Published on May 31st, 2012 | by Emma Hackwood


Hang Gliding Over Rio de Janeiro

When most people dream of Rio de Janeiro they think; hot nights, warm days on the beach, and the famous Brazilian bikini everywhere. But our Flightie Carmen decided to see Rio from a different angle; by hang gliding over this magnificent city. She shares her experience with us and why you should consider taking the leap of faith too: 


Well Rio definitely has all of those but what I didn’t know until I was planning my trip that Rio is also famous for tandem hang gliding over the city. When I discovered this I immediately decided then and there I would not leave Rio until I had seen it from a different perspective.

The morning that my friend Anna and I decided to go was very sunny and clear but to be honest we were both a bit scared.  Our morning guide in the Favelas pointed to the rock we would be jumping from and I know my stomach flip flopped a few times (and by the look of Anna’s face,  hers did too).

When we arrived at the top with our trusty guide Juan I was definitely considering that I’d made the wrong choice.  Juan suited me up, gave me the very simple instructions of; “Do not stop running, run as fast as you can and do NOT look down when we jump”. That’s it? That’s all I needed to know about thrusting my self off solid ground and 500 metres above Rio?

Juan hooked me up to our apparatus, told me where I was allowed to hold on but was instructed “no pressure” on him at all. He stood up, grabbed the hang glider, counted to 10 and we sprinted off a wooden platform.  During this entire process I was shaking like a leaf but the moment my feet came off the ground I was in a state of pure bliss. I felt like a bird flying. It was so quiet (except for my squeals of delight!) and the view was unbelievable.

Rio De Janeiro - Brazil

It took us a cool 20-25 minutes to get down but I wanted to stay up there all day. We made our way to Sao Conrado beach for our landing. It was less than graceful but despite my ranting and raving while flying and our poor landing, Juan ran up to me with a huge smile and asked me how it was.  I practically jumped into his arms with glee and told him that it was one of the most amazing things I have ever done.

He responded by giving me the hang gliders “hand shake” which was a huge chest bump. I was officially a hang glider!

So when you find yourself in Rio de Janeiro I highly recommend you take a “leap of faith” and hang glide over the city. It is something I will definitely remember forever!


Looking for more information on travelling to Brazil or booking your next adventure? Contact one of our travel consultants at 1-877-967-5302 or contact your closest store.

Rio de Janeiro is highlighted on the Flight Centre Map

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About the Author

Emma Hackwood

a freelance copywriter, amateur glider pilot and full-time adventure seeker, has travelled extensively in pursuit of her lifelong dream of simply seeing it all. Up to over 50 countries, she lists American Samoa and the seldom visited Marquesas Islands as her current favourite destinations, with a wandering eye on Guam and Tonga to complete her Pacific escapades.

One Response to Hang Gliding Over Rio de Janeiro

  1. Sunbeam Suites says:

    Driving around Brazil’s highways and byways is not for the faint of heart. Although some estradas (Portuguese for roads) are top-of-the-line, others leave a lot to be desired. Torrential rains, scorching heat, floods and landslides, trucks and buses, all take their toll. Then there are the potholes (not to mention the craters), the absence of shoulders, the lack of clear signalization, not to mention Other Drivers; both the drunken and the daredevil variety are in high supply.

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