March 11, 2020

Paragliding in Colombia/Parapente Cocorna

Getting There is Half of the Adventure

There are multiple places to go paragliding in Colombia. Cocorna is about a 45-minute drive from Guatape on a single lane road. If you're lucky enough to find a driver that's willing to cut off other motorists, you'll get there in half the time and double the adrenaline rush.

We arrived at Cocorna around 1 pm. The pilots were there unpacking their chutes and readying the gear. I'm attached to a body harness and then to my pilot.

The Flight

The directions were quick and to the point. As I tried to confirm the do-not-do list, I’m dragged by the pilot and told to run. I didn't even have enough time to turn on my GoPro before we started running. Just like that we’ve just run off the cliffside and gliding through the sky. The immediate adrenaline dump was amazing. The realization of flying hundreds of feet in the air was exhilarating. We fly past a small stream waterfall only to discover a second waterfall that was much bigger.

The flight lasted approximately 16 minutes according to my GoPro. Honestly though, I had enough after 10 minutes. Although the view was magnificent, I was getting nauseous. I can handle crazy roller coaster just fine but going around in circles really makes my stomach churn.

Nausea and Off Roading

The landing was something I did not prepare for or expect. I was told to lift my legs and let the pilot land. Little did I know, it was more of a soft crash landing on our asses. Finally, back on land and the adrenaline gone; I am dizzy. My pilot detaches from me and I’m able to stand and attempt to catch my breath.

I gather myself as the pilot starts repacking their chutes. We get up and walk a few hundred feet through a cow farm to a nearby SUV waiting for us. It takes about 15 minutes to get back to the launch site as we had to drive offroad through rocky terrain. This didn't help my nausea at all.

Overall my experience paragliding in Colombia was great. At no point did I feel in danger. My pilot was experienced and the flight was as smooth as I had imagined it. I would do it again if the opportunity arises.

You can view my Instagram story here. Or view my Youtube vide.

Read about Guatape and El Penon here.

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