Photo by Sara Perryman

Ecuador takes its name from that big yellow line that encircles our planet at 0˚ 0’ 0” latitude. Any tourist worth the stamps in his passport is therefore obligated to visit and pose with the equator. Thankfully the thoughtful folks from the local tourism office have built the Mitad Del Mundo (Middle of the World) monument at the site. Mitad Del Mundo is a large complex featuring a plaza, Ethnographic Museum and shopping center dressed up as a Spanish colonial town. Weekend visitors will likely see cultural performances including music and dance. There is a fee of a few dollars to visit the monument, but the access to relatively clean tourist-friendly restrooms is priceless.

Sightseeing companies offer bus tours for the 15 mile trip north from Quito to Mitad Del Mundo. Taxis and private car rentals are also available. Whatever method of transportation you choose, be sure to buy a round trip. Taxis idle at the Mitad Del Mundo exit hoping to make a quick buck from ill-prepared tourists.

The most difficult part of your trip will be choosing how to pose on, around or over the equator. My preferred method was walking the line carefully and thereby gaining access to an unseen dimension that was neither north nor south, kind of an Ecuadorian Narnia. You do whatever makes you happy, just take lots of campy photos and don’t be embarrassed about being a tourist.

Photo by Sara Perryman

Photo by Sara Perryman

Read up on more Ecuador travel tips



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