Ecuadorians are a mix of native and Spanish people, which they call themselves “mestizo.” The mestizo are a kind and happy people. Since 1998, the Vice President has been a person with a physical disability and because of this, he has done so much work toward the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in society.
Different programs have been implemented toward the inclusion of people with disabilities, but the biggest improvement has been the shift in the attitude toward and treatment of people with disabilities. Ecuador is working towards accessibility, but of course, the country is not 100% accessible, therefore wheelchair travelers need to be willing to rough it up a little in exchange for a memorable adventure.
Ecuador for All offers two different touring options for the wheelchair traveler to either the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon or the Highlands of Ecuador and the Amazon. Tours are all-inclusive: private adapted transportation, bilingual guide, friendly accessible accommodation, tours, and attractions. Tours range from 11 to 13 days and the price starts at $2500 per person. Longer, 18 to 21-day tours are available upon request which will include a visit to the coastline. Tours are all-inclusive: private adapted transportation, bilingual guide, friendly accessible accommodation, and of course memorable tours and attractions. Ecuador for All is very sensitive to the needs of wheelchair travelers and is committed to providing the best effort to make sure everyone has a good experience on the tour. Receive a 10% discount on your tour.
Tours with Ecuador for All combine adventure, culture, leisure, and nature. To make it all happen, off-road wheelchairs, beach wheelchairs, and other adaptive equipment are used to make sure clients can access the attractions. The goal is to not stay in your accessible hotel room but to experience Ecuador in a safe and fun way. With Ecuador for All, you can visit the indigenous communities of the Amazon, take a boat ride on the Amazon River, and hike in the rainforest using off-road wheelchairs. In the Highlands, you take a cable cart ride and visit arts and crafts markets, colonial Quito as well as lakes in the Andes Mountains with breathtaking views. You can also discover the evolutionary wonders of nature of the Galapagos Islands and see sea lions, marine iguanas, marine tortoises, rays, blue-footed boobies, masks, and if lucky, penguins, flamingos, and more. The Galapagos tour is a lot of work using off-road wheelchairs handled by 1 or 2 aids and many manual transfers into boats and kayaks.
Ecuador is a very small country (similar size to the state of Colorado), however, due to the presence of the Andes Mountains, there are vast regions where climate, culture, and meals are all unique. Near the coast, a lot of seafood is served like shrimp and ceviche (cold seafood soup). Dishes in the highlands are more about potatoes and pork, like frittatas made of dry fried pork, avocado, and potato. Now the Amazon is all about freshwater fish and Yuca (maniok). In each region, you will have more than 10 typical things to try and of course, each one is delicious in its own way. Public toilets are available at gas stations. Each one has at least one accessible bathroom and Ecuador for All programs the tour in a way that we have access to gas stations every 20 to 30 minutes. The restaurants selected by Ecuador for All also have accessible toilets.
For groups, Ecuador for All uses a wheelchair accessible van with an electric lift. Individuals and couples are welcome to use a small SUV that requires a manual transfer into the front see or the use of the fully accessible van with a lift if needed. 14 to 16 people will fit in the van with the lift if everyone is able to transfer to a regular seat. Otherwise, if unable to transfer then four people in wheelchairs can be accommodated in a van with the lift. Ecuador for All provides transportation to and from the airport with the cost of the tour.
Accessible accommodations vary depending on what region is visited. For instance, in the Amazon, there are 7 fully accessible huts with roll-in showers and sliding doors at the Huasquila Amazon Lodge. A few hotel options exist while touring the Galapagos Islands but this will depend on what region is explored. For instance, if in San Cristobal then guests stay at the Blue Marlin which has 7 accessible rooms with double beds and a bathtub with a hand-held shower nozzle and bench. The Mainao in Santa Cruz has only one accessible room which has a roll-in shower. The Red Mangrove is the pricey option with 8 double accessible rooms with a 15cm step around the roll-in shower. Maritas with 4 double accessible rooms has the same style shower setup as Mangrove but is less expensive which means rooms get booked well in advance. Two accessible hotels can be found in the highlands, depending on the region explored. If in Baños Agua Santa (South Highlands) the Hotel Floresta is used which has 5 accessible rooms with roll-in showers or there is an accessible hostel with a great view that is an option too. In Otavalo (North Highlands) guests stay at the Cabañas del Lago where there are 8 rooms for the disabled, all with a bathtub setup.