Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Quito's New Teleférico, Ecuador
One of the first things I did after arriving in Quito was to take a ride on the city’s new teléferico, a cable car that whisks passengers from an altitude of 2950 metres (9,676 feet) to a lookout over 4000 metres (over 13,000 feet) above sea level in only ten minutes. Quito's teléferico, which opened in July 2005, is located on the eastern side of Pichincha Volcano, one of Quito’s defining natural landmarks.
The teleférico complex has restaurants, stores, and even amusement park rides. However, spectacular views of Quito and the distant snow-clad-peak of Cotopaxi Volcano more than make up for the commercial atmosphere. The lookout at the top is an excellent place to get oriented before exploring Quito. There are also some hiking trails leading through the stark Andean landscape.