hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro is one of those things that I have to do. At the time when I was a student distracted by drawing maps of the Brazil in the back of my math notebooks, I must have met a guide or a blog post at first it has highlighted as a main attraction – because although I can’t identify where and when I heard about this, hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro was a must in my mind for as long as I can remember.
Fortunately for me, Heather has been shipped with enthusiasm. She is also, with very little convincing, ready to wear matching leggings Brazilian flag with me. And that’s why I love Heather.
it was not my first time test gravity – I was parachute parasailing on Maui, ballooning in Laos, sky diving on Oahu and helicoptering and prop-plane-ing around in the living room. But he has my first time hang gliding, and I got nervous-yet-hilarious GoPro plans to prove.
no, it is not the face of a girl who is totally sold on the idea of running off a cliff.
some time has elapsed since we were beaten our hostel’s door until the white beaches of São Conrado, the epicenter of hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro. A bunch of descent shops formed a line carefully along the beach, and we were directed to the appropriate to sign waivers, pay 30R (about $10USD) in legal fees and get paired with an instructor. Then, we were in the van, winding our way to the point of launch in the National Park of Tijuca, the largest urban forest in the world.
although I was incredibly impressed by how organized, efficient, double-checked and security-based the whole affair was, the idea of throwing me a mountain begins to seem suspect. Despite, or perhaps because, the expression on my face, I was the first one called before to fly and after receiving information the shortest in the world – literally, which consisted of “continue to work until you don’t feel the ground beneath your feet more” – I started to sprint.
and soon I couldn’t feel the ground more.
the adrenaline of the launch was overwhelming, but a few moments my pulse returns to something resembling normal and I was struck so peaceful it was, up in the clouds.
, while I admired the view, my instructor expertly navigated using the wind. That’s the beauty of the tandem flight – you pretty much your own private air driver and you can relax and focus on making the thumbs to the top of signs and the camera intermittently peace fingers. (Why, universe, why is – it must be my fault?)
Rio de Janeiro no shortage of amazing views, but they were particularly impressive. Not only we could do our friend Christo Redentor in the distance, but we also had the first row for Pão de Açucar, the forest vegetation of the Mata Atlantica and of course the white beach of several of the most famous beaches of the city.
, we also had infamous gap a poignant vantage point of Rio between extreme poverty and opulent wealth. In a sense, we looked at the infamous Rocinha Favela; in others, the mansions of waterfront of São Conrado. Otherwise want a voyeuristic look at the houses (and pools!) of the rich and famous Brazil, you can’t ask for a better view of bird.
the final of the challenge? Landing. Yet once, on my part it was simply running until I was told not. For an adventure sport ‘,’ I was sure to take easy up there.
and then we were back on Earth, sand, or rather. While my instructor took care of our harness and platform, I ordered up to two fresh coconut and waited to encourage landing of Heather.
she rocked it! Together, we threw told every moment of our experiences and gave us some serious high five to check an other adrenaline off the coast of our travel wish lists.
Unfortunately, we met soon our one and only complaints on the tour and we had booked. We have carefully selected a package that says “photos and videos included” and technically, there were some photos and videos included, our instructors explained us that we have perfected our FBR mutual. Gliders are implemented with two GoPros and included photos and video clips are only the front camera. Side camera plans will cost you an extra 100R (about $32USD). In addition, they give you them on a DVD unless you pony 20R (around $7 USD) for a USB card or memory.
as we were travelling with memory cards and USB keys about twenty-seven between us, we were quite annoyed that we had not received a heads up in order to bring our own. And we were extremely irritated that the exclusions of photography was not clear when we booked. Reluctantly, I paid for additional pictures, which, to his credit, my instructor gave me on the memory card that he didn’t charge me, in order to resolve the situation. Considering that it was a costly experience, being nickeled-and-dimed at the end feeling good. He has certainly left a bitter taste in the mouth to feel like we had been misled, so if you go to Rio and book an offer of hang gliding, just a clarification exactly what is included before hand.
three hours later, we were back where we started in the footsteps of our hostel. Our photo frustrations, I loved the experience and would recommend our tour. Ease of transportation (our driver offered to let us down on the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana if we preferred, which was nice), the efficiency with which we got upward and out of the mountain and high security standards that all left us impressed.
after so many years of anticipation and so many other amazing adrenaline inducing experiments between the two, it would have been easy to be disappointed by it. But no, hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro has lived up to every math class that I never thought about it through.
as I told Heather this morning… it’s a beautiful day to jump off a cliff!
I am a member of the Ambassador Viator initiative and participated in this tour as part of this program. This post contains affiliate links for which I earn a small percentage of any sales made without any charge to you. Thank you for your support of Alex in Wanderland!