Travel: Travel firm offers first ever tours of Machu Picchu for wheelchair users thanks to a 'trekking-style' mobility aid - - PressFrom - US
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TravelTravel firm offers first ever tours of Machu Picchu for wheelchair users thanks to a 'trekking-style' mobility aid

19:30  31 january  2019
19:30  31 january  2019 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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A travel firm is offering the first - ever wheelchair accessible tour of Machu Picchu . The 600-year-old Inca site in Peru had previously been off-limits to traditional wheelchair users due to its rough terrain, steps and narrow walkways. But tour operator Wheel The World, which specialises in tours for those

A travel firm is offering the first - ever wheelchair accessible tour of Machu Picchu . ECS Travel Peru has been offering Macchu Picchu trek tours since 2009. Thanks to our Inca Trail Wheelchair Users Will Soon Know the Worst Airlines for Travel . A new policy will go in effect this month requiring

A travel firm is offering the first-ever wheelchair accessible tour of Machu Picchu.

The 600-year-old site Inca site in Peru had previously been off-limits to traditional wheelchair users due to its rough terrain, steps and narrow walkways.

But tour operator Wheel The World, which specialises in tours for those with disabilities, has developed a way to visit the Unesco site by using a special foldable trekking-style wheelchair.

Travel firm offers first ever tours of Machu Picchu for wheelchair users thanks to a 'trekking-style' mobility aid© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Travel firm Wheel The World has developed the first ever wheelchair-accessible tour of Machu Picchu in Peru

The chair itself is made from steel and aluminum - the same as a bicycle - and it almost looks shaped like a wheelbarrow as it only has one wheel and two long sticks at the front.

Discover 10 secrets of Machu Picchu

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In January, the travel company Wheel the World introduced the first - ever wheelchair -accessible tour of Machu Picchu in Peru. Despite being a mega tourist attraction, Machu Picchu was essentially cut off to people living in wheelchairs until 2019.

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The chair cannot be self-propelled by the user but travel companions or guides can carry it using these sticks and a handle at the back.

It it also fitted with suspension, brakes and a harness so it can easily travel over uneven or steep ground.

The firm works with partners who store the wheelchair in Peru, so disabled holidaymakers won't have to supply their own or pay for a special chair to be shipped.

Wheel The World currently offers a four-day tour of Peru, which includes visits to Cusco and Machu Picchu and accommodation, for $1,500 (£1,142) - a similar price to able-bodied tours.

The first tour is set to take place in March and the firm has already taken many bookings.

Travel firm offers first ever tours of Machu Picchu for wheelchair users thanks to a 'trekking-style' mobility aid© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited To complete the tour, those with disabilities use a special wheelchair that almost looks like a wheelbarrow

The company was set up by friends Alvaro Silberstein and Camilo Navarro, who are both from Chile but now live in the US.

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Machu Picchu is estimated to be about 600 years old. But this popular Incan ruin in Peru has been fully wheelchair accessible for only a few months. Still, the app is far from perfect, according to John Morris, founder of WheelchairTravel.Org, citing issues like especially long wait times.

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Alvaro uses a wheelchair due to the injuries he sustained following a car accident when he was 18.

This meant that he and Camilo had to come up with special ways in which they could travel together.

They then decided to set up Wheel The World to help disabled people have the same opportunites to travel as those who are able bodied.

Alvaro told MailOnline Travel: 'We want to empower people with disabilities and make it easy for them to explore places such as Machu Picchu.

Travel firm offers first ever tours of Machu Picchu for wheelchair users thanks to a 'trekking-style' mobility aid© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Wheel The World currently offers a four-day tour of Peru, which includes visits to Cusco and Machu Picchu and accommodation, for $1,500 (£1,142)

'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.'

As well as Machu Picchu tours, Wheel the World also offers trips to Patagonia, Chile and Mexico.

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Inkaterra and AJE Group have succeeded in helping the pueblo manage 100 percent of its solid waste. “Continuing their initiatives for the conservation and environmental care of Machu Picchu, AJE Group and Inkaterra presented the first organic waste treatment plant to the city,” according to a statement issued by Inkaterra.

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