For the first time ever, wheelchair-bound people will have the opportunity to tour Machu Picchu thanks to a travel company that is offering the first wheelchair accessible tour of the 600 year-old Inca site in Peru.
Wheel of the World is a tour company that focuses on offering tours for people with disabilities, and they have come up with a way for disabled people to visit Machu Picchu by using a special foldable trekking-style wheelchair.
Made from steel and aluminum, this special chair has a wheelbarrow shape because it only has one wheel and two long sticks at the front. While the chair cannot be self-propelled by the person in it, guides or travel companions can use sticks or a handle at the back to carry it.
In addition, the chair includes suspension, brakes and a harness so it can easily travel over uneven or steep ground.
This travel company was started by friends Camilo Navarro and Alvaro Silberstein, who has been using a wheelchair since he was in a car accident at the age of 18. This meant that the two friends had to figure out a way to travel the world together, and when they saw what few options wheelchair-bound people have when it comes to travel, they started Wheel of the World.
“We want to empower people with disabilities and make it easy for them to explore places such as Machu Picchu,” Alvaro said. “As Machu Picchu is a protected place, it isn’t as simple as just doing work to make it accessible like putting down ramps. I visted Machu Picchu when I was 16 before my accident and I knew I wanted to come back. But I didn’t think I would be able to so that’s why we wanted to develop this tour to Machu Picchu.”
Find out more about these tours in the video below!