Health & Safefy » Traveling with Disabilities
Mexico is making access for people with disabilities more easier. It is moving at a slow rate but you can see some progress toward it. Within the hotel zone the side walks are being replaced with smooth ones that where before they where broken up with out ramps. In tourist towns such as Cancun I have seen the most progress. There is more accessibility to hotels, restaurants and malls.
The Cancun Airport has under a major renovation towards disabilities with larger bathrooms, more elevators, ramps to get off the planes and attendants ready to help. There are also taxi companies getting involved in a movement to getting transportation vans with lifts and with in the next year should have them. However there are taxis that are ready to help with transferring people to their hotels if needed or you can rent a car from the airport to accompany your needs.
Hotel Zone and Downtown
The hotel zone is in much better condition that downtown is at this time. Within the hotel most areas have newer side walks not all have ramps though. The easiest place to get around for doing some shopping and touring is the area by the Forum by the Sea. There is plenty of shopping, restaurants and entertainment in this area. Coral Negro is a flea market that sits in-between two roads running north and south this is a good place to do some shopping, it also has walkways and lights to cross. Let me remind you to always be careful when crossing at the walkways, buses and cars take off like a bat out of Hades and stop like it too. Make sure you have help when crossing.
Plaza La Isla and Plaza Las Americanas are nice malls for shopping with level walkways and ramps. Plaza Las Americana has elevators too. When dining at a restaurant tell them that you are handicap and you would like to be placed by an exit or a place that has room so you can get up and down or perhaps by a bathroom. Some restaurants have large colonial style patios which are hard to get around. So taking a quick peak inside to see if it will accommodate you is a good idea, just explain the situation to the host and most will be more than happy if you look around.
When visiting downtown remember that there is hardly any parking for handicapped people nor areas that are wide enough to get in and out your cars. It may be easier to get an taxi and have them take you to the entrances. Sidewalks and walkways downtown are broken up and very badly maintained. Where you see new side walks coming in the other half is still being worked on so parts may be new while the other part may not be and you may have trouble getting on and off the sidewalks. They very uneven and can cause you to twist your ankle. Take care when walking or getting around downtown. Once inside most places it is easy to get around but finding a bathroom anywhere is very hard so it would be wise to take care of your business before you leave your hotel.
Some of the ruins such as Chichen Izta have long walkways and it is fairly easy to get around there also visiting Coba is a good place to handicap accessibility, it is also a good place for bird watching.
Hotels that are Handicap Accessible
A lot of the hotels have handicap accessible ramps and walkways however, they are few and far in-between. Hotels make it somewhat easy to get in but once your inside the hotel you have to walk out of the way to get to them. Newer hotels seem to be better. The other thing is there is no ramps going down to the beach in most. You would have to go to a public area to get access to the beach most likely.
Hotels that seem pretty good as to accommodate the handicap are The Grand Oasis. At the Grand Oasis there is a lot of walking but it is all flat with wide walk ways. The big pyramid in the Middle can house the handicap because it has elevators and ramps all inside. Along with long decks that go out to the pool area. The pool area had slopped incline so you can wheel your chair right up to it and sit down in the water. Also the Grand Oasis has a ramp that goes right down to the beach. Do not stay at this hotel during spring break because a lot of spring breakers like to stay here otherwise it is pretty good the rest of the year especially Oct-Dec.
Caribbean Village is handicap within the hotel and pool area but not down to the beach. Easy to get around with ramps and elevators.
Palace Resorts have wide walkways and elevators that are convectively located around the hotel along with ramps out to the pool area but not down to the beach but there is a public access area next to the hotel to the beach by the Cancun Palace.
Other hotels that are nice for the handicap. Let me remind you some of these hotels are good about having ramps and accessibility but may be out of the way and only confined to within the hotel lobby and pool area.
* Fiesta America Resorts
* Hyatt Regency
* Marriott Resorts
* Palace Resorts
* Bahia Principle
* Iberostar Resorts
* RIU Resorts
* Occidental Resorts
There is one hotel I highly recommend: Paradisus, located on the Riviera Maya this hotel had large walkways, paths, bathrooms, handrails, chairs, towels. They specialize in accommodating in the comfort and accessibility of the handicap and larger person. If I was go to anywhere and stay and I was handicap or a large person, this is where I would stay above all other places.
Yucatac Divers had a program especially for the handicap and arrange accommodations at the Casa Tucan hotel.
Article provided by Sheri C. - Gracias!