Disabled Friendly Brazil: Top 5 Accessible Activities in RioBy Marianne Lampon -
With the Paralympic Games just around the corner, we take a look at the Top 5 accessible things to do in Rio de Janeiro.
1. Christ the Redeemer statue
Arguably the most iconic image of Rio and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the 30 metre tall Christ the Redeemer statue is located at the top of Corcovado mountain.
To get to this point on the mountain there is a cog railway. From there, the platform is accessible through escalators and elevators. If assistance is at hand, these features mean that the statue should be accessible for those with mobility requirements.
2. Sugarloaf Mountain
Sugarloaf Mountain is a 396 metre high peak at the mouth of Guanabara Bay which gives a bird’s eye view of Rio, Guanabara Bay, the city of Niteroi and the Atlantic Ocean. Be sure to go up in time to watch the sunset for some truly breath-taking views.
To reach the peak, visitors take two cable cars – an incredible experience in itself! Accessible lifts and ramps mean that wheelchair users can access all parts of the Sugarloaf experience, from arrival at the cable car station and the ticket booths to the cable cars themselves. There are also fully accessible toilets.
3. The Maracanã Football Stadium
Seating over 78,000 people, Maracanã Football Stadium is recognised as one of the world’s most impressive sporting venues and is an attraction not to be missed when visiting the city.
There is level access to most areas, large accessible and companion seating, the occasional Braille signage and spacious lifts. Accessible toilets are indicated throughout. Also, what’s great is that Maracanã metro station is located right by the stadium and is fully accessible.
4. Copacabana Beach
Located in the South Zone of the city and stretching 4.5 kilometres, Copacabana Beach is one of the most famous in the world. With endless volleyball games, music events and New Year’s Eve celebrations it’s a forever bustling hub. The beach also features an impressive mosaic wave-patterned promenade.
Signs on the beach and promenade are in both English and Portuguese and there is some accessible parking for those with disabilities. Although accessible toilets are relatively difficult to find, some local hotels will allow those with disabilities to use their facilities.
5. Nightlife in Lapa
The beautiful 64 metre high aqueduct, Arcos da Lapa, forms an entrance to Rio’s most energetic nightlife. The streets are lined with bars, samba beats pulse through the buildings and dancing happens all around. A great end to a wonderful day exploring all that Rio has to offer. Be sure to take care late at night and take a taxi.