The 160-page book contains a lot of the same general information as the larger Lonely Planet Rio de Janeiro guide, that was also released this year. Additionally, It’s clearly noted in the book that not all the places contained in the accessible edition were reviewed for access; and it further states that if a site does not have any access information, then it wasn’t visited by the access researcher. Good to know.
The Explore Rio de Janeiro section breaks the city down by neighborhoods and lists information about the sights, eating, drinking & nightlife, entertainment and shopping in each section. The general blurb from the larger guidebook is included, with some access information included at the end. So, if you want a quick run-down on what’s accessible, then start from the end of each review. Some entries have more detailed access information than others, but this section will clearly give you a good idea of places that have a modicum of access, as well as those that you should avoid at all costs.
Even though I keep up with access news from around the world – after all, that’s my job – I learned a thing or two from the book. For example, although I was aware that Especial Coop Taxi has ramped vehicles, I wasn’t aware that the size of their accessible fleet has increased to 50 taxis. That’s pretty impressive!
The most helpful section in the book – at least as far as access is concerned – is the Sleeping section, which lists 10 of Rio’s most accessible hotels. As with the attractions and restaurants, the general description from the other guide is followed by access information. Personally I would like to have seen more specific access details – such as the location of the accessible entrances – but I also realize that space was a consideration. Additionally, it would have been nice to have photos of the accessible rooms, and at least one detailed description of an accessible room (with a room number) from each property, so readers could get a better handle on the access features.
The guide concludes with a meaty A to Z section which covers everything from electricity and currency, to internet access, and even information for gay and lesbian travelers. This section includes a lot of basic information and often-overlooked details that travelers need to know, written by someone who has traveled extensively in the city; and quite frankly, that’s really what Lonely Planet does best.
One of the great things about this e-book is that it’s free. You can download your copy at http://shop.lonelyplanet.com/brazil/accessible-rio-1/.
Accessible Rio de Janeiro is definitely a good place to start, but you’ll have to contact the suppliers directly for more detailed access information. And if you do that, be sure and ask for photographs of the accessible features. Photos are so easy to send these days, and a picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when there may be a language barrier.