The Middle of the World Monument (Ciudad Mitad del Mundo) commemorates the site where 18th-century French explorer Charles Marie de la Condamine once calculated the globe's equatorial line to be. Make a day trip from Quito to this tourist mecca to snap a share-worthy photo straddling the equator line where the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemispheres meet.
Take an elevator to the top of the enormous, trapezoidal monument for great views of the surrounding countryside. You'll also find the Ethnographic Museum and Planetarium (additional fees required) and a scale model of colonial-era Quito here, which helps provide a sense of the Old Town's layout.
Most full-day and half-day Quito city tours make a stop here, while the Quito city attractions pass includes admission to the Mundo monument. Many tours conveniently combine a stop at the Mitad Monument with visits to El Panecillo, Cotopaxi Volcano, Cayambe Volcano, and the Church of the Society of Jesus (Iglesia La Compañía de Jesús).Souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants on site.
Choose a tour with roundtrip transfers to avoid worrying about transport.
Both the monument and museum are handicap accessible.
Be prepared for lines and crowds at this popular destination.
How to Get to the Middle of the World Monument
Located about 14 miles (23 km) north of Quito near San Antonio de Pichincha, Mitad el Mundo is reachable by car, taxi, or public transportation.
When to Get There
The monument is open daily from 9am to 6pm. The site is predictably crowded during the high season of June through September, so if you want a solo photo op, it's best to make the trip first thing in the morning or at the end of the day. On weekends, locals hang out at the monument—watch the area come alive with folk music and dance shows.
Not Quite the Middle of the World
The exact location where the equator passes through Ecuador was later found to be about 262 yards (240 meters) north of the line at Mitad del Mundo. To visit the real equatorial line, check it out on your GPS-enabled device and head to the nearby Inti Nan Solar Museum, about five minutes away by car.