During my 2016 trip to Central America I got to try something new- Paragliding!
When I say try, I actually mean sit there and let the trained pilot do all of the work whilst I check out the views. This was not a paragliding lesson – it was more of a paragliding ride but I did get to learn and understand a bit more about this crazy sport.
I cannot recommend this enough to anyone who is visiting Lake Atitlan but it is important to note that it is very weather dependent therefore it’s not available year round. It is also SO important to go with a legitimate and responsible company. I used Real World Paragliding and I highly advise that you use them too. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Here’s the short video I put together of our paragliding experience:
Here’s a little more information about Paragliding Lake Atitlan:
Where? Panajachel- one of the small towns surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Lake Atitlan is a stunning, huge lake surrounded by 3 volcanoes. The views of the lake and volcanoes from above and the surrounding mountains make it a fantastic location. I would recommend staying in Panajachel around the time you want to fly because it could be an early start and Real World Paragliding’s offices are based in this town. Although it is not impossible to get to Panajachel from another town using the taxi boats it just makes it less stressful on the day.
When? The best time of year to go paragliding here is December, March, April, May and June. We went in mid December and got very lucky because me and Josh got to fly in the morning/mid day but then the winds changed and the second group of people couldn’t fly. It’s all about the wind direction so sometimes the sky could look clear but it doesn’t mean it’s safe. If you are in Panajachel for a number of days you will have a greater chance of getting good weather at least one day. If your visit is short, be prepared for the fact that it might not go ahead. It’s always better to stay safe than risk it.
How much? The tandem flight costs around $90 US per person (this is accurate to Real World’s website as of March 2017)
Other things to note:
-The flight lasts 20-45min depending on the weather conditions.
-It can be easy to get sunburn up there so be sure to wear sunscreen or long clothing (the winds make a little cold up there once you are flying).
-Wear suitable shoes like trainers as you have to do a little bit of running to take off and obviously you don’t want them to fall off whilst flying.
-You can bring your camera. The ride is generally quite smooth so it’s unlikely you will drop it but make sure you have a wrist strap or something similar.
-It is possible to get motion sickness whilst paragliding. I get motion sick on boats and sometimes in cars and I only felt a little sick as we came in to land- this faded away after 10 minutes. I did not take any motion sickness tablets so if you know you suffer maybe take precautions.
Big thanks to our awesome paragliding pilot, Christian !