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No Barriers for Wheelchairs on the Inca Trail 

Peru’s Sacred Valley opens up to travelers with disabilities

Thanks to a partnership between Wheel the World and PEAK DMC, Álvaro Silberstein, 33, and Isabel Aguirre, 36, both from Chile, have become the first quadriplegic and paraplegic individuals to traverse an 11-kilometre section of the Inca Trail in wheelchairs.

The one-day trek to Machu Picchu was undertaken to promote accessible travel in the region, with Silberstein and Aguirre part of a 14-person group participating on an eight-day tour of Peru, which also explored Cusco and the Sacred Valley.

The tour was designed by leading global experiential travel operator PEAK DMC in collaboration with accessible travel company Wheel the World, of which Silberstein is co-founder and CEO.

Challenging moments

“Completing the one-day Inca Trail was both beautiful and hard – at many exhausted moments we wondered if we would make it but reaching the Sun Gate and seeing Machu Picchu from up high was probably the most beautiful moment in my life,” says Silberstein.

“One such exhausting moment was climbing the 320 near-vertical steps near the Wiñay Wayna ruins, which at 2650 metres altitude, is a formidable challenge for even the fittest hikers,” says Gary Cohen, PEAK DMC Regional General Manager for South America.

“The climb was undoubtedly the toughest moment of the trek. We really had to pull together as a team and dig as deep as we could to find the energy to get it done. It was totally worth it though, as once we passed this section we knew we were truly going to make it to Machu Picchu.”

More than just climbing

The eight-day tour also included other activities such as a 10 km cycling trip through the beautiful Sacred Valley, kayaking on the tranquil waters of Piuray Lake and an excursion exploring the ruins of Sacsayhuaman. All active experiences were made possible with special adaptive equipment such as the Joëlette chair, provided by Wheel the World, which will be made available for travelers on future departures.

Alvaro and Isabel have turned their tragedies into incredible triumphs, inspiring everyone they meet. Adventure is for everyone and they are breaking down the barriers to prove it.

For others to be challenged

Following this initial trip, PEAK DMC and Wheel the World have developed a private group tour itinerary exploring Cusco and the Sacred Valley, giving travelers with accessibility requirements the chance to visit historic and cultural sites, and take part in cycling and kayaking.

Find out more at gowheeltheworld.com.

Source: Adventure Travel News

 

 

   

 

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