Quito is often overlooked when visiting Ecuador, and I don’t think it should be. Yes, there are many more adventurous activities outside the city, but it’s a great place to start. One of the most popular day trips when visiting Quito is to the Mitad del Mundo.
Mitad del Mundo is considered the “Middle of the World” because it lies directly on 00°00’00”, or so we thought. But more on that later.
In this guide, I’ll review everything you need about visiting Ciudad Mitad del Mundo In Ecuador from Quito.
What is Mitad del Mundo?
Mitad del Mundo is an attraction 26km away from the Capital of Ecuador, Quito. This attraction was built to signify where the equatorial line runs through. The 30-meter-tall monument that you see in many photos started construction in 1979 and finished in 1982.
This monument was built to commemorate the French for their work in the 18th century on the Geodesic mission. This mission aimed to measure the length of a degree of latitude near the equator.
If you’re looking for more adventurous activities to do in Ecuador, below are some of my favorites:
Mitad del Mundo: How to Get There
After my second visit to Ecuador, I encountered more people renting a car here. If this is you, then driving here is obviously the best option. You will find parking lots just past the roundabout on your left.
As for myself and many others, we have to find other modes of transportation. Thankfully, it’s one of the most popular activities in the entire country, so finding a ride isn’t difficult.
Quito to Mitad del Mundo
You’ll most likely be visiting Mitad del Mundo while staying in Quito. But it’s possible to stop here either on your way to Mindo or back to Quito. The bus going to Mindo drives right past this.
Below are some of the most popular ways of getting here without a car:
Ubers and taxis are all over the city of Quito. We used Uber many times during our time here and we also used one on our way to Mitad del Mundo. It costs us around $12 USD for an Uber.
Getting a taxi here is also very easy as many drivers know where it’s at. The price may vary but it should cost around $10 to $20 USD.
Always make sure to ask the price first thing when getting in the Taxi.
The most popular way to visit Mitad del Mundo is via a tour. The tour is a fantastic price for only $19 USD because it also comes with an entry ticket ($5).
This tour leaves from Quito and you’ll be accompanied by a bilingual guide. The tour does not include food, so be sure to pack a lunch or go to one of the many restaurants on site.
If traveling with two or fewer people, then this actually a deal.
I normally take the public bus everywhere when traveling in South America. It’s easy and really affordable. The main reason we didn’t this go around was because of time.
If you want to take the public bus, you must go to the Ofelia bus station. This is the same bus station that takes you to Mindo.
Go around the bus station’s first platform and ask for Mitad del Mundo. I’m not entirely sure about the price of the bus but I’ve read it shouldn’t be more than $1.
Things to Know Before Visiting Ciudad Mitad del Mundo
Mitad del Mundo is most likely on your list of things to do when visiting Quito. Hundreds of travelers visit this site daily, if not more.
It’s a great place to get that center-of-the-world Instagram pic standing between two hemispheres. Unfortunately, that isn’t actually the case but more on that later.
Below are some things to know before visiting the equatorial line.
The entry fee to enter the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo is affordable and easy to obtain! It’s possible to purchase your ticket before coming but the line moves quickly, so it didn’t seem too important.
Below are the prices for all age groups:
- Ages 6 – 12: $2.50
- Ages 13 – 64: $5
- Ages 65+: $2.50
- Those with disabilities: $2.50
Mitad del Mundo Facts
French scientists set out to find the equatorial line in 1736. This location was discovered and said to be directly on the equator during this time.
With technological advancements, it was later discovered that the true equator line is 200+ meters from where it was originally thought to be.
You can go on tours to the actual equatorial line but it didn’t seem like it was all that worth it.
When visiting Mitad del Mundo, there’s more to see and do than take your photo at the iconic equatorial line. There are many museums to check out, too, included in your ticket price!
The first museum you’ll likely visit is the one inside the tower. This ethnographic museum goes over the history of the indigenous people who lived in Ecuador.
There are other museums located on your left after purchasing your ticket. There’s also a planetarium that was unfortunately under construction when we visited.
Hours of Operation
Mitad del Mundo is open year-round, which is great for travelers! The site opens up from 9 am to 6 pm.
I’d suggest arriving as early as possible to avoid the crowds. Having to not fight for photos is a game changer.
What to Do at Mitad del Mundo
There’s more to do here in the Middle of the World than simply taking photos! You can visit the handful of museums, eat at one of the many restaurants, or balance an egg!
Some of these activities may seem gimmicky but you’re only here once, right?
Best Time to Visit Mitad del Mundo
It truly doesn’t matter what time of the year you visit the Middle of the World. It’s best to visit in the morning. Most decide to visit during the dry season.
The dryest months of the year are from June to September. If you can, you might want to avoid the months of March and April but even these can be good days to visit.
Mitad del Mundo Restaurant
If you’re looking for something to eat, then fear now. There are multiple restaurants inside. We chose to sit outside at a restaurant located around the square.
They had traditional meals for more of a reasonable price than I expected. I don’t normally choose to eat a meal at a touristy spot but this wasn’t bad.
Other Fun Activities in Ecuador:
- Cajas National Park: A unique experience located right outside of Cuenca.
- Ruta de las Cascadas: During this epic bike ride, you’ll see up to six waterfalls!
- Things to do in Baños: This is the adventure capital of Ecuador and is a MUST on your itinerary.
Best Places to Stay in Quito
Quito is the perfect launching point for your trip to Ecuador. Explore the old town and visit popular locations like the Middle of the World City.
Below are some great options for accommodations during your visit to Quito.
- La Casona de la Ronda Hotel: This is one of the most beautiful hotels in Quito. Enjoy your stay here with an American Style buffet breakfast included.
- Dakani Hotel Boutique: A new hotel in Quito that is recently gaining a lot of buzz. Stay at this stunning boutique hotel for a startlingly great price!
- El Patio Hostel: This is one of my favorite hostels in Quito because of the great prices for private rooms ($25) and dorms! You won’t be disappointed when staying here.
My Experience Visiting Ciudad Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador
When traveling, I like to do the most adventurous things possible. Take the path less traveled. So traveling to the Middle of the World wasn’t extremely high on my list. I knew it was a tourist trap but I still decided to go.
We decided to take an Uber to save time with buses and got a ride almost instantly. This is a popular route, so nobody minds taking you.
When we arrived, we were instantly approached by someone trying to sell a tour to the “real” center of the world. We politely declined, bought our tickets, and went in.
Our first order of business was to take photos at the equatorial line. I will admit these photos looked pretty cool. Afterward, we went up the tower to get better area views.
We took our time going up the stairs as we read about the history of the indigenous people of Ecuador. Everything was insightful but lasted only a few levels before we reached the top.
You can take photos from the top looking North, South, East, and West.
After this, we decided to see what else this place offered. We tried some local beer samples and they were fantastic, to say the least.
We went straight to the planetarium but it was closed. Maybe next time. After that, we walked around to the different exhibits.
They were neat and some honored the scientists working to find the equatorial line. But everything took very little time to go through.
All this discovery and hopping from the Northern to Southern hemisphere really built up an appetite for us! So we finished off this trip here with a meal and then got a ride back to Quito.
FAQs about Mitad del Mundo
What is Special About Mitad del Mundo
Mitad del Mundo is special because it’s where the equatorial line runs through. This establishment has many attractions, such as museums, a planetarium, squares, and traditional buildings.
Why is it Said That the Equator is in the Middle of the World?
Ecuador owes its name to the equator. This helps because tourists generally associate this country with the middle of the world.
How Much Does it Cost to Enter the Middle of the World
The cost to enter the Middle of the World is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children. This is a very affordable price and is something that should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Quito.
Final Thoughts on Visiting Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador
Mitad del Mundo is one of the most unique places to visit in the entire world. Even if you’re like me and prefer more adventure, I think it’s still worth visiting. It’s a nice budget-friendly activity and a great day trip from Quito. Use this as an activity you can do while getting acclimated to the high altitude of Ecuador.
Thank you for reading my guide on Ciudad Mitad del Mundo! I hope this article helped you figure out how to get here and if it’s worth the trip.