Paragliding in Pokhara is one of top places in the world to experience flying. Using Sarangkot as a take off area gliders get incredible views of the Annapurna mountain range behind them while under and ahead is the beautiful lake Phewa Tal.
Popularized since the early 2000's Paragliding in Nepal has been around for several decades. There are now many outfits offering lessons, tandem flights, solo flights and even a yearly competition.
You'll find most of the companies offering paragliding in Pokhara located along Lakesides main road. It's probably best to deal with the company directly than through an agent or hotel booking.
* Itineraries and prices quoted here are subject to change - i.e. each company basically offers the same thing.
Did you know?
If you don't fancy a flight you can always sit out along the north of lake Phewa Tal (Khapaudi) for breakfast and watch the paragliders fly high above and land in front of you.
There's an annual paragliding contest held "nearly" every year in January / February.
Finding the right paragliding company in Pokhara is important to make the most out of your flight. Here's some help.
- Do check out several of the companies offering paragliding in Pokhara. Select the one you feel most comfortable with verifiable qualifications
- Do keep an eye on the weather yourself - if it's cloudy the day before you might want to reschedule
There are normally 3-4 flights schedules per day. Early morning, mid morning, early afternoon and late afternoon.
A typical morning flight consists of:
- Pick up 8am by jeep
- Signing of insurance and relative documents
- 20 minute drive to Sarangkot
- Equipment / Weather checks
- Flights start after 10am due to morning winds
- Flights last 20 - 30 minutes
- There are two main zones. One to in Khapaudi north Lakeside and the other running at the far west side of the lake.
- Pack up and return to rendezvous point
Paragliding season is from September until June as the weather is reasonably stable.
September until April are the peak months.
Generally speaking though paragliding takes place every day of the year - weather permitting.
There are air safety regulations in Nepal restricting paragliding to certain areas.
There are now many companies offering paraglides in Pokhara. Some have been around for over a decade others have just started up. Do note that some new companies have bought the names of older companies still listed in guidebooks - exercise caution here as they are not the same. Some have brand new equipment others use older equipment.
Most of the companies are highly competitive with their pricing. It is not that much cheaper to buy directly from a company than from a hotel or travel agent.
Sadly there is no more parahawking in Pokhara as the company was forced to close down to due to legal issues.
Again there are many paragliding companies out there in Pokhara. Many have international pilots and Nepalese pilots. Do make sure the company has qualified pilots and up to date safety certificates.
Every company will offer a slightly different price. But here's what you can expect to pay:
Solo flights (you need to be qualified): can start as low a USD$65.
Tandem flights: can start as low a USD$85 for 30 minutes. However the average packages range between $85-$140 - There's a 30 minute flight and a 1 hour cross-country flight. Prices vary accordingly.
Paragliding lessons: 3 days = $390, 5 days = $680. Do note that there are different levels to courses and lessons e.g. Thermaling, cross-country etc.
Lessons generally start at 9am and finish after 5pm. Lessons include safety/equipment checks, monitoring weather conditions, theory and of course some flying.
It's worthwhile asking who your trainers will be when shopping around. Having a good rapport pays off.
In 2021 it was revealed that due to Pokhara's upcoming international airport paragliders in Lakeside would no longer be allowed to fly from their long established base in Sarangkot. This is due to international aviation laws that set a limit on other aircraft within a certain distance from an international airport.
Local paragliding companies are stating they were never told this when the plans to build an international airport were released several years ago. No alternatives have been thought of either.
Likewise, local businesses say one of the great things about lakeside is the mountain skyline which every morning and evening have paragliders colorfully decorating the mountains around the area.
For now, paragliding continues, but for how long or where it will be moved to is not yet known.
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