There are two main ways to try paragliding in San Gil. As far as I could see, the main difference was the price.
PARAGLIDING IN SAN GIL: THE OPTIONS
At the time of writing, you could pay $60,000 COP for a 20-minute flight in a place called Curiti, where frontal winds crash against the side of a mountain to create thermals that take you higher and higher over the tobacco fields, with distant views of the mountains.
If you happen to have $170,000 COP going spare, the alternative is a longer flight over the Chicamocha Canyon. Though evidently better if everything goes to plan, there were rumours that it was sometimes harder to find thermals in the canyon.
The weather conditions have to be right for paragliding. Too little wind and you won’t stay up for long. Too much and you risk being blown in an undesired direction and potentially being smashed into the mountainside.
We had to wait a while for a thunder storm to pass, but eventually the conditions were just right for take off.
It took a few attempts to catch the upward gusts of wind, but one by one, we were airborne.
There were 12 people in my group, which made for some nerve-racking near collisions.
My guide was especially daring with his stunts and I kept having to put my camera down so I could grip the ropes. He swung from side to side, then climbed a few hundred feet above the valley to prepare for a spiral descent.
As we waited for the tour company to pack up the gear, we checked out the local tobacco drying huts.
Not only is this the best way to see the region’s gorgeous landscape, it’s a very decent price for paragliding. It might not be the world’s number one place to do it, but it makes for a really exciting adventure and might be the start of a new hobby. If you’re looking for more adventure in the area, try rappelling down Juan Curi waterfall.