Landscape

Landscape

sunset on the beach

sunset on the beach

Hillside panorama

Hillside panorama

Curacao beach

Curacao beach

Curacao: an accessible destination?

2017-09-19 by Andrew de Haan

It is not difficult to find information on the Dutch Carribean island of Curacao. With the help of a search engine, it is possible to find an endless amount of information. But the same cannot be said about the accessibility of the destinations, attractions, and accommodations. This blog post will help you gather the needed information before booking a vacation to the island.

Accommodations

It is important to know which accommodation is suited for your needs. On Curacao, there are a lot of possibilities. You can book a room in a big American hotel or use Airbnb to rent a countryside house.These accommodations have various degrees of accessibility. Some are completely inaccessible while others are specially built for a wheelchair user.The Dolphin Suites (http://www.dolphinsuites-curacao.com people with accessibility needs including users of different type wheelchairs. All rooms have wheelchair approachable bathrooms, custom-made beds, and nicely decorated. On top of that, the guests get free access to the wheelchair accessible beach next to the hotel. The suites are also proud sponsors of the Curacao Dolphin Therapy Center.

Transportation

Another important thing to know about Curacao is the lack of transportation options. Public transport cannot be compared to the Netherlands or any other country in Europe. Buses are not wheelchair accessible and they don't follow any time schedule.Most bus stops are not wheelchair friendly. It so bad that some stops don’t even have seats or shade from the sun.

The taxi companies are no exception. Almost all taxi companies use vehicles which are outdated and not wheelchair accessible. So it is of utmost importance to make arrangements before boarding the flight. Joseph cares (https://www.josephcares.com/) is one of the companies that offer wheelchair friendly transportation from the airport to various accommodations. You can also use the company for transportation to the various beaches and attractions. Last but not least, the company also offers tours specially catered to the wishes and needs of the customer.

Beaches

Curacao is known for its beaches. You can find more than 40 beaches throughout the island. But figuring out which one is accessible for guests with mobility issues is not an easy task. The Curacao tourism board website does not provide the necessary information and looking for reviews on TripAdvisor is very time-consuming. The beaches on Curacao are located in various inlets throughout the island. Some of these inlets are not wheelchair accessible, so it would be very difficult to reach the beach. On top of that, there is no walkway over the beach or wheelchair slope to the beach. The Janthiel Beach (http://www.janthielbeach.com/nl/home/) is one of the handful beaches which have the needed elements for a stay at the beach. There are wheelchair slopes to the beach, hardened walkways on the beach, and wheelchair accessible baths. As mentioned before, the beach next to the Dolphin Suites is also wheelchair friendly. The name of the beach is Sea-aquarium beach. On top of that, you can also find a handful of wheelchair friendly beaches on the east side of the island. Last but not least, It is very important to remember that it is not easy to find and rent a beach wheelchair. This is only possible at the Dolphin Suites.

Attractions

Curacao also has various attractions which can be interesting for you. The biggest attraction is the historical city center. This UNESCO site (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/819) features many historical buildings built in the 16th, 17th and 18th Century divided into various districts. These districts are Punda, Otrobanda, Scharloo, and Pietermaai. The infrastructure of the City Center was recently renovated. This renovation made sidewalks wider and more wheelchair friendly. Various building entrances were also redesigned to be more wheelchair accessible. The only exception are the various historical buildings renovated in the 1990's. These buildings did not incorporate wheelchair access when being renovated. There is also a recently built mall with numerous shops and restaurants. All the shops are accessible and wheelchair friendly (http://www.shoprenaissancecuracao.com/)

The island also offers many natural attractions. While the main activities are not always wheelchair accessible, there are alternatives offerings available. The Christoffelpark the biggest natural reserve on the island( http://www.christoffelpark.org/). Visitors usually come here to climb the highest peak of the island. The park also has trails specially designed for cars. Thereby people with mobility issues can also enjoy the vast views and green scenery. The same can also be said for the Shete Boka park( http://www.shetebokapark.org/). This park offers breathtaking views of the rough north side of the island. The park owners also created various routes especially designed for cars.

Final views

Like many other islands in the Carribean, Curacao is not a perfect destination in regards to accessibility. While certain improvements have been made in the last year, there is still a lot to be done. That is why it is important to make certain preparations before visiting the Island. You must also accept the possibility that not all beaches and attractions are fully accessible. To take full advantage of the island, it is advised to book customized tours with Joseph cares. Last but not least, it is possible to also book your holiday to Curacao or Bonaire with Accessible Travel Netherlands.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Andrew de Haan

Andrew is a graduate student from Inholland University and is responsible for marketing.
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