Rio de Janeiro is quickly becoming one of the worlds hottest destinations and with the 2014 Football World Cup and 2016 Olympics approaching fast its popularity is about to explode! I’m so glad we visited before it got too busy! Rio has so many amazing natural and man-made attractions and sights with beautiful beaches, mountain peaks and rainforests! What better way to take in all of the beauty of Rio than from the air? Hang-gliding in Rio was one of the highlights of my South American adventure and I would recommend it to anyone visiting Rio!
We simply turned up to Sau Conrado Beach and negotiated a price with Rio Hang Gliding, from memory we paid approximately $200 and an additional $50 for photos and video.
We met our instructors and were taken in a van through the Tijuca National Park to the Pedra Bonita ramp where our hang gliding adventure began! We were given our safety induction at the top of the mountain and were lucky enough to see some cute monkeys playing nearby! It was magical being able to see Tijuca National Park which is the largest urban rainforest in the world!
Once we took off (the scariest part was running off the ramp), we glided through misty mountaintops, admiring the incredible scenery of the national park!
Look at that face! I think I was loving life and also completely terrified at the same time!
After a few minutes the mist cleared and we could see all of the main sights of Rio including Sugarloaf Mountain, Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema & Copacabana beaches, the Rocinha favela. Time felt like it had slowed down as we glided along and I felt like I had plenty of time to take in the beauty around me!
The flight took just over 10 minutes and we landed back on the beautiful, sandy Sau Conrado Beach! We were literally buzzing for the rest of the day from this incredible experience and I was just so happy I managed to do something this exhilarating and not injure myself (especially after breaking my leg in Thailand, ouch)!
We then managed to catch public transport back to our hostel, Mango Tree in Ipanema Beach with no problems at all. After sharing our hang gliding snaps on Facebook we decided it would probably be a good idea to call our parents to let them know what we had done, and of course that we had survived!
I’m a sucker for a hard sell and ended up paying for the video and photos from my hang gliding experience and whilst the photos are amazing, I’ve honestly not watched the video once! So unless you plan to watch the video a lot, it’s definitely only worth paying for the photos.
I’m a complete baby and scared of lots of things, but am so stoked that I ended up taking the plunge thanks to the support of my friends and assistance from my instructor! Facing my fears of heights and seeing Rio from above was an experience I will never ever forget and will honestly be such a hard travel experience to beat! The company was professional throughout our whole experience and we felt in very safe hands from the beginning right through to the end!
Seeing Rio from above was awe-inspiring and I personally think it is the best way to experience all this amazing city has to offer! Plus, you also get to see what it is like to fly like a bird!