On my last day in Quito, I met up with some friends from school. We went to the volcano Pichincha and took the teleferico (cable car) up to see the view. Now, the altitude of Quito is 2820 meters or 9252 feet, which is almost twice the altitude of Denver, CO. As I previously mentioned, I had some minor symptoms of altitude sickness when I first arrived in Quito. At the end of the week, I was still getting tired easier than normal due to the lack of oxygen, so I knew I was in for an interesting day at Pichincha. The altitude where the cable car stops is 4050 meters or 13,287 feet. Beyond that was a 2-3 hour hike to the summit, which was 4680 meters or 15,354 feet. My chest hurt a little immediately upon exiting the cable car, so I did not make it too far along the hike. Wendy and I decided to hang out near the cafe and take pictures from cable car levels. Will and his roommate went for the hike and came back looking like hell. Better them than me.  The view from where Wendy and I stopped was beautiful but a bit smoggy.

way off in the distance, 18x zoom in full use

I could barely walk, and these guys biked part of the way

I think I was just happy I could breathe again

one of the many beautiful views

view of Quito

Mirador = Lookout. That caution tape was the only thing keeping us from tumbling down the cliff.

Comidas Tipicas = Typical Food. Oddly nowhere near any restaurants or other source of food.

view of Quito

side of the mountains and Quito in the back

side of the mountains and Quito in the back

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14 comments on “Pichincha Volcano in Quito

  1. Nick Laborde

    Great pics, looks like a place I should add to my itinerary. My mountain biking buddies would be really jealous if I road that trail… yeah definitely gotta do it.

    1. Ali Post author

      Thanks! Sure, go for it! Just maybe bring oxygen with you, it was rough just trying to breathe up there.

  2. Andrew

    So the caution tape hastily tied on kept you and your fellow tourists from falling down the hill, but the well attached barbed wire protected you from the vicious local flora?

    Maybe the typical local food was the grass?

    1. Ali Post author

      That’s it Andy, you’ve solved the mystery, thank you!

  3. Andi

    Beautiful!!! Love the 1st shot. Altitude totally kicked my butt in Peru & Bolivia. Ahhh I was SO sick.

    1. Ali Post author

      It’s a weird feeling to feel so out of breath for no apparent reason! That sucks you were so sick 🙁

  4. Jaime

    I love the pics & thanks for them…lol!!! I also love how you stayed at the cafe while some of the others did the hike. I think I would have done the hike but I think having coffee with you would be more tempting!!!

    1. Ali Post author

      I really tried to do the hike, but at that altitude, there was just no way. My chest actually hurt, I thought I would die. I’ll have coffee (or maybe cocoa) with you anytime Jaime!

      1. Jaime

        Well I am glad you survived & didnt kill yo’self!!! And yes we will be having cocoa together someday ;)~

  5. Jenny

    Altitude can really kick your ass. I found that the coca tea really helped how I felt. When I first hit altitude I felt so bad I went to a lower town that afternoon to chill out for a while. My body eventually got accustomed to it as I was at 4,000 meters for almost 3-weeks. I remember trying to climb Cotopaxi and feeling like I was about to freakin’ die.

    1. Ali Post author

      Wow that’s pretty hardcore, I couldn’t handle climbing Cotopaxi! That’s so awesome you did that!

  6. Keith

    My partner and I just got back from Ecuador, and we did this, too. We walked for about an hour from the cable car stop, but we gave up. We just didn’t know where the end was and every time you come to a little hill and think it’s over, well, it just keeps on going. We didn’t know what there was at the end — if anything. Any pictures from anyone who has actually gone all the way to the end of the trail?

    Keith / Orlando

    1. Ali Post author

      Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from the guys who did go up to the top. But they looked awful when they came back down to meet up with us. I’m sure it was a great view, but totally not worth the pain in my opinion. I think the views from where the cable car lets off were beautiful on their own.

  7. Pingback: Pichincha Volcano in Quito, Ecuador - Ctrl Alt Travel

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