Rucu Pichincha Volcano
The Rucu Pichincha volcano can be found just outside of Quito. To get to the hiking trail, you can take the TeleferiQo (for $8.50) up to 12,943 ft (3,945 meters). Hiking the Rucu Pichincha trail takes about 3-4 hours.
The Pichincha volcano actually summits into two main peaks: the Rucu Pichincha (“Old Pichincha” in Quechua) at 4698 m and the Guagua Pichincha (“Child Pichincha”) at 4784 m. Rucu Pichincha is the smaller of the two summits and it is directly accessible from the TeleferiQo cable car making it the easier summit to climb.
Due to increased safety measure, this hike has been completely safe to make since 2016. The trails are generally uncrowded, and hikers are not made uncomfortable or nervous by others on the trail. Even though this trail is very safe, it is still recommended that you travel in a pair or in a group as an added safety measure.
This hike is unique from some other options since it’s totally accessible from the city. For as little as the cost of a taxi ride and your TeleferiQo ticket, you can get some of the best and most breathtaking views in Quito making this one of the most convenient and popular options for trekking in Ecuador. The trails are uncrowded, so you and your companions can enjoy a gratifying and successful day hike.
If you are more interested in seeing the volcano than taking in the far-reaching views, the trail to the volcano is really easy to find, just follow the path on your right (which is also where you can see a beautiful view of
Quito), and you will quickly spot the sign for the Pichincha Volcano. The path is easily visible, and you will follow the track where the vegetation is noticeably gone. The path does become a little less clear in some of the areas closer to the top of the summit, but trekkers have been very successful with following the entire path to the volcano.
The beginning of the climb will have you climbing over a series of grassy hills which have a magnificent view of Quito and the whole valley.
Eventually and slowly, the landscape of the trek will become more rocky, wild, and austere. As you continue to climb, the wind begins to grow stronger, and sometimes you can even feel like you are touching the clouds.
Once you get to the part of the journey where you are climbing rocks, you have almost reached the top of the volcano. If you are not used to high altitudes, it can be difficult to complete the trek all the way to the apex of the trail. However, if you are physically prepared for the journey, when you finally reach the top, you are treated to an amazing view of the city that few have the opportunity to experience and the wonderful feeling of realizing you are just one small part of this whole amazing universe. Sometimes, when you reach the top, the sky may be covered by fog. This experience has also been described as amazing since you can literally feel the clouds from inside and see how magnificently white they are up close.