Paragliding Holidays » Chile » Paraglide in Iquique with Active Edge

Paraglide in Iquique with Active Edge


Judith Mole

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In November Dean heads to Iquique, Chile again (see Skywings May '15) to guide a group of CP+ pilots. Iquique offers the most consistent flying conditions in the world. It's a perfect playground to practise thermalling, XC flying and dune fun. For more information
The combination of weather and geography make Iquique a paragliding paradise with some of the most consistent flying weather in the world. It is located between the Pacific coast and the Atacama Desert, the driest non-polar desert in the world. The city has an average rainfall of 1 day per year! There are numerous flying sites in the area, including enormous sand dunes and launch points for excellent cross-country routes. The launch and top landing at Alto Hospicio is only a 15 minute drive from the city. Iquique is suitable for all level of pilots, whether red-streamers, XC pilots or acro aces. If you're all flown out, there's plenty more to do in and around Iquique. Here's what the Lonely Planet Guide has to say about the place:
“Barefoot surfers, paragliding pros, casino snobs and frenzied merchants all cross paths in the rather disarming city of Iquique. Located in a golden crescent of coastline, this city is counted among Chile's premier beach resorts, with a glitzy casino, beachfront boardwalk and more activities (from paragliding to sand-boarding) than any sane person can take on in a week. The big draw here is the swaths of pitch-perfect beach, which offer some of the best surfing around.”
On our trip in November 2014, we flew 15 days out of 15. For a full report on the trip see Ian Brindle's article in Skywings (May 2015), but here are some of the things he said about the trip:
“Flying at Iquique is a game of two halves. First watch the turkey vultures start soaring and thermalling; then take off early, push the vulture out of its thermal and ride the light lift as the sea breeze gets established, waiting for the convergence as the morning cloud is cooked off by the dessert furnace and the thermal strength increases. The second half is late-afternoon dune flying. The earlier the sunshine, the earlier and punchier the thermals.
The site itself is and easy gradually steepening slope to the fore and the town of Alto Hospicio behind. Landing options are the sand dunes behind the flight park or the beaches beyond the city itself. Although crossing the city tower blocks looks daunting, in practice only a smidgen of height above take-off was needed to reach and fly over the Pacific in smooth sea air, looking for pelicans and sea lions, prior to landing on an enormous beach.
A personal highlight was the Crosby-assisted fly-out towards the airport, finished off with a glide back to the beach for lunch.”

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Iquique, Chile

Suitable for

Post-CP, red streamers, XC pilots, acro enthusiasts



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