Pokhara is a destination that is really well known for trekking but it is also one of the most interesting locations for paragliding. You have the ingredients that are needed: great landing ones, great take-off zones, a really large lake for safety, great mountain views and quite stable thermals. The only problem is that paragliding in Pokhara may be a little expensive for a lot of people with a standard flight of half an hour usually costing around $75 and a cross-country flight putting you back around $110. These are averages based on the 19 companies that offer paragliding in the region.
There are 2 paragliding options that are available: tandem and flying on your own. Through tandem flights you will be with a pilot. You sit in a harness and the pilot takes care of the flight for you. If you do have the necessary experience, you will be able to fly alone with the permit costing just $45 for fifteen days.
In most situations paragliding in Pokhara is safe. During on-seasons we see around 250 flights daily. The sport is an adventure oriented one so risks are always involved. With this in mind, you have be careful when you take off and when faced with wind changes that are not expected. The firm that you work with needs to have insurance and we always recommend that you work with the really reputable companies. Paragliding is not regulated in Nepal so you need to be careful.
In order to be completely safe, make sure that the pilots that travel with you are certified. There are many international paragliding schools and the pilot needs to be able to show you some sort of certification. That helps you to be sure that you are faced with the quality you are after and you are guaranteed to be kept safe.
When To Paraglide
Most of the paragliding flights will take off from Sarangkot, which is located half an hour away from Pokhara. The companies will offer three flights daily, every single day. In order to have great flying conditions, you need to have the sun out and heat the earth so that thermals are formed and you can lift. Earning flights will be a little shorter since the necessary thermals are usually not available. The perfect tile for calmer paragliding is the morning and the most interesting and longer option is available at around 11:30 AM.
The great thing about Pokhara paragliding is that you can easily enjoy this activity all year round. However, peak season is September to November and then February to March. Thermals will develop faster during fall months and the best flying time may be influenced by weather conditions.
Flights And Lessons
It is always recommended that you book the flight 1 day in advance. A deposit is usually required to do that. Booking is possible by email, in person or by phone. Paragliding courses are only available from Blue Sky and Sunrise, with a price tag of around 120 EURO per day. You need to go to classes for 15 days but you will get an international paragliding license when you finish.