At the equator

Ecuador and the Equator line are roughly sharing their name. They are both in the world (Mitad del Mundo).  It is posible to visit four different attractions close to the equator line from Quito.

It started with a French expedition of scientists led by Charles Marie de La Fontaine. They went to Ecuador in 1736 for making some measurements and calculations. Not only did they place the equator line to its right place. They concluded that the Earth was not a perfect sphere, they formed the basis for the metric system and they named that later would become the name of the Republic of Ecuador.

Mitad del Mundo” – is symbolized by a 30 meter-high stone monument with a “ball” on top. Around there is created a complex including a museum with a miniature model of colonial Quito, a planetarium and a variety of restaurants. It is a popluar place for open air concerts on weekends.

But the interactive outdoor museum “Museo Solar Inti Nan” situated a few hundred yards away is even more interesting. Here you can participate in a variety of amazing physical experiments that provide different effects depending whether you are located on the southern or northern hemisphere, or exactly on the equator line. We also find an ethnographic exhibition of the rain forest indians life and work, including a well-detailed presentation on head-shrinking.

Nearby is also the extinguished volcano Puluahua. It is a special sight with its 400 meters deep and 5 km wide crater. You can look down on an active agricultural composite  that have settled in the fertile crater floor at 3,000 m. Along the volcano’s walls live a large number of different plants and birds.

Finally, there are ruins of Rumicucho 5 km beyond. This hill was already in use 500 years before Christ by the Quitu-cara tribe. At the Spaniards’ arrival it was used by the Incas as a lookout post and ceremonial space. IEnjoy the view and felle the scent of history

By the way; don’t forget your sunscreen!

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