Paragliding, like most forms of light aircraft flying, relies on consistent high pressure and gentle winds in order to remain safe and enjoyable.
However, the same wide isobars that create ideal barbecue and cricket weather are something of an enigma in Britain. This means that attempting to master something like paragliding can be interrupted by weeks of summer downpours and grey clouds.
It can also be an expensive sport to pursue, with many courses starting from around £1,500 – and that’s before you’ve even considered buying your own kit, costing in the region of £4,000.
The Colombia Paragliding School on the outskirts of Bucaramanga, however, in the north-eastern region of Santander, claims to have some of the best conditions for the sport found anywhere in the world. With a claim of 350 perfect days for flying every year, and a renowned school offering 10-day courses for the equivalent of £606, including equipment hire and accommodation, Bucaramanga is fast gaining a reputation as the paragliding capital of South America.
Located on a plateau next to the Colombian Andes, the city is shielded from weather systems to the north. It’s also so far inland that the region receives little rain, creating a balmy microclimate that generates rising thermals in the mornings, before igniting hot, but soft paraglider-friendly winds in the afternoons.
It’s a perfect place for a novice to learn. And when one of those rare days of no flying does occur? There’s an abundance of hiking trails, mountain-biking routes, cafés and bars to keep you entertained.Reuse content