Are you visiting the Middle of the World City in Ecuador? Wait- did you know there is a city right in the middle of the world? Thanks to Quito’s location along the world’s equator line, Mitad Del Mundo is one of the most unique places to explore in the country.
Mitad Del Mundo is referred to as the Middle of the World City. However, it serves more as a city simulation in order to create a fully interactive museum. This “city”, also known as a complex, is fully equipped with a town center, local park, restaurants, shops, and smaller museums.
Quito is often viewed as a quick layover destination for passengers. Therefore many travelers never get the chance to experience a city right in the middle of the world.
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What is Mitad del Mundo?
Mitad Del Mundo is Ecuador’s Middle of the World City located along the equator line. It refers to a complex or city simulation featuring smaller museums, restaurants, shops, and experiments that can only work on the equator.
Where is Mitad del Mundo?
Mitad Del Mundo is in Quito, Ecuador. Quito is located in the northern region of South America. The world’s equator line runs through Quito. This means that the Northern hemisphere is separated from the Southern hemisphere distinctly at this point.
That’s right- you can literally be standing in TWO hemispheres at the same time, or jump across one side of the world to the next! There are also cool science experiments that can only be completed at this central point in gravity, in the middle of the world.
The closest spot from the earth to the sun is in Ecuador. (Fun fact- this is why Cotopaxi Volcano is considered the highest active volcano in the world!) You can also see more constellations from here than anywhere else in the world.
Mitad del Mundo Planning Details
Planning a trip to Salento can be simple with the right information. Useful information includes how to get there, weather, currency, and local transportation.
Altitude at Middle of the World
Altitude sickness in Quito can be real, just like anywhere in the Andes. Its high elevation makes nausea and other symptoms common if your body is not adjusted to this elevation.
Middle of the World Weather
The Andean highlands run through the center of Ecuador and are characterized by mountains, valleys, and plateaus. This higher elevation naturally leads to cooler temperatures. The temperatures can vary based on altitude, but in general, days are mild, and nights can be chilly.
Like much of Ecuador, Quito has two seasons: the dry season from June to September, and the wet season from October to May. Despite increased chance for rainfall during the wet season, temperatures are generally mild, comparable to spring weather, year round. Sunny days are not uncommon even during the wet season.
Best time to visit
The equator line makes for mild temperatures year round. Much of Ecuador receives the same spring-like temperatures.
Getting to Middle of the World City
The easiest way to get to the Middle of the World City is by taking a tour from Quito to Mitad Del Mundo. Roundtrip tours including $5 entrance tickets to Mitad Del Mundo cost $20-$30.
You can alternatively take a combined tour that brings you to both Intiñan Solar Museum and Middle of the World City. This would be my recommendation because the museums are so close, and Intiñan comes highly recommended. I unfortunately was not able to take a combined tour because I booked very last minute.
If you are with a group of friends, it also might make sense to split an Uber cost. This gives you flexibility for how long you want to spend here, and gives you flexibility of exploring other destinations around the equator like Intiñan Solar Museum. However, I’m not sure how difficult it is to catch an Uber back to Quito from here.
How long do you need in the Middle of the World City?
One hour is enough time to explore Mitad Del Mundo. If you’re itching to explore many of the smaller museums or purchase souvenirs at the gift shops, plan for two hours. (I did most of my shopping at Mercado Artesanal Mariscal in Quito).
Things to do in Middle of the World City
There are many things to explore in this interactive museum city. Most activities are included with your entrance ticket to Mitad Del Mundo.
Visit Middle of the World Monument
The Middle of the World monument was originally built in 1736, and was later learned to be 250 yards off. Nevertheless, the monument is still pretty cool and deserves a rightful visit (and probably a photo opp too!)
Get your passport stamped
Inside the monument, there is a small building where you can pay to have your passport stamped. I chose to skip this to save room in my passport. However, this was a highlight for many passengers on my tour!
Explore the town
It’s more of a tourist town than anything, but it has been constructed to feel like its own small town around the equator line. Small shops, cafes, a park, and museums are featured here.
Just past Mitad del Mundo’s entrance, there are four traditional houses representing the four worlds in Ecuador: Island, Jungle, Highlands, and Coast.
My tour guide took our group through each of the houses and told us stories about the tradition and meanings behind each type of house. This was included with my tour, but exploring the museum houses does not require a guide.
There is a small museum referred to as the chocolate museum you can browse at your own pace. The museum begins indoors with an overview of the history of chocolate over time. It then takes you outside to view chocolate gardens, and ends with a chocolate demonstration outside of a shop.
Cool Science Experiments
Try your hand at cool science experiments that only work right in the middle of the world, where gravity works its magic. One of the most popular experiments is balancing an egg on the top of a nail head.
Other things to do in Quito
I highly recommend spending at least one full day in Quito. There are so many more things to do in Ecuador’s capital beyond visiting the middle of the world city!
- Free Walking Tours
- Quito’s Historic City Center
- La Mariscal Artisan Market
Day Trips From Quito
Loving Quito and want to extend your stay? There are so many incredible day trips from Quito that you could spend weeks filling your Ecuador itinerary.
Some of the most popular day trips from Quito include:
I unfortunately did not have time to take any day trips during my itinerary, but I certainly have much reason to return!
Is visiting the Middle of the World City worth it?
I think visiting the Middle of the World City is DEFINITELY worth it! Nothing quite compares to standing in two hemispheres at the same time.
After a while it does begin to feel like a tourist trap, but it’s kind of a right of passage that I super geeked out over.
Quito is worth visiting and spending more time in as well. Any top Quito itinerary will include a visit to Middle of the World City, or Mitad Del Mundo.
Where next on your Ecuador itinerary?
Ecuador is full of incredible places to visit:
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