Colombia XC

Colombia offers a great combination of reliable, consistent and calm thermals, with a variety of flatland and mountain routes.
We fly every day and maximise the flying time and distance by reacting to changing conditions.

Jan - Feb 2021

The flying in Colombia is a mix of mountains and flatlands, giving a huge variety of routes and big XC flights. Last year we flew up and down the valley, both along the ridges and out in the flatlands, on relaxing 100+km flights for 4-6 hours. We fly the mountains early in the day, and when the lee wind develops, we head out to the flats in the afternoon, use the convergence to cruise either north or south, depending on the winds.

We give one-to-one debrief sessions with the guides, halfway through the course, highlighting your strengths and weaknesses and recommending flying and preparation strategies to help maximise your flying time.

Covid restrictions permitting, we plan to run 2 organised trips in Jan / Feb of 2021. You can book a place on these trips without any obligation to pay now. We will pencil you in and request payment before the start of the trip, once the travel situation resolves safely.

Our team will be in Colombia all of Jan & Feb and available for special 1 : 1 coaching days on request.

Travel

The plan is to fly in and out of Matecaña International Airport, Periera, which is about 70km / 1.5hrs drive away from our farmhouse base in La Union. After settling in, we will use Ansermanuevo as our first flying site.

For airport transfers, we will collect pilots from Pereira airport at a time that works for most of the group.

In case your flight time does not match our transfer service time, or you decide to fly in and out of Cali Airport, we can organise a taxi for you at an additional cost.

Accomodation

We will be staying at the huge and stylish farm house in La Union. Breakfasts are included in the price. We normally eat out at night as the towns have good choices of restaurants and shops, although the finca does have a kitchen and we can ask the staff to prepare a BBQ for us for a few nights when the group would like to eat in.

Most fincas and farmhouses in Colombia usually have dorm style bunk beds, with 3 to 6 pilots sharing big rooms. In hotels, most rooms will be allocated on a twin/triple sharing basis.  

There are plenty of taxis and bikes for local evening transport around the town.

Fees & Dates

  • Fees : £1500
    includes XC guidance, daily mountain transport, site fees, accommodation on twin sharing basis with breakfast and a full retrieve service.

  • Duration : 12 days
  • XC1 :  Jan 20 - 31st, 2021
  • XC2 : 5th Feb -16th Feb 2021

  • Guides : Geordie Petts & Debu Choudhury
  • Our team will be in Colombia all of Jan & Feb and available for special 1 : 1 coaching days on request

  • Book Now >

Flying Sites

Based on our experience of the last few years, we have found La Union to be the best suited for our groups, in terms of convenience and choice of flying sites.

This location allows us the flexibility to fly from either Roldanillo or Ansermanuevo based on the weather and pilot preferences, to maximise the day's potential. There is a takeoff also at La Union, which we use on some days.

Conditions & Weather

Jan / Feb : Colombia offers some superb flying, at a time Europe is covered in snow and Great Britain has turned into a mud island. Flying is quite relaxing in Jan & Feb, with typically light winds, gentle climbs to 2,500m cloudbases.

Pilot Level & Suitability

These XC trips are suitable for XC pilots of all levels but you must be realistic on distance and airtime goals, based on your current skill level.

The launches are generally smooth but steep and grassy with a gentle up-slope breeze.  As XC pilots, you should all be good enough to fly from there with no problems so there won't always be a take-off instructor there. Please remember that you must be self-reliant and be able to make your own decisions. 



If you bomb out then it is sometimes possible get a lift back up to Ansermanuevo launch take-off for another “free flight” in your own time, because the guides could be occupied taking the main group on the planned XC route of the day. Roldanillo is usually a one-flight day, as the pacific wind stops launching around noon.



We do not guide pilots into landings, this you do yourself. Making sure that you always have an easy landing option throughout your flight. It is important that all pilots are self reliant and are capable of choosing their out-landing options. Colombia is great for low saves, but make sure you always have a safe landing option and you give yourself space for changing wind direction as thermals can release giving 180 wind changes low down.

Please be aware of your own physical and mental limits throughout the tour and on each flight. We aim to do a lot of flying and this can be tiring, especially in heat that you may not be used to, so please be realistic and fly within your comfort and skill levels, landing early if you feel tired, or selecting more relaxing flatland flights, if you feel you have had too much of the mountain conditions.

Typical Routes

Our aim is to have everyone getting personal bests and making the most out of the conditions, so please feel free to ask loads of questions and make sure you sap us of all knowledge.

To give you an idea, this year we flew everyday and 50km was a common average, with the lead group often doing 90+ km flights and flying for 3-6 hours respectively.

Trip Checklist

01.

Flying Kit


We assume that you will arrive with a functional paraglider, harness and reserve parachute, vario/gps. With regard to radios, make sure they're 2-metre band. Most electrical equipment these days will take a 110 or 220 volt charge, but it's up to you to check your gear. You may need to get a 110 volt to 220v transformer.

We recommend you bring along your own trackers (Inreach / Spots). If you don’t have one then we can provide you with one, but please let us know before attending the course.

The weather is nice and warm, good enough to fly in shorts and a thin flying jacket and gloves.

02.

Insurance


It is essential that you have travel insurance which covers you in respect of the following :
      
1. Medical Treatment
2. Medical Repatriation
3. Search & Rescue by helicopter

We will hand out a central grab sheet form, where we would like all pilots to fill in their emergency contact details, insurance policy and contact numbers.

This grab sheet also mirrors all the Risk Acceptance sign offs that are a part of this document. Please give make sure you understand and accept the risk involved.

Top Flights from 2020

Our star clients and guides who pushed their distances and PBs during our courses this year
Click on each the pilot name to see more details and flight log

Pilot Date Takeoff DistanceAvg Speed Time Type
Daniel Krušelj10 Feb 2020Ansermanuevo129.60 km24.2 km/hr5.42 hFree Flight
Leigh Joyce1 Feb 2020Ansermanuevo102.5 km23.4 km/h4.22 hFree Flight
Andrew Kruszynski25 Jan 2020Roldanillo99.11 km21.17 km/h4.51 hFree Flight
Warwick Lister-Kaye24 Jan 2020Ansermanuevo83.29 km17.5 km/h5.10 hFree Flight
  David Šiljeg12 Feb 2020Roldanillo68.43 km17.3 km/h4.16 hFAI Triangle

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