If you search online “The Middle of the World” you will see hundreds of pictures of people stepping each foot on each side of the famous “Equator”.
Probably you already know that Ecuador was named after this line, which is usually called “The Middle of the World” by Ecuadorians so no one gets confused.
In fact, the middle of the world´s monument is, no doubt, one of the main tourist attractions in Ecuador. Every year thousands of visitors come to this place to get photographed on this line.
Well, you don’t happen to step on two hemispheres at the same time every day. So, it deserves a picture!
Where is the middle of the world?
The middle of the world – La Mitad del Mundo in Spanish – is a complex located 26 km (16.15 miles) north Quito, in San Antonio de Pichincha town.
Best routes to travel to the middle of the world
There are a few ways to get to La Mitad del Mundo, just check the following suggestions and pick the best one for you:
If your main means of transportation is by bus, you can take a bus with the front label “La Mitad del Mundo,” this bus goes along the Occidental Avenue, or Avenida Mariscal, every 30 minutes approximately. It is also possible to take it at one of the bus stops on América Avenue and La Prensa Avenue. Just make sure to be at one of the bus stops heading to the north of the city.
Since this bus is part of the Metrobus or Trolebus system, it will drop you off either at La Ofelia or Carcelén bus stations, from where you have to take an “integrated” bus to “La Mitad del Mundo” touristic complex.
But if you are a “road tripper” and enjoy driving on your own, make sure to head the north of Quito through the Occidental Avenue, and then take Manuel Córdova Galarza Avenue (route 28) until La Mitad del Mundo.
Things you should do when you visit the middle of the world
Firstly, make sure to go there in the morning, this will give you time enough to not miss the main activities.
Of course! We all want to have that picture on the wall. The one that proves we have stepped two hemispheres at once (the most popular one). But you may also want to try the “jumping from one hemisphere to the other” picture, or maybe the “I am holding the globe on my hand” one. Or, once you are there, why don’t you try them all? It will be fun!
VISIT THE REAL MITAD DEL MUNDO
Is there a fake one?
Not really, the fact is that the big monument you will see as soon as you get into La Mitad del Mundo complex was built in 1982, in the exact place that a French scientific mission assured the Equator was located, back in the 1736 expedition to Ecuador.
But, thanks to modern and accurate military GPS’s we now know the real Equator is located about 240 mt (0,15 miles) north of this big monument. To get there you only need to head to the Intiñam Museum.
LEARN ABOUT ECUADORIAN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES
Do you know what a tsantsa is? Have you heard about the “shrunken heads” ritual?
Intiñam Museum offers you more than a picture to collect. Here you can have a glimpse of the different Indigenous communities in Ecuador, from the way they dressed to the war rituals they performed and more.
Have you noticed in which way the water drains in your sink? Do you know the direction the water takes depends on how north or south from the Equator you are located?
Guides at Intiñam Museum usually explain this effect by a practical demonstration but please be open-minded since the Coriolis effect takes more than a couple of meters distance from the Equator to happen for real. This is only a fun and easy way to understand that phenomenon.
BALANCE AN EGG ON A NAIL
There are some fun facts on the Equator, one of them claims that it is much easier balancing an egg on a nailhead than walking straight over the Equator’s line without losing balance… as I said, fun facts.
Every time a Swiss friend told me the best chocolate in the world is made in Switzerland I replied: “that is because the cacao that chocolate is made of is Ecuadorian” 🙂
Ecuador is very proud of its cacao (chocolate raw fruit), in fact, cacao is one of the top exportation incomes in Ecuador.
So, don’t miss the chance to visit “Choza del Cacao” in Intiñam Museum, you will learn some facts about this “Gods’ gift” and enjoy some of the finest Ecuadorian chocolate at the same time.
One of the pleasures of traveling is for sure trying new food, and Ecuadorian cuisine should not be an exception.
Cuy (guinea pig) is the most controversial Andean dish since in many countries these little animals are pets and not food, but no worries, you will find many more options in the several restaurants in the middle of the world.
Are you a vegetarian? Try llapingachos (a potato dish filled with tons of cheese), or maybe a locro de papas (a thick soup made of potatoes, served with cheese, fresh corn, beans and a slice of avocado).
And the list goes on!
Since you are already in the area, wouldn’t you like to pay a visit to one of the few inhabited volcanic craters in the world?
Pululahua Volcano is located 6 km (3,73 mi) northwest the middle of the world, this beautiful place claims to be the only volcanic crater used by their inhabitants for farming and agricultural purposes. This place offers you the chance of hiking, but If you are not up for a hike – I know, altitude isn’t your best friend in this part of Ecuador – you can always rely on a horse ride.
Are you wondering what else to do in Quito and the surrounding areas? or where to go next?
Also, don’t forget to check our Extra Tours to the Galapagos and the Amazon Rainforest. We make this easy for you, you just need to choose the dates.