Ecuador earned its name for good reason: The country straddles the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Explore the charming and vibrant streets of historic Quito and then visit La Mitad del Mundo’s monument marking the location of the equator.
After being picked up from your hotel, begin your day with an exploration of Quito’s lively and charming historic center; the well-restored Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the top of El Panecillo, look up at the towering statue of the Virgin Mary and down over the town.
Marvel at the expanse of el San Francisco, an impressive monastery and church complex, and gaze up the soaring bell towers of the neo-Gothic Basilica of the National Vow. Stand in front of the columns of the Carondelet Palace government building and look across the Plaza Grande to the city’s gleaming white cathedral.
From there, head to the Mitad del Mundo—the “middle of the world”—to check out the 17th-century monument that marks the division between the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Straddle the equator with one foot on each side of the line.
You can also choose to explore the Ethnographic Museum to learn about the different regions and native ethnic groups of Ecuador, or pop into the quirky Intinan Solar Museum for a look at some of the strange phenomena that (supposedly) can occur only on the equator.