Veracruz, Mexico

Veracruz, Mexico
Photo by: Ariel Ruiz

Howdy, all! I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about Mexico through the Disabled Travelers blog, so I thought we’d take a trip south of the border today and look at the best in disabled travel in Mexico. Wheelchair travel can be a bit difficult in rural Mexico, especially when you consider that some of the biggest tourist draws are the ancient ruins of pre-Columbian civilizations dating back thousands of years! However, handicapped travelers can still make the best of great opportunities to enjoy the landscape and culture of the region, which has influenced the U.S. so much.

A good selection of airlines service destinations throughout Mexico. Unfortunately, information on accessibility can be hard to come by, and accommodations might be less than satisfactory in some cases. Here’s a quick selection of handicapped travel pages from Mexican airlines: Mexicana Airlines offers assistance for mobility impaired passengers and the blind and deaf; AeroMexico seems to be a bit more proactive; Volaris also has a range of good information; for the time being, I’d advise against VivaAerobus due to its dearth of information on disabled travelers and the recent troubles it’s suffered, resulting in cutbacks in routes originating in the States. Unfortunately, most Mexican airlines do not seem to offer fare discounts if a caretaker must travel with you, so be aware of this.

A good place to get started is Mexico City, the capital. One of our favorite tour operators around here is Accessible Journeys, which offers wheelchair accessible trips around Mexico with itineraries including Mexico City, the Shrine of Guadalupe, La Marquesa National Park, and more. TravelMuse has a database of accessible hotels, many of which have fairly reasonable nightly rates. All About Mexico City provides a good guide for Mexico City, and maintains companion sites for several other Mexican destinations.

Beyond Mexico City, much of the rural countryside presents a whole different challenge – as far as accommodations go, I would recommend focusing on bed-and-breakfast establishments where the owners can offer you top-quality insider information on accessibility in and around their area. Some great Internet resources for this include, MexOnline, and Pamela Lanier’s Bed and Breakfast Inns. MedToGo has a good overview of disabled travel in Mexico with further handicapped travel resources.

One area of Mexico that boasts greater attentiveness to mobility impaired access is Baja California, which refers to the two Mexican states just south of California. Because these have long been major holiday destinations for U.S. tourists, they are generally better equipped to handle the needs of visitors with a wide range of abilities than some areas further out. Disaboom, a great resources for news, travel, and information in the disabled community, has a helpful piece about Casa Calera in Baja; Oasis Hotel also claims a high level of wheelchair access.

It would be irresponsible not to mention that if your travel plans include Mexico in the near future, you should be aware of swine flu and related health hazards ongoing in certain parts of the country. To effectively track swine flu, use the World Health Organization’s Disease Outbreak News, the Centers For Disease Control’s Travel Notices, and HealthMap, a news aggregator that offers an interactive map of recent outbreaks. Also be aware of possible travel warnings and travel alerts from the State Department.

Future posts on Mexico will continue exploring the land, including accessible hotels, tour operators, and wheelchair accessible attractions throughout the rest of this beautiful country. From there, we’ll tackle Central and South America as the blogging continues. So keep your eyes peeled, and the wheels turning – adventure on!


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