“Are you nervous yet?” Andre turned to me and asked with a grin. The driver was racing his way expertly up the twisted, tree-filled road to Pedra Bonita—the ramp overlooking Rio de Janeiro which, if the weather remained the same for the next ten minutes or so, I’d be running off of. Yes, running off. This was one thing I didn’t want to leave Brazil without doing, and there I was, mere minutes away from paragliding over Rio.
Surprisingly, I didn’t feel too anxious beforehand. I’d not done much research at all about paragliding, only that I’d seen Scott Wilson and Justin Lukach hang gliding from the same spot in the tv show departures and knew I needed to experience that view for myself. My paragliding instructor, Andre Modelo, calmly walked me through the whole process beforehand, including all of the safety precautions, down at the paragliding and hang gliding club. We waited there, looking up at the ramp wistfully and waiting for the ideal weather conditions to fly. Once he got the word that wind conditions were just right, we had to act fast—the wind had been finicky all morning, so this might very well have been our only chance.
And before I knew it, we were there. Watch the video below to see my experience (and those crazy beautiful views!).
Everyone’s big concern before doing something like this is, of course, safety. Andre is an absolute pro with decades of experience, and he made sure his equipment was in great working order and waited patiently for good weather rather than rush things. Also, he walked me through everything beforehand so I was never left scratching my head about the next step, which would have inevitably led to me feeling super scared. There really wasn’t any bad part to the experience—although I think I was a little jumpy once we were in the air (those kinds of things happen when you’re hundreds of feet in the air), I never once felt unsafe.
While paragliding certainly isn’t for the faint of heart, the views make it worth it. And since it’s surprisingly comfortable (you’re basically sitting the whole time) you’re able to really take in Rio de Janeiro and Tijuca National Park. People always argue about where you can get the best views when in Rio—Christ the Redeemer or Sugarloaf Mountain?—but the truth is it’s up at Pedra Bonita, in the sky after running off of a cliff.
Learn more about Andre Modelo and book a paragliding adventure with him when you’re in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I couldn’t recommend him more! 🙂
Where are the best views that you’ve ever seen in your life?
This is a sponsored post, meaning I received this service at a reduced or free rate. I only promote products and services that I love, and all opinions are my own.