The Teleferico of Quito

April26, 2019
by Vida Verde

The Teleferico is one of the most important tourist icons in all of Ecuador. It is a must see for visitors to the Capitol city of Quito. Inaugurated on May 24th, 2005 and located in the foothills of the volcano Rucu Pichincha, riders of the Teleferico ascend to an altitude of 3947 meters above sea level. Open 365 days a year, the Teleferico offers visitors an incredible opportunity to hike and to get a beautiful view of the city of Quito.

In a journey of about 18 minutes, you will cover a distance of 2.5 km, flanked by the mountainside. You will definitely feel the effects of rapidly ascending more than 1,000 meters from platform to platform, as you fly over three micro-climates: the Andean forest, a sea of shrubs, and the Andean moor.

A Spanish student hiking at the Teleferico with a view of all of QuitoOnce you reach the top, if you are perceptive, you will see an incredible array of wildlife. You can see hummingbirds darting around the long grass or hawks, partridges and blackbirds soaring above. In the afternoon you might be able to glimpse a wolf chasing a rabbit. You may even be lucky enough to witness the majestic flight of the Ecuadorian Condor.

The view of Quito during the trip on the Teleferico of Quito is spectacular, but nothing comparaed to the view offered once you reach the top. From them you will be able to see the full extent of Quito, the valley of Los Chillos, San Rafael and Machachi. On a clear day you will be able to observe an imposing chain of volcanoes: From Atacazo to Cayambe, passing through Corazón, Ilinizas, Cotopaxi, Pasochoa, Rumiñahui and Antisana.


Once you are at the top of the Teleferico, the recreation possibilities are endless and free to your imagination. You can go hiking, camping, climbing, horseback riding, paragliding, extreme cycling, photographing, mountain marathoning, etc. Most first time visitors try hike to the peaks of Guagua and Rucu Pichincha just five kilometers away from the top of the Teleferico.


The hike to the summit takes between 3 and 4 hours (depending on your level of fitness) and can be quite draining. Follow is a list of tips and recommendations for those who dare to try for the top!

  • Bring proper clothing: the temperature can drop rather quickly down to 6 degrees Celsius and there is a permanent cold wind that comes off of the mountain. It is best to wear a jacket and other warm clothing!
  • Wear sunscreen: The sun is extremely strong on the top of the mountain. Without sunscreen you could get burnt in the matter of minutes!
  • Bring liquids and snacks: Many people get quickly affected by the altitude. It is best to be prepared with bottles of sports drink and snacks that offer a good source of carbohydrates.
  • Contract a guide and rent equipment: If you would like to hike to the peaks of Guagua and Rucu Pichincha, it is recommended to do it with professional help. There are a few spots that are slightly dangerous and it is better to be safe than sorry!
  • Don’t push yourself too hard: The altitude is nothing to be trifled with. If you start feeling sick, take it easy! Go slow, take breaks and allow your body to get accostumed to the altitude.

The Teleferico of Quito is a must see for any person visiting our beautiful city. From nowhere else will you truly get to appreciate the magnitude of the mountains and the city of Quito. Talk with us about visiting the Teleferico today!

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