Outdoor activities: Paragliding
Sustainable rating :
We presented San Gil as the best place for rafting, but this outdoor’s Mecca boasts excellent conditions for paragliding. Located only a few kilometers away from the Chicamocha Canyon, one of the finest Colombian paragliding sites, this is the ideal base to explore these unique landscapes.
When we saw the beauty of the canyon we decided to see it from above. There are several operators in San Gil which provide good paragliding services but we chose to fly with Paravolar Colombia which offers tandem flights and paragliding classes.
For tandem flights, we had the choice between two site, Curiti and the Chicamocha Canyon. We opted for the canyon. If you want to take classes, allow approximately three weeks in order to be sure to have the time to finish the course and prepare your Spanish because even if nobody expects you to be bilingual you still need to understand the theoretical courses.
The departure time was at 8.30 in front of Paravolar Colombia’s office where we joined the other participants. Today two lovely American girls from Montana join us on this beautiful day in the canyon. After a good hour drive, we arrive at the canyon that is even more beautiful than expected (it is said deeper than the Great Canyon in Arizona but having said that in terms of beauty we prefer the American one :).
We quickly unfolded the wing to join the birds but unfortunately, the wind was a bit weak to fly, so we had to wait a while before the take off. It was nice also as we had time to take some pictures and enjoy the scenery!
The flight normally takes about fifteen minutes but the duration may vary depending on weather conditions during the flight and last from 10-30 minutes for the lucky ones.
Ready for the takeoff!
Nothing complicated, we had to run a bit for the takeoff and then just sit and enjoy the scenery! During our test we had two different experiences. While Greg enjoyed and made impressive acrobatics, I was a bit disappointed because the weather during my flight wasn’t so good and we didn’t do much distance.
What was also awesome is that the vultures were flying with us!
The descent is even more impressive because the guide spins and you feel the speed and the adrenaline.
The landing is (normally) smooth and we had only one desire: to take off again ;).
To resume this was a good activity with a great flight over an impressive canyon and great sensations.
For the logistics such as transportation and accommodation in San Gil, take a look at our article Rafting in San Gil!
Hiking in the surroundings
During your stay in San Gil, you must spend at least half a day in the village of Barrichara located a half an hour bus (4400 COP). It is often cited as the most beautiful village of Colombia, although in our opinion it is less beautiful than Villa de Leyva. You can make a nice 2 hour hike on the famous Camino Real to the village Guane!
The pros :
San Gil is the perfect place for outdoor lovers, you can also go rafting, canyoning, caving, hiking, mountain biking ect ..
Paravolar Colombia offers insurance, free pictures and a bag of delicious Colombian organic coffee;)
Paragliding is a sport really dependent on weather conditions.
The company has several pilots, some have more experience than others and you can feel it during your tandem flight