GringosAbroad Ecuador

GringosAbroad helps expats and travelers navigate Ecuador. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Riding the Quito TelefériQo up Ecuador’s Pichincha Volcano (5 Tips / 5 Facts)

Posted in: Ecuador Travel, Quito Ecuador

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

  1. It  is a gondola lift (also known as a cable car).
  2. Travels 2,237 linear meters in just 8 minutes
  3. 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.
  4. Opened in July 2005 as a tourist attraction.
  5. 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

  1. Bring a jacket (and maybe a scarf). It is cold and windy at the top.
  2. Go in the morning – preferably one that is clear. The views on a clear day are amazing.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. Drink lots of water.
warning-no-running-4100meters quito-teleferiqo-ecuador quito-gondola-car mountain-teleferico

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?

You might also enjoy:

Check out our guides:

Meet the Author

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

7 comments… add one
  • melissa comyn Oct 9, 2018, 12:32 am

    do you know the hours of operation I can’t find an official website for the cable car just tour info

  • Emily May 28, 2018, 5:49 am

    Going on the teleferico looks amazing! Is the $8.50 foreigners rate the price of a return ticket? Is it safe to climb Rucu Pichincha, in terms of the trail being well defined?

  • Stewart Jul 2, 2014, 4:50 am

    Great article and video my friends.

    Ok teleferico is one place in Quito I haven’t been and your article makes me want to go.

    Probably one saturday I’ll go with friends or family early morning as you say to try out a
    new Canon camera at least.

    Best wishes.

  • norma Jun 22, 2014, 9:00 am

    Good morning, my husband & I & little dog will relocate from san francisco, california, USA to to live in Cuenca. One of our many & biggest concerns. Where will we live. My little dog is an ESC (emotional service companion); therefore I need to have him with me. How do we secure temporary lodging in advance of our arrival. We would prefer a clean, well maintained unfurnished apartment in a quiet location. Thank you so very much for your valuable insight. Sincerely – Norma

    • Bryan Haines Jun 24, 2014, 12:14 pm

      There are lots of hotels – just check with them online to see if they allow pets. Or you could look at renting a short term furnished place for a month. There are lots of options – it just takes a little research.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.