There’s plenty of reasons, or excuses, to avoid a cable car ride: the cost, fear of heights, fear of small spaces or – in my case – lack of trust in the equipment used. Hey, you know and I know it, there have been numerous cases of people stuck in the middle of the air, or worse, just seconds after they were feeling completely relaxed and amazed. However, if you’re feeling brave and in the mood of accepting a challenge, feel free to check out these 11 stunning cable rides and choose at least one to make your day. You won’t regret that decision, trust me!
1. Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro
One of Rio de Janeiro’s most popular attractions takes visitors to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain, offering 360-degree views of the city below. The cable car is particularly popular during the afternooon, when it offers visitors the chance to enjoy the sunset from the summit.
2. Ngong Ping 360, Hong Kong
The Ngong Ping 360 cable car on Hong Kong’s Lantau Island takes riders on a 25-minute journey to Ngong Ping Village, home of the iconic Tian Tan Buddha. Along the way, the cable car offers views of the South China Sea and the lush, hilly greenery of Lantau. I wonder if Bruce Lee ever used it, or climbed himself.
3. CabriO, Stanserhorn, Switzerland
CabriO in Stanserhorn, Switzerland opened as the world’s first double-decker cable car with an open upper deck, allowing riders to quite literally feel the wind in their hair. It takes just over six minutes to reach the top of Mount Stanserhorn, where it’s possible to take in the views or enjoy a meal in a revolving restaurant. A bit too exciting for me to eat.
4. Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa
The five-minute trip to the top of Cape Town’s Table Mountain aboard the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is unique, due to the fact that each round cable car rotates, giving passengers 360-degree views as they ride. You will be able to see Cape Town, Table Bay, Robben Island and the Atlantic Seaboard from up there.
5. Masada Cableway, Israel
The spectacular nature of the view from the Masada Cableway in Israel is matched only by the historical significance of the sites visitors get to see while riding, including the Dead Sea and UNESCO-listed Masada Fortress. Stunning.
6. Sulphur Mountain Gondola, Banff, Canada
The Sulphur Mountain Gondola is located just five minutes outside the town of Banff. This aerial cable car features a series of four-passenger gondolas that take riders 7,486 feet above sea level, with views of six different mountain ranges.
7. Skyline Gondola, Queenstown, New Zealand
In Queenstown, New Zealand, you’ll find the steepest cable car ride in the Southern Hemisphere. The Skyline Gondola carries passengers 1,476 feet above the city below. The views of Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Walter Peak and Cecil Peak are second to none. now, that’s one unforgettable ride.
8. Emirates Air Line, London
Opened in time for the Olympics in 2012, the Emirates Air Line in London ferries passengers across the Thames River in Greenwich. The 10-minute ride gives passengers a unique view of the city between the Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks.
9. Grouse Mountain Skyride, Vancouver, Canada
Considered North America’s largest aerial tramway system, the Grouse Mountain Skyride in Vancouver takes visitors to the mountain summit, where it’s possible to see not only the city of Vancouver, but the Pacific Ocean and Gulf Islands in the distance. I love that fluffy view!
10. Hakone Ropeway, Mt. Fuji, Japan
A ride on Japan’s Hakone Ropeway offers arguably the best views of snow-capped Mount Fuji on a clear day. Even if the weather isn’t cooperating, the gondolas still provide lovely views of the lake and surrounding mountains. Just imagine how difficult it was to enjoy that scenery before the cable car.
11. Sandia Peak Tramway, Albuquerque, N.M.
Albuquerque’s Sandia Peak Tramway extends for 2.7 miles, taking visitors high above the Sandia foothills to the top of the mountain. You’ll be reaching a height of 10,378 feet, and you’ll be able to enjoy a 11,000-square-mile view of the Rio Grande Valley below. Amazing!