Ecuador gets its name from the Spanish word for “equator” so while in Quito, visiting the “Middle of the World” is a must. Besides, it’s not every day that you get to have each foot in different hemispheres!
In 1736, an expedition called the French Geodesic Mission set out to define where the equatorial line passed. This line separated the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Based on their measurements, the expedition determined an approximate location. In 1936, a ten-meter high monument was built on the line just outside of Quito to commemorate that expedition. Later, in the early 1980s, the monument was replaced by a larger 30-meter high monument.
Later measurements using modern GPS systems have shown that the drawn line is in the wrong spot and that the equator is actually about 240 meters north. But that hasn’t stopped tourism one bit.
Considered the smallest city in Ecuador, Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World City) is home to the iconic monument, as well as a museum, planetarium, restaurants, shops, and cultural exhibitions. If you’re lucky, you may also catch a live show with indigenous music and dancing.
Good To Know
Admission depends on how much you want to see or do. You can pay for entrance to the city, the museum inside the monument (which allows you to climb to the top), the planetarium, or a full pass (which includes all three). You also have to pay for parking. Below are the prices when I visited, however, they could always change so do your research ahead of time.
Have you visited the middle of the world? We’d love to read your comments below! 🙂
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