The Quito Teleferico: Take to the Skies & Get Views for Days
Enormous pearly-white clouds spill over and across the majestic, rolling hills of Quito’s Pichincha Volcano. Guests in the city always take a moment to stand and watch, mesmerized, as these ephemeral, billowing giants make their way across the stunning scenery that envelops the city of Quito. It’s a sight to behold, and what’s more – it’s a sight to rise up to. The Quito Teleferico (also known by its official name TelefériQo) take guests up the slopes of the Pichincha Volcano to offer them jaw-dropping views of the capital below. That’s right, while Quito sits at 2,850 meters (9,350 feet), the Quito Teleferico actually take you even higher than that to put you up above the beautiful city and beyond!
The Quito Teleferico: A Lift of Epic Proportions
Constructed in 2005, the Quito Teleferico runs up along the slopes of the (now dormant) Pichincha Volcano, almost rising to its summit. In total, the lift rises from 3,117 (meters (10,226 feet) to 3,945 meters (12,943 feet) within a period of 20-minutes. Once you arrive and step out, guests tend to instantly become aware of three shocking things: the weather is chillier, running out of breath seems to happen a lot quicker and yet, despite these two, the views are just stunning! Note that we highly discourage doing anything too, too strenuous at this altitude before getting acclimatized. For more information be sure to check out our blog on how to deal with altitude sickness in Ecuador.
From the top of the Quito Teleferico, visitors have access to a small visitor centre that has bathrooms, cafes and small restaurants. On a clear day you can see Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Cayambe, Antisana, Illinizas, Corazon,
For those looking to partake in a little extra fun either before or after their journey to the top of Pichincha, be sure to check out VulQano Theme Park at the base visitor centre. It is filled with rides and games that are sure to entertain everyone, be it be couples, families or solo travelers!
The Quito Teleferico: The First of the (Longer) Journey
The Quito Teleferico is often used by outdoor enthusiasts, climbers and hikers as the jumping off point to Rucu Pichincha. For those looking to extend their experience of the top of the Quito Teleferico, this hike that follows a well-marked trail (beware: the fog can sometimes get pretty thick up near the summit, leading to disorientation for some) will take you to the top of Rucu Pichincha (Grandfather Volcano in quechua), from which you can still see Quito on a clear day. It’s a hike that takes approximately 4-5 hours (roundtrip), and has an intermediate difficulty level.
This is a perfect little excursion to get acquainted with the country, the scenery and the altitude. If you’re looking for something to do in Quito – be it while on your way to the majestic Galapagos Islands or while staying at Casa Gangotena – then the Quito Teleferico is definitely something worth checking out while you’re in town.
With parents that worked for the U.S. Foreign Service up until he graduated from high school, Chris was raised to have the heart of a nomad throughout his life. He has resided in Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador throughout his years, and just recently spent the past four up in Canada finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy & English at the University of British Columbia. He is now devoted to writing about all things related to travel in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia.