While the TelefériQo soars above Quito and permits wonderful views of the elongated city, to really feel remote you need to start hiking. Rucu Pichincha is the first peak accessible from the TelefériQo and can be reached after about a three hour climb. People use this as an altitude acclimation hike for conquering higher peaks like Cotopaxi. The trail takes you from about 4,100m to 4,627m, through grasslands of darting birds and rabbits. The fragile beauty of wildflowers against the backdrop of dramatic cliffs is otherworldly. Even more bizarre was hearing chants in the distance, which we later discovered to be a group praising God from the top of a rocky mound.