Travellers with Disabilities

Unfortunately, Ecuador’s infrastructure for disabled travelers is limited, although having a president in a wheelchair has helped raise awareness of the issue nationwide. Lenin Moreno, who was made paraplegic by armed robbers in 1998, spent much of his public-service life before becoming president working on this issue.

That being said, wheelchair ramps are few and far between, and sidewalks are often badly potholed and cracked. Bathrooms and toilets are often too small for wheelchairs. Signs in braille or telephones for the hearing impaired are practically unheard of.

Nevertheless, Ecuadorians with disabilities get around, mainly through the help of others. It’s not particularly unusual to see travelers with disabilities being carried onto a bus, for example. Buses are (legally) supposed to carry travelers with disabilities for free. Local city buses, which are already overcrowded, won’t do that, but long-distance buses sometimes do. Travelers with disabilities are also eligible for 50% discounts on domestic airfares.

When it comes to hotels, the only truly accessible rooms are found at the international chain hotels in Quito and Guayaquil.

Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.