During Christine’s visit, she suggested her husband Drew go paragliding for the first time. I enjoyed my experience paragliding in Medellín so much so last year that I took the opportunity to go again.
The process for getting from the metro line in Medellín to the paragliding offices hasn’t changed, therefore I was able to help guide our crew, including Troy and his French friend living in Bogotá, to the northern bus terminal (Caribe metro stop), and subsequently onto a bus headed for San Felix.
When we reached the paragliding offices about 45 minutes later, we called Dragonfly Paragliding (or Parapente in Spanish).
Ideally we would’ve called a day or two early to make a reservation, but given how the weather can vary from day-to-day, I figured it’d be no big deal if we got to the staging area first and then called him up.
Alejandro and his brother run Dragonfly, and Troy was referred to them by a friend.
We waited around for a half hour or an hour until the Gallego brothers arrived, signed our lives away, and then headed up the staircase that leads to the takeoff area. (For advanced reservations you can use the services of Latin Hosts)
As it was a weekday, it felt like we had the whole hilltop to ourselves.
Troy and I went with the brothers first, and unlike my sketchy take off last year, I barely needed to take a few steps this time before I could my feet leave the ground.
At that point, I only needed to sit back in the seat and enjoy the ride.
The thermal energy tends to be stronger in the morning when it’s more likely that the sun is out, so it pays to arrive early, and if you go with a group, try to be one of the first people to fly.
The reason being that the weather can change quickly in the mountains and once clouds start rolling in you might not be able to reach as high an altitude.
My flight with Dragonfly was far better than the one I had last year due to the conditions, and the pilot made me feel completely comfortable.
I forgot how many flights he had under his belt, but it was something like 5,000 over 10+ years of paragliding in Colombia.
He didn’t speak much English, but it wasn’t necessary.
When it was Drew’s turn to go, it was already around noon. He’s a bit heavier than Troy, myself or the French guy, which wouldn’t normally be an issue if winds were higher I believe.
The first half hour of his flight was great, he reported; however we’d noticed he was drifting down in altitude, slowly, and into the valley.
Instead of being able to catch some thermals to gain altitude and fly back, they continued to descend. We started to wonder if he was going to make it back.
Eventually, after another thirty minutes, the pilot realized it wasn’t going to happen, so he set them down in a cow pasture.
Christine, Troy, the French guy and I all went down to the paragliding shops to wait for him.
It turned out to take several hours for them to take a taxi to the bus station, and then get a return ride back up the mountain.
Drew looked exasperated when he finally did arrive though we were all happy he was safe.
Book a Paragliding Experience through Latin Hosts
Contact Latin Hosts to book your paragliding experience. They can provide a bi-lingual driver so you arrive safely and to help if any translation is needed before you jump. If transport is not needed, you can also reserve the flight and benefit from Latin Hosts special pricing and customer service.