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Paragliding in Colombia, photography: JonNaTan

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A French poet once wrote that “flying is like looking at birds and smiling without envy, knowing that when one wishes, one can open one’s wings to accompany them.” As an action, flying is a dream common to all men, a dream of being carried away by a sense of freedom and surrendering to the will of the wind. In the context of expression, flying is about going beyond, about giving in to imagination to the point of abandoning logic.

Surely, these were the motives of the creators of paragliding - undoubtedly the sport that comes closer to man’s old illusion. Flying on a paraglider is safe, does not pollute, allows contact with the wind and, if as this were not enough, it is a delight to the senses when flying above spectacular and exotic landscapes.

Due to a variety of sites and the presence of experienced sportsmen and companies offering the service, Colombia has consolidated as a preferred destination for paragliding.

Due to a variety of sites and the presence of experienced sportsmen and companies offering the service, Colombia has consolidated as a preferred destination for giving in to the thrills of paragliding. Contrary to what many think, the sport does not generate dizziness, but rather a sense of full tranquility.

Paragliding Sites in Colombia

Due to their geographical conditions and climate, the best sites are in Santander, Valle del Cauca, the Bogotá region (department of Cundinamarca), and Medellín (department of Antioquia). Paragliding may be practiced year round, with the exception of rainy days. The absence of electric power lines, poles, and facilities ensures the safety of these sites.

Bogotá and its Surroundings

For their closeness to Bogotá, the sites in Sopó and Guasca are visited on weekends; they do not require having to wait for a long vacation period. It is very easy to enjoy this hallucinating encounter with the landscape from a paraglider; freedom seems to be within reach for visitors and the inhabitants of Bogotá.

Valle del Cauca

Destination Paradise, in the department of Valle del Cauca is a zone framed by the Western and Central Andes Mountain Ranges and is located between the city of Cali and the municipality of Palmira. Lessons are offered to those who, beyond living a passing experience, wish to become adventurers and frequent guests of the wind.

Medellín and Antioquia

There is a hill called Matasanos near Medellín on the road that goes to the Caribbean. The temperature of the winds and splendid views over the city and the Aburrá Valley make it one of the best sites for paragliders to safely enjoy their freedom.

Paragliding is practiced in regions that provide not only marvelous sport experiences, but also beautiful panoramic scenery.


In the department of Santander, the Chicamocha Canyona – an amazing location on the Eastern Mountain Range – is a much sought after site for hanging from a paraglider to observe a majestic landscape.

Aside from the Chicamocha Canyon, where flying is based on thermal currents, Santander offers other regulated sites, such as Las Vueltas, Mesa de los Santos, and Ruitoque, near the city of Bucaramanga.

Characteristics, Safety and Lessons

Paragliding wings are designed for individual or double flights. The former are carried out by experienced flyers that have been certified by the Colombian Federation for Airsports (Fedeaéreos, by its Spanish acronym) for at least six years. Double or tandem flights carry a pilot in charge of maneuvering the wing and a passenger.

Climatic conditions determine two flying modes:

Dynamic flights:
Here, frontal winds crash against the mountain making ascent and suspension possible.
Thermal flights:
Thermal flights are performed in arid areas where hot air ascends and propels the flight.

And just as the state of the weather should ensure the safety of paragliders, it is only logical that flights should be equipped with regulated implements:

  • two dorsal protection systems,
  • helmets,
  • emergency parachutes,
  • two-way telephone.

Paragliding practice is guaranteed in Colombia by the presence of experienced pilots and magical sites to overfly. The conditions are there for entering the door to experiencing and fulfilling the dream.

Up above, during the magical moments of suspension, sensations will be indescribable. Down below, while looking at the sky, there will be the joyful sensation of proving that dreams exist, a special moment for observing birds without feeling envy and with the complicity of one who is also able to fly.

If you like extreme sports in fascinating landscapes, you may also be interested in:


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