Governador Valadares needs no introduction. Known as the “Mecca” of XC Paragliding, its fame is not undue: it is a reliable site, flyable all year through, with strong thermals especially in February and March during the peak of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Many landings all around and a big height difference. It has hosted PWCs, Panamericans and Brazilian comps. Additionally, it is adequate for all piloting levels, as long as beginners do not take off on the peak hours of the day.
Its stunning take off “Pico do Ibituruna” is not the only thing that stands out. There is a huge amount of rocky hills that guarantees that thermals will be popping up all along your path. Either flying on a straight line South to the direction of Caratinga (100Km) or planning a nice triangle and landing back on the main square of the city are both great experiences.
WayPoint: -18.886569, -41.915212
Quadrants: N, NE, SE, S, SW, NW
Acess: 11 km (30 min.) from Governador Valadares downtown, through BR-116. Ascent is good enough for any type of vehicle, though a bit steep.
Take off: 4 wooden ramps and 10 natural ones, with the possibility of many gliders/hang gliders taking off at once.
Landing: After crossing the River Doce, at “Feira da Paz” (2,5 km).
Best season: All year round. Best in February and March.
Responsible entity: Associação de Voo Livre Ibituruna – AVLI
Pros: Strong thermals, a big rocky face to the left of the N take off releases strong thermals up to 10m/s (should be approached with care). Landings in all directions and easy retrieve along the highway.
Cons: Not recommended for inexperienced pilots during the strong hours of the day. Take care with wires laying low on valleys as they are specially difficult to spot. Better to land on higher mounts.
This is the first of a new series called “Flying in Brazil”, in which we will present our favorite flying spots, from the famous ones to the hidden gems.
We at Rumos Fly Trip take paraglider and paramotor pilots to flying adventures on the best spots of Brazil.
If you want to fly further, check out our website: rumosflytrip.com
Special thanks for CBVL for the series “Rampas do Brasil”