“Thank you, Kathleen, for all your informative emails. I enjoy reading every one of them. My husband and I are seriously thinking of moving to Ecuador or somewhere down there to spend the rest of our lives in paradise. I am 83 and healthy as a horse, but my husband is 92, uses a walker to walk not more than a city block, and my question is: Can you recommend a visit to Ecuador with a tour guide that is helping wheelchair bound visitors? It can’t possibly be in a town covered with cobblestones, but we like the beach areas and a little outside of the main cities.
“Thanks again for all your messages. We are especially grateful for the pros and the cons of every situation.”
–Sonja J., United States
Latin America Correspondent Lee Harrison responds:
First, I have to say that I admire your sense of adventure and willingness to step outside the normal bounds.
As you probably know, Ecuador is not up to First World standards with respect to handicapped access. I’ve had friends in wheelchairs who have traveled and lived there, but you’ll find many more challenges than in the United States, including access to public buildings. This is true throughout much of Latin America.
That said, the first place in Ecuador that came to mind when I saw your e-mail was Salinas. If you could find an easy-access property, you could live at or near the beach, enjoying the ocean, cafes, restaurants, etc. I know that my friend Mike Sager (of Ecuador properties) has a first-floor unit for sale in Salinas, for example, for US$80,000. This unit has a view of the beach and the yacht harbor. Mike may also be able to suggest someone who could take you on a tour of the area. If not, try Nuevo Mundo Expeditions; they’re fairly expensive, relatively speaking, but they’re reliable. You can read more about their services here.
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