They were one of the first things I saw when I stepped onto the beach at our Punta Cana resort; giant kites floating over the ocean, with teeny, tiny people strapped beneath. I watched in awe as they floated over the ocean, towed by the powerful speed boats below them. Definitely not something for people with a fear of heights. But, for someone looking for a bit of adventure, parasailing is a must. So, after a few days of sun, sand, and trying everything on the cocktail menu (twice), my brother Jake and I decided we had to try it.
Parasailing wasn’t an activity affiliated with the resort. And therefore, according to the Sunwing official for our trip, probably not an activity we should take part in. But after some questions with a few other adventurous visitors and staff, we figured it was well worth the risk. The biggest problem it seemed was not safety, but rather the pricing.
Most people we spoke to paid $50.00 (American) per person for an average of 8-10 minutes air time. A couple people paid less, at $40 per person, while some got a great deal at $75 for two. Not a cheap activity by any means, but we had some extra cash and figured it was worth it.
Or at least I did. It turns out that Jake had another number in mind and is, in fact, pretty bad-ass at haggling. I am not ashamed at all to admit that I left the work to him. I was too preoccupied playing with a puppy on the beach. One minute I was playing tug-o-war with a box and next thing I knew Jake was calling me over to where he stood with a massive local man. Turns out the man had a boat ready to go out, but had room for two more. Rather than send out boat with space he agreed to Jake’s terms and cut us a deal: 2 for $60.
I quickly handed over the money and hopped into the small boat, which took us out to a big speed boat named Hung Over. There, we joined a group of Asian tourists and spent about 40 minutes on the ocean taking turns in the air. When our turn came about I handed my camera off to someone in the boat and was quickly strapped in. Tight and secured, the boat took off, and we flew up behind it.
I probably could have stayed up there forever. A lover of heights, I laughed while leaning all the way back, intermittently taking photos of the views around us, and a few goofy ones pretending I was falling . In the distance, past the sandy beach and seemingly endless palm trees we could see the mountains. It was awesome, and like all great things, came to an end way too quickly.
They reeled us in, managing to get us on the back of the boat instead of landing us in the ocean. Not that we would have minded; it was hot and we both love the water. The next group, however, was not so lucky and sank rather ungracefully into the ocean, giving us all a good laugh.
With our rides complete the driver radioed the shore and a new boatload was brought out. We transferred back into the boat and headed to shore. Thanking our guy again, we headed back down the beach towards the resort. After our little adventure it was time for another go at the cocktail menu.
Tips to getting your own ‘deal’ on parasailing
- Don’t say yes to the first number they throw you- prepare to haggle
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. There is more than one ‘sales team’ offering the activities. They would rather cut you a deal than lose you to the competition
- Go early in the morning, or later in the evening. It will be less busy.
- Keep an eye on the boats. If they are sending them out half full they are more likely to cut you a deal than if there is a lineup waiting.
- Don’t carry a lot of cash. Have what you are willing to pay and show them that’s all you have.
Have you ever been parasailing before?