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Paragliding in Lima

Paragliding in Lima is unique. To begin with, Lima refers to both a city and the province of Peru in which it is situated. Lima, the capital of both the province and the country, is the largest city in Peru.

The city suburbs crowd against the Peruvian coastline, along which various aerial sports can be seen.

Paragliding in particular has a high profile. This might partly explain why no less than 3 candidates in an election campaign in April 2006 went paragliding off the coast to reinforce a political message!

Lima Province is a relatively flat region with its coastline facing the Pacific Ocean. Apart from the 3 main rivers running to the sea, and their valleys, the area is very dry. Dry as a bone actually. Apart from the irrigated areas and the valleys, practically nothing grows.

People who go paragliding around or in Lima get a good view of the urban sprawl which covers around 500 square km (200 square miles).



Weather

Lima's climate is surprisingly mild considering it's latitude and sea-level elevation. The highest temperature ever recorded there was only 32°C (90°F). At the same time, the humidity levels are very high and this results in fog around the urban area from May to November.

To give some idea of temperatures at various times of the year, February has the highest average maximum of 26°C, while the lowest occurs in August at 19°C. Minimums are 15°C (59°F) during August and 20°C (68°F) during February. 8°C (46°F) is the lowest temperature ever recorded in Lima.

Almost no rain, super-soggy air, mild temperatures. How's that for an unusual climate!



Flying

There are a number of popular flying spots in and around the city for paraglider pilots. The beaches of Costa Verde are known for passing paragliders and other identified flying objects. The suburban buildings come right up to the sea shore. In fact, I read something on a paragliding site that suggests that people actually slope soar a large building in this area!

To be precise, the El Mirador building, with the lift band extending up to about 200 meters! Very cool. I swear I can remember dreaming about doing that sort of thing. Patches of thermal lift are also used from time to time when people go coastal paragliding in Lima.

Then there is the coastal district of Minaflores. For tourists, or anyone else who wants to, there is some tandem-paraglider action. While an instructor does the flying, the passenger can look down on the urban sprawl of Lima and the ocean waves from several hundred meters up.

Another area, Ghandi Park, is a classic coastal slope soaring site for those who go paragliding in Lima. And again, you can find yourself flying right over people's houses. This site features smooooooth Westerly sea breezes, with ample top-landing spots along the full length of the park.

If you travel north about 60km (37 miles) on the Pan American Highway, you will find a turn-off to Pasamayo. This is a huge, steep sand dune about 400 meters (1300 feet) high, letting you paraglide right out over the ocean. Talk about a paraglider-pilot-magnet. And you can just imagine some great black-and-white paragliding photography happening here.

There are some inland thermal soaring sites as well, but nothing to write home about really. Thermic paragliding in Lima is pretty modest in comparison to the booming lift areas in other sunny locations around the world.


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