08 Mar 2024

PGA Pan-American 2026 will be held in Chile

Chilean bid to host Pan-American Championships in Paragliding Accuracy in 2026 was approved by the CIVL Plenary 2024. As the 2024 event in Colombia has been canceled recently, this one will become the 1st FAI Pan American Paragliding Accuracy Championships. The event is supported by the Ministry of Sports of Chile, the Olympic Committee of Chile, the National Institute of Sports of Chile, the Chilean Air Federation (FEDACH), the Chilean Paragliding Federation (FECHPA), local Paragliding clubs, and companies. The bid has offered two alternative flying sites: Geo Park in Las Vizcachas (Santiago metropolitan area) and Maitencillo, Puchuncaví (beach town located less than a two-hour drive from Santiago). The proposed dates of the championship are October 3-11, 2026, and October 9-12 for the test event.

Geo Park Vizcacha is located at Cajón del Maipo in the southeastern area of Santiago. It corresponds to the high basin of the Maipo River, where it is enclosed by hills, cliffs, and massifs mountain, located in the Municipality of Puente Alto. Paragliding has been practiced in this area for more than 30 years. Due to its exceptional thermal and geographical conditions, in recent years it has become a venue for national FAI Cat 2 Cross Country, Hike&Fly, and Accuracy Paragliding championships. It has a takeoff area that can be reached by 4x4 vehicles and 2 mountain takeoffs for practicing Hike&Fly. It has a large landing area at the Geo Park event center.  This center is surrounded by recreational areas suited for outdoor sports, such as mini football, airsoft, paragliding, canopy, padel, physical conditioning, wall climbing, and trekking. In addition, several restaurants can be found in the surroundings.
The takeoff is located approximately 250 meters above the landing area, being a cool place as it is in a mountain area. Vizcachas offers year-round flying conditions. Santiago is the capital and largest city in Chile. It is located in a valley surrounded by snowcapped peaks of the Andes and the Cordillera de la Costa. Along with its natural beauty, Santiago offers several urban attractions, from its main square “Plaza d e Armas”, at the core
of the city's old colonial center, to Costanera Center, the tallest skyscraper in Latin America. Other attractions include la Chascona, the house of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda, and award-winning restaurants in the Alonso de Cordova neighborhood. During the October season, daily temperatures in Santiago de Chile vary from 7°C (45°F) in the mornings to 23°C (74°F) during the evenings. Nights are fairly cold with temperatures dropping down to 5°C (41°F).

Maitencillo is the perfect mix between countryside and beach. Nested among pines and eucalyptus trees, its beaches with calm waters and white sands are favorites among those who visit the area. The area has modern facilities and services for tourists, who can enjoy sport. Maitencillo has two main takeoff points accessible by any type of vehicle. They are located at approximately 70 meters above sea level, with the landing area at sea level on an extensive beach with soft sands. The type of flight in Maitencillo is mainly laminar, with predominantly SW winds, ranging from 15 km/h to 20 km/h on a normal flying day.
In Maitencillo and its surroundings, you'll find activities for all tastes: restaurants with exquisite seafood cuisine, extensive beaches for sunny days, green areas for sports, and tourist activities like trekking, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, and paragliding. It is one of the most popular spots in the central area of Chile, with significant tourist development favored by its mild temperatures and extensive beaches. In Maitencillo, you'll find various local dishes: Caldillo de Congrio, a Chupe de Jaiba, or a Paila Marina. It also has options for tourism. Just a few kilometers away are Horcón, Quintero, Cachagua, the exclusive beach town of Zapallar; and further north, Papudo and Los Molles in the Valparaiso region. And in case of need, Santiago is only 154kms away.