A great way to see Quito is from above. The TelefériQo (a combination of teleférico and Quito) runs up the foothills of Pichincha Volcano and offers a crazy view of Quito.
5 Fast Facts: Quito TelefériQo
- It is a gondola lift (also known as a cable car).
- Travels 2,237 linear meters in just 8 minutes
- Rises from 3,117 meters (10, 226 ft) to 3,945 meters (12,943) making it one of the highest aerial lifts in the world.
- Opened in July 2005 as a tourist attraction.
- From the top of the teleferico you can continue on to hike the volcano.
There seems to be some confusion about the altitude at the top. Some sources state 3,945 m while a sign at the top says it is 4,100 m.
Either way – it’s high and cold. As you can see in the video below, the weather changes quickly. It went from sunny to compete cloud in just one minute.
Riding Quito’s TelefériQo
Watch on YouTube
5 Travel Tips for the Quito TelefériQo
- Bring a jacket (and maybe a scarf). It is cold and windy at the top.
- Go in the morning – preferably one that is clear. The views on a clear day are amazing.
- Be careful about physical exertion while at the top. If you haven’t acclimated to Quito yet, you could be very short of breath. Some travelers get headaches at the top.
- Bring your cedula if you are an Ecuadorian resident and you’ll pay the local rate. When we were there we paid $4.90 ea (instead of the $8.50 rate for foreigners).
- Drink lots of water.
At the top of the cable car you can get a snack, a souvenir and a rest. High elevations can be tiring even if you aren’t exerting yourself.
At the visitor center (at the base of the teleferico) there is an amusement park known as Vulqano Park.
Getting To (and From) El TelefériQo
It is easy to get a taxi to the site. They all know where it is and it is just a few dollars. You can ask your hotel to arrange transport or you can just grab one on the street.
To get back to our hotel we used the shuttle that went every hour. The site is a little isolated so there wasn’t many taxis waiting around. If it isn’t too late in the day, you could probably grab one that just dropped off other passengers.
Have you been here? What did you like about it?