“Are you adventurous?”, the guide asked me. I thought this was a silly question considering I was strapped to him and a parachute soaring 3000 meters above Medellín, Colombia. I think what he meant to say was, “Would you like me to make us spin until you almost puke”?. Either way, I said “Sure, why not!”
Next thing I knew, we were spinning fast, spiralling right next to my wife, Karla, who was strapped to another guide. It was pretty incredible until the spins got the best of me, that same feeling like when you’re lying in bed after one-too-many drinks. I had to try it though. After all, it was my first time paragliding. Flying high like a bird, with nothing but mountains surrounding us and the city below.
At first I was a little nervous – not just because we would be flying 3000 meters above land but also because my original guide, an older and more experienced paraglider backed out because he wasn’t comfortable with the wind conditions. That’s when he called out to a younger guide, just 18 years old, who was more than eager to give it a go. Karla’s guide, who was just 19, was ready to fly as well so we strapped up together and departed a few minutes after she was already in the air.
While our guides were VERY young, they had been paragliding since they were 13, so I figured they knew what they were doing. They were just more “adventurous” as my guide would put it. After lifting off the ground, almost like a helicopter as we didn’t need to run, I felt a state of bliss, a feeling of calm with the only sound coming from the wind touching the parachute.
It was an incredible experience that reminded me of hang-gliding in Byron Bay, Australia a few years back.
It’s incredibly peaceful, exciting, and very scenic. While it’s certainly for the more adventurous, it’s also a beautiful way to see Medellin and its surrounding countryside.
By far, it was our favourite thing we did in Medellin, Colombia.
Want to do this? Simply contact Aeroclub by clicking here ( www.parapenteencolombia.com ) or send them an email to [email protected] They organized our trip very quickly and the price is extremely reasonable.
TIPS for paragliding with Aeroclub:
- While the weather might be warm, bring a sweater because the winds can make you chilly.
- Camera’s are not allowed but you can rent a GoPro very cheaply.
- The GoPro is extra cheap if you bring your own SD Card so make sure to do that.
- If you pay full price for the GoPro, it includes an 8GB mini SD Card but you will now need an adapter to transport the video on to your computer. The other way is to bring a USB stick and transfer the video at their offices.
- The ride up to the office is breathtaking. Even if you don’t want to paraglide, take the trip up here anyway. It is amazing.
Have you been paragliding before? Let me know in the comments below!
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Disclaimer: This fabulous adventure was graciously sponsored by Aeroclub, whom we just happened to find while visiting Medellin in early 2014. While the adventure itself was sponsored, the review is that of my own experience.