The equator line, separating the northern and southern hemisphere of the Earth, passes about 25 kilometers (~16 miles) north of Quito. On the land called Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world), this bright yellow line shows where north meets south. (The equator line can actually shift 9 meters either way since the world wobbles slightly on its axis.) Ecuador, whose name translated from Spanish means “equator”, has done a nice job of making this site an interesting stop for tourists and locals alike.
Looking Down On The Equator From The Equator
It costs about $2 to get into the park and another $2 to get a view atop the Ethnographic Museum (Museo Ethnografico Mitad del Mundo). From there, on most days you’ll find great views of the surrounding mountains.
- There are smaller museums surrounding the tall Museo Ethnografico Mitad del Mundo; both the free insect and history museum are worth a stop.
We often take for granted our knowledge of the planet, but discovering the equator line began with the ancient Greeks and wasn’t full resolved until nearly 2,000 years later by French scientists. Sadly, I didn’t take the mandatory cheesy picture with one foot in both hemispheres but rest assured I did make the pose. Here are the rest of my pictures from the Mitad del Mundo.