What happened to this place? It only opened in 2005, but it looks like a forgotten relic of the '80s or something. The signs point to things like fine restaurants, shopping, and a discoteca, none of which actually exist. The buildings are completely abandoned and the escalator is covered in ripped plastic sheeting. Somehow VolQano Park, a tiny, sad amusement park, is still operating, but we only saw one small group of kids in there. The whole experience was not at all what we expected for an attraction that was highly recommended to us.
The gondola ride itself is pleasant enough, although $8.50 is kind of steep, considering the lack of amenities the park has to offer. I admit, the poor maintenance of the park as a whole made me question the safety of the gondolas.
At the top of the mountain you get a nice view of Quito and the surrounding mountains. Be sure to go early in the morning when the sky is still clear. For hiking, I highly recommend Cotopaxi. But if you're not able to make it out of the city, there are many scenic trails at the top of the Teleferico. We also saw signs for horse rentals, although we didn't actually see any horses. Hiking would probably make this attraction worth your while, but we were just coming off a cruise ship and pretty dizzy, so we opted not to. Note that these are moderate to difficult hiking trails because they are steep and the altitude gets to you pretty fast.
There is a pretty church at the top. We were there on a Monday, and it wasn't open. There are decent restrooms, a few snack shops, and a green screen photo booth at the top as well. There are also empty stalls for a supposed craft market. I don't know if this is only a weekend thing, or just another good idea with not enough funding to keep open.
The good news is, it's easy to get there by taxi. It will cost you about $5 from anywhere in town. We were able to catch another taxi that was dropping somebody off to get back into town. If you have a free day in Quito, this is a short activity that you can combine with some other sights around the city.
In the end, I was disappointed by the Teleferico. I see that there is potential for this to be an amazing place, and it may have been great at one point, but its current state is just sad.