01 Aug Paragliding Medellin with Freak’n Creek’n: Best Medellin Paragliding in Colombia
Paragliding in Colombia is one of the best things to do in the country, and paragliding Medellin is an extra special treat. The views are breathtaking, and it’s actually a bigger thrill than we were expecting! We tried Medellin paragliding with Freak’n Creek’n in Cocorná, in the countryside just outside of Medellin city, and it was fantastic.
Paragliding Medellin with Freak’n Creek’n
Colombia has lots of incredible opportunities for outdoor adventures. Medellin paragliding is one of the best. Would you try paragliding in Colombia? The backdrop of fertile hills and valleys make Colombia paragliding even more special. Here in the Andes Mountains near Medellin, we found an excellent place to marvel at nature while getting our hearts racing. Paragliding Medellin is some of the best paragliding in Colombia. We teamed up with outdoor adventure outfitters Freak’n Creek’n to try paragliding in Medellin. What was supposed to be just a quick ride over the valley turned into an amazing afternoon in the countryside.
Why Medellin Paragliding? Why Freak’n Creek’n?
You may be wondering: why try paragliding in Colombia? Why Medellin paragliding? Why with Freak’n Creek’n? If you’re asking yourself any of these questions, let me answer them one by one.
Why Colombia Paragliding? Why Paragliding in Medellin?
The area around Medellin is some of the most scenic territory in the country. When you paraglide here, you pass waterfalls and have trees, pastures and sparkling rivers under your feet as you sail through the valley. Another reason is the climate. This area of the country has beautiful blue skies and spring-like temperatures for most of the year.
Why Freak’n Creek’n?
The guys that run Freak’n Creek’n were great hosts and experienced adventure guides. Their rafting, hiking, kayaking, and paragliding operations are reviewed highly (check for yourself). What’s more, the location and on-site restaurant are a great place to eat, relax and drink in the incredible view of the Cocorná valley.
This is Tandem Paragliding in Medellin
Don’t worry. You’re not flying through the air alone. Just as with tandem skydiving, this is tandem paragliding in Colombia. That means you are attached to a guide, who does all the steering and landing for you. All you have to do is enjoy the view!
Cocorná & Parapente Medellin
You may see signs that say “parapente Medellin” or “parapente Colombia.” As you may have guessed, parapente means paragliding in Spanish. Most places that offer “parapente Medellin” are talking about Cocorná, a lush green valley 90 kilometers from downtown Medellin. Cocorná is a paradise for lovers of outdoor adventure. Here you’ll find canyoning, rappelling, hiking, kayaking, and whitewater rafting. Freak’n Creek’n covers them all. Of course, Cocorná is also the home of Medellin paragliding. The Freak’n Creek’n headquarters looks down at Cocorná town and puts you around 100 meters from the Medellin paragliding’s main launching spot.
Our Ideal Layover: Chilling, Eating & Paragliding Medellin
We always travel on a budget and the way our flights worked we had a 12-hour layover in Medellin before flying to Mexico City. This could have been a real drag, but thanks to Freak’n Creek’n it was the best. layover. ever. Not only did we have an incredible experience paragliding Medellin, but we also found the Freak’n Creek’n HQ to be an excellent spot to spend the afternoon.
Okay, I’ll be honest with you: I planned this out ahead of time. Once I knew we had the layover, I was looking for a place to spend the day where we didn’t have to drag our luggage around. Maybe a Medellin wifi cafe. Maybe a park. But I saw Freak’n Creek’n and the view, I knew this might be the place. When I saw their menu of burgers, pizzas and craft beer, I was sold.
When I’m right, I’m right. I took a gamble and it paid off big time. Sure it’s a drive out of town as may be best as a day trip from Medellin, but it worked great for our layover as well. It was a spectacular place to experience paragliding in Colombia. It was also the perfect place to eat and chill out after a very full Colombia travel itinerary. Most people will do this as a day trip from Medellin, but regardless of how to plan your Colombia paragliding, Freak’n Creek’n is a great place for it.
Getting to Cocorná
Most people will book Medellin paragliding through a website or a tour operator, and pickup with be at your Medellin accommodation. For us, however, we asked Freak’n Creek’n to arrange a driver to meet us at José María Córdova International Airport. From there, it’s about an hour’s drive to Cocorná, but if you leave from Medellin city, expect about 90 minutes. Most outdoor activities in Medellin require a drive like this, and it’s totally worth it.
Keep in mind that many taxis, ubers, and other transport options are small cars. When you’re a family of four with all your luggage, it’s best to let them know so you can fit everything and still ride comfortably. This won’t be an issue for most of you since you’ll be leaving your stuff in your hotel in Medellin.
Food at Freak’n Creek’n
Once we arrived at Freak’n Creek’n HQ, it was time for a late lunch. I had seen the Freak’n Creek’n menu online and was looking forward to trying it out. I wasn’t disappointed. The pizza was substantial (they import the cheese) and the burgers were big and juicy. Once our bellies were full, we just hung out on the deck and played a few rounds of Uno in the sun while we digested. A spectacular view of the valley spread out before us, with occasional paragliders flying by to remind us it wasn’t a postcard.
Time for Paragliding Medellin
Now it was time for paragliding Medellin. We walked up the road to the launching spot and looked over the edge. It was time. We met our guides and suited up. The tandem skydiving suits have the guide in the back and the customer (us) in front. The harness is connected to the guide by multiple straps and metal hooks, and there is a small seat for your back-end, so I wasn’t actually dangling the way I thought I would. Once clipped in, assistants raise the chute and then shout “Run!” And just like that, my feet left the ground and I was paragliding in Medellin. Sailing over the treetops, my feet whizzed over waterfalls and lush green hillsides.
Fast, Scenic, Incredible!
I was surprised at how fast we moved and how close we were to the action. For example, our first paragliding experience was in Lima, Peru, and it was moto-paragliding along the coast. This was great, too, but the noise of the engine and the distance from Lima’s cliffs made it a completely different experience. With no engine behind me, I could hear the rush of the waterfall as we approached. At times, I felt so close to the treetops I could kick them. Of course, probably not as close as I thought. Yet speeds and distances felt completely different when paragliding Medellin.
The close encounter with the forest soon gave way as the hill dropped off and we were over the valley. Now it felt like a LONG drop down to the fields and farmhouses below. The town of Corcorná sat straight ahead, but my guide steered towards thermal columns of rising hot air and circled them like a vulture over prey.
The result: we were higher than we started, which allowed us to soar over the valley even longer. There are certain times of the year, they told us, where they can ride the thermals enough to actually land where we started. Let that sink in. A parachute, is supped to slowly descend to the ground, right? At least that’s what I thought. But with the right conditions, they can take off, ride around, grab a thermal, rise higher and return to where they started. Amazing.
Landing, G-Force & Motion Sickness
I had Medellin paragliding all wrong. To be honest, I thought it would be just a nice slow float with a great view. Same view as a nice lookout point, but with nothing under my feet. I was wrong. This was a rollercoaster ride. Not only did we get close-up views of waterfalls out of view from any lookout point, but we also had enough velocity to get my blood pumping. For example, my guide pulled on the ropes for some sharp turns and spiral dives. This was awesome, and it gave me the same feeling in my stomach that you get on the most hair-raising amusement park rides. If you like that kind of thrill, then make sure they know that. If you want something more stable, then ask them to skip the acrobatics.
Switchbacks & Cinnamon Rolls
We landed in a soccer pitch in the town, where a car was waiting. The roads leading back up the valley walls to Freak’n Creek’n HQ are winding switchbacks. Another reason to take motion sickness meds if that’s a problem for you. Once back at the top of the hill, we settled into chairs on the deck and ordered a snack: craft beer for me, cinnamon rolls for everyone else. That’s right: homemade cinnamon rolls out of the oven — another winner on the Freak’n Creek’n menu. We ate (and I drank) with relish, then just chilled out for another hour or so, reading our kindles and catching up on social media before it was time to return. Our ride dropped us off at the airport once more, and before long we were flying out of Colombia, the memories of paragliding Medellin still on our minds.
The Verdict: Paragliding Medellin with Freak’n Creek’n
We totally recommend paragliding in Colombia. And if you’re paragliding Colombia, then do it with Freak’n Creek’n. Their location is perfect, the service is great, and the views from here are hard to beat. Better still, they have a great place to relax and eat either before or after you paraglide over the valley.