Middle of the World Monument (La Mitad del Mundo)
Who could resist the opportunity to visit the Middle of the World (Mitad del Mundo) and have your picture taken as you straddle the equator! This complex, built to commemorate the site where a French explorer calculated the world’s equatorial line, may be a shameless tourist mecca, but it makes for a fun day trip from Quito.
Take the elevator to the top of the enormous, trapezoidal monument for great views of the surrounding countryside. You’ll also find a scale model of colonial-era Quito here too, which really helps you get a sense of the old town’s layout.
You’ll also find an Ethnography Museum and a Planetarium at Mitad del Mundo, as well as several tourist shops, bars and restaurants. On weekends, locals hang out in the Middle of the World, which comes alive with folk music and dance shows.
The fact that the real point where the equator passes through Ecuador was later found to be about 240 meters north of the line at Mitad del Mundo should not deter you from visiting this complex, located some 23 km (14 mi) north of Quito, near San Antonio de Pichincha.