Ever dreamt of being in two places at once?
The Mitad Del Mundo is a famous tourist destination in Ecuador, and many who have been here will most probably tell future visitors to find time in seeing this historical site. It is not necessarily as ornate as the Basílica del Voto Nacional in Quito, as grand as the Malecón 2000, or as towering as Chimborazo volcano in Cordillera Occidental of the Andes, but it definitely plays a big part in the Ecuadorian culture. Why? Because this is considered as being the city that is situated in the middle of the world.
Translated as “the city in the Middle of the World,” this is an important geographical location that Ecuador visitors must experience. Just about 20 kilometers outside of Quito, this is a place that is flocked by visitors from all over the world because of its ethnographical significance.
You will be leaving this place with a certificate that states you’ve stood across the equator—definitely something that you won’t forget. This is the location of the Museo Etnográfico Mitad del Mundo, a museum about Ecuador‘s culture and ethnography; and also home to the world-famous pyramidal monument topped by a 5-ton globe.
Numerous studies have shown that the monument place may not be the exact indicator of the equator. But specific and exact details aside (it’s about 200+ metres off the mark), when you’re in Ecuador, this is certainly the one of the closest spots you’ll get, which could be impressive enough. This is where you could be in two places at once (northern and southern hemisphere), so a photo op is definitely imperative. There is also the Ethnographic Museum here, which will let you in on the history of Ecuador tribes and different ethnic groups.
Around the monument is the Equatorial village, which will give visitors an idea of what an authentic Ecuadorian village looks like. There be lots spots for souvenirs of local products here—some of them could be a bit more pricey than usual, though, so make sure that you try your best to get the best deals.
Just near the Mitad del Mundo is the Intiñan Museum (Museo de Sitio Solar Intinan), a great place to learn about the country. Here, lots of activities and impressive both natural and cultural sites will introduce you to the best of Ecuadorian culture. One of the favorite spots here is the spot where you can brag to your friends and family back home: this is the place where you’ll can stand and say that you’re in the center of the earth. One of the most famous activities/tricks you can try here is balancing an egg on a nail. You can also find the difficulty of walking straight along the line of the equator.
Between the Mitad del Mundo and the museum is another interesting place. It’s called the Quitsato Project, which will give you a lot of interesting tidbits about culture and astronomy and inform you on the where the equator more precisely located (they say it’s over at the Catequilla). This project will provide visitors interesting details on the concept of being in the middle of the world. If you want a more scientific (yet still fun) approach, this is the cultural tourism that you would want to get.