Operators open up Machu Picchu to wheelchair users – Travel Weekly

A partnership between an accessible travel specialist and an adventure tourism operator is offering travellers with disabilities the chance to follow the Inca Trail.

Peak DMC – a B2B adventure specialist that works with firms such as Exodus – has partnered with Wheel the World, which offers accessible trips in Latin America.

They have developed a private group tour itinerary exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley, giving travellers with disabilities the chance to visit historic and cultural sites, and take part in cycling and kayaking.

It follows a pioneering trip which saw Alvaro Silberstein and Isabel Aguirre become the first quadriplegic and paraplegic respectively to cover an 11-kilometre section of the Inca Trail in wheelchairs.

The one-day trek to Machu Picchu was undertaken to promote accessible travel in the region.

Silberstein and Aguirre were part of a 14-person group on an eight-day tour of Peru, which also explored Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

The tour was designed by Peak DMC with Wheel the World, of which Silberstein is co-founder and chief executive.

Silberstein said: “Completing the one-day Inca Trail was both beautiful and hard – at many exhausted moments we wondered if we would make it but reaching the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu from on high was probably the most beautiful moment in my life.”

Gary Cohen, Peak DMC regional general manager for South America, added: “We really had to pull together as a team and dig as deep as we could to find the energy to get it done. It was totally worth it though.”

The eight-day tour included other activities such as a 10-kilometre cycling trip through the Sacred Valley; kayaking on Piuray Lake; and exploring the ruins of Sacsayhuaman.

The travellers used special adaptive equipment such as the Joëlette chair, provided by Wheel the World, which will be available for travellers on future departures.

A documentary on the trip will be released online in early 2019.

Pictured from left: Silberstein, Wheel the World; Gary Cohen, Peak DMC; and Isabel Aguirre, Wheel the World.

Source: http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/319205/operators-open-up-machu-picchu-to-wheelchair-users

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