Experience our coastlines the way our seabirds do.

Even the most mild-mannered landlubber can soar to the heavens effortlessly and float hundreds of feet above the water, enjoying the kind of views and serenity that was once the domain of seagulls and eagles.

Ever dreamed of rising upwards, far from your everyday worries, to a place where the man-made sounds of the world are reduced to a murmur, and the only sounds are your own exclamations of wonder and delight?

Parasailing was developed in the early 1960s with the advent of Pierre-Marcel Lemoigne’s ascending-gliding parachute, a tool created to train parachutists. Instead of dropping the students from aircraft, they were towed to altitude by towlines attached to vehicles. By the 1970s Lemoigne’s techniques and equipment had been adapted for nautical use and an entirely new seaside adventure pursuit was born.

From Rio’s Copacabana Beach to India’s Goa, parasailing has taken off in coastal resorts and vacation destinations around the globe. As parasailing technology becomes more sophisticated, guests are being towed to ever-increasing altitudes. Many outfitters offer rigs that can lift two to three passengers at a time, allowing you to share the experience with loved ones and friends, all in complete safety.

The beauty of parasailing is that it requires no skill whatsoever; it is perhaps the easiest and gentlest thrill-seeker activity of all. Even the most mild-mannered landlubber can soar to the heavens effortlessly and float hundreds of feet above the water, enjoying the kind of views and serenity that was once the domain of seagulls and eagles.

After 10 or 15 minutes aloft, alone or with a companion, you’ll return to earth feeling a wonderful cocktail of calmness and adrenaline coursing through your veins. Unlike that souvenir T-shirt or postcard, a parasailing experience is the kind of vacation keepsake that will never fade. In fact, whenever life gets a little crazy, in the boardroom or on the freeway, all you’ll have to do is recall that safe, floating feeling and suddenly everything will get put back into perspective again. Ahhhhh….

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the typical parasailing experience like?

Parasailing adventures are fairly standardized in terms of equipment, which consists of a winch boat, towline, harness and a specialized parachute, known as a parasail wing. As the boat takes off, the parasail wing is released, lifting you from the back of the boat 400 to 500 feet (120 to 150 meters) into the air for an average duration of around 10 minutes. Over the years, parasailing technology has become more and more sophisticated. Many outfitters are now able to lift two to three guests at a time, allowing passengers to share the experience with family and friends.

The parasail is controlled by the captain at all times, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the views. In fact, you don’t even need to hold on, the harness does all the work for you. At the end of your ride you’ll be gently lowered back to the rear of the boat with, if you choose, an optional dip into the water on the way back in! There is absolutely no skill required; as the saying goes, “if you can sit, you can paraglide!”

Is it safe?

Parasailing in developed countries is highly regulated and extremely safe, with most operators maintaining 100 percent safety records. In some parts of the world, safety procedures, precautions and maintenance can be a little looser, but generally speaking, accidents are very rare. It’s usually obvious if an outfitter is professional or not, but if in doubt, ask around for recommendations, do a little online research and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Towlines are able to pull 8,000 pounds (3,600 kilograms) of pressure, with the average ride only producing 800 pounds (360 kilograms). In the unlikely event that the tow boat stops suddenly or the towline breaks, you’ll simply float back down to the water again and soon be collected. Parasail wings are designed to land behind the parasailer, never on top of of them. Life jackets are mandatory, so even non-swimmers can breathe easy!

Are there age or weight restrictions?

This depends on the operator, the kind of equipment used and on the regional regulations. Children under the age of 6 years are often prohibited. Weight requirements can vary depending upon the wind conditions on a particular day. Reputable operators will be very clear about age, weight and disability issues on their websites.

What should I bring?

Not much! A bathing suit, towel, hat and sunscreen are all that’s usually required. Plan on getting a little wet, from the optional dip during the ride and from a little sea spay on the way out and back. Loose, valuable items are best left in your hotel or on the boat. Cameras are usually allowed up, but many outfitters now offer sophisticated photography packages to help capture the memories.

Where can I go parasailing?

There are thousands of reputable and experienced parasailing outfitters operating all over the world. Obviously, the more attractive the setting, the more operators you’ll find. From Sydney Harbour to Bali, from Grand Bay in Mauritius to Thailand’s Phuket, in the case of parasailing, the sky really is the limit!

How do I make it happen?

So, if you’re ready to touch the clouds, take off with Expedia. We’ll help you book the cheapest flights, the comfiest rooms, the best rental cars, and the coolest parasailing adventures, all packed up into one handy, consolidated itinerary.