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Europe 2016 Paragliding Trips

Europe 2016 Paragliding Trips - Antofaya Expeditions' European paragliding trip schedule 2016

Our European Alps paragliding season schedule is here. All the trips’ details will follow. Time to start planing ahead your holidays and search for good plane ticket deals. Last euro season we were overbooked for the Southern Dolomites trip. So do not wait until the last moment to reserve your spot. Below the dates and airports:

      in airport: Venice
1-10 June – South Dolomites: Piave Valley, Italy
      out/in airport: Venice
10-19 June – Slovenia: Soca valley
      out/in airport: Venice
19-28 June – South Tyrol: Speikboden and Puster valley
      out/in airports: Innsbruck or Zurich
28 June – 7 July – Swiss Alps: Interlaken, Grindewald, Fiesch
      out airport: Zurich

Photo: Antofaya Expeditions’ European paragliding trip schedule 2016 (photos taken at the trips’ locations)

The other face of the desert

The other face of the desert - Paragliding along the coastal mountains near Pabellon de Pica during 2015 flowering desert event, The Atacama Desert, Iquique, Chile

Every ten or more years the coast of the Atacama desert receives rain. Then water runs down the coastal cliffs creating new channels. Then after a month seeds dormant for many years germinate and create a colorful carpet of plants and flowers. Seeing it from above while flying my paraglider is a visual experience. It lasts for a couple of months. Then the desert wins again and landscape changes to never-ending sands and rocks for the next ten or so years. If you want to see the flowering desert from the air there is still space at our paragliding tour to Iquique, Chile this November.

Photo: Paragliding along the coastal mountains near Pabellon de Pica during 2015 flowering desert event, The Atacama Desert, Iquique, Chile

Since 2007 – The Tribute

Since 2007 - The Tribute - History of Antofaya Expedition's paragliding trips to Iquique, Chile

Going trough old photos. Guys, without you none of it would be possible. Big compliments to all of you. I hope you had at least as much fun flying as I had running those trips for you. More trips to come!

Photo: History of Antofaya Expedition’s paragliding trips to Iquique, Chile

The Glacier Flight

The Glacier Flight - Paragliding over glaciers of Adamello range, The Alps, Italy

For a guy who lives in a desert flying over alpine glaciers is something to remember. Yesterday I had a chance to do it. The weather conditions were just right. We have chosen an unknown takeoff above Madonna di Capiglio, Italy in Brenta Dolomites and had speculate flight. During the whole flight I was thinking to myself how lucky and privilege I am to experience those vistas. I am so glad to be a cross country paragliding pilot.

I just have checked the global paragliding base and Paragliding Skyways. Apparently there is only six or so flights ever registered in the area. I guess we become accidental explorers.

Photo: Paragliding over glaciers of Adamello range, The Alps, Italy

Between The Andes and the jungle

Between The Andes and the jungle - Paragliding from Loma Bola above Villa Nouges, Sierra de Aconquija, Tucuman, Argentina

The first day on the other side of the Andes above the humid yungas jungle in Argentina. Grassy takeoff of Loma Bola and lots of locals in the air welcomed me back to Tucuman. Nice soft thermals and never ending green blanket of vegetation below me is a change from the Atacama desert. Two hours in the air on the first day combined with great views of the high ranges at the back. Let’s see what Argentina holds for us.

Photo: Paragliding from Loma Bola above Villa Nouges, Sierra de Aconquija, Tucuman, Argentina

Argentina, we are coming!

Argentina, we are coming! - Argentina paragliding tour's t-shirt by Antofaya Expeditions

Everything is ready for the journey. We are starting at Tucuman’s Loma Bola. Then Famatina and then Sierras de Cordoba and Merlo. For the “happy landing” we will have bottles of the famous malbec wine and juicy steaks of bife de chorizo.

Photo: Argentina paragliding tour’s t-shirt by Antofaya Expeditions (designed by Zbyszek Dobosz)

Into the sunset at Tiliviche

Into the sunset at Tiliviche - Bert Kornyei paragliding at the mouth of the Tiliviche canyon near Pisagua with Cerro Toro at the background, The Atacama Desert, Chile

The day began with very strong winds early in the morning which kept us on the ground until afternoon. Once the sun started to lower on the horizon conditions got smoother and the Tiliviche again shoved us its beautiful colors of the desert. Whenever I fly there in the evening the photos come out just right.

Photo: Bert Kornyei paragliding at the mouth of the Tiliviche canyon near Pisagua with Cerro Toro at the background, The Atacama Desert, Chile

New Horizons – 205km Flight in The Atacama Desert

New Horizons - 205km Flight in The Atacama Desert - Paragliding between Caleta San Marcos and Rio Seco, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Since the very beginning of paragliding in Iquique thirty years ago the sandy beaches of the town were the goal of all cross country flights in the area. If you wanted to fly 60km you took off from Patillos, if you wanted to fly 120km you took off from Chipana, etc. And then aimed for landing in Iquique. Passing Iquique and venturing any farther was not an option. This changed last Sunday. I flew 205km from San Marcos landing near Caleta Camarones. I passed Iquique as a mere point along the route, passed Caleta Buena, passed Junin, passed Pisagua, and passed Tiliviche canyon. I believe this flight opened new horizons of what is possible in XC fling in the Atacama Desert. I am sure there will be more paraglider pilots exploring the wild desert north of Iquique to stretch their flight distance. If you embark on such a flight please consider that there is no roads, no access, no retrieve, no safe landing, no cell coverage. There is the scorching sun of the driest desert in the world and unclimbable vertical cliffs of the coastal mountains. Be ready for it, the rewards are amazing.

Photo: Paragliding between Caleta San Marcos and Rio Seco, The Atacama Desert, Chile

UP paragliders

Antofaya Expeditions sell UP paragliders

We are the representative of UP paragliders in Chile. UP is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of paragliders based in German Alps. All the wings are designed and manufactured with famous German technology. The newest glider SUMMIT XC3 become an instant hit in Europe with its unparallelled performance as it is one of the fastest EN B wings on the market. Now we are bringing those wings to Chile. As a welcome gift for our customers we are offering special low introductory tax-free prices. For more details feel free to contact me.

UP website: www.up-paragliders.com

Argentina – Flying with Condors

Argentina - Flying With Condors, Paragliding Tour, 3 - 16 December 2014

We are going to Argentina – the land of big mountains and never-ending steppe. The land of warm people, great wine, and gauchos on their horses. This two week trip will take us from rainforest to desert. We will fly famous flying sites like Loma Bola in Tucuman, ridge soar with Andean condors at a little jewel of Famatina, look for convergence flying at the home of paragliding world champions at La Cumbre, and go cross country at Paragliding World Cup site Mina Clavero. And between flying we will stay in beautiful countryside guesthouses, eat grilled Argentinian beef, visit vineyards, ride horses, and splash in thermal waters. Condors as your wing-men guaranteed. Join us. All the details here.

Photo: Paragliding from Cuchi Corral above Cerro Uritorco, La Cumbre, Sierras de Cordoba, Argentina

Summer in The Alps

Summer in The Alps - Wildkogel paragliding takeoff in Pinzgau with the main range of the Alps in front, Austria

The Alps of Europe welcomed us with sun and some rain. And when the weather was good we flew as much as possible. The mountains there are big and the landscape amazing. Annie who flew with us said “It changed my flying. It is a different level of things”. I cannot agree more. The Alps changed my flying years ago, too. Have a look at the photo gallery from our 2014 tours to Slovenia and Austria.

Photo: Wildkogel paragliding takeoff in Pinzgau with the main range of the Alps in front, Austria

Epic weekend in Eastern Alps

Epic weekend in Eastern Alps - Your host - Jarek Wieczorek - taking off with his paraglider from Speikboden, South Tyrol / Alto Adige, The Alps, Italy

Four thousand registered flights during a single weekend! Almost a thousand flights over 100km. Eighty over 200km. And two world record beating triangle flights over 300km! Paragliding went crazy last weekend in the Eastern Alps. The cloud base was at 4500m / 15.000ft and you could takeoff as early as 9am for a twelve hour flight. I was lucky to take part in this flying bonanza. The otherworldly views of the Alps from up there will stay long with me. The lesson I learned: If you are going to spend any time flying your paraglider over 4000m / 13.000ft you better have good winter goretex gloves with you because it is way below freezing up there even with scorching summer heat in the valleys.

Please see more photos from this paragliding weekend in the Alps.

Photo by Boga: Your host – Jarek Wieczorek – taking off with his paraglider from Speikboden, South Tyrol / Alto Adige, The Alps, Italy

Urban Daddy gets his wings at Antofaya Expeditions

Urban Daddy gets his wings at Antofaya Expeditions - Paragliding over The Atacama Desert, Chile

Urban Daddy wings our Atacama Desert adventure: “An off-the-grid, cross-country paragliding journey. You’re basically living out the sequel to Lawrence of Arabia. You know, the one set in northern Chile, where Lawrence says to hell with trudging across colossal sand dunes, straps on a state-of-the-art personal flying contraption and soars over them instead. Hmm… maybe it was direct-to-VHS. Anyway, that’s you…”

Full story here.

Photo: Paragliding over The Atacama Desert, Chile

Direction South – new flights in Chilean Norte Grande

Direction South - new flights in Chilean Norte Grande - Paraglider pilot's view while flying along The Atacama Desert coast in Northern Chile, Punta Arenas north of Tocopilla, Chile

Traditionally all longer XC flights in northern Chile are made in Northern direction. It is due winds which blow always more or less from the south and turn even more south as the day progress due to the Coriolis force. During few days with northern winds usually flying is not good at all. But this November was very unusual. For more than a week a very unusual strong center of low pressure set of the coast of southern Norte Grande and changed traditional weathern patterns of the area. This resulted in very high cloud base (1300m), light northern winds, and cloud streets over the coastal range.

On both weekends we flew south from San Marcos toward Tocopilla. Although I know very well the stretch between San Marcos and Chipana flying there was totally different than previously since locations of thermals were very different and the rotors zones you normally avoid in that case were the places to fly at. The deep and colorful Chipana bowl (traditional rotor) was the area of the highest and strongest climbs. After Chipana comes Rio Loa canyon with usual for this place canyon suck extending for over 15km. Weather at the Loa litoral is always govern by the canyon. Every time I fly there regardless of the general wind pattern the Loa winds are exactly the same. It does not matter where the general wind comes from south, north, west – at Loa it always blows toward the canyon. The wind there changes like in a Swiss machine – exactly above the river it turns 180 degrees. Crossing Punta Arenas (the most dreaded rotor for pilots flying north from Tocopilla) was uneventful – again no rotor because of the northern wind.

That day we had very high cloud base of 1300m (the highest I ever experienced in the Northe Grande). This allowed us to cross all the points by flying above them, as opposed to going around them. Not only it is faster but also much safer since the rotors were avoided all together and the altitude loss was minimal. Approaching Tocopilla tunnel I had to remind myself that I am at work and all my clients already landed. So I left the mountains toward the ocean pretending the never ending cloud street of beautiful cumulus clouds leading south does not exist. Anyway it was 87km – probably the longest flight in the southern direction made in Northern Chile. All my clients I guided that day made their personal bests. It was a flying day to remember.

I hope those new flights will contribute to developing the XC paragliding zone in Northern Chile and will rise local and foreign pilots appetite for interesting flights. The desert has so much more to offer than Alto Hospicio to Cavancha sled ride.

More photos here.

Photo: Paraglider pilot’s view while flying along The Atacama Desert coast in Northern Chile, Punta Arenas north of Tocopilla, Chile

Evening Session

Evening Session - Paragliding over the Desert Plateau south of Iquique, The Chilean Coastal Range, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Takeoff 18:00hrs. Landing 20:30hrs – half hour after sunset with strong thermals still kicking. High cloudbase over the Atacama plateau with beautiful orange light for aerial photos. Desert views to remember. Perfect Monday to start a flying week.

Photo: Paragliding over the Desert Plateau south of Iquique, The Chilean Coastal Range, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Still blowing from north

Still blowing from north - The Coastal Range between San Marcos and Tocopilla, The Atacama Desert, Chile

If last weekend in San Marcos was very unusual this weekend in San Marcos was very unusually great. Similar unusual conditions with northern wind, high cloudbase, and abundant lift. Everybody in my group made their personal XC records! I flew up to the Tocopilla tunnel when I had to remind myself that I am at work and have to land. It is the longest flight in Chile going South.

Photo: The Coastal Range between San Marcos and Tocopilla, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Into The Desert

Into The Desert - Paragliding over mountain dunes near Cementerio 2 south of Iquique, the Atacama Desert, Chile

Yet another spectacular day of flying in the Atacama. This season is nothing but great. I am so fortunate to have this place in my backyard.

Photo: Paragliding at the mouth of Tiliviche canyon, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Tiliviche

Tiliviche - Paragliding at the mouth of Tiliviche canyon, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Just some fun flying with the setting sun at Tiliviche Canyon followed with The Vulture Ridge soaring until dark. It is a lovely location at the the deserted coast 60 miles north of Iquique. I think it is the nicest and the most inspiring place to fly in northern Chile.

Photo: Paragliding at the mouth of Tiliviche canyon, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Iquique in reverse – the marvelous

Iquique in reverse - the marvelous - Paragliding south of Iquique above Punta San Marcos, The Atacama Desert, Chile

I wonder what more miracles will the weather serve us in Iquique this season. So far it is the best season I remember with almost every day bringing excellent flying conditions. Today was not only superb but very very unusual. It was a rare day when you can fly far south. It happens here in the desert as often as rain in the Atacama. So we flown south from San Marcos past Chipana, past Loa, and almost to Punta Arenas and then back to Loa. It was something never attempted before. Not only that. It was unusually high cloud base – almost 1300m. This is higher than the permanent Atacama inversion. Today I had a chance to see spectacular desert panoramas as never before. Definitely a day for a record flight. It does not meter that I had to land early. Smiling faces and excited stories of participants of the trip made up for given up miles. Iquique and the desert at its best!

More photos here.

Photo: Paragliding south of Iquique above Punta San Marcos, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Iquique Paragliding Adventure 2013

Iquique Paragliding Adventure 2013 - Paragliding over mountain Mystic Dunes, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

As the desert flying season approaches I am preparing another paragliding adventure for this November. It is going to be our sixth flying trip in Iquique, Chile. We will visit desert flying sites nobody else go – flying sites of spectacular beauty and great XC potential. And above all the flying weather is guaranteed. Seriously. We fly every day for the whole day over the vast Atacama desert. That is the chance to score more flying hours than for the rest of the year. Come and try yourself. To learn more about the trip and sign up visit the trip page.

Photo: Paragliding over mountain Mystic Dunes, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Fly There

Fly There - Paragliding over Gruppo di Fanis range, The Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy

Everybody at the takeoff was telling me to fly there, to fly there if I have a chance, wherever I fly today remember to fly there, and fly there when the sun is setting, just go there. I must admit it was not easy. It started with a two hours hike to the takeoff. A breakfast of cheese and schinkenspeck. Switchy winds during the launch. Then seven hour XC flight along spines of the South Tyrol Alps and then the sun started to set.

Every pilot has flights he always remembers: the first time your feet leave the ground, your first thermal flight when you get above a takeoff, the first long cross country… and then there is the first time the wingtip of your glider touches the vertical limestone walls of the Dolomites.

A mini-photo gallery here.

Photo: Paragliding over Gruppo di Fanis range, The Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy

Desert longing

Desert longing - Paragliding cliffs of Tiliviche canyon 200km north of Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

It has been many months since I left my desert home. I miss the endless horizon, the browns, yellows, and pinks of the desert mountains. I miss it even more because I just have finished working on a gallery of photos from Iquique flying season. I miss getting up in the morning and going flying – no parawaiting, no hours of studying weather forecast. In Iquique it is always flyable. It works like a Swiss watch. The new Iquique gallery is here. Enjoy.

Photo: Paragliding cliffs of Tiliviche canyon 200km north of Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

The other side of glass

The other side of glass - Your host Jaroslaw Wieczorek flying his Aircross USport2 paraglider over large inter-mountain valley of Zywiec basin in Beskid Mountains, Poland. Photo by Kinga Konieczny.

They say that shoemakers are always the worst shod. I have been taking travel and adventure photos for 20 years now but you can hardly find any photo of me. So it was a great surprise for me when I got this gift from Kinga Konieczny. It is a selection of aerial photos of me flying my wing. Now I can self-indulge in vanity by changing my computer’s wallpaper.

Photo by Kinga Konieczny: Your host Jaroslaw Wieczorek flying his Aircross USport2 paraglider over large inter-mountain valley of Zywiec basin in Beskid Mountains, Poland

European XC season is open!

European XC season is open! - Flying over Kobala looking West toward Kobarid and Italy, Soca Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Spring came late to the Alps this year and winter left lots of snow in the mountains. So when the spring sun heats alpine valleys there is plenty of color and temperature contrast to make thermals strong. For me the first longer XC flight this spring was along the classic Slovenia-Italy route. Starting from Kobala and flying to Gemona along the Stol range and back. Almost 100km. I am waiting for more.

There is more photos from the last weekend in Slovenian Alps at the trip page here. Enjoy: https://www.facebook.com/events/397867623640892/

Photo: Flying over Kobala looking West toward Kobarid and Italy, Soca Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Over Krn

Over Krn - Spring paragliding over Krn - the highest mountain around Soca Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

The weather forecast was predicting excellent flying weather in Julian Alps and I was hungry of big air. So I drove the whole night to get at the takeoff at eleven in the morning. The cumulus clouds started already to develop high above snowy peeks and I knew it is going to be fun. And it was. I flew high above Alps’ peeks still covered in deep snow. You can imagine what an experience it was for somebody who lives in a desert and usually flies over sand dunes and sunburned rocks.

Photo: Spring paragliding over Krn – the highest mountain around Soca Valley, Julian Alps, Slovenia

Can’t wait for Slovenia!

Slovenia - The Joy of XC -Chuck Savall from Colorado paragliding along Stol and Mursi ranges on an XC flights from Slovenia toward Italia, Soca Valley, Slovenia

I simply fell in love with Slovenia, its mountains, and above all flying there. Those who went there with me last year know what I am talking about. I could not resist and we are going back to Slovenia this year, to the European Alps. The dates are 20-29 June 2013. Last year we had excellent flying time with XC flights of over 100km. I can honestly say that it is one of the best flying location in the Alps and in Europe. We had in our group of 13 an international mix of male and female pilots from Chile, Peru, USA y Poland. I simply cannot wait to get there and if you want to join us please let me know. All the details of the trip can be found here.

Photo: Chuck Savall from Colorado paragliding along Stol and Mursi ranges on an XC flights from Slovenia toward Italia, Soca Valley, Slovenia.

Team Aircross in Iquique – photo session

Team Aircross in Iquique - photo session - Gerard

What a great paragliding season this year in Iquique. Great cross country conditions in October and November were virtually every day. Plenty of +100km flights. Often I flew more than I slept. In October I was visited by a team of Aircross pilots. I could not resist those beautiful wings and had to shoot them a desert photo session. Please enjoy the photo results here: Aircross Iquique photo session

Photo: Gerard “Gege” Chouvin flying over The Mystic Dunes on his Aircross USport Evo paraglider, Iquique, The Atacam Desert, Chile

Antofaya XC Sky Challenge 2012

Antofaya XC Sky Challenge 2012 - Antofaya XC Sky Challenge will happen on October 28th. We will try to fly 200km to Iquique from the

Antofaya XC Sky Challenge  Level 2 takeoff on the highest sea cliffs in the world, Tocopilla, The Atacama Desert, Chile

This year Antofaya XC Sky Challenge will happen on October 28th, just a couple of days before the Iquique Open competition. We will try to fly 200km to Iquique from the “Level 2″ takeoff at the highest sea cliffs in the world near Tocopilla, Chile. Last year, half of the participating pilots beat their personal records with the longest flight of 190km. More info here and here.

Photo: Level 2 takeoff on the highest sea cliffs in the world, Tocopilla, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Flying The Atacama Desert – By Ned Israelsen and Chuck Savall

Flying The Atacama Desert, By Ned Israelsen and Chuck Savall - Paragliding over Toro plateau near Tiliviche Canyon, Pisagua, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

A must read for any paraglider pilot who wants to come to Chile and fly above the Atacama Desert:

“I bailed first as the thermal weakened, and found myself above an amazing plateau of a hundred undulating little peaks and dips stretching half a mile north and west. The late afternoon sun emphasized the colorful, jagged texture. The plateau sat atop a point that jutted west from the mountains all the way to the sea. I circled slowly, entranced by the beauty below. As I gained altitude bit by bit, an idea began to form. Could I go up the coast by flying over the plateau? Did I dare? What if I had to land in the middle of those badlands?” … read more

Photo: Paragliding over Toro plateau near Tiliviche Canyon, Pisagua, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

100km in The Slovenian Alps

100km in The Slovenian Alps - Jorge Rivera on his 100km XC flight spanning Slovenia and Italy, Monte Musi range, Parco Regionale delle Prealpi Giulie, Julian Alps, Italy and Slovenia

Jorge Rivera joined Antofaya Expeditions’ Slovenian trip and he writes about his memorable 100 kilometers flight:

“It was a total of 100 kilometers flying along high mountain ranges of which some rise over 2,500 meters in altitude with impressive and imposing rocky walls. A wonderful show that one can only see in great sport video documentaries.” … read more

Photo: Jorge Rivera on his 100km XC flight spanning Slovenia and Italy, Monte Musi range, Parco Regionale delle Prealpi Giulie, Julian Alps, Italy and Slovenia

One flight, three countries

One flight, three countries - Paragliding over Carpatian Beskids mountains, Czech Republic

The flying season in Europe is full on. A few days ago I had an XC flight, which spanned three countries! It would not be possible a few years ago but now there are no more borders in Europe and flying between countries is effortless. The cloud base was at 3,000 meters and green hills of the Carpathians extended far past the horizon. Flying here is very different from flying in the desert of Iquique. Technically it is a mix of mountain and flatland flying. If you are low you look for thermals along the ridges and sunny mountain faces. If you are high you use cloud streets and jump from one cloud to another.

Photo: Paragliding over Carpatian Beskids mountains, Czech Republic

My Atacama in Thermik

My Atacama in Thermik - Paragliding over the Atacama desert, Chile

The largest paragliding magazine on the planet – Thermik – features a portfolio of my photographs showing the beauty of flying over the Atacama desert in Chile. “Thermals, soaring, and record in Northern Chile – The desert wind”, photographs by Jarek Wieczorek, text by Tim Mayer. Highly recommended. If you haven’t been to Iquique yet this may just convince you to plan your next paragliding destination. You can buy the magazine in electronic format here or in print here.

Photo: Paragliding over the Atacama desert, Chile.

Slovenia – XC trip to the Alps

Slovenia - XC trip to the Alps - Paragliding toward Bovec valley from the Stol range, Kobarid, Julian Alps, Slovenia

This June we are going to celebrate the joy o cross country flying. Flying in beautiful Alps of Slovenia. After spending in Slovenia my European summer last year I simply fell in love with this place. I fell for its grand wild silver mountains, its spectacular flying, its emerald rivers, its green valleys, and people who smile a lot. Slovenian Alps were simply created for paragliding. Yes, they were. You will be telling me the same while laughing when you land on a green meadow deep in the Alps after a long XC flight. I dare you because I know. Come, I am taking you with me to Slovenia to have lost of fun while flying. Learn more about the trip here.

Photo: Paragliding toward Bovec valley from the Stol range, Kobarid, Julian Alps, Slovenia.

Palo Buque

Palo Buque - An acro pilot having fun on a virgin sand slope, Palo Buque, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

The biggest paragliding playground on the planet and a pilgrimage destination for pilots. It is a 1000m tall and 10km long sand and dunes covered ridge. Since Palo Buque sits just in my backyard I sometimes forget what a big treasure I have here. So I go and fly there at sunset over the Mystic Dunes and it reminds me why I fly.

Photo: An acro pilot having fun on a virgin sand slope, Palo Buque, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

Real Pilots

Real Pilots - Paragliding Tiliviche camp at The Vulture Ridge, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Real pilots sleep in their wings. Sleeping-bags, tents, pillows and girlfriends are redundant. I love watching men with a passion. They push boundaries, they do not care about daily comforts, they always walk looking at the sky thinking about being there, and their faces light up when they talk about flying. Actually they hardly talk about anything else. So what do you do when you are not siting in your office? You kite-board? Do puzzles? Run marathons? I fly.

Photo: Paragliding Tiliviche camp at The Vulture Ridge, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

Fly Atacama – daily photoblog

Fly Atacama - daily photoblog - Ned Izraelsen flying over Toro plateau near Tiliviche Canyon, The Atacama Desert, Chile

It is the season in the desert and we have been flying every day for hours. We barely have time to sleep and eat. Both the familiar and the remote desert flying sites give us the best possible weather this year. I bet you wished you were here flying with us. Not sure? See the photos from our daily photoblog and you will jump on your next airplane heading to Chile.

Fly Atacama 2011 daily photoblog

Photo: Ned Izraelsen flying over Toro plateau near Tiliviche Canyon, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

4th annual Antofaya cookout

4th annual Antofaya cookout - After Landing - a free bar at the dunes of Palo Buque, The Atacama Desert, Iquique, Chile

The 4th great annual Antofaya BBQ at the dunes of Palo Buque is taking place Tuesday, November 15th and is featuring grilled fish and sea food plus plenty of Chilean wine and cold beers. All pilots present in Iquique are very welcome. If you miss it you will have to wait a whole year for the next one. We will start lighting up the charcoal and open the free bar at 5PM. Send me your RSVP.

Photo: After Landing – a free bar at the dunes of Palo Buque, The Atacama Desert, Iquique, Chile.

Up in clouds

Up in clouds - Jarek Wieczorek gliding along the Atacama Desert coastal range in the Loa river area, The Atacama Desert, Chile

I visualized this flight tens of times. I imagined myself taking off high above the clouds. I daydreamed about flying over the deep canyon of Loa river. I looked at gliders down low at Palo Buque. I pictured myself flying into Iquique at dusk with street lights on. I dreamed about this flight for a long time. Aren’t our dreams what we live for? Tocopilla (Level 2) to Iquique – 190km – over 7h in the air. More here.

Photo: Jarek Wieczorek – the host of this blog gliding along the Atacama Desert coastal range in the Loa river area, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

Level 2

Level 2 - Sunset view from the highest sea cliffs in Chile and the highest paragliding takeoff of Northern Chile - Level 2, Tocopilla, the Atacama Desert, Chile

Another addition to Project Colorada. This time our desert off-road exploration took us to the highest sea cliffs in Chile. It is a 6.000ft (1800m) vertical drop straight to the ocean! And yes, we are preparing a brand new takeoff there – Level 2. The views are breathtaking as it is way above the permanent Atacama inversion layer which means it is often high above the clouds. It should make paragliding XC flights from Tocopilla toward Iquique much easier. We will be testing it very soon.

Photo: Sunset view from the highest sea cliffs in Chile and the highest paragliding takeoff of Northern Chile – Level 2, Tocopilla, the Atacama Desert, Chile.

Antofaya XC Sky Challenge 2011

Antofaya XC Sky Challenge 2011, October 23

On October 23 (Sunday) Antofaya Expeditions is organizing a paragliding XC Challenge trying to fly 200km to Iquique from a brand new takeoff on the highest cliffs in Chile – 1600m. Number of available space limited. Please email me to sign up. More info here.

Fly Atacama with with us in 2011

Fly Atacama with with us in 2011 - Steve Torgesen flying over Tiliviche Canyon and Cero Torro plateau, The Atacama Desert, Chile

As every year this November is going to see lots of colorful paraglider wings flying over the driest desert in the world – The Atacama Desert in Chile. We are getting ready for our annual adventurous pilgrimage to Iquique – the most consistent flying destination on the planet. And again we will cover countless XC miles and again we will fly from down to dusk and again we will host the famous desert BBQ for all pilots. So what are you going to do this autumn when it rains outside? Join our flying tour to a place where it never rains. Details here.

Photo: Steve Torgesen flying over Tiliviche Canyon and Cero Torro plateau, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Chasing weather in my cockpit

Chasing weather in my cockpit - Piave river flowing trough vineyard covered foothills of the Alps, Bigolino, Treviso province, Northern Italy

I am a spoiled brat. I am a spoiled pilot who lives in the Atacama Desert where we have 360 flyable days in a year. Now I am traveling in the Alps and learning meaning of word “para-waiting”. It means checking weather daily, choosing location, driving hundreds of miles, siting on a take-off for long time, and then it is raining anyway. Or worst, snowing like in Chamonix a couple of days ago. And it is the middle of the summer! All of it is so foreign to me. I am a spoiled brat and my European paragliding friends make fun out of me.

Photo: Piave river flowing trough vineyard covered foothills of the Alps, Bigolino, Treviso province, Northern Italy

Ceske Beskydy

Ceske Beskydy - Lysa Hora range and Sance reservoir and dam, Moravian-Silesian Beskids, Czech Republic

I am spending my austral winter far away from the desert. It is very green here and flying is great. Mountains are covered with forests and valleys are full of small villages. There is plenty of paragliders here and take-offs are big grassy fields. It so different from what I am used to experience and see from the air. It is Czech Beskids.

Photo: Lysa Hora range and Sance reservoir and dam, Moravian-Silesian Beskids, Czech Republic.

Evening soaring

Evening soaring - Bob Janzen from USA flying over high wind mountain desert area called “cementario dos” during one of evening XC flights, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

What a busy November! Flying every day. Flying every day more than once. Conditions were superb especially for the first half of the month. I think I got almost 100 hours in this one month. We did multiple San Marcos to Iquique XC flights of 95km, cloud soaring at Chipana, Pisagua trips, plenty of sand dune flying. Not to mention my new sporty glider from AirCross.

Photo: Bob Janzen from USA flying over high wind mountain desert area called “cementario dos” during one of evening XC flights, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

Over the desert

Over the desert - Flying a brand new competition paraglider over the mountain dunes on a long XC in the desert, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

I get many questions from people who never been here or never been at any desert. How is flying here? When is the best time to come? Paragliding in Iquique is very different than what you have experienced anywhere before. It is not ridge soaring, it is not extremely hot here and logistics are complicated. The rewards are just unbelievable. And if you are a person who is inspired by what you see you will be coming here every year. Or maybe even you will come and settle here as I did. The desert is simply stunning but it takes dedication to see this beauty. Beauty which is beyond words for me. So I take photos and share them with those who want to watch.

Photo: Flying a brand new competition paraglider over the mountain dunes on a long XC in the desert, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

San Chango

San Chango - A pilot flying his competition paraglider MacPara Magus 6 from the new XC takeoff Chango, The Atacama Desert, Chile

This new XC takeoff will become a hit. It is the best XC takeoff in the greater Iquique area. It has everything: big, safe and flat launch area facing prevailing winds, enormous sandy landing in front, high altitude difference of 600m, easy access even by a car, spectacular desert views 360 degrees, perfect XC distance to Iquique. We have opened it a few weeks ago and been flying there at every chance. It simply rocks. Check it out for yourself.

Photo: A pilot flying his competition paraglider MacPara Magus 6 from the new XC takeoff Chango, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Winter is over

Winter is over - Carlos Curi flying his paraglider over a desert plateau near Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Days are getting longer, sand is getting hotter, cloudbase is getting higher, cross country season is coming. Winter is over in Iquique. The big fun is about to begin.

Photo: Carlos Curi flying his new paraglider Omega 8 over a desert plateau near Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Desert paragliding gallery 2009

Desert paragliding gallery 2009 - View of the desert mountains near Iquique

It took me long time but finally I have photos from last year’s paragliding season in Iquique ready. For pilots who had a chance to fly with me these photos will serve as a nice souvenir. Please enjoy. I hope to take plenty of fine photos of colorful wings over the desert this year, too. The gallery is here.

Photo: Paraglider Pilot’s view of the coastal mountains near Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Desert Eye Candy

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It is always flyable here but sometimes my job keeps me stuck to my computer desk. For times like that I made a cool paragliding screensaver with over fifty wonderful photos which turn on pilot’s imagination. It is available here for everybody to try: Desert Paragliding Screen Saver.

Photos: Selection of photos from Desert Paragliding Screen Saver

Arenal

Arenal - Cloud covered Cuesta de Arenal plateau and Tiliviche Canyon near Pisagua, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Project Caleta Colorada continues with establishing the highest paragliding take-off in the greater Iquique area – Arenal. This easily accessible in a car take-off at 900m a.s.l. should make cross country flights between Pisagua and Camarones more attainable. That area is getting more and more popular with pilots looking for desolate desert experience. Multiple XC flights have been already flown there but existing Junin and Tiliviche take-offs pose distinct challenges for an XC hungry pilots. The Arenal take-off is located so high that on days with a lower cloudbase you actually take off above a cloud layer and above the permanent coastal Atacama inversion layer – see the photo.

Photo by Rianna Riegelman: Host of this blog – Jarek Wieczorek – looks over cloud covered Cuesta de Arenal plateau and Tiliviche Canyon near Pisagua, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Colorada

True off-road flying at one of the most remote Iquique paragliding sites. Past weekend conditions at Caleta Colorada were nothing short of great. We flew almost to Iquique and back. And the views over the Atacama plateau are to die for.

Movie: Off-road paragliding, Caleta Colorada, The Atacama Desert, Iquique, Chile. (http://www.vimeo.com/13710141)

Tandem racing

Tandem paraglider piloted by Philip Maltry with his daughter over Patillos take-off, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, ChileThere are very few tandem paragliding competitions in the world. One of them takes place every winter in Iquique. Not only is it a sport event but a social one, too and tandem pilots from various paragliding school compete in any possible way for publicity for their commercial operations. Solo pilots are allowed to compete as well. And plenty of them show up to flex their sleepy winter wings.

Photo: A tandem paraglider piloted by Philip Maltry with his daughter over Patillos take-off, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

Fly Atacama 2010

Sandro Traussnig paragliding over dry riverbeds of Cerro Toro plateau near Tiliviche canyon north of Iquique, Pisagua, The Atacama Desert, ChileAs every year together with Ken Hudonjorgensen I have been preparing another great paragliding desert adventure for this coming November. This year we and our participants will focus on XC miles and discovering new flying locations. Come and be part of this real adventure during the best paragliding season over the desert of Northern Chile. Read more information and see more pictures here.

Photo: Sandro Traussnig paragliding over dry riverbeds of Cerro Toro plateau near Tiliviche canyon north of Iquique, Pisagua, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

The road to Cushamen

Aerial view of easternmost Andean ranges near El Maiten and Cushamen, Patagonia, ArgentinaIn my previous life I was driving my truck looking for a forgotten road from Fofo Cahuen to Cuchamen, getting lost in the dark, spending a night at the top of the hill, and in the morning dreaming about flying above those remote ranges of Argentinean Patagonian steppe. In this life a friend takes me to his secret flying place. A place so stunning and shiny in the setting sun that you never want to land. And then I realize that these are the mountain ranges of the road I saw long time ago. This is the road to Cushamen. Thank you Martin, Laucha and your newborn Lorenzo for your hospitality. Thank you for taking me on the road to Chushamen … again.

Photo: Aerial view of easternmost Andean ranges near El Maiten and Cushamen, Patagonia, Argentina.

Seba de Vizcachas

Sebastian Alvarez flying his Niviuk Artik 2 paraglider over Las Vizcachas, Santiago de Chile, ChileSebastian is a new and dedicated pilot in Santiago. An Argentinean living in Chile. He is a great friend and a fun person to fly with. We spent most of the summer flying together in Las Vizcachas. Our highlight flight we had was a competition race to Chacabuco way past Colina. He wanted a photo session wearing his new and beloved Artik 2. Judge yourself how well he looks in it. See it here.

Photo: Sebastian Alvarez flying his Niviuk Artik 2 paraglider over Las Vizcachas, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Incidental summer

Niviuk paraglider flying over Las Vizcachas, Santiago de Chile, ChileIt was supposed to be a short stop in Santiago on the way toward Patagonia. Then the universe conspired and I stayed two months. There was lots of flying, lots of asados, lots of friends and our laughs. And of course lots of photos. Endless saludos for all my friends in the air an on the ground for the great time I had in Santiago. My summer would not be the same without you gals and guys. Special thanks to Carlos and Mathias. And yes, for some cool photos click here.

Photo: Niviuk paraglider flying over Las Vizcachas, Santiago de Chile, Chile.

From desert to jungle

Carlos Curi flying his Niviuk Artik 2 paraglider over Loma Bola, Aconquija Range, Tucuman, ArgentinaOn one side of the Andes there is the desert, on the other side the jungle – Yungas. In summer it rains there every day. These landscapes are so different that it is hard to believe that the mountains can have such a great effect on environment. On my way south toward Patagonia I stopped in the jungle to recharge my depleted green batteries. Once the summer is over I will not see anything green for the rest of the year. So I flew over misty mountains of Tucuman and enjoyed grassy takeoff and landing.

Photo: Carlos Curi flying his Niviuk Artik 2 paraglider over Loma Bola, Aconquija Range, Tucuman, Argentina.

Dreamscape

Sunset paragliding over The Barefoot Dunes, Cerro Oyarvide range, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, ChileDreams do come true. I dreamed about flying above The Barefoot Dunes since the moment I discovered them. It seamed virtually impossible because they are too high above the permanent inversion layer, too deep into the desert from the coast, and too remote. Then this perfect day happens with all ingredients just right, like never before. And I am just there, right at that time, right at that moment. And the moment was at the sunset. And yes, I was screaming from joy and happiness. Did the universe help me?

Photo: Sunset paragliding over The Barefoot Dunes, Cerro Oyarvide range, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile.

Bliss

This place is like a box of chocolates. Every time I go there I get something new, something great. This time after a pioneering XC flight toward Camarones we flew above the clouds for over two hours. Then the glide kilometers into the sea and landing close to the crashing waves of Pacific way after the sunset with landing zone lighted up by a huge bonfire. Then a BBQ on a deserted beach. Then sleeping under starry southern skies looking for the southern cross. All of this laughing with friends and loved ones. Can it get any better? Another day to remember. Another day in the life of the happiest guy on Earth.

Movie: Paragliding above clouds in Tiliviche Canyon, The Atacama Desert, Chile. (http://www.vimeo.com/7555250)

Racing

Jarek Wieczorek racing cars in his paraglider, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, ChileAll the local pilots from Iquique are warming up for the big date. Some got brand new fast wings, some fly every day, some spend hours planing tactics. Speed bars see lots of use these days. Iquique Open 2009 starts in a couple of weeks. Will a local or an alien win?

Photo: Jarek Wieczorek racing cars in his paraglider, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile. Photo by Leo Andrade.

The window is open

Paragliding over the platou above Punta Piedras North of Iquique, The Atacama Desert, ChileLast weekend we opened the XC season in Iquique with flights to Punta Piedras and a double run from Patillos to Cavancha. The austral spring has come and the famous super consistent Iquique paragliding conditions are on. I am really looking forward to this flying season. Let’s make some memorable flights.

Photo: Leo Andrade flying his paraglider over the platou above Punta Piedras North of Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Fly Atacama Tour 2009 Iquique, Chile

Leonardo Laserna paragliding Junin cliffs north of Iquique, ChileAfter the great sucess of last year’s tour we are doing it again. We are coming back to Iquique this year for more – more flying, more XC distance, more remote desert sites, more sun, more Pacific beaches, more great paragliding. Join us and experience our top-notch logistics, stunning flying locations, in-depth local knowledge, and luxury beachfront hotel. Last year participants logged countless hours in the air and had the best flights of their lives. Will you be part of it this year? The dates are 10 – 17 and 17 – 24 November 2009. More here.

Photo: Leonardo Laserna paragliding Junin cliffs north of Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Best of Atacama Flying 2008

Warren Stadler from USA paragliding at the Tiliviche Canyon, Pisagua, Atacama Desert, ChileI added to the gallery some cool photos taken while paragliding in the Atacama Desert last year. You can see them here.

Photo: Warren Stadler from USA paragliding at the Tiliviche Canyon, Pisagua, Atacama Desert, Chile

My private flying site

Carlos Curi paragliding at Caleta Colorada, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, ChileWhile Europe flying sites are overcrowded with pilots subjected to strict regulations. While in USA land ownership and government policies make paragliding confined to few locations. In Chilean Atacama Desert it is all for you to take (or fly). I have my private flying site here. It is thirty kilometers North of Iquique accessible only by 4×4 off-roading. Tall rainbow colored coastal mountains sliced by riverbeds which did not see water for two hundred thousands years and endless Pacific beach far below. Can your home flying site beat mine Caleta Colorada?

Photo: Carlos Curi paragliding at Caleta Colorada, Iquique, The Atacama Desert, Chile

Going offshore

Leo Andrade paragliding far off the shore of Iquique, Atacama Desert, ChileWhere else in the world can you take a shore thermal straight up to the cloudbase and then glide kilometers out over the sea, fly back, join vultures for another thermal ride up to the cloudbase, go out over the sea, come back, fly over desert mountains, sea, cloudbase, beach, cloudbase, dunes, cloudbase, mountains, cloudbase, desert, cloudbase, ….? I love Iquique.

Photo: Leo Andrade paragliding far off the shore of Iquique, Atacama Desert, Chile

Never-ending summer

Leo Andrade flying his tandem paraglider over Iquique's coast toward Cavancha beach, Iquique, Atacama Desert, ChileIt is good to be back in IQQ where summer never ends. Where flying never ends! Conditions are surprisingly good for this time of year with high cloud base and not so strong western winds. Perfect for relaxing XC.

Photo: Leo Andrade flying his tandem paraglider over Iquique’s coast toward Cavancha beach, Iquique, Atacama Desert, Chile

Flying inland

Leo Andrade on his Niviuk Icepeak paraglider during the final glide toward Playa Brava after a successful flight over inland mountain ranges, Iquique, Atacama Desert, ChileTogether with Leo Andrade – one of the best local Iquique pilots – I have been playing with the idea of leaving the known safety of the Pacific facing megacliff and flying inland toward many dune covered mountain ranges. We determined a bunch interesting areas: the big mountain range of Cerro Oyarvide North of the Airport, a small hills North of Alto Hospicio, and plains of Cuesta Arenal near Pisagua. Let’s see if the next paragliding season in Iquique brings new flying zones.

Photo: Leo Andrade on his Niviuk Icepeak paraglider during the final glide toward Playa Brava after a successful flight over inland mountain ranges, Iquique, Atacama Desert, Chile

The Vulture Ridge

Paraglider pilot Niki from Italy having fun at The Vulture Ridge, Tiliviche, Pisagua, Iquique, ChileAfter over two weeks of hard work we went for a weekend of play and fun. We flew for fun, we had a big campfire on a deserted beach for fun, we made tasty BBQ for fun, we drank good Chilean wine for fun, we laughed with friends from all over the world for fun, and we slept under stars for fun. We had lots of fun at The Vulture Ridge.

Photo: Paraglider pilot Niki from Italy having fun at The Vulture Ridge, Tiliviche, Pisagua, Iquique, Chile

Camanchaca

Paraglider soaring inland mountain dunes covered by incoming camanchaca mist, Atacama Desert, ChileIt never rains in Atacama desert but sometimes evenings are misty. Dense cloud banks form in front of the coastal mountain range and then move inland.

Photo: Paraglider soaring inland mountain dunes covered by incoming camanchaca mist, Atacama Desert, Chile by Rianna Riegelman

Altazor travels in a paraglider

Paragliding over desert plateau near Patillos launch during Copa Altazor 2008, Atacama Desert, Iquique, ChileWe just have had a fun paragliding competition in Iquique – Copa Altazor. Good flying conditions drew to Iquique over sixty thermal hungry pilots for a weekend of desert flying – pilots of all skills from beginners to experienced competition pilots. The weather did not disappoint and we had two tasks: one from Patillos and another flying above the city. How much good fun was it? Everybody wished they could stay longer.

Photo: Pilot Mike Christiansen flying his paraglider over desert plateau near Patillos launch 60km south of Iquique during Copa Altazor 2008 competition, Atacama Desert, Iquique, Chile

My friends of air

Parglider pilot flying his wing at Vizcachas site in Cajon del Maipo near Santiago, Chile“My name is Jarek and I am a paraglider pilot.” – A magic phrase with power only other pilots are aware of. It opens hearts and makes instant friends. Sometimes high in the clouds in your radio you hear a voice of somebody you have never met giving you courage. sometimes when you land an unknown person comes and hands you a beer. I have thousands of friends who would go an extra mile for me and I do not even know their names. Saludos for all my friends in Santiago de Chile. It was great summer I spent with you. See you in Iquique … My name is Jarek and I am a paraglider pilot.

Photo: Parglider pilot flying his wing at Vizcachas site in Cajon del Maipo near Santiago, Chile

Fly Atacama Desert Paragliding Adventure Tours 2008 Iquique, Chile

Cross country paragliding near Punta Batuco, Iquique, ChileFor November 2008 I am planing a great adventure for every paraglider pilot. I teamed up with rewarded USHPA instructor Ken Hudonjorgensen and US paragliding champion Bill Belcourt to organize a pilgrimage to paragliding mecca every pilot should do at least once in their lifetime. To the famous Atacama desert flying location – Iquique, Chile. Come and join us and have lots of fun. More information about the tour here.

Photo: Cross country paragliding near Punta Batuco, Iquique, Chile

Chipana

Paragliding at Playa Chipana between Tocopilla and Iquique, Atacama, ChileA big white sand dune climbs high on a mountain. It is your takeoff. It is tricky. You need to wait for a tiny thermal or a bit of sea breeze to take you up the first couple of hundred meters up. Sometimes you wait very long watching huge deserted beach three kilometers in front of you. If you timing is wrong there is a long, steep, and hard trek with your paraglider on your back in front of you. But if your timing is right and once you get high up, Iquique one hundred and twenty kilometers away is your destination and you will see a lot of Atacama desert broken by maze of dry river beds. Just get high and enjoy.

Photo: Sand dune of Playa Chipana between Tocopilla and Iquique, Atacama Desert, Chile

Pisagua – Don’t drink it

Paragliding Tiliviche Canyon, Pisagua, ChileTiliviche canyon has already a permanent place at Project Caleta Colorada. It is a beautiful afternoon flying site at the mouth of a steep desert canyon with Palo Buque style take-off, endless deserted beach in front, high cliffs of the coastal range at the back, space for exploration, and perfect Pacific sunset every evening.

Photo: Paragliding in Quebrada Tiliviche, Pisagua, Atacama, Chile

Tiliviche sunset session

Tiviliche paragliding sunset session, Pisagua, ChileFour pilots, four gliders, will to explore uncharted areas. It is a recipe for great rewards: pristine beaches, deep canyon, desert mountains seen from above, and smiles which last for days. And lots of great photos. View them at Tiliviche sunset session gallery.

SAT team at Palo Buque

SAT acro paragliding team at Palo Buque, Iquique, ChileAcro paragliding world champion Raul Rodriguez with his court and groupies came to Iquique and occupied dunes of Palo Buque for a week. They fly small heavily loaded dynamic wings. No good for cross country but great for radical maneuvers.

Altitude record

Paragliding Altitude Record at Patillos, Iquique, ChileUnusually high cloud base and the coastal range south of Iquique disappears below me and big cumulus clouds far away in Altilano appear. Higher I go better views I have. Higher I go more relax I feel. Higher I go more fun I have. For me paragliding is seeing world from above. It is a spectacle nature prepared especially just for me.

Project Caleta Colorada

Objective: discover new flying zones of Northern Chile and fly where nobody flew before. It is an essence of adventure. It is not true that everything was already discovered and that there is no more space left for pioneering.

Northern wind

They say that when it blows from the North flying sucks in Iquique. I do not know who has come with this idea but he definitely was wrong. Last Sunday was so cool and sweet. Like flying a totally new place. Filete! Check out McRivur coming to landing at Cavancha beach.

Photo: Paragliding over Playa Cavancha, Iquique, Atacama, Chile

Copa Altazor 2007

Day first – Patillos to Los Verdes, very difficult conditions, low cloud base, nobody made to the goal. Day two – 25km over Iquique, beautiful weather, sun and breeze. Summary – lots of pilots, great flying, laughing, asados, fun, fun, fun.

Quebrada de Tiviliche

The canyon is 1200m deep at its mouth. Yes, it is a long way down. Nobody has flown there before. That is until we got there. And to get there we spent a whole day of off-road driving with our faces glued to my GPS. Then a warm night spent high above clouds and some serious paragliding fun next day. Try to spot a paraglider on the picture. That is Nick – the first man who has ever flown Tiviliche.

Ten Days of Solstice

Flying under midnight sun. Yes you can fly for 24h per day if you wish. Just head to Alaska in summer. I found these pictures by pure coincidence in my archives. Enjoy more photos at Paragliding Alaska…

Patillos de Atacama

It is not even top flying season here but as always desert flying from Patillos to Iquique rocks. Flying panoramas and experiences like nowhere else in the world. Flying is great. Flying in Atacama desert is even better. I would never exchange it for a steady office job and endless mortgage payments. And you? Do you really think you will get a second life to enjoy your time on Earth? No? So why aren’t you here with me?!

Paragliding Santiago photographs

Fruits from my camera. Photographs taken during my flying in Santiago. There is a high chance you will recognize your wing on one of the pictures. Plenty of great models in Parabeer club. Are you sure you are not wasting your talents? See the Paragliding Santiago gallery.

Volcano Quetrupillan



Five hours of climbing, getting ready for a pioneering flight, and then… What an experience flying down from a rim of snow covered volcano into lush green valleys far away! I love my life.

More photos at the What’s Cooking? gallery.

Goodbyes again


Kisses and hugs to all my great friends in Santiago. It was so much fun here. Hope to see you and fly with you again. But now Patagonia is waiting for me.

Santiago flying


Summer flying in Santiago is soooooo good. Last Saturday I flew 35km from Vizcachas, got to 2700m, landed at 21:15 after almost 4h flight, and was greeted by three cute chicks (unfortunately none of them was legal age). On the other hand the two who came to retrieve me were very doable. Thank you Mona and Poly for the retrieve.