Paragliding pilots from around the world gathered in Rivas, Perez Zeledon, to participate in the Open Rivas 2023 Paragliding Competition, March 4, 5 and 6. It was the fourth year the event has been held, organized by Tandem Paraglide Costa Rica, owned by Alex Badilla. 

Excitement was as high as Alex’s launch, which has an altitude of 1,700 meters. Rivas is one of the most technically difficult sites in Costa Rica, and one of the most picturesque, with the launch featuring a view of the iconic “cuatro pinos.”  All of this makes it one of the best experiences for any paraglider pilot.

The 2023 competition drew 60 pilots from 20 international locales, including Brazil, Columbia, Tennessee, California, and even as far as Germany. Among them were some of the regulars, 

as well as pilots new to the Badilla family and the paragliding community. 

The Tandem Paraglide operation is a family affair, and there is no shortage of talent. Alex’s wife, Wendy, helps with driving and hospitality for their clients, which include students, tandem paraglide riders and guests at their cabinas. Their two sons, Justin and Joshua are both skilled pilots and help with a fair share of the tandem rides.

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