Just 30 kilometers from Quito you can find 'the middle of the world', 0°0'0'' latitude - the place where the Equator divides ... More
La Mitad del Mundo
Just 30 kilometers from Quito you can find 'the middle of the world', 0°0'0'' latitude - the place where the Equator divides the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The city called ¨Mitad del Mundo¨ (Middle of the World) has been made into a replica of colonial Quito and offers the tourist a wide range of attractions such as the ethnographic museum, an art gallery, a bullfighting ring, handicraft stores, and a cockpit amongst other things. This place is very commercialized and has a large flow of visitors, especially at weekends. Visitors can also enjoy the whole range of local cuisine. There are buses that leave from the north-central side of Quito and travel directly to this place, which is a must on any tourist's itinerary.
The Mitad del Mundo is a very exciting place and really well worth a visit!! However, instead of going in the main site, turn right along the road just before the entrance and walk for a little bit until you find the real equator (by GPS) and a fantastic museum where you can balance an egg on a nail and actually watch water change direction of flow! If you ask directions, people tend not to admit it exists because a lot of money has been put into the main site - which is still a lot of fun and has a lovely atmosphere!
I lived in Ecuador for three months and my trip to Mitad del Mundo was one of the highlights. Be sure to visit Mital del Mundo, but also walk a few steps to the north and visit the real equator as found by GPS after the big monument was constructed.
Mitad del Mundo is probably the most accessible place in the world where you can stand in two hemispheres at the same time, and actually doing it is more exciting than you might think. The equator is not the only thing to see at Mitad del Mundo, there are also dozens of stores where you can buy interesting souvenirs with Ecuador, Quito or Mitad del Mundo motifs, as well as typical clothing and leather products. Prices are low and if there is anything you might consider too expensive, the vendors are almost always open to haggling.