Center of the world

Center of the World

It is the most visited place in Ecuador, just 30 minutes from Quito. It is the monument that celebrates the location of our country, just in the middle of two hemispheres.

North of Quito, in the San Antonio de Pichincha parish, is the most visited attraction in the country, the Middle of the World monument and complex dedicated to the Equator. Here, the tourist’s favorite activity is to take a selfie on the yellow line painted on the cement that divides the planet in two.


The power of the Middle of the World is a universal reality: the position of the Earth in front of the sun and being at Latitude Zero, beyond being a geographical line, is part of science, spirituality and knowledge.


In the 18th century, at the beginning of the modern age -the Age of Enlightenment- the century of the geographical study of the Earth, a group of French scientists arrived in Quito in 1736, to determine the arc of the meridian in the equinoctial zone of the planet. In fact, our country owes its name precisely to this fact.

The team of specialists made their measurements through the rugged Andes mountains, suffering all kinds of adversity. In the end, this mission, which was planned to last three years, ended after 10 years.


In addition to visiting the central monument, where you will find numerous exhibits that highlight Ecuadorian culture and a balcony from which you can see the surroundings, outside the building you can also visit a very fun interactive museum that answers your questions related to the Equinoctial line: Can you hang an egg on a nail? Does the water change direction according to the hemisphere? The answers will blow your mind.


Before reaching the Middle of the World, there is Pomasqui, a small town which used to be a stopover town on the old highway to Colombia. Today, there is a main plaza with two churches (uncommon in Andean towns where there is only one church) and you can visit the interesting figure of Jesus, carved in a tree, named the Lord of the Tree.

Try the delicious paila ice creams made by local nuns, and for a visit with children, go to Uncle Mario’s Farm to meet the domestic animals.


The first monument to the Middle of the World was built in 1936 in commemoration of the first French geodetic mission in Ecuador, carried out in the 1730s. In 1979, this monument was taken to the city of Calacalí. Visit the town, if it is a weekend, try some delicious llapingachos (potato cakes), and get to know some of the Ecuadorian popular music by Carlota Jaramillo, at the Casa Museo.

You can also visit the UNASUR headquarters, the striking building located south of the complex.


Pululahua is one of the few inhabited volcanic craters in the world. You can descend from the viewpoint located 10 minutes from the Middle of the World monument to the crater itself, about 3.5 km down dirt roads. Hike or bike from Moraspungo, 5 minutes from Calacalí, then take the path called “El Viento” due to its windiness or make a 13 km. downhill to the base.

If you prefer you can go on horseback, renting it in the town of the volcano.


The Middle of the World Monument is for many, the place where the equinoctial line crosses, but GPS technology indicates that the top of Catequilla mountain is closer to the true 0-degree mark. In that place you will find a striking sculpture, which is a recent addition, in the place that is believed to have been a pre-Incan ceremonial place located 240 meters south of the official monument.

During solstice and equinox, there are those who visit these main astronomical viewpoints (Catequilla and Cochasquí) to witness the fabulous sunrise over the equator.


The Rumicucho pucara is a few kilometers south of the Middle of the World monument, which is evidence of the Inca expansion in the region. Rumicucho is believed to have been a wall, temple and observatory, among other things.


Quito was the cradle of New World beer and this is what the Franciscans who know the history of that frothy drink, assure. The San Francisco brewery was founded by Fray Jodoco Ricke in 1566. Blondes, toasted, wheat, barley or malt, with high or low fermentation, craft beer has come to prevail throughout the world, and the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, is no exception.

There are craft beer tastings that include some traditional ingredients such as chocolate, coffee, guayusa, chili, passion fruit, among others, that give a different and unique flavor to this drink.


The agave plant represents an old tradition in the populations and valleys of the Andes, thanks to the testimony of the Spanish Jesuit José de Acosta, who in 1572 wrote: “I have identified a sacred tree for the natives who venerate him as much as a God, since he provides them with food, shelter and drink. “It is the pure distillation of “pulque” or ferment from the sap of Agave.

The Agave Spirit project, which has worked for the recovery of knowledge and value to this Andean heritage. In the visit to the garden, museum and factory, you will be able to learn about the processes of the plant and the elaboration of the well-known chaguarmisqui.


If you have a morning:

  • Middle of the World City Monument
  • Intiñán Museum
  • Temple of the Sun Museum

If you have a day:

  • Agave Museum + Middle of the World City + Pululahua
  • Temple of the Sun + Calacalí + Intiñán
  • Catequilla + Rumicucho + Cervecería Santana

If you have two to three days:

  • Agave Museum + Middle of the World City + Temple of the Sun + Yunguilla
  • La Quiteña Brewery + Middle of the World City + Rumicucho + Quitsato
  • Catequilla + Intiñán + Calacalí + Pahuma + El Cráter
  • +593 2993300
  • Passage Oe3 Río Amazonas N51-20 & Street N50B
    Old airport, Quito

© All rights reserved

Quito Turismo - Visit Quito

  • +593 2993300
  • Passage Oe3 Río Amazonas N51-20 & Street N50B
    Old airport, Quito

© All rights reserved

Quito Turismo - Visit Quito