How hard could it be? I’d already tried tandem skydiving and hang gliding. I had my first inkling of trouble when paragliding Lima came as we leaped off the Miraflores cliff in Lima, Peru. But instead of taking flight, we started to descend. This was the first of several white-knuckle episodes in the Miraflores sky.
Miraflores is an affluent residential and shopping district of the Lima Province in Peru with upscale hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs near the malecón – the seaside boardwalk. During our tour with AdventureSmith Explorations, my friend Alison and I stayed in a luxury boutique hotel a couple of blocks from the water, sampled delicious ceviche and parmesan scallops on the pier, strolled through the Guell-inspired Parque del Amor, and explored the historic colonial Plaza de Armas.
But no trip would be complete without satisfying my thirst for at least one adrenaline activity.
The Logistics of Paragliding
“Paragliding isn’t one of our offered activities because it’s a little too dangerous,” said Todd, my AdventureSmith contact.
Paragliding is an “extreme sport” in which a parachute canopy is attached to a person’s body by a harness in order to allow them to glide through the air after jumping off a cliff or some other high platform. The shape of the canopy wing is maintained by the suspension lines. Controls held by the pilot connect to the edges of the wing, and are used to steer and to adjust speed.
Statistically, paragliding is as safe as driving, so undeterred, I made my way to the cliffs and booked a tandem paraglide on my own. The feeling of being able to fly without wings is just too irresistible. You know… YOLO.
As I was getting suited up for my flight, my tandem pilot came over and said, “You have the best pilot. I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”
A few minutes later, that 20-year experience was first-and-foremost in my mind. We started to run off the cliff, which is NOT easy when you’re strapped tightly to another human being and trotting sideways, with several crew members pushing you along. It took everything I had not to do a face-plant.
“ABORT!” I heard one of the crew yell. We stopped right before leaping off the precipice. Apparently, the airflow that causes the aerodynamic forces – aka lift – that would allow us to support our own weight had collapsed. [read more about paraglide Peru]
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Looking for more things to do in Peru?
- You Can’t Take Your Clothes Off at Machu Picchu? Now You Tell Me!
- Cheat Sheet to 48 Hours in Ollantaytambo
- What I Wish Everyone Knew About Lima
- How to Eat Guinea Pig in Peru
- 10 Ways Cusco Will Improve Your Life. Brace Yourself for #8.
- Is Machu Picchu Just for Backpackers? Definitely Not!
- Exploring Peru’s Sacred Valley
- Ultimate Travel Guide to Pisac – Peru’s Most Underrated City
About the Author
Patti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.” Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled six continents looking for fabulous places and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer (and Gen X!) tribe.