A trip to Quito, Ecuador is not complete without a trip to El Mitad del Mundo. It’s the middle of the earth! There are quite a few tour companies that offer round trips, but we are traveling on a budget and this is how we did it for over half the price. I mean, who doesn’t want to save money while traveling? Here we go!
How to Get There
After traveling for 4 months throughout Central and South America, we have become quite fond of the public transportation systems in each country we go to. Hailing from San Francisco, CA this was our means of transportation to work, hangouts, bars, etc. Quito is no different. If we can do it, so can you. We caught the bus a few blocks from Boutique Villa de Sant, our hotel in Quito in the Mariscal District. The name of the station for us was “La Mariscal Station” and we took the C-Line to the El Labrador Station. From there we exited the station and walked over to La Conception Station and took the O Line to the Ofelia Station. Each bus ride is $0.25 USD. Once you get to the Ofelia Station just ask a bus driver and they will direct you to the bus that takes you to El Mitad del Mundo, as many of the buses say “Mitad del Mundo”, but don’t actually go there. This bus ride will cost you $0.15 and the entire trip there will take a little over an hour, but will drop you off right in front of the entrance to Ciudad Mitad del Mundo.
Tip: We took the wrong bus. If we waited for the bus that goes all the way to Terminal Interprovincial Carcelén we could have transferred to Ofelia Station without leaving the system and having to pay another $0.25. We made the mistake so you don’t have to.
Ciudad Mitad del Mundo
Please remember there are two equatorial lines with museums to visit at both sites. This is the original one, Ciudad Mitad del Mundo that French scientist Charles Marie de la Candamine led a mission to, and the real equatorial line 1/2 kilometer away at the Museo de Sitio Intinan. There are museums, handicrafts, and souvenir shops inside. See photo for the giant monument to look for, and do not worry as it is difficult to miss. Entrance fee is $5.00 USD.
Tip: Do not forget to bring your passport to get it stamped inside the Monument to the Middle of the World, on the first floor near the exit! See photo above.
Museo de Sitio Intinan
After visiting the original equator, you can exit to the left and walk the short 1/2 kilometer to the Museo de Sitio Intinan. Here is where you will find 0 degrees, 0 degrees. Entrance fee is $4.00 USD. Inside you take a short tour of the facilities to learn about the Waorani Tribe and you also get to see a real shrunken head. At the end of the tour there are a few activities, experiments, and the chance to take a photo at the equator. We were stoked!
Transportation back is super simple! You can catch a bus right in front of the museum Ciudad Mitad del Mundo. Remember to wait for a bus labeled “Ofelia”. The bus will cost you $0.40 USD and will take you to the Ofelia Station, then you transfer to your original bus line. For example, we took the bus to Terminal Interprovincial Carcelen and paid another $0.25 USD to get back to the La Mariscal station. We provided a map of the bus routes in Quito for you to research your route beforehand.
Total Cost: $10.15 USD/person to get there and back, plus entrance fees to both museums. Total travel time was about an hour and a half to get there and back; there was some traffic.