For decades, paragliding has been one of the most popular activities in Pokhara. A professional competition is even held there every year, since the city boasts that it is one of the best places in the world for these flights.
Pokhara has the perfect conditions for an exciting and safe experience, a good take-off area like Sarangkot, stunning views of the Himalayas, stable thermals and a convenient area for landing.
PRICES AND COMPANIES FOR PARAGLIDING IN POKHARA
Most paragliding companies have similar prices; there may be small differences or offers, but most of the time you will pay about the same price. Some companies have Nepalese pilots while others have foreign pilots; some have older gear, some newer gear. Visit a few companies and choose the one that best fits your needs.
Tandem flights: $90 US per 30 minutes / $140 US per 60 minutes.
Solo flights: If you’re qualified, you can fly on your own. Ask for permission at the aviation office of Pokhara; they will allow you to make your own flights for about $70 US.
HOW IS THE EXPERIENCE? WHAT ABOUT SAFETY?
Almost all companies offer the same program, consisting of picking you up at your hotel, signing some documents relating to safety, driving 30 minutes to Sarangkot, checking all safety elements and flying for 25 -30 minutes over Lake Phewa. These flights reach an altitude of between 2,500 – 3,400 meters, offering awesome views.
These companies know their stuff and comply with the necessary security measures. However, as in any extreme sport, there is always a risk. Don’t worry; everything will be alright; just make sure your company has good insurance before booking your flight and that’s it.
TANDEM PARAGLIDING AND COURSES
Tandem: Most people who paraglide in Pokhara choose a tandem flight. This means you are not flying by yourself; a paragliding pilot is flying with you, so you don’t need to worry about anything except enjoying the scenery.
Courses: If you’re looking for a course so that you can fly on your own, several schools can train you.
The entire course usually consists of 3 small classes: the beginner course, the progression course and the thermaling course. Each of these classes is completed in 5 days and will teach you theory (equipment, weather conditions, security, etc.) and practice. If you don’t have time, you can complete some parts of these courses and pay by day.
The total 15-day course (consisting of the 3 small courses) costs about $2,000 US and you will get an international license when you are finished.
WHEN TO GO PARAGLIDING IN POKHARA AND THE BEST TIME OF DAY
The best seasons for paragliding are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). These are also the best seasons for hiking in Nepal, as you’ll avoid the heavy monsoon rains and cold winter.
Ultimately, however, paragliding can be done any day of the year as long as the weather conditions are appropriate.
Best time of day: Flights are operated 3 times a day: around 10:00 a.m., at 12:00 noon, and at 14:00 p.m.
The first flight of the day is usually pretty calm since the necessary thermal hasn’t formed yet. After 12:00, the sun has warmed up the land and the flights are more turbulent, but also more exciting.
In addition to the incredible experience of paragliding in Pokhara, don’t miss a hike into the Annapurna Range.
These are some of the paragliding companies with more experience in Pokhara:
I recommend the tandem paragliding flight by Getyourguide, as they also include transport to and from your hotel, and they have professional pilots.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
GETTING TO NEPAL
Unless you are traveling overland from India, you’ll be flying to Nepal, probably to Kathmandu. I recommend that you download the free Skyscanner app to find the best deals. This app shows you a calendar with the cheapest flights in each month.