Flying over Latin America
Four sports and four destinations perfect for living Latin America to the fullest and getting a good dose of adrenaline,from 42,500 Avios.
1 Fly, dive and jump over the water like a dolphin? With a flyboard, you can
Invented in 2011 by Frenchman Franky Zapata, it’s becoming more and more common on beaches across the globe. In the Dominican Republic, there are five of these hoverboards for rent and one of the best places to try it out is Bayahíbe, in the eastern part of the country, where the official instructor, Adrien Duclos, works. Professionals like him can fly up to nine metres above sea level, although two is the limit for his customers.
2 The big jump in Guatemala
Lake Atitlan and its surrounding volcanoes (San Pedro, Tolimán and Atitlán) can be admired from a boat, a bike, on horseback or walking. But the most spectacular option is, without doubt, paragliding. From a 2,400-metre peak, known as the “take-off”, you start a free flight lasting from 30 to 45 minutes by taking advantage of the wind currents entering from both sides of the volcanoes until finally landing on the beach of Panajachel. Companies like Roger’s Tours let you test your wings accompanied by an instructor.
3 Fly with the wind at your back
Today, the trade winds that pushed Columbus’s ships to the Americas pull the kitesurf kites at Punta Chame, on the Pacific, just an hour and a half from Panama City. Here is where the country’s best winds for enjoying this sport blow from December to April. And it is why the Spaniard Gisela Pulida – ten-time world champion – opened a school in the Nitro City hotel.
Text by David López Canales
4 The flying men of Mexico
This sport is more for watching than for doing. In Mexico, just attending a live show of the voladores can give you a rush of adrenaline. The voladores use a 20-metre-metre wooden pole while, in the middle the caporal spins around while playing a flute and a small drum in worship of the sun and the four cardinal points. When the caporal gives the signal, the men launch themselves backwards tied at their waists with ropes and start to fly round the pole in a dance representing rays of sun and drops of rain falling on the earth. Of the total of 600 or so voladores still doing the dance, 90% are concentrated in this city in the state of Veracruz
The Voladores Ritual Ceremony can be witnessed in Mexico City, in the space opposite the National Museum of Anthropology and History, in the historical centre of Papantla, at the El Tajín archaeological site, or in the historical centre of Cuetzalan, Puebla.