Paragliding in the Dominican Republic
This past weekend I took off on a mini road trip to go paragliding in the Dominican Republic with five other adventurous travelers! Our destination was Jarabacoa in a province called La Vega about 100km from Cabarete. We opted to rent a car rather than take a gua gua as it saves time and gives you a little more freedom to explore. For $45 USD we rented a car from Easy Rider that at first glance appeared to have only five seats, but in reality fit six people and a dog quite comfortably. If you’re cautious to lend out your credit card, Easy Rider does accept cash. While the car did have some electronic issues that caused the headlights to sputter out a few times (not exactly ideal on a dark highway), we booked last minute and it fulfilled our needs otherwise.
After a beautiful two hour drive inland through the mountains, we arrived in Jarabacoa! I looked into two flight schools that offer tandem paragliding in the Dominican Republic, both based in Jarabacoa. Hawk Paragliding had the best reviews on Trip Advisor so I decided to book with them. Because we came in a group of five, they gave us each a $10 discount. One of their guys came and met us at a gas station right as we got into the city and we followed them up into the mountains to the landing site. Once we got there, paragliding in the Dominican Republic became parawaiting. In order to keep the paraglides in the air, there needs to be a combination of wind and thermals. Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal for paragliding in the Dominican Republic that day so flights were relatively short and a long wait. Luckily, we were in a beautiful place in good company. After an hour or so, conditions were good enough for our pilots to fly down with their previous group.
After loading everything back in their truck, our group and the pilots headed up the mountain to our flight site. Excitement was running high as we all geared up for our first time paragliding in the Dominican Republic.
We all felt safe and secure with the equipment Hawk Paragliding provided, they are required to abide by safety standards and were happy to answer any of our questions. Everyone wore a helmet and a harness that doubled as a seat that goes in front of your pilot. Once I was all clipped in, I stood at the top of the hill and ran as fast as possible from the top, then woosh! Before I knew it I was flying with the birds over the island. It was a spectacular site and while most of us were expecting an adrenaline packed flight, paragliding in the Dominican Republic turned out to be a very peaceful, tranquilo activity. Though we were only in the air for ten minutes, flights can last up to a few hours depending on the conditions. If you are interested in seeing this beautiful island from a new perspective or want to conquer your fear of heights, I highly recommend Hawk paragliding in the Dominican Republic.
Post and photos by Lynsey Wyatt.