is the main jumping off point for exploring the Amazon in Peru, and wheelchair accessible options are available at the Sinichicuy Lodge in Iquitos. Contact a travel expert here to plan a wheelchair accessible stay in the Amazon Rainforest of Peru.
Often visited and recognized for its Wonder of the World, Machu Picchu, Peru is so much more than that. Travelers can enjoy a wheelchair accessible adventure in Lima, visit the heart of the Incan Empire in Cusco and the Sacred Valley, or experience the Amazon Rainforest. There are accessible options for all interests – from adventure to luxury, and it’s sure to be a trip you’ll always remember. If you want to find out more about a couple’s wheelchair accessible trip to Peru, you can check out this blog article for a look inside David and Valerie’s unforgettable trip.