Having tried paragliding for the first time in Morzine, I was keen to repeat the experience in Lima. I know that sounds a little crazy when you consider I hate heights and spent the take-off being beaten up by the ground but there you have it. Clearly, I’m glutton for punishment. Although I usually prefer to try new things, I was sure the contrast between mountain scenery and a beach-side city would provide the diversity I had been looking for. I began researching my options which is when I stumbled across paratriking. What on earth was that?!
What is paratriking?
Unlike paragliding which involves running for take-off, during a paratriking experience, you are sat in a trike which does the work for you. As with a usual tandem flight, you will be at the front and the pilot will be behind you. It is pretty much a combination of paragliding and traditional airplane travel.
Why take to the skies of Lima?
Lima is a beautiful city which benefits from an incredible beachfront location. Its high cliff tops and sandy beaches provide the perfect take-off setting for both paragliding and paratriking. Soaring over the sea is an amazing way to take in the city from a whole new perspective and challenge yourself to do something new.
For more on getting out of your comfort zone, check out this post!
Why go paratriking instead of paragliding?
A huge advantage of paratriking in Lima is that it is not as weather dependent as gliding so departures are virtually guaranteed. This makes it a great option if you will only be in the location for a few days.
There is also a great safety record associated with paratriking. According to Sky Rebels, it has the lowest incident rate of all flying methods based on statistics. Now that is a statistic I can get behind!
As someone who is a massive wimp, I was elated to see that there would be no pressure on me as a passenger to perform. Having messed up my take-off so drastically in Morzine and finding the landing process quite intimidating, I was glad I wouldn’t finish this flight with a mouth full of sand!
Owing to the lack of dependence on weather, paratriking can be done from a much lower level and you don’t need to do anything crazy like run off of a cliff. For my readers who share my fear of heights, this is surely a better alternative to paragliding which requires that almighty leap of faith.
What is included and how much is paratriking in Lima?
Although the price and inclusions vary by company, you should expect a 15-20 minute flight to cost around $80USD per person. This price usually includes transport to and from the flying site, as well as a recording of the flight via action cam. As you would expect, GoPros tend to be the camera of choice. Discounts are sometimes offered for multiple bookings and you can always try your luck at haggling if you’re feeling confident!
Organising the flight
Tim and I organised our paratriking in Lima through Aeroxtreme. This was a quick and easy process which simply involved agreeing to the price and date by Facebook message. After this, all we needed to do was confirm the pick-up point and our weight. Small trikes like this operate based on weight distribution so it is important you have a rough idea of how much you weigh. Be warned, if you have been in Peru for a while and have spent the past few weeks indulging in ceviche, roasted cuy or syrupy Picarones, you may want to overestimate your weight a little…not that I know from experience or anything.
After arriving at the flying site (in our case a cute little beach on the outskirts of the city), we watched the pilot and his crew get set up.
As I stood around trying to psych myself up, a member of the team came over a plonked a helmet on my head. It looked like I was going first…
I sat down in the trike and got buckled in. Despite the amount of hair in my face, I was keen to check that I was in securely, knowing I was about to launch into the sky. Luckily for me, the crew triple checked the equipment and the safety harnesses before prior to handing me the GoPro. Before I knew it, the engine roared into life and we were speeding across the sand.
Take to the skies
I was both surprised and relieved to feel the ease with which we launched into the sky. I expected the paratrike to feel heavy and clunky but as soon as we got into the air, we were light as feathers. It took me a little while to get used to the way the trike moved and a couple of turns definitely got my heart racing.
Despite my initial reservations, once we were cruising comfortably, I felt completely relaxed. As we zoomed around Lima’s sky, I took in the sights of the second largest desert city below me. We stuck to the line of the coast so this was a great opportunity to get my nosey parker hat on and start comparing the size of the beachside swimming pools. It was a little chilly up there but the air was hugely refreshing in the desert climate.
Paratriking in Lima was a welcome escape from the hustle of the streets and provided a truly peaceful and relaxing way to take in the city. The sea was a stunning emerald green colour and so clear in places that I could see the rocks on the seabed. Birds flew below me, their shadows dancing on the waves. As I looked around, I couldn’t believe just how much of Lima I was able to see. In my opinion, this is a city that gets quite a lot of unfair criticism but even the haters couldn’t doubt that Lima from the sky is beautiful.
As we headed towards the car, I figured our time must be up. That is what I thought anyway until we flew straight past it. It looked like we were going to allow for a big runway along the beach. Confident in my prediction this time, I was surprised when we began to edge closer to the road. Before long, we were directly above the highway and my mind was running riot. Would we be landing in the middle of the road? There were massive HGV trucks driving down here! Surely, this isn’t safe? Why are we losing so much height? He needs to be quick, there’s another truck coming… I began to get very agitated and a little scared until we spun back in the direction of the beach. Of course, my overactive imagination had thwarted my peace and tranquility once again.
As my paratriking in Lima experience came to an end and we got closer and closer to the ground, I braced myself for a rough ending that never came. Instead of bumping the floor at full pelt, we instead just glided across until we met the sand. It was silky smooth – just like an aeroplane landing.
Is paratriking Lima’s best attraction?
Paratriking in Lima was the perfect way to see the city and gave me a whole different perspective to the one I had been building on the ground. It was undoubtedly the highlight of Peru’s capital for me. Unlike my paragliding experience, it was easier, smoother and a whole lot kinder to my knees. Whilst some of my favourite attractions in Lima cost only pennies, this was one splurge that I definitely don’t regret (unlike our evening drinking in one the city’s dingy rock bars and the subsequent hangover).
Have you ever been paratriking in Lima?
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