Traveling with a disability
Traveling with a disability can present some unique challenges. This is particularly true when looking for a resort or beach town that is wheelchair, scooter or walker accessible. To make planning your trip a little bit easier, we’ve researched resorts (and services) that accommodate everyone comfortably.
Although Mexico is not known to be particularly accessible for those with limited mobility, there are resorts (and beaches) that are wheelchair-friendly.
- The Royal Playa Del Carmen: Provides wheelchair accessible rooms and public areas which are wheelchair accessible.
- The Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso: Wheelchair accessible rooms and public areas are available throughout the resort. The beach outside the resort has a boardwalk the entire length of it so it is accessible for those with limited mobility.
- Barcelo Maya Caribe: This resort is completely wheelchair accessible, minus the spa area.
- The Secrets Maroma Beach hotel and Secrets Akumal (adults-only options): AMResorts (which Secrets are a part of) comply with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). This means they are wheelchair-friendly.
Note: Playa Del Carmen has two public beaches with access for handicapped individuals. Be sure to check out the one at the south end of town near the Cozumel Ferry Pier. It has a boardwalk to the beach and beach wheelchairs available. To plan a tour that is disability-friendly, or to rent medical equipment in Cancun, check out Cancun Accessible services.
Barbados has built itself a reputation for accessibility, in part due to the Fully Accessible Barbados (FAB) initiative. This island-wide action plan was enacted to make the Caribbean country more accessible for those with a range of disabilities. The FAB website provides a list of restaurant, places and hotels that are disability-friendly. They also rent out beach wheelchairs.
- Hilton Barbados: Fully accessible for those with mobility issues and also suitable for blind or deaf/hearing impaired.
- Radisson Barbados: Fully accessible for those with mobility issues and also suitable for blind or deaf/hearing impaired.
Although not historically disability-friendly, Aruba is making rapid advancements to become so.
- Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino: This resort has one specialty room and the resort is wheelchair accessible.
- Radisson Aruba resort: The Radisson has an impressive six rooms on the ground floor with bath rails and wheelchair accessible doorways. Two of these rooms also have roll-in showers.
Note: Adapted Happy Wheels is an Aruba-based company that rents beach wheelchairs which can maneuver through sand and float in a pool or the ocean.
Wheelchair-friendly transport is available but beware of Jamaica’s hills and uneven terrain.
- Iberostar Rose Hall
- Sandals Negril: Has Wheelchair-friendly rooms and can provide beach wheelchairs.
- Sandals Montego Bay: Beach is wheelchair accessible. No wheelchair-specific rooms but doors are wide enough and can provide a bench in the bathroom.
U.S. Territories + Hawaii
Hawaii and the United States territories (such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are great options for travelers with mobility restrictions. Their affiliation with the U.S. means that hotels on these islands must comply with the ADA and provide handicapped-accessible amenities up to the same standards as the U.S. This also applies to public places and attractions.
Note: The Sea Without Barriers at Luquillo Beach, Puerto Rico is an ADA-compliant facility that allows those with mobility issues to enjoy basking in the water. Wheelchair users have the option to take a paved path to a partially submerged platform, where they can relax in the warm water. There are also wheelchairs for rent that are designed to enter the water, as well as accessible bathrooms, showers, and other facilities.
Traveling with a wheelchair has become easier than ever before and many resorts pride themselves on being accessible. This list is by no means exhaustive and should you require more information on wheelchair-friendly hotels and destinations please contact us here.