Our experience of paragliding for the first time in Medellín ranged from anywhere between terrifying and tranquil as we soared thousands of feet above the Andes, feeling the rush of adrenaline course through our veins.
Making the jump (voluntarily)
It was our third and final day in Medellín, and we wanted to say farewell to the city with a bang. This led us to the (debatably) logical conclusion that we should go paragliding.
Yes, we decided to jump off a mountain attached to someone else that we could barely communicate with and assume everything would work out fine. In fact, we actually paid money to do this.
It was our first time paragliding, so both of us were excited (and a tad nervous too). But what could possibly go wrong when you are attached to a stranger thousands of feet in the air?
It was raining when we arrived at the top of the hill. This meant we had to wait until better conditions before we could start.
No problem with me. I had absolutely zero interest in jumping off a cliff in the rain! Jumping off of a cliff when it isn’t raining is perfectly fine, of course…
Seriously though, the scariest part of paragliding is running and jumping off of the cliff. But once you are flying, it is surprisingly peaceful.
We stayed in the air for over 20 minutes and had spectacularly beautiful views of the mountains and the city throughout the entire time.
The rain had caused the temperature to cool down a bit. As a result, most of the group did not make it back to atop the mountain where we started because the thermal winds were not high enough (or something sciencey like that).
Lucky for me, we didn’t have an issue making it back to the launch point atop the mountain. This meant more time to squeeze in extra spins before landing.
The spins were SO much fun and my favorite part of the entire experience by far. If you like the feeling of adrenaline and ever get the opportunity to go paragliding, do not pass up the chance to do spins if you can!
And if you happen to be in Medellín, then I would definitely recommend going with the same company as us—Paragliding Medellín.
Exploring neighborhoods of Medellín
Later that evening, we went out for dinner and drinks in the neighborhood of Poblado. Poblado is a more high-end part of the city that is known to be touristy. It’s not as much our style, but we had read so much about it that we felt we had to experience it for ourselves.
Unsurprisingly, we preferred going out on Carrera 70 for the more authentic, local experience. Still, it was interesting to visit a different part of the city. It may not be a truly local experience, but you can eat fancy dinners and visit bars that look like the one in the photo below.
After spending some time in Poblado, we decided to return to the neighborhood of Laureles for a few more local experiences before bed. We went to a local tienda on Carrera 70 and tried Aguardiente for the first time.
It is always fun to drink a local beverage, but I have to admit that this licorice-flavored liqueur was not my favorite. A local told us to drink it with lime and a beer, so this is how we enjoyed it.
As the night rolled on, we remembered we had to get up early the next morning for a long bus trip to the Coffee Triangle. Naturally, we proceeded to stay up way too late drinking Aguardiente at the local tienda near our apartment. Totally worth it.
To read more about our experiences in the Coffee Triangle of Colombia, click here.