What do you do when you find out everything you’ve ever known is wrong? Okay, I’m being a tad dramatic here. I had only known about this place for 2 weeks, and it’s hardly everything I’ve ever known.
On a particularly sunny and clear Sunday afternoon, a few of us interns arrived at Ciudad Mitad del Mundo (in English: Middle of the World City) to see the line that supposedly marks the middle of the world.
I say “supposedly” because the yellow line that marks the equator at Mitad del Mundo is not its precise location. So why do people still flock here, pay $7/$10 (if you want chocolate) to take photos on the line? Well, this incorrect location was mapped by Luis Gudiño before the invention of GPS, and the tourist attraction was built based on his findings. He probably tried his best to be accurate, but alas… it was not to be. Since the government couldn’t just move the monument, people still visit every day.
Fun Facts: 1) The country name Ecuador is Spanish for Equator. 2) Ecuador is one of 14 countries that lie on the equatorial line.
The GPS claims that the precise location of the line dividing our two hemispheres in Ecuador is about 240 meters away from Mitad del Mundo. I wish I knew this before visiting so that we could have gone to both; now I feel like my photos are a sham. Oh well! What’s a girl going to do?. Nevertheless, we took cheesy photos on the line and moved on to see the rest of the park.
The park itself is fairly entertaining, so it’s easy to spend a few hours exploring. There’s an art museum dedicated to the famous Ecuadorian painter; Oswaldo Guayasamín, a planetarium in which I had a good 15 minute nap (it was dark and the narrator’s voice was soothing okay?), a cacao museum and store, the monument at the “equator”, and several vendors selling everything from shirts to table runners, most of which had Ecuador or Mitad del Mundo written on them.
For me, the only downside to visiting Mitad was the long bus ride. We had to take a bus from Sangolquí -where we live- to Quito, then Quito to Ofelia, and then Ofelia to Mitad. It was straight-forward enough but took approximately 2 hours. Despite the length of time, the buses are a good resource because they’re relatively cheap. A 40-minute trip to Quito from Sangolquí cost 45 cents while the subsequent buses to Mitad cost 25 cents each.
Tip: Try to take public transport as much as possible if you visit Quito or other cities in Ecuador. It might take you longer to reach your destination, but you’ll save a lot of money; money you can spend on fantastic Ecuadorian food.
Have any of you visited Mitad del Mundo? Would you like to? What do you think about it still being a tourist attraction despite the discrepancy? Leave me a comment to let me know!
thank you for reading.
All photos shot by “Auntie” Asia & Myself on iPhone 6S+
same footprints, different sands