Nine jam-packed days of paragliding will see you progress in all the places you want to. This is a course we tailor to our student's strengths and abilities. Over the nine days, we will cover a variety of advanced techniques so you feel more comfortable when flying the distance. We will fly across two main sites, Alto Hospicio and Palo Buque before putting all you have learnt to the test with an XC task from Patillos launch.
Progress Course Activities
AM: Morning flight from Alto Hospicio
Alto Hospicio is a thermal site located above the city of Iquique. Here is where we practise XC, to cross the city and land on the beach
Zion and team will be flying with the group and on the radio offering guidance as we go. As the days go on there's less radio talk so you can feel the air yourself, but help is always there when you need it.
On the final day, we aim to complete a 60km XC task from Patillos launch and fly back to Iquique with the southerly tailwind and retrieval van following closely behind.
PM: Afternoons are spent in the famous Palo Buque
Palo Buque is a thermal dynamic site and offers a chance for pilots to play and practise manoeuvres and proximity flying.
Tasks and skills practised are based on the pilot’s current ability but can include:
Advanced manoeuvres: rapid descent manoeuvres, spirals, wingovers, asymmetrical collapse, extra large big ears
Advanced kiting and ground handling
Speed bar and active piloting on speed bar
9 days of instruction, practical and theory lessons
Transport from accommodation to launch sites
Landing zone pickups
Airport pickup from Iquique National Airport
Airline flights to destination of Iquique
What you need
USHPA P2 license or above (equivalent license from issuing country accepted)
Certified paraglider (EN B or above), harness with emergency reserve parachute and helmet.
Ability to confidently take off and land on your own.
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.