More and more destinations are catering for wheelchair users, including the risk-takers and thrill-seekers. Here are five of the best.
Snowboarding in Whistler, Canada
Winter programmes at Whistler include skiing and snowboarding
The Whistler Adaptive Sports Program runs all year round, with winter and summer programmes for athletes and amateurs with disabilities. In the summer there is a focus on water sports with classes and training in kayaking, canoeing and rowing on the Alta Lake. Winter programmes include skiing, snowboarding and alpine racing, followed by hot chocolate or something stronger at one of the wheelchair accessible ski lodges like the Aava Hotel.
Scuba-diving in the Red Sea, Egypt
The Mövenpick Resort El Quseir in Marsa Alam
Egypt’s eastern coast has some of the most famous diving sites in the world, and a lot of them are both wheelchair accessible and run their own scuba-diving classes for wheelchair users. Mövenpick Resort El Quseir is located in the resort town of Marsa Alam and they work with a number of accessibility adventure companies. The Oonas Dive Club is slightly further north, in Sharm El Sheikh, and has an onsite diving centre that runs boat and diving tours for all guests.
White-water rafting in Utah, USA
Accessible white-water rafting on the Colorado River
The last few years have seen the Utah National Parks service working hard to make the state’s beautiful scenery accessible to everyone. Wheelchair accessible white-water rafting on the Colorado River has proven especially popular, with volunteer-run tours lasting from a few hours to five days. The visually stunning Red Cliffs Lodge is close to Westwater Canyon (where the white-water rafting takes places) and has wheelchair accessible rooms.
Trekking in the Amazon, Ecuador
The Huasquila Amazon Lodge in the Amazon
The Amazon may still be largely unexplored, but the parts we do know about include eco-lodges that have been specifically adapted for wheelchair users. At the Huasquila Amazon Lodge the walkways through the tropical rainforest had been made accessible to wheelchairs and there are specially designed, rainforest-friendly wheelchairs on offer to guests. Tours are included in the cost of the stay and the staff make sure that this tropical paradise is accessible to all guests.
Zip-lining in the New Forest, UK
Zip-lining above the Avon Tyrrell Lakes
Avon Tyrrell Outdoor Activity Centre is run by the UK Youth charity and the focus is on making all kinds of adventures possible for all kinds of people. Despite strong competition from over 40 different activities, the specially-adapted zipline is by far the most popular – allowing wheelchair users to soar across the Avon Tyrrell Lakes. Regular ‘inclusion’ weekends are also held to help children with mobility issues enjoy the New Forest.