Access for Travelers with Disabilities
- The Best of Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Top Spots for WIldlife
- Costa Rica’s Most Beautiful Beaches
- Costa Rica’s Best Beaches for Wildlife
- Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
- Costa Rica’s Unique Retreats & Resorts
- Surf’s Up in Costa Rica
- Off-The-Beaten-Path Eco-Adventures
- Costa Rica Family-Friendly Adventures
- Adrenaline Rush
Few allowances have been made in infrastructure for travelers with disabilities, although wheelchair ramps are now appearing on sidewalks, and an increasing number of hotels are provisioning rooms and facilities for the physically challenged.
In the United States, the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (347 5th Ave. #610, New York, NY 10016, tel. 212/447-7284, www.sath.org) and the American Foundation for the Blind (2 Penn Plaza No. 1102, New York, NY 10121, tel. 212/502-7600 or 800/232-5463, www.afb.org) are good resources.
Flying Wheels Travel (143 W. Bridge St., Owatanna, MN 55060, tel. 507/451-5005 or 877/451-5006, www.flyingwheelstravel.com) is a travel agency for individuals with physical disabilities.
In Costa Rica, Vaya con Silla de Ruedas (Go with Wheelchairs; tel./fax 506/2452-2810, www.gowithwheelchairs.com) is a specialized transport service for individuals with disabilities. It operates a specially outfitted vehicle with three wheelchair stations, has 24-hour service, and offers overnight and multiday tours.
Travelers with disabilities can learn to surf at Shaka Beach Retreat (tel. 506/2640-1118, www.shakacostarica.com), at Playa Hermosa, just north of Malpaís in southwest Nicoya. Shaka’s staff is trained to work with individuals with a range of challenges, from autism and amputations to muscular dystrophy and spina bifida. Surf camps are offered free of charge to selected nonprofit organizations, such as Challenged Athletes Foundation (www.challengedathletes.org), Wheels for Humanity (www.ucpwfh.org), and the Association of Amputee Surfers (www.ampsurf.org).
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition