Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying paragliders: lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing.
For every adventure junkie, it’s a dream to conquer the peaks of the Himalayas in Nepal. From the rough hiking trails to experiencing kayaking and rafting over the gushing river bed, Nepal has everything to satiate the thirst of adventure. Just like these, paragliding is another adventure activity that attracts tourists who want to soar in the sky.
Due to the risks of being too close to the flying paths of domestic airlines. You are not permitted to just launch as a private pilot. Therefore it is important to get familiar with and follow the flying policies and regulations of Nepal.
Imagine yourself flying in the sky like a bird, and when you look down, all you can see is the wonders of nature. The abundance of scenic beauty, with green valleys, snow-capped mountains, white gushing water streams, and more make paragliding in Nepal an experience worth living at least once in a lifetime.
6 Places To Experience Paragliding In Nepal
If you have the guts to fly in the sky like a bird, then don’t miss out on these 6 places to experience paragliding in Nepal which will give you the chance to glide and witness the undaunted beauty of this nature’s paradise.
1. Paragliding in Pokhara
Soar into the sky and witness the picturesque view of the snow-capped mountains and pristine lakes by enjoying the thrill of experiencing paragliding in Pokhara which is one of the best paragliding places in Nepal. Along with the experienced pilots, the adventure junkies can choose among the tandem flights and the fully certified paragliding courses, solo flights, and even get the chance to fly with the hawks!
2. Paragliding in Godavari
Witness the crystal clear sky at Chapakharka in Kathmandu as you take off from the height of 2100 meters from the sea level. This area is surrounded by lush-greenery and vastly spread vegetation and pollution-free air to take inside. This place is a great location to experience paragliding in Nepal.
3. Paragliding in Bandipur
Bandipur is yet another spot among the popular paragliding places in Nepal that offers breathtaking views. You get to see Manaslu mountain, Ganesh Himal peak and Annapurna massif of the Himalayas. Tandem flying is available so even if this is your first time in paragliding, you can rely on the pilot who would be flying with you. You can go for a calm scenic float or an acrobatic tumbling. Make sure you wear shoes that grip to your feet and also a comfortable jacket.
4. Paragliding in Bhotechaur
Imagine soaring through the air like a bird and landing gently on the ground after a superb flight?. Paragliding at Kathmandu can make this possible for you. A truly awesome paragliding experience, flying high with breathtaking views of the beautiful mountains, eye-catching views of Melamchi and Indrawati river flowing gently aside, and many more.
5. Paragliding in Rainaskot
A gorgeous view of Rainaskot taken by a group of paragliders, who recently visited and did a first paragliding outing from the top of the hill. Mesmerizing views of 18 mountain ranges including Annapurna and Machchapuchhre can be seen from the Rainaskot. The number of domestic tourists visiting a historical site of Rainaskot in the Lamjung district has increased significantly.
6. Paragliding in Sirkot
Best for solo pilots because you can fly all the way to Pokhara, 2.5 hours, technical flight. Located at the south of Pokhara, it is a journey of 3h driving away from Pokhara (2h over a road and 1h of dirt track). You will take you to a wonderful starting point for an amazing Cross Country flight.
Generally, it is safe to go Paragliding in Pokhara but, it is still an extreme adventure sport and got risks involved. During the peak season, you will find more than 250 flights a day. You will have a reserve chute and a large lake for your safety.
The biggest risk is during take-off and landing if there is a sudden change in the wind and that cannot be predicted for sure.
You also have to make sure the company you have chosen to go with includes insurance coverage. Most of them say they do have insurance even if they don’t. So the best choice is to go with a reputable company.
You should also know that there is no Nepalese paragliding license because Nepal has no system in place for regulating paragliding. However, pilots do own international certificates and enough experience to work as Tandem Pilot.
They will fly in different locations, and weather with different instructors as a test, and also pass an exam with an APPI instructor before working as a commercial instructor.
Only two companies (Sunrise and Blue Sky) offer an introduction course to paragliding. It costs 120 euros/day, which includes equipment. The course lasts 15 days and by the end, you’ll have your paragliding license which allows you to paraglide anywhere in the world on your own.
Paragliding might not be in everyone’s budget. 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.
Standard flight (30 minutes) = Rs. 7500 ($75)
Cross-country (40-60 minutes) = Rs. 11,000 ($110)
GoPro footage (5 minutes video, 30 stills) = Rs. 1700 ($17)
Best season and time to do Paragliding
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.
Essential Paragliding Equipment
- Paraglider. First things first – the paraglider.
- Helmet and clothes. This is an essential piece of equipment for any paraglider.
- Harness. The harness is another essential piece of safety equipment and should be high on the list when shopping for essentials.
- Paraglider Bag. This is needed for after a flight.
In addition to the incredible experience of paragliding in Pokhara, don’t miss a hike into the Annapurna Range.
I recommend the tandem paragliding flight by Nepal Tours, as they also include transport to and from your hotel, and they have professional pilots.