Our beginner course caters to those starting from zero or pilots who have been out the game for a while and are in need of a refresher. Across the 9 days, you will learn to take-off, land, ground handle and thermal, whilst being under radio guidance the whole time. The course includes tuition and a beginner flying kit from Gin Gliders when you purchase our course and kit bundle together - everything you need to get started.
The beginner course starts with learning how to kite the wing in Palo Buque. The vast desert sand and consistent, yet mellow winds are perfect to master the basics. Once you can keep the wing steadily above your head, you're ready to for your first few flights over the small Palo Buque ridge. Over the next few days, you will gain confidence as you fly for longer. Finally, you will be ready to fly from Alto Hospicio and over the city of Iquique to land on the beach.
Ask Us about our course and beginner kit bundle for the best deal on everything you need to get started paragliding
Beginner Course Itinerary
How to set-up for flying
Caring for your wing
Kiting the wing
Launching and landing
First short flights a few meters off the ground
Daily full instructional solo flights
Beach landing with spot landing and final glide advice
Theory lessons covering wing safety, controlling the wing and basic thermalling
Daily flights from varying launches with some guidance and tuition – it’s time to put into practise what you’ve learnt
Advanced kiting practice with obstacle courses and additional techniques
Advanced theory on thermalling and wing safety
9 days of full instruction - practical and theory
USHPA P2 license issued at the end of the course in accordance with meeting all requirements (USHPA membership payable by the pilot to USHPA directly).
Transport from accommodation to launch sites
Landing zone pickups
Airport pickup from Iquique National Airport
PDF copy of paragliding theory book Paragliding, A Pilot’s Training Manual
Airline flights to destination of Iquique
Equipment (unless purchasing the beginner course and kit bundle)
What You Need
Beginner paragliding kit equipment.
Our course and beginner kit bundle from Gin Gliders is the cheapest way to get your kit. Including:Atlas 2 paraglider, Gingo Airlite 4 harness, Yeti Cross reserve, helmet, G-Wrap and backpack.
Unlocked VHF radio – we recommend the Yaesu FT-270
Basic fitness level – ability to sustain a 15-minute power walk
Warm clothes – you will feel the cold once you’ve thermalled to cloud base
Comfortable and sturdy shoes to withstand kiting in the desert – hiking boots are ideal
Insurance covering paragliding with medical, repatriation and third party coverage. USHPA does not cover third party insurance outside of USA. You will not be able to take part in the course without insurance coverage.
Zion Paragliding has been venturing to Iquique since 2014 to run beginner and progress paragliding courses. We promise a course filled with fun and adventure and that’s why we work with local pilot and close friend Christian, with over 25 years of flying experience. Combined with Zion’s teaching expertise and Christian’s local knowledge our flying course maximises air time. As well as excellent flying, we have done the legwork to find the best food spots and places to stay so you can focus on flying. Let us be your guides in the air and on the ground in Iquique.
There’s plenty of options of where to stay in Iquique, from hostels, hotels to airbnb apartments.
Our favourite place to stay is in the Backpacker’s Hostel on Cavancha Beach. The hostel has shared dorms and private rooms, so there’s something to suit all pilots and budgets. We love staying here for their friendly atmosphere, outside barbecue and the opportunity to meat many other pilots.
Playa Stay Work and Play
This apartment style hotel is perfect for those wanting more space and privacy. The rooms are newly refurbished and the location is just walking distance from one of our landings, Playa Cavancha.
Gran Cavancha Hotel
If a hotel is more your style then we recommend this place. Offering breakfast, stunning views from the rooftop swimming pool and all your other hotel amenities to keep you comfortable on your trip.