Not much else will provide you with the feeling of being free and flying like a bird than paragliding. Yes, there is also bungee jumping and sky diving but if you are a little less thrill-seeking, opt for paragliding. There are many places in the world where you can take a tandem flight or even get certified but not that many places where you jump off atop a city and land within downtown.
I paraglided for the first time in Cali, Colombia which is known for its good thermal winds. I have dreamt of paragliding for a long time and was excited to fly. But I won’t lie, I was a little nervous before the actual take-off. Sebastian, my tandem partner was a very experienced flyer and assured me safety with his equipment from Austria.
“1, 2, 3…run!”, Sebastian ordered, so I did and after only 3 steps I had already lost ground under my feet. We are flying! Depending on the thermal winds, a flight can be just 5min and up to 30min. I was lucky, for a long time we were gaining height and our take-off place got further and further away. You need to breath evenly and consciously to not get dizzy by circling for a few minutes.
As we reached the highest possible point, we floated to the right and left, enjoyed the beauty of Cali and its surroundings and slowly lost height. I felt so free, comfortable, and also safe. A few times we accelerated and took some sharp turns to spike up the adrenalin before preparing for the landing within a cluster of residential houses. The houses came closer and closer and I could almost touch them but Sebastian was in full control. The landing was as smooth as it could have been. 25min in the air and I couldn’t get enough.
Where have you been paragliding?
When in Cali, stay at the La Iguana Hostel which is located in a hip area and has a cool vibe where you will feel very welcome. The staff will help you book your tandem flight. Ask for Sebastian, he speaks perfect English and has a lot of travel stories himself. He will pick you up with his jeep from the hostel and you will ride for about 45min to the take off point. Expect to pay between $60-70. Enjoy!