The city of Medellin (pop: 2.2m) has dramatically reinvented itself since it was the cocaine capital of the world, home to narco kingpin Pablo Escobar. Now, the city is a cultural hub, with a unique way of tying in the once isolated favelas on the outskirts: cablecars and outdoor escalators serve as public transport in this mountainous city. The flying takes place at San Felix, a 40-minute journey from downtown, overlooking the city. The take-off is smooth and easy, sculpted by bulldozers and carpeted with lush grass. It’s a natural balcony, and on weekends sees a busy social scene of club flyers and tandem operators. A restaurant and bar make it an easy place to hang. Regular as clockwork, the valley winds, thermals and evening restitution make this an easy place to fly, with some XC possible. “The only risk is staying” say the locals.
Originally published in the 2017 Travel Guide, as part of an article called City Slickers. You can find the other urban getaways in the series, here.