Welcome to quite literally, “The Middle of the World,” my friends! I never realized that would be so fun to say! Well, anyways, after spending a day exploring Historic Quito and acclimating to the high altitude of the city (nearly 9,350 feet above sea level), Ryan and I set out for a day trip to Mitad Del Mundo and an opportunity to straddle the Equator.
Rather than paying for a $40 taxi ride to the site, we decided to be adventurous and take the bus. The first leg was getting from our local bus stop to the main station, the Ofelia Bus Station where we would then transfer to the Mitad Del Mundo Bus. The first leg cost $0.25 and about 45 minutes. Upon arrival at Ofelia Station, it was an additional $0.15 and another 45 minutes to arrive at Mitad Del Mundo. All in all, I would say that was the best $0.40 travel I had ever experienced. I love taking public transportation when traveling. I feel like it is the most authentic way to see how the locals mingle, chat and get around the city. I was so absorbed in people watching that Ryan and I almost missed our stop, luckily a women, recognizing that we were tourists, tapped me on the shoulder saying, “Mitad Del Mundo, aquí!”
Cool, right? Well, from what I have read, the actual Mitad Del Mundo is a few hundred feet away from this spot…apparently, this spot was chosen prior to modern GPS in 1736 by French explorer and scientist Charles-Marie de la Condamine, but if you want, you can buy another ticket to visit the museum 600 feet away and really get the full experience!
Overall, straddling the Equator was a little cheesy, almost like visiting “Tomorrowland or Toontown” at Disneyland but nonetheless, a fun way to start this trip. If you make it to Quito, I would recommend spending a minute in two places at once and getting that Mandy Moore moment we all dreamt of from “A Walk to Remember,” just without the cancer part.
We are currently in Papallacta, Ecuador, follow along here!