Middle of The World

Middle 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.

EXPLORING ECUADOR

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.

A LITTLE HISTORY

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 measure the arc of the meridian in the equinoctial line. 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.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS

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.

POMASQUI

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.

CALACAL脥 AND THE ANCIENT MONUMENT

The first monument to the Middle of the World was built in 1936 in commemoration of the French geodetic mission in Ecuador, carried out in the 1730s. In 1979, this monument was taken to the city of Calacal铆. When you visit the town, if it is a weekend, try some delicious llapingachos (potato cakes), and if possible, listen to 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.

THE PULULAHUA CRATER

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 Calacal铆, then take the path called 鈥淓l Viento鈥 due to its windiness or make a 13 km. downhill to the base.

If you wish, you can go on horseback, renting it in the town.

CATEQUILLA

The Middle of the World Monument is for many people, the place where the equinoctial line crosses, although GPS technology indicates that the top of Catequilla mountain is closer to the true 0-degree mark. In that place, you will find a recent addition, a striking sculpture, 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, those who visit these astronomical viewpoints (Catequilla and Cochasqu铆) witness the fabulous sunrise over the equator.

RUMICUCHO

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

CRAFT BEER

Quito was the cradle of New World beer according to the Franciscans who know the history of that frothy drink. The San Francisco brewery was founded by Fray Jodoco Ricke in 1566. Blonde beers, 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. They give a different and unique flavor to this drink.

AGAVE EXPERIENCE

The agave plant represents an old tradition in the populations and valleys of the Andes, thanks to the testimony of the Spanish Jesuit Jos茅 de Acosta, who in 1572 wrote: 鈥淚 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 鈥減ulque鈥 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.

SHORT PLANNER

If you have a morning:

If you have a day:

If you have two to three days:

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Quito Turismo - Visit Quito

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Quito Turismo - Visit Quito