Mitad del Mundo

No trip to Quito, Ecuador would be complete without a visit to Mitad del Mundo, Spanish for Middle of the World. Mitad del Mundo is the tourist attraction marking where the equator runs through Ecuador just a short drive outside of Quito. Everyone takes cheesy photos with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one foot in the southern hemisphere.

My right foot is in the northern hemisphere, left foot in the southern hemisphere.

I’m only 5’1″ so when I didn’t stand on the metal base, I just looked like a floating head behind the sign.

A guide does silly tricks to demonstrate how water flows down a drain in different directions depending on which side of the equator you stand, and other quirks of physics. There was also quite a bit of indigenous history and culture to learn about.  They even had llamas and a little pen with cute furry guinea pigs running around.

One of many symbols of the indigenous history

Cute fluffy guinea pigs

I think this was a llama. Could’ve been an alpaca. I can’t remember or tell the difference.

Before calling it a day, we made a quick stop at the original monument that marked where the equator was once thought to be. Even though the location turned out to be inaccurate, it was impressively close considering they didn’t have modern technology like GPS.

original equator monument

Mitad del Mundo is a little cheesy, a bit of a tourist trap pulling you in simply because of the novelty of standing in the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time. But for most of us, it is hard to resist attractions such as this, and it wasn’t expensive. It was definitely interesting with plenty of indigenous history to learn about, and well worth a few hours for a visit.