This is a guest post by Hans-Peter A. Porup.
“For once you have tasted flight you will walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you long to return” — Leonardo Da Vinci
I can still remember the first time going up to 13,000 feet for my first tandem jump, my tandem instructor looked at me and gave me the hand signal “to relax”, yeah right, much easier said than done.
Arriving at altitude the plane slowed down to about 80 mph and someone screamed “door!!!!” and whuumm it swung open.
I can’t describe the overwhelming natural instinct to not want to jump, let’s face it; we’re not designed to be in the sky.
Ready, set, go!
It was 45 seconds of free-fall, then my instructor opened the parachute and we slowed down from 120 mph to about 30 mph in a matter of seconds.
I remember vividly how peaceful and serene it was to be flying through the sky, it was a spiritual experience for me.
After landing safely, I felt a great relief to be back on the ground and an immediate urge to do it again as soon as possible.
That was it for me, it was written so to speak.
I dedicated the next two months of my life to learning how to fall through the sky in a safe manner, and met some of the most passionate people I’ve ever come across.
Learning to Skydive in Colombia
After my training period I was ready to take to the skies as an official skydiver here in Colombia.
I can say without question that the company to go with is Xielo Skydive which has operations in Cartagena and in Flandes, Tolima.
Xielo has 14 bilingual instructors all USPA (United States Parachute Association) with a total of 15 years of experience in the sport. All of their equipment is state of the art, meeting all of the current safety standards of the industry.
If interested in a tandem skydive the cost is 590,000 pesos ($307) including a video of your jump made with a “handy-cam” GO-PRO camera.
After your first tandem jump if you feel like wanting more than they can accommodate what is called an AFF or “Accelerated Free Fall first jump course.”
The course consists of six hours of ground school and a total of eight jumps covering all of the necessary skills required to learn how to skydive.
They’ll teach you familiarization of equipment, proper exit procedures of the airplane, basic body control methods during free fall and most importantly emergency procedures.
The cost of the AFF course is 3,900,000 pesos ($2,028). The length of the course depends entirely on the student but generally takes about four to five days.
Once you are licensed then you’re ready to jump solo, the cost per solo jump is 60,000 pesos ($31), and if needed, they also have equipment rentals with a cost of 40,000 pesos ($21).
If you’re seriously considering skydiving in Colombia then these are the people to go see.
Carrera 16 No 85-12 office 201
Drop Zone Cartagena
Plaza Comercial Las Ramblas.
Local 408 Zona Norte
Vía al mar Km 10
Drop Zone Flandes
Km 7 vía Girardot – El Espinal
Tel: 57(1) 530-6435 – (321) 793-7889
About the Author: Hans-Peter A. Porup has been living in Envigado, Colombia since 2009. He currently teaches English part-time, and offers housing (through Rent Rooms Envigado and his Airbnb profile) and tourism services.
Who did you skydive with in Medellin?