On a recent visit to Quito we took an exciting trip up El TelefériQo. It was a clear day so the view during the ride, and at the top was spectacular. We could see what looked liked the entire city and the surrounding mountains.
El TelefériQo is very similar to a ski lift, with windows all around and benches to sit on. Each unit is fixed to it’s own specific spot on a very thick metal cord, so you kind of just hang there swaying gently and gliding smoothly to the top. We felt safe inside, but because of the nature of the lift itself, still enjoyed the thrill of the height, and joking around about “what if . . .” The ride took about 10 minutes, and we enjoyed ever expanding views of the city, and the surrounding country side as we progressed up, up, up the mountain.
The height at the top is about 4100 meters (13, 450 feet) and because of this, it’s cold and dizzying. There is a building at the top with some small gift shops and a couple of cafes, it’s also pumped up with extra oxygen to counteract the lack of it due to the altitude. While we were exploring around at the different look off points, we noticed a sign indicating the price (see right) to bring a mountain bike up on the teleferiqo and enjoy a kamikaze ride back down the bike trail to the bottom. Can you guess what we’ll be trying the next time go? On the way back down we kept out eyes peeled for the bike trail, and it looked pretty good, I didn’t notice any speed limits, so I’m guessing Bryan will reach bottom long before I do
At the bottom there is a small amusement park, and some places to get snacks and gifts. There are also some very nice looking empty buildings. We aren’t sure but it looked like either we were there in off season, or they were anticipating it to be a much larger tourist attraction than it’s turned out to be. Because it was so close to carnival, we don’t think it was the off season. So if you see some empty building when you arrive, don’t let that stop you, just keep walking up following the signs and you’ll come to it.
We caught a taxi from Parque El Ejido for $3, and when we were finished, there were vans waiting outside the main area to take us back down into the city. We asked to be taken to Mall de Jardin, and again it was only $3. The ride itself cost $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children, but we got it for 4.90 adults and $2.50 children. We got the local price because we had our visa identification with us.
We really enjoyed the teleferiqo. It was something we’ll remember for a long time, partly due to the amazing views, and partly thanks to the nice big coffee mug I got there which helps wake me up every morning