Machu Picchu is finally wheelchair-accessible, thanks to this California-based company

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wheelchair-accessible tour of Machu Pichu
Wheelchair-accessed tour of Machu Picchu. Picture from gowheeltheworld.com

Cusco (TAN): The first ever wheelchair-accessible tour has been introduced at Machu Picchu, the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Peruvian Andes.

California-based travel company Wheel the World has developed the wheelchair-accessible tour of the iconic site, that was so far unreachable to wheelchair-bound travel enthusiasts.

Wheel the World was founded by friends from Chile, Alvaro Silberstein and Camilo Navarro. Though Silberstein uses a wheelchair, the two friends devised ways to travel the world.

“Accessible does not mean inclusive. There are one billion people [in the world] with disabilities. But there’s not one main travel company dedicated to these users,” Navarro was quoted as saying to CNN Travel.

According to Navarro, their wheelchairs are “designed with only one wheel and two long sticks that make it look like a wheelbarrow. It is a mix of steel and aluminum, like a bicycle, so it’s light.”

Bringing wheelchairs to all who need them

Wheelchairs that can steer through difficult trails are quite expensive, which can deter people from opting for them. The company works with partners who can donate the wheelchairs and store them in different regions across the globe, so that travellers do not have to supply their own or incur shipping costs.

wheelchair_Machu Picchu
Fun time with alpacas. Picture from gowheeltheworld.com

Wheel the World’s website says a multi-day trip to Machu Picchu starts at USD1,490, while a single-day trip will set users back by USD990. Both packages include accommodation, transportation between sites, equipment, and meals, and exclude flights.

The only disadvantage of this wheelchair is that it needs a travel companion to navigate it through narrow or challenging terrains.

First full tours are expected to start in March this year.

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