The teleferico in Quito, Ecuador takes you up the side of Pichincha Volcano to a height of about 4,100 meters (~13,400 feet). From there you can hike up even further, but should take it easy as you do. I was struggling to find my breath at that altitude as well as dealing with a bit of dizziness. The view though is certainly extraordinary for the price of $9 for foreigners and $5 for locals.
You Can Hike Or Bike To The Top
I was actually incorrect in the video when I say the only way to get to the top is by the teleferico (cable car). You can hike or mountain bike up to the top if you’re physically able. Since it’s an extremely steep incline, most people just tether their bikes to the cable car and make the difficult ride down. (Also not to be taken lightly, I heard many stories of people who had broken ribs and dislocated shoulders.)
- The air is very thin so take it easy if you feel lightheaded.
- There’s a small amusement park at the bottom of the cable car open during the summer months.
- You can try the oxygen inhalers at the cafe at the top of Pichincha, about $10 for 15 minutes.
- Some snacks, drinks, and artwork like in the picture below is on sale at the top and bottom of the teleferico.
Pictures From The Top Of Pichincha Volcano
You can see some more of my pictures from the top of Pichincha Volcano which is well worth visiting if you’re ever in Quito.
I’m not sure I would want to go up there- with the air being so thin and all. I felt myself gulping for air just reading your post 🙂 I did so love the paintings!!!! The colours are so vibrant!!!
It was hard to speak even, I was really feeling the effects. On the climb up I had to stop a few times just to regain my balance. Quite an experience I hadn’t had before.
Looks beautiful. I was a bit taken back thinking about the altitude you were at. Different part of the world, that’s for sure. 13,400 feet would take you within a couple thousand feet of New Zealand’s highest peak!
When I was up there I kept thinking that’s the height of the airplane I was in when I went skydiving!
Love the info on quito. My mother is coming to visit me in Ecuador and wouldn’t be able to climb it so it’s nice to see there are options.
It’s a nice ride up to the top, just don’t look down if you don’t like heights! I’ve got a few more Qutio posts coming up over the next few days, wonderful city I’m think you will both enjoy.
Cool! I love views like that; yet I’m pretty sure I’d prefer to hike it! Plus – happy you put yourself on the video…much more personalized that way!
I would be one heck of a workout! I had to stop a few times at the top as I was having trouble with the altitude but after the Annapurna Circuit you must know a few tricks on dealing with those elevations 🙂
I hardly spent any time in Quito when we were there which was a shame – although I heard about this cable car and I think my friend Luiz Hernadez said he part owned a restaurant up there? was there one at the top? Great to see you on video – better invest in one of those lapel mikes for those windswept situations. I’m continually getting caught ourt by background noise. If you’re still in Quito, do go & say hi to my friend Luiz – you’ll find his details here – http://www.heatheronhertravels.com/ecuador-amazon-rainforest-podcast/ his office is in the newtown area
There was a cafe up there and a few of the other shops had closed down. From what I heard there was a lot of local interest in the teleferico which died down and lead to many shops/restaurants going with it. If I were still in the city I’d definitely go to check it out.
On the microphone too I’m definitely getting one. Need to figure out how to get it to work with my digital camera though, or perhaps invest in a Flip. Any recommendations?
I’ll have to note this place when I hit that area of the world. You’re quite a natural on camera. You’ll want a mic that picks up your voice and muffles extraneous noise. Good luck with the mic search!
Thanks for that. I’m a bit nervous in front of the camera and there have been several aborted videos from other posts that never made it here. I appreciate the encouragement, I hope to keep the videos coming.
what if they had cable cars in the himalayas at such heights? great video
I’m sure the views would be fantastic, if not a bit scary for those who aren’t so fond of heights!
Are you scaring us off ? 🙂
Like Anjuli said, I don’t think after few steps I would like to go there.
But that’s all the more reason for this video to be so precious.
And the paintings are so bright. I loved them. 🙂
haha, didn’t mean to scare! It’s just a bit uncomfortable that’s all, but I think the effects vary by person. It was nice though to get down to some thicker air after a while 🙂
love the artwork for sale! i’d like to buy one! well worth the hike/bike/cable ride up!
They were very inexpensive too as I recall, a great deal for those paintings 🙂
Didn’t realise you were using a digital camera to record that – looked pretty good quality in that case. On my video recorder I just plug in the mic – but not sure if the smaller ones like Flip would have a port – worth checking before you buy one
Thanks for the tip. I’ll keep it in mind, looking to buy in the next month or so.
I’m afraid of heights but would love to do this anyway. Great post.
I admit I had trouble looking down from the cable car myself but well worth it 🙂
I am climbing it Friday. I have been staying a week in Quito at 9200ft. After 3 days or so, I no longer had breathing/tingling problems. I will see how it goes further up. I have been up the mont-blanc before with no big deleterious effects other than being tired pretty quickly.
After a few days the effects do wear down quickly; though at the top I was definitely searching for my breath! Amazing views though, enjoy your trip to the top 🙂