Wednesday, April 21, 2021

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC IN A WHEELCHAIR: Riu Palace Punta Cana and Area Access Features

(Please read our Covid 19 Statement first - Ed)  Here's how we found access in the Dominican Republic in 2011...

ON ARRIVAL: Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) does not have jetways. All passengers board and deplane via stairs. Four men carried Tim down the stairs (and back up when we left) in the plane aisle chair.  An airport chair awaited us at the bottom.

Wheelchair users are escorted though the entire arrival process, including through immigration and customs all the way through to your ground transportation. Our gate checked chair was provided to us at baggage claim.

The airport, other than the boarding stairs, is very accessible and nicely ramped throughout. The restrooms have handicapped stalls and there is also a family restroom available.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION: Since it was our first time, we decided to use a manual chair instead of the power chair.

We used Dominican Airport Transfers, where we were able to book a private van for the three of us, round trip, for less than $100.  They were on time (actually a little early), safe, courteous, and comfortable.  Since we've been to the DR, they have aquired a lift equipped van that you can book with advance notice.

AT THE HOTEL:We picked the Riu Palace Punta Cana because it was the only hotel we could find that would block an accessible room for us. Several resorts in the area purport to have accessible rooms and facilities, but we could not find any other that would guarantee it.

Watch the Video!

See the video above for a tour of the accessible features of the hotel. There are step-free rooms with roll-in showers which are very nice junior suites but they are not located in the prime area of the hotel. They are very close to the ramp which leads to the restaurants, pools, and beach.  Other step-free rooms with bathtubs are available closer to the beach.

There are six lifts...two on each side of the lobby and one in each wing closer to the pool and beach...four ramps, located at the bottom level of each lift, that will provide access to the plaza, restaurants, shops, pool, and beach.

The grounds are very nicely ramped throughout. A paved path runs along the beach starting at the Colonial Street shopping area adjacent to the pool. About 200 yards south on the path, it jogs pretty close to the water where you can transfer to lounge chairs on the sand.

Copyright 2011 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved


  1. Thanks for posting it....nice blog...:-)
    We provide the Punta airport transfer.We offer tour and travel services in Punta Cana, La Romana etc.

  2. A great article indeed and a very detailed, realistic and superb analysis, of this issue, very nice write up, Thanks.

    Punta Cana Airport Transfers

  3. Wow so nice! I like this site. Keep it working every day.

    Dominican Airport Transfers

  4. This was great and very informative. A member in my Sistah Circle is in a motorized scooter, and was reluctant about traveling out of the country. I'm forwarding your video to her for assurance. Thanks again, for taking the time to document this.

  5. Punta Cana is your gateway to magical adventure tours in the Caribbean. Thanks for your information as you mentioned in this blog..

    excursions in Punta Cana

  6. Nice blog !!! We provide the Punta airport transfer.We offer tour and travel services in Punta Cana.

    Transfers from PUJ

  7. Hi , if you are looking for handicaps minivan , we are the only company that have this type of service in Dominican Republic

  8. I greatly enjoyed reading your article :) Please continue publishing helpful topics like this. Regards, from Scooters 'N Chairs.

  9. You answer so specifically. I love it! Thanks for helping us wheelchair folks.