Costa Rica develops a project to make its beaches accessible for all
27 Jan 2021

Costa Rica develops a project to make its beaches accessible for all.

After several years of work, the Red Costarricense de Turismo Accesible (Costa Rican Network of Accessible Tourism) was able to implement its project of accessible beaches. This will allow people with disabilities to enjoy the sun, beach and sand.

According to the World Bank, around 15% of the world's population has some type of disability. Moreover, it is estimated that in Costa Rica 18.2% of its population belongs to this group. Undoubtedly, it represents a segment of the population that has needs that have yet to be met.

This is why the Asociación Red Costarricense de Turismo Accesible identified the need to provide the country's beaches with infrastructure that allows people with disabilities to enjoy the sun, sea and sand on equal terms with the rest of the population.

This idea was born in 2017 and it was in 2019 that it found funding when it was chosen among a select group of projects supported by focused on non-profit initiatives that promoted sustainable tourism.

The Accessible Beaches project gradually took shape between 2019 and 2020, however Covid-19 impacted its implementation. In spite of this, in January 2021 the project became a reality thanks to the support of the Municipality of Carrillo, the Instituto Costarricense de Turismo and the Costa Rican private sector.

Image: Diario La Nación (Costa Rica)

The Accessible Beaches consider multiple aspects, for example:

  • Parking for people with disabilities.
  • Accessible path between the parking lot and the trailer. It also includes a retractable walkway that takes people to the seashore.
  • Amphibious chair and flotation arches, allowing people to safely enjoy the sea and the beach.
  • Transfer crane on the trailer that takes people from their wheelchair to the amphibious chair. The crane also allows safe use of the toilet, bathing chair and bathing bed.
  • Bathrooms and changing rooms adapted according to universal accessibility laws so that everyone can shower, change and use the bathroom safely, comfortably and with dignity.
  • Accessible and trained value chain.
  • Visible signage with pictograms and easily interpreted.
  • All the design is in high-impact colors, keeping the visually impaired in mind.


The Accessible Beaches complex will rotate every 6 months to different beaches in Costa Rica. It should be noted that people with disabilities and their assistants will be able to use the complex free of charge. In each beach where the complex is installed, the Red Costarricense de Turismo Accesible will train the different tourism actors present. This will leave a lasting contribution to the tourism system of each destination in social and environmental matters.