Ziplining to Hot-Air Balloon Rides: Top 5 Wheelchair-friendly Adventures Around the World

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Here are five adrenaline-pumping wheelchair-friendly adventures

In one of our previous blogs, we’ve introduced Adaptive Adventures as one of the greatest organizations in Chicago to offer adventure and sporting opportunities for people with physical disabilities. While those who are living in Chicago enjoy the progressive outdoor sports activities that are specialized just for them, millions of wheelchair-bound Americans find it a difficult challenge to find these activities.

However, today, we’re stepping the game a little bit and showcase other accessible thrills all over the world.

From riding a camel in the Sahara to soaring high in a hot-air balloon. Here are a few of our favorite adrenaline-pumping wheelchair-friendly adventures!

Sailing (Wisconsin, USA)

Around 50 miles north of Milwaukee, one can enjoy adaptive sailing in the city of Sheboygan. A nonprofit sailing program called the Sailing Education Association of Sheboygan (SEAS) offers its custom-designed Sonar boats to interested wheelchair users. For sailors with limited upper body control, bite switches are available for hands-free steering. Ride against the wind and experience the beauty of Lake Michigan at its finest!

Oh, and make sure to try the city’s grilled brat piled high with sauerkraut and Bavarian mustard while there!

Water Skiing (Tennessee, USA)

Want some more water adventure? You got it! Feel the brisk water of the Tennessee River splashing in your face via adaptive water skiing. Brought to you by the Sports, Arts, and Recreation of Chattanooga (SPARC), this thrilling ride is open for all! Moreover, adventurers with limited mobility venture down the river with the support of seated skis. 

Pro tip! Since adaptive water skiing is still on its blooming stage, availability is sometimes limited. So make sure to check the calendars for events then buckle in tight and hold on for a wild ride!

Camel-Riding (Merzouga, Morocco)

The 9-hour drive to Merzouga may sound excruciating, but the fun that awaits is definitely worth it! The Morocco Accessible Travel Consultants offers travelers with an adaptive camel saddle to ride on while trekking through the Erg Chebbi sand dunesthe largest in Morocco. Most importantly, the saddle comes with a backrest and headrest to provide comfortable support so you don’t have to worry about feeling uneasy while traveling.

While riding, you can spot regional birds including Kittllitz’s plovers, ruddy shelducks, and Egyptian nightjars year-round. But if pink flamingos are your thing, then definitely check the sand dunes during Spring!

Hot-Air Balloon Ride (Catalonia, Spain)

Catalonia’s Garrotxa Volcanic Zone Natural Park meets visitors with its lush greenery, Roman-era landmarks, and accessible hiking trails. You can access this breath-taking site for only a 2-hour drive from Barcelona. Furthermore, the Vol de Coloms organization brings wheelchair users closer to the clouds with remote-controlled seats for the best experience. Fly over dormant volcanoes and see as far as the Mediterranean Sea and Pyrenees Mountains while riding on the hot-air balloons!

Ziplining (Costa Rica)

An outdoor activity once thought to be impossible for wheelchair users is now accessible thanks to the Il Viaggio Travel! Zipline through the air in one of Costa Rica’s most spectacular sights by soaring over Arenal Volcano National Park. Experts will help seat visitors in an upright sling before zipping them down seven adrenaline-pumping lines. Travelers feel as if they are flying while catching glimpses of the forest below and the smoke clouding the volcano’s rim.

If zipping through the wind isn’t your thing, then you can venture through the rainforests! Several paths are accessible-friendly and offer glimpses of frogs, birds, and bats.

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