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Middle of The World

Touchdown ECUADOR! The Country of lush forests, active volcanoes, captivating beaches, and...the Middle of The World. Okay, we're not talking the center of the world (aka that hot inner core) but rather, the equator. But doesn't the equator line cross through multiple countries? It does, however, no other country prides this line like Ecuador does!

Photo from

Equator Line

There have been debates over the 'actual' equator line crossing in Ecuador. We ended up at the Mitad del Mundo monument off of Av. Manuel Côrdova Galarza. The smaller monument is located in Calacalí at the 'Museo Casa Carlota Jaramillo' which has also been said to be the equator line. At various points in time, the other locations that fall on the list as the equator line are 'Museo de Sitio Intiñan' and 'Punto 0 The real equator' as shown below on Google Maps:

Choosing to be oblivious to this information, we paid the $5USD entry fee and climbed to the top of the Mitad del Mundo monument. You will see the yellow line that divides the two hemispheres:

This is the east side (left side of the line being north, right side of the line being south) - December 28, 2022

This is the west side (left side of the line being south, right side of the line being north) - December 28, 2022

So, why the debate? Modern GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment has confirmed that this yellow line is nothing more than a yellow line and that the real equator line is indeed up the road. Could you imagine trying to be Charles-Marie de La Comdamine and gauging the location of the equator in 1736? I had a hard enough time using the modern day GIS (Geographic Information Systems) equipment in college when we were finding the location of trees on campus...

Regardless of the fact that the actual equator line was up the road, I would highly recommend visiting Mitad del Mundo monument if you go to Quito! In fact, this was a last minute visit for us (long story short, our travel plans had to be adjusted due to protests) and I wish so badly we would've had more time here as opposed to the drive by we did. Tourist trap? Sure. You'll see many blogs telling you it's not worth it but me on the other hand, I'll tell you I could've spent the entire day there!

My happy place? Travelling! - December 28, 2022

How to Get There

Mitad del Mundo is actually quite far from the city centre of Quito. It can range from 45 minutes to an hour depending on traffic and the cab ride can vary from $20-$30USD each way. As I mentioned before, this portion of our trip was a last minute, on the fly kind of move - we actually flew into Quito around 1AM on a Wednesday with very little planned for this part of the trip. We originally had a hotel booked 8 minutes from the monument, which I had booked just a couple of days in advance. I tried messaging them numerous times to confirm that this late check-in was okay. Throughout the 27 hour journey to Ecuador from Montreal (layover in Mexico City), this booking slipped my mind...mainly because I never heard back. Once we landed at the Quito airport, I read more into my booking and sure enough, check-in was only until 4PM (glad I didn't flag down a taxi to take us there)! A non-refundable $65.22CAD was charged to me and I had to find us a hotel at 1AM. Just up the road was the Wyndham Quito Airport hotel. We asked the Wyndham shuttle if they could find out if there was availability and sure enough, we caved on the $225.91CAD cost, desperate to pass out.

Photo taken from ZenHotels website

Why am I telling you all of this? Well firstly, I don't want you to make my same mistakes, but secondly, because it actually worked out perfectly to make the trip to the Middle of the World from this location. Since the Wyndham was right beside the airport, the new plan I came up with, on the fly, was to rent a car at the airport in the morning to take us to Mindo Cloudforest (next blog post) with a stop at Mitad del Mundo on the way! Our first stops in Ecuador took us north of the airport, whereas the city is south of the airport. It made sense to stick right in the middle and stay at the airport - perhaps this could help you when planning your trip to Quito!

Still a 40 minute drive to the monument from the airport, it was an easy one. I've driven through a few different countries outside of Canada (such as US, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro) and this was a breeze. We rented the car on the day of for $126.40CAD/day (gas included) from Budget - very pricey, as you can get deals for as low as $20/day (coming in later blog posts) if you book in advance.

Leaving the Quito airport, very modern roads - December 28, 2022

Getting closer to San Antonio de Pichincha district, no crazy drivers, felt very safe! December 28, 2022

There were tons of bike lanes! - December 28, 2022

Once you arrive to Mitad del Mundo, parking is available for $4USD on site. You wouldn't think it from the above charges but I am extremely cheap (the above was a unique situation)! If you drive up San Francisco de la Pita, there's a large asphalt opening where it also curves off into Sta. Cecilia. We parked there and walked down to the monument!

My free parking spot. The mechanic across the road also said the vehicle would be just fine there (and I chose to believe him!) - December 28, 2022

Meet me in the middle!

We have finally arrived to Mitad del Mundo! Due to lack of research on this last minute adventure, I did not know there was the entry fee of $5USD nor did I know it was it's own little town! There are shops everywhere, spots to get lunch, and a full on museum inside the actual monument. This is why I say I could've spent a day here as opposed to the hour visit we rushed through. I found the place quite magical to be honest!

Me at the pretend 0°0'0" - December 28, 2022

The museum inside was fantastic. It shared information on numerous cultural traditions, medicinal plants, and described many places around Ecuador - a key one being the Galapagos! I scanned what I could on our timeline but took a ton of pictures and videos. There are numerous floors, so to read everything this little museum had to offer would have taken much longer than the hour we had.

Inside Mitad Del Mundo museum - December 28, 2022

Inside Mitad Del Mundo museum - December 28, 2022

Inside Mitad Del Mundo museum - December 28, 2022

While we walked by the egg balancing and sink gravity demonstrations outside the monument, we weren't able to stop. I did however capture some photos of these reused tires! How cool?!

Plant holder outside of monument - December 28, 2022

Plant holders outside of monument - December 28, 2022

You can probably guess that my overall review would be to definitely visit Mitad Del Mundo when in Quito. If I were to do it again, I would make a whole day out of it for sure!

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