What to see in Ecuador
Middle of the World Monument
Tourist attractions Middle of the World Monument
Ever wanted to stand with one foot in each hemisphere? The Middle of the World Monument in Ecuador grants you that wish. As the name suggests, the monument stands on the equator, the line which divides the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres. Only 19 miles north of the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, it is a must-visit attraction if you travel to Ecuador.
The Middle of the World Monument measures 30 metres in height and a line runs from its centre down to a central square, where visitors can stand with one foot in each hemisphere. Although the monument was constructed between 1979 and 1982, on the site where a French explorer calculated the equatorial line in 1736, later technologies have revealed the true equator to be a few hundred metres north of the monument.
Nevertheless, only geography purists would worry about these minor details as it’s still a fun landmark to visit on a tour of Ecuador where you can take photos and enjoy the panoramic views from the viewing platform at the top of the monument.
Things to do at the Middle of the World Monument
Of course, the best thing to do at the Middle of the World Monument is to straddle the equatorial line and take a few memorable photos. Another highlight is to ride the elevator or climb the stairs to the top of the monument. From here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of untouched mountains and the snow-capped Andes for as far as the eye can see.
If you’re interested in visiting the exact spot which marks the equatorial line, be sure to stop at the Intiñan Solar Museum, which proudly advertises itself as the location of the ‘true’ equator. This ethnographic museum is a celebration of Ecuadorian indigenous culture and has a number of interesting interactive exhibits. Visitors also have the opportunity to test the laws of physics, which are said to be affected by the location of the site on the equator, with a series of fascinating science experiments.