Paragliding Cusco provides unrivalled views of the Sacred Valley, and is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and adrenaline-filled experiences you can do in the region.
But before you go ahead and book yourself onto a paragliding tour it is important that you understand some basics about Cusco paragliding adventures.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you have a safe and enjoyable experience!
In this paragliding Cusco article we have put together a list of the most frequently asked questions so that you can make an informed decision as to whether this experience is for you, as well as establish which company you should work with.
Paraglide Cusco FAQ
Is paragliding in Cusco dangerous?
It really depends on your definition of danger. Paragliding in general, regardless of where or when it is conducted, is a relatively dangerous activity when compared to the multitude of other adventure experiences you could undertake.
Risks to your safety are however significantly mitigated by the quality of company you book with, the quality of gear used, and most importantly the experience of the pilot.
When choosing a company you should establish how long they have been running tours, how new and well maintained their equipment is, as well as get a brief history on your pilot’s experience.
At a minimum your pilot should have a professional certification and commercial licence / membership from either (FAI or the APVL); and have 100s of hours of flight time under their belt. A significant portion of this time should have been conducted whilst piloting tandem flights.
The Scared Valley is a mountainous area which makes the flight more technical than paragliding in Lima, for example. Make sure you only go with a reliable company and experienced pilot.
Do I need to have any technical skills or training to Paraglide Cusco?
No, all paragliding tours in Cusco and the Sacred Valley are tandem flights that should be operated by trained paragliders. You will be shown the basics of how to takeoff and land in a safe way, but once you airborne the pilot will be in full control.
Where do paragliding tours in Cusco fly and how long do they last?
There are two main spots where most operators run their tours. The first and most popular is near Chinchero, which is about 30 minutes north of Cusco in the Sacred Valley.
The other frequently used launch spot is near Pisac, about 45 minutes from Cusco. Both provide exquisite views of the Sacred Valley and have well profiled launch stations. Flights from these stations last between 15-30 minutes.
Some operators offer special tours which fly from the Sacred Valley all the way to the ancient Incan ruins at Sacsayhuaman, near Cusco city. This option lasts about 45 minutes and provides more extensive views of the Sacred Valley and Cusco city.
How much does it cost to Paraglide Cusco?
Costs vary from operator to operator but are generally based on a 2-person minimum booking, with each person paying between US$120-US$150. If you are a single person expect to pay a US$20-US$30 premium (hence, it’s worth joining up with a small group).
You usually need to give your full name, passport number, nationality, date of birth, weight and height, as well as pay 50-60% deposit to make a reservation.
Costs usually included:
- Private Transport from Cusco to the launch site and return to Cusco
- Rental of gear
- Professional pilot
Costs generally exclude:
- Food and Drinks
Some tour operators offer additional services like short films of your flight. We recommend taking a GoPro on your trip so you can capture the experience in full-flight. Perhaps you can put together a video like the one below (note: this video is not filmed in Cusco but still pretty amazing!)
Filmed using a GoPro Hero 3 at Dune De Pyla in France.
What should I bring / wear?
You should bring:
- Comfortable and good-fitting shoes. No sandals or flip flops
- Sporty layered clothes. Convertible trousers and a warm jacket is recommended so that you can layer up or down depending on changes in the weather
- Sunblock, sunglasses and a hat
- Water (at least 1 litre)
- Snacks (you can end up waiting a few hours for the right weather conditions and thermals). Bring some food to snack on (fruit, sandwiches, crisps, nuts and sweets)
- Rain jacket /poncho (particularly during the raining season – October-April)
- Small backpack / bag to hold your belongings
- Camera / Video Camera / GoPro (with mounts)
I’m a little overweight, can I still go paragliding?
It really depends on your definition of ‘a little overweight’. Most companies require participants to weigh under 100kg (220 pounds or 15.5 stone).
I have a heart condition, am I allowed to paraglide?
We are not doctors so we recommend seeking medical advice and clearance if you want to paraglide Cusco and the Sacred Valley. That being said, most tour operators will not allow you to paraglide if you have a preexisting heart condition. We suggest giving this one a miss!
Still have questions?
Leave us a comment below and we will respond within 24hours (remember to check back).
Tags: Paragliding Cusco, Paragliding Peru, Cusco Paragliding, Paragliding Cusco Peru, Paragliding in Cusco, Paragliding over the Sacred Valley, Paragliding Sacred Valley, Paragliding Machu Picchu
References: (1) Personal experience, (2) Tour operators interviews, (3) Trailblazer Guides