My wife is originally from Bogotá, Colombia. In 2013, we were lucky enough to travel together to her hometown of Bogotá where I got to meet her family and get introduced to a beautiful land and culture. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a huge group of my wife’s family and friends. It was such a sweet arrival after spending hours on the plane. We hurried home, had a nice meal and caught up with each other.
The next morning, our van driver arrived at the house early, around 5:30am. This is pretty common in Bogotá as many people don’t own cars but rely on mass transit to get around. We piled into the van and off we went towards the little town of Sopo about a 45-minute drive to the North of Bogotá. The drive was amazing as we passed little towns and we could start to see the mountains in the distance near Sopo.
We walked around the town itself for a little while and were mesmerized by its charm. My nieces arranged a ride for us up the mountain as the local taxis weren’t equipped to make the trek. So we climbed into two pickup trucks and began our ascent.
Once at the top the view was breathtaking. We could see Lake Guatavita so clearly as well as well as the little town of the same name on its shores. After signing up for a ‘Parapente’ ride with “Parapente Paraiso”, which my niece had already done many times and told me it was super fun and very safe, I began to get excited! I have experience with parachuting, but this looked like so much more fun! Instead of jumping from a plane, freefalling and floating down to earth, which is all over rather too quickly, with Parapente, you run down a steep hill, gaining speed and filling a modified parachute with air and lift. Once full, there’s enough power to lift you and the guide you’re strapped to off the ground and into the air. Once airborne, these skillful Parapente pilots know how to go higher, lower, faster, slower, anything you want!
I was up in the air for about 15-20 minutes or so, definitely worth the $75 fee. The view from above along with the thrill of the ride was indescribable. Truly an amazing way to view some of Colombia’s beauty.
We made our way back down and landed safely. The instructor has a cushioned seat strapped to him so when you land, you pretty much just put your feet down and assume a sitting position. Very calm and easy.
I highly recommend taking a ride with Parapente Paraiso if you’re ever near Sopo, it’s something you’ll remember for the rest of your life!
Check out the video and see what a Parapente ride looks like for yourself here.