Finished trekking and looking for something to do in Pokhara?

Pokhara is one of the top 5 commercial tandem paragliding locations in the world, with all the right ingredients: stable thermals, convenient take-off and landing zones, the safety of a large lake and incredible mountain views.

Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal

Paragliding in Pokhara, Nepal

Price

Paragliding might not be in everyone’s budget. That being said, if it’s something you want to try at some point in your life, Pokhara is the perfect place to do it. Looking back, most likely you won’t regret it.

There are 19 paragliding companies operating commercial tandem flights in Pokhara, and there seems to be a fixed price (which includes transport and insurance) no matter which one you choose.

Standard flight (30 minutes) = Rs. 7500 ($75)
Cross-country (40-60 minutes)  = Rs. 11,000 ($110)
GoPro footage (5 minutes video, 30 stills) = Rs. 1700 ($17)

Tandem Paragliding

Tandem paragliding means you are seated in a separate harness in front of the pilot where you can sit care-free and enjoy your surroundings, take pictures and talk with your pilot during the flight. It is quite comfortable apart from a large void beneath your feet.

Flying On Your Own

If you are an experienced paraglider and want to fly on your own, you can get a flying permit from the civil aviation office in Pokhara. The permit costs Rs. 4520 ($45) for 15 days which you can renew upon expiration. It takes about 1 hour to get permit and you need to provide them with a passport photocopy, visa photocopy, photo of yourself, proof of insurance and your paragliding license.

Is It Safe?

Generally, it’s safer to go paragliding in Pokhara than it is to cross a busy intersection in Lakeside. There are more than 250 flights a day during peak-season. You have a reserve chute and a large lake for safety. However, it is an extreme adventure sport and risks are involved. The biggest risk is during take-off and landing if there is a sudden change in wind.

Make sure the company you choose has insurance coverage; some might say they have it even if they don’t. Best is to go with a reputable company. The government of Nepal has no system in place for regulating paragliding. Out of the 100 Nepali paragliding pilots in Nepal, not a single one holds a Nepalese paragliding license because there isn’t one.

Pilots are, however, internationally certified, which means international paragliding schools, like FAI, APPI and BHPA, have come to Pokhara to run 15-day pilot training programs . Upon completion, pilots are certified to fly anywhere in the world on their own. It then takes around 2 years of experience before they become a commercial tandem pilot. They have to prove themselves by paragliding in different locations, in different weather conditions, with different instructors and by performing different exercises such as practising using their reserve chute. After that, they have to pass a tandem exam with an APPI instructor. 

Flight Path

The standard paragliding flight takes off from Sarangkot (30 min. by jeep from Pokhara), floats above Sarangkot for a while, then heads over Pokhara before performing spiralling acrobatics (optional) on descent to Phewa Tal next to Lakeside.

Best Time of Day

Paragliding companies offer 3 flights a day, 7 days a week: 10:30 AM, 12 PM and 2 PM.

For best conditions, the suns needs to have been out long enough to heat the earth and create the thermals necessary for lift. The early morning flights tends to be a bit less than 30 minutes as the thermals haven’t developed yet. If you’re looking for a clam, less turbulent flight, this is the best time.

By 11:30 AM, the thermals have become active and the best conditions for paragliding are in place. If you want to get your money’s worth, this is the best time to fly.

Best Season for Flying Conditions

You can go paragliding in Pokhara year-round as long as it’s not raining and the thermals are active.

The peak season for bookings matches the normal tourist season in Nepal – September/October/November and February/March. The fall months are the clearest where thermals develop quickly with easy, high flying of up to 3000 m.

The best time for flying, however, might be if you catch a lucky window of clear skies during the monsoon season of July and August when the vegetation is lush and the rivers are thundering.

Booking a Flight

You should book a flight at least 1 day in advance so companies can plan ahead. To confirm your booking, you will be required to make a deposit of Rs. 1000-2000. You can book by phone, email or in person a day before your flight.

Lessons

Only two companies (Sunrise and Blue Sky) offer an introduction course to paragliding. It costs 120 euros/day, which includes equipment. The course lasts 15 days and by the end you’ll have your paragliding license which allows you to paraglide anywhere in the world on your own.

Other Paragliding Destinations

  • Bandipur – a picturesque Newari village atop a ridge between Kathmandu and Pokhara. Good sunset/mountain views.
  • Sirkot – best for solo pilots because you can fly all the way to Pokhara, 2.5 hours, technical flight.

Reference

Below is a list of established companies which are headquartered in Pokhara. I didn’t have time to visit all of them so by no means does this suggest you shouldn’t book with a different company. The company websites below are meant to give you a good idea of what’s offered.

Helpful Websites


Comments

37 replies
  1. Sahi

    this page is well informed and i didn’t have to search for 4-5 other pages for few information . Keep up the good work. and keep updating and maintaining.

    • Thanks, Sahi. I researched the information for two days in Pokhara as I wanted to ensure the accuracy – glad you noticed 🙂

  2. Moderator

    What about Nepal? 🙂 Just found this link – “The Most Incredible Places to Paraglide

    • Wow so great that you did this! I was way too terrified. I steayd at a yoga retreat halfway up the hill to Sarangkot and watched the paragliders over the lake every day sometimes they did the craziest moves and it freaked me out just watching.

    • Ya ..it is

  3. audri

    im planning to go for it in February next year…..could someone plz tell me which company would be da best for the cross country tandem? im confused with so many companie and dnt knw which one to go for…plz consider safety too as u knw i dnt wanta get hurt 😉 …thanx in advance

    • Hey Audri,

      The most reputable companies were the ones listed at the bottom of the article above. I think Blue Sky, however, has the most experience in tandem, cross-country trips… Let us know what you find out.

      Alex

    • hey buddy u welcome in Nepal , if u wanna try something new than just inbox me . ill give you the best

  4. bishal poudel

    I want to do paragliding what to do .. I need price information

    • I want to know about the parag liding courses fee…

  5. shrijan

    how much cost I have to pay to learn paragliding?
    and
    how much time need to learn this..?

    • Good to have some R & R after the Trek too bad you had the disaster at take-off when ParaGliding (and reulatsnt injuries to contend with!). Sounded very scary, and if YOU admit to feeling nauseous it must have been pretty bad. Clearly not for me.

  6. Spencer

    i am planning a roung-the-world trip ( of course, Nepal included ) and the information here is of great help! thanks for your detailed explanation and introduction ( especially the price and month recommendation part )!

  7. Bamyani

    I saw yours web it is really amazing , in 2010 I was in the nice city of Pukhara for three nights
    actually I am from Afghanistan Bamyan Provence so I am interested to start paragliding in Bamyan cause Bamyan city is like Pukhara a touristic destination for all kind of tourist. there for I want to invest on paragliding, may I ask you about the price of one set paragliding and others necessaries equipments?
    thanks
    Bamyani

  8. Manjeet Kumar

    well you are going good with your paragliding. Pokhara has really very nice destination for tandem paragliding.i am wishing to visit there As a pilot i would like to experience tandem flight there..

  9. Kate

    Hi, do you have any experience of Avia Club Nepal – they have been recommended by the company organising our holiday in nepal and they say they are pioneers in the field – but ……? Also is it worthwhile paying the extra for an hour flight rather than 30 mins standard flight; 30 mins doesn’t sound very long but I can only guess? Thanks

    • Hi Kate,

      I haven’t heard of Avia Club Nepal nor did I come across them while researching this article in Pokhara. I just checked out their website – a good way to gauge the professionalism of a company – and it looks great. They have a 95% TripAdvisor rating on 263 reviews so you’re likely in good hands.

      They are a bit more expensive than other agencies ($90 for half hour and $130 for an hour), however.

      As to whether to go for a 1/2 hour or an hour flight, I would think it depends on the route and the pilot. For just the thrill of flying, 30 min. is enough; but if you can get closer to the mountains or take a more interesting flight path in 60 min. then I’d go for that. After all, paragliding is usually a once-in-a-lifetime experience for most of us. Maybe you can decide after you arrive there and learn more about the flight.

      Hope that helps!

      Alex

  10. karthik

    Alex – informative page. is it ok for a 8-9 year old kid to try paragliding. travelling to Pokhara this March.

    • Hi Karthik, sorry for the late reply. That sounds young, but I’m not sure what the official age limit is. Did you end up going paragliding in March? And did your child take a flight?

    • Hi Mary! I know you are not reading posts in India, so just a quick not to let you know I have been off the ctpoumer for a few days due to sickness, a nasty virus!! I’m starting blogging Friday night, and have missed everyone!

  11. Sameer

    The information here is well jotted down. Really impressed. But the article was written in 2013 and just checking if the price will be same as of that time. Just wondering.

    • Hi Sameer, glad you appreciated the article 🙂 I spent a few days in Pokhara researching so it was fairly accurate for 2013. True – prices may have changed since then. Anybody who has updates on the price, please let us know.

  12. Henry

    “The best time for flying, however, might be if you catch a lucky window of clear skies during the monsoon season of July and August….”
    Well, I am going there during first week of August for 2-3 weeks. I did not fly at all after getting my license two years ago from Canada.
    I plan to take a refresher course (only if weather will allow.)
    Any advise will be appreciated, thanks.

  13. Shria

    Hey can anyone tell me whats the age bar for paragliding? I’m 13 yrs and traveling to pokhara this December

  14. Cyrua gautam

    Hey,if i want the information about my pilot how can i get it if i want to fly again only with him ..im frm nepal and i know he was a foreigner so how can i get to know about him?? Or get to know about him..

  15. TK

    Hi, I will be at Nepal mid Dec doing Annapurna circuit, I would like to do one paragliding when I reach Pokhara at 1st Jan. Will it be possible to do paragliding on January? Which one is the best reputation company, of cause the safety is my priority. How long before I need to contact them to do the paragliding? Or can I book on the spot? Thanks.

  16. shakey

    hi im planning to do paragliding and trekking , my question is what is the best month for nextyear march or june , because i dont wanna come in rainy season can someone advice me please , because i want to book as early as i can thanks .

  17. Chase

    At the present moment, no solo pilot courses are being held in Nepal due to complications with the new constitution. My girlfriend and I are currently in Pokhara and have been told the same thing by every school. I believe that’s ONLY for solo pilot courses, and the problem may be resolved at any time.

    • Haha be assured when the paiglaidrng dude offered to do some acrobatics on the way down I declined- in short I tend to do things I understand the physics of well, and while a parachute itself is rather safe normally it can definitely collapse when flipping (the only thing keeping it in place is centrifugal force of the people). Much more dangerous so yep, was not interested!

  18. Raihan Taher

    Great info. I am planning to go to Pokhara next March. Your post gave me a great idea about paragliding.

  19. Robin magar

    How much price for local people plz can i get it.

    • I enjoyed Spence copminionshap attending church business at Etowah and was sadden by his inability to participate when his driving privileges were restricted. I would have continue to visit if I had not been putting him through undue stress. He was a gentle soul and I miss his guidance.joe

    • I will go for Pokhara with 5 people in this December. So can you issue an individual flight permit though we want to fly? We have a pilot license. Can it fly even to other Nepali areas by the permit? An answer is being waited for.
      Thank you.

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  22. Max

    I’m currently in Pokhara, Prices are now (June 2016) fixed for every company. 10 000 Rupees for Foreigners (30min) and if I can read the squiggly lines correctly something like 9 500 Rupees for Locals

  23. Joey

    What is the weight limit ? If you want to tandem paragliding?

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