Wheelchair users don’t have an easy time in Brazil, but in the large cities there is a concerted effort to keep people mobile. Problems you’ll encounter include immensely crowded public buses, and restaurants with entrance steps. It pays to plan your trip through contact with some of the relevant organizations.

Rio is probably the most accessible city in Brazil for travelers with disabilities to get around in, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. The metro system has electronic wheelchair lifts, but these aren’t always operational. The streets and sidewalks along the main beaches have curb cuts and are wheelchair accessible, but most other areas do not have cuts. Many restaurants also have entrance steps. For transport around Rio, contact Especial Coop Taxi. In São Paulo, contact the the government's Central de Atendimento do Táxi Acessível (11 3740-5544).

Most newer hotels have wheelchair-accessible rooms, and some cable TV is closed captioned.

Useful Organizations

Turismo Adaptado (www.turismoadaptado.com.br) São Paulo–based travel agent specializing in accessible tours and itineraries.

Centro de Vida Independente Can provide advice for those with disabilities about travel in Brazil.

Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality Resource for travelers with disabilities. Another website to check out is www.access-able.com.