Aerovía, Guayaquil’s Scenic Cable-Car

Aerovía’s cross-river segment

photography by: Omri Westmark

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Climbing to the top of a scenic lookout, a ski slope or a hilltop monastery, cable cars often bypass a geographic barrier while offering their riders plenty of sweeping views along the way. Even though aerial tramways are mostly designated for tourists, there is an increasing number of systems that commuters rely on for their daily journeys. Linking downtown Guayaquil with Durán on the opposite side of Rio Guayas, Aerovía might be officially branded as a mass transit system, yet its panoramic views of Ecuador’s largest city make it a worthy attraction for gazing visitors too.

Home to more than 3 million inhabitants and half a million vehicles, Guayaquil metropolitan area has been notorious for its hectic traffic for decades now. In fact, things have gotten so bad that during rush hours, drivers can spend hours on end just to cross a couple of kilometers.


In an attempt to alleviate some of the chronic congestion, the city council has long toyed with the idea of constructing an ample network of subway, trams and buses. It was during this search for solutions that the call for erecting the city’s first cableway was made. The initial plan was to significantly cut the commuting time between Guayaquil city center and the canton of Durán, located on the other side of the Guayas River.


Following a few years and 134.5 million US dollars worth of investment funds, Aerovía was inaugurated in 2020 to the fanfare of citywide excitement and hope. Comprises five stations (Parque del Centenario, Julián Coronel, Cuatro Mosqueteros, Durán and as well as technical facility), the single ropeway line has a total of 154 cabins, spacious enough to accommodate as many as 10 people, thus boasting a maximum capacity of roughly 40,000 passengers per day.


Since its celebrated opening, Aerovía has faced waves of criticism due to the system’s low ridership figures. However, what this sky tram lacks in transportational merit, it more than makes up for in its glut of expansive urban vistas. As each cabin ascends 20 meters above Guayaquil’s bustling streets, and then continues over a 14-meter-high segment astride the mighty Rio Guayas, passengers are treated to an aerial view of Santa Ana Hill, the river esplanade, and the verdant Isla Santay.


In spite of Aerovía’s modest speed of just 18 kilometers per hour, it takes merely 15 to 18 minutes by cable car to reach Durán from Guayaquil downtown area or vice versa, three times shorter than the same journey by car.


Take note that visitors who wish to take a ride on the cableway must first purchase a 2$ rechargeable card at one of the stations.