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Best Way to See Quito Ecuador: Ride El TelefériQo Gondola Up Pichincha Volcano

Posted in: Ecuador Travel, Living in Ecuador, Quito Ecuador

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.

(You may also want to read about Parque La Carolina, Parque El Ejido , and Parque Vulqano (the fun park at the base of El TelefériQo) some great place to take the kids in Quito)

Best Way To See Quito: Ride El TelefériQo 


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. Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car

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 . . .”dena riding el teleferiqo

As we progressed up, up, up the mountain we enjoyed ever expanding views of the city, and the surrounding countryside.

The ride took about 10 minutes.

Our daughter was got so excited! She just kept looking all around, pointing and talking about how beautiful everything was.

It was also neat to see the cows grazing peacefully as we went by, high above their heads. Drew (our daughter) didn’t seem to think that cows should be up that high on the side of the mountain :).

Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car

Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable CarThe height at the top is about 4100 meters (13, 450 feet) and because of that it was cold and dizzying.  There is a building 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)teleferiqo-biking 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?

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 🙂Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car

Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable CarAt 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.

Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car

Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable CarThe 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.

Teleferiqo Rates - Quitos Cable Car Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car

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. It helps me wake me up every morning 🙂

Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car Teleferiqo - Quitos Cable Car

To get there we caught a taxi from Parque El Ejido for $3. When we were finished the ride, 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.

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Would you like to take a ride up the TelefériQo? Have you already done it? Please share your comments on this post.

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Meet the Author

Dena Haines is co-editor of GringosAbroad - Ecuador's largest blog for expats and travelers. She is a travel blogger and content marketer. She is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Work with GringosAbroad.

3 comments… add one
  • Alex Aug 12, 2016, 8:01 pm

    Where can I rent a decent bike in Quito to ride those trails?

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