Top choice in Quito

For spectacular views over Quito’s mountainous landscape, hop aboard this sky tram, one of the world's highest aerial lifts, that takes passengers on a 2.5km ride (10 minutes) up the flanks of Volcán Pichincha to the top of Cruz Loma. Once you’re at the top (a mere 4100m), you can hike to the summit of Rucu Pichincha (4680m), a 4km (five-hour) round-trip – ask about the safety situation before attempting the climb and bring warm clothes.

Don’t attempt the hike to Rucu Pichincha until you’ve acclimatized in Quito for a couple of days. You can go alone or with a qualified guide. You can also hire horses ($15 per hour), which are about 500m from the upper station (follow signs to ‘paseos a caballo’). Visit the TelefériQo, and certainly begin the Rucu Pichincha hike, in the morning, when the views here are best; the clouds usually roll in by noon. A taxi here costs about $5 from Mariscal Sucre.

Vulqano Park, a children’s amusement park, is at the base station. The ticket price covers you out and back to the base station.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Quito attractions

1. Vulqano Park

0.04 MILES

This theme park on the flanks of Volcán Pichincha has rides for all the family.

2. Centro de Arte Contemporáneo

1.43 MILES

Inside a beautifully restored former military hospital, this excellent museum showcases cutting-edge multimedia exhibits as well as top modern-art shows…

3. Basílica del Voto Nacional

1.63 MILES

On a hill in the northeastern part of the Old Town looms this massive Gothic church, Quito's largest, built over several decades beginning in 1892. Rather…

4. Parque El Ejido

1.67 MILES

Northeast of La Alameda, the pleasant, tree-filled Parque El Ejido is a popular spot for impromptu games of soccer and volleyball. The park teems with…

5. Museo de Arte Colonial

1.72 MILES

This museum, in a handsomely restored 17th-century building, houses an excellent collection of colonial art. On display are famous sculptures and…

6. Museo del Agua-Yaku

1.73 MILES

Housed in a stunning modern glass building on the lower slopes of Pichincha, at the site of the city's first water distribution tanks, this museum tells…

7. Iglesia La Merced

1.75 MILES

This 18th-century church boasts the highest tower in colonial Quito and a wealth of fascinating art, including paintings that show volcanoes erupting over…

8. Museo Camilo Egas

1.76 MILES

Inside this restored colonial home is a small but iconic collection of work by painter Camilo Egas (1899–1962), Ecuador’s first indigenista (indigenous…