This Paragliding Road Trip offers a fantastic combination of paragliding on the most beautiful flight sites and getting to know the country and the people of Colombia. Since we got to know it, we fell in love with it.
Together with our guides we will travel from the city of Medellín to the south in two weeks and we will end at the city of Cali. The Cauca River (‘Rio Cauca’) flows like a ‘blue wire’ along almost all flying sites that we fly between Medellín and Cali in the Cauca Valley (‘Valle del Cauca’).
We start our tour ‘in the mountains’ with various thermic sites with XC possibilities. And we travel to ‘the valley’ (‘El Valle’) where we fly XC over flatland at the famous Roldanillo amongst others.
Our aim is to fly at many different flying sites and explore the country as well. Before and after flying we will do sightseeings and get to know Colombia and its people.
Flying area & sites
The landscape during our tour from north to south is very varied. At many flying sites you imagine yourself in the Swiss Alps with spacious valleys and large green fields, both in the valley and on the mountains. At other sites you will find densely covered slopes and narrow valleys.
All take-offs are grassy, very spacious and easy. The landings are generally slightly more advanced because usually they are not completely flat. For the advanced pilot, however, this schould not be a problem.
You will find many majestic black vultures flying everywhere. They will show you the way and are willing to share their thermals with you, which is a super impressive experience! Cloudbase is often between 1200-2000 meters, enabling easy glide transitions to the next thermal. Thermal flying in Colombia is usually relatively smooth, but as always be prepared for the occasional stronger bubble.
The landscape offers a variety of mountain ridges and flatland. The combination of the two makes cross-country flying a little different and a bit more challenging than ‘just’ mountain flying! Flying the flatlands will force you to read the landscape and clouds in a different way.
At each new flying site we will do take-off and landing briefings. We will have a look at the landing that belongs to that site, in case you would want to land there instead of flying away. Also on take-off we will discuss the particularities of the site, the flight plan and the weather conditions of the day.
Transport & retrieve
We will have our own dedicated retrieve vehicle and driver. In addition to this there will be local transport available by bus or tuk-tuk, which can be fun. After landing out somewhere, you may well come across a local who will be more than happy to give you a lift back, it may be by car or on the back of a motor bike.
We will be staying in 5 different very nice and idyllic ‘Colombian style’ hotels. They are located close to the flying sites and are equipped with spacious swimming pools where you can chill out at the end of the day.
Colombia is a large country, about as big as Spain and France combined. It is located near the equator and has no real winter and summer, but two wet and two dry seasons per year. The weather is also less controlled by pressure areas and fronts. There is mostly a calm wind with moderate thermals with an average of 3m/s. The temperature in the dry season is 25 to 35 degrees. The flying conditions in January are normally the best.
The Colombian people are very warm and friendly. They are proud of their country and call themselves the happiest people in the world. The Colombians in the city often have better jobs and a higher standard of living than the inhabitants of the villages. They often do not have much, but they are careful with what they do and keep their villages and gardens clean and their houses freshly painted.
Colombia is of course known as the country that produces coffee. On the slopes of the mountains there are many coffee plantations. In our program we have planned to visit such a plantation to see what happens with the fruits that have been picked. Also we will visit a coffee roasting house as well where we will learn about the roasting process and we will taste the end product: a fresh grinded delicious cup of coffee!
You may ask, is it safe? Our guides have a high standard of safety. They do not go in to areas where it might be dangerous and they do not fly with groups on complex flying sites. Also the security in Colombia has improved enormously in recent years, but there are still areas where terrorist organisations or drugs cartels are active. The areas where we fly however, are far removed from those places and we have found it to be just as safe as Europe.
With this Paragliding Road Trip it is wonderful to fly and get acquainted with Colombia and the typical Colombian villages, with horse and carriage and cosy village squares. We are glad that we have chosen this tour instead of limiting ourselves to one area. With this we have become acquainted with a wide variety of flying sites and a large variety of possibilities.
This first video is a beautiful compilation of how Nanny has experienced this Paragling Safari. Get a drink and enjoy the full 5 minutes Colombia!
Also, we have here some nice and short videos to get an idea how great it is in Colombia:
- Pilot level: Autonomous launching, flying and landing in thermal conditions and in particular good landing skills
- Dates: 2 January until 14 January 2022
- Final registration date: 1 December 2021
- Price: € 1.545
- Hotel accommodation (sharing a room), including breakfast
- Airport group transfer
- Transportation to all take-offs
- Full retrieve transport with dedicated driver
- Fuel costs and toll costs
- Guiding by KNVvL instructors and local guides
- Touristic sightseeings
- Not included:
- Food and drinks
- Take-off and site fees (approx. € 40)
- Local SIM-card (approx. € 15)