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ONE DAY IN QUITO: FOLLOW MY STEPS

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Quito, the capital of Ecuador has an elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level, making it the highest capital city in the world. This and the fact that the region was home for numerous indigenous cultures even before the Inca empire made me want to stop there. During my travels through South America I stopped there for 2 days and that was enough to put up this ‘one day guide.

1 Day in Quito, Ecuador

Morning

Wake up and have breakfast with the amazing view from Cotopaxi Hostel.

Get a taxi

Yes, a taxi! In Quito there a lot of taxi drivers that are also certified tour guides. They drive you around, speak English and explain you all you want to know about the main spots while explaining the culture and history.

Stop at Pululahua Volcano

Pululahua volcano is inactive and has a large crater full of fertile soil. This is why it is one of only 2 inhabited volcanic calderas in the world and the only one cultivated by the inhabitants. It was declared a Geobotanical Reserve in 1966.

With our taxi driver/tourist guide

Explore Mitad del Mundo – Middle of the World City to get to know more about the ‘equator line’

Learn more about  Ecuador’s indigenous cultures at Intiñan Solar Museum

One of the things that was most impressive for me was to hear about the Jivaroan tribes and the shrunken heads. These tribes were famous for their head-hunting raids and then shrunking the heads by cutting the skull vertically and removing the skull and jaw bone. After that they would boil them with hot rocks and reduce it in size with this method, sewing the lips afterwards.

Guinea pig is the traditional ecuador dish

Afternoon

Do some shopping in the Old City

Stroll around the ancient Plaza Grande and be amazed by the colonial architecture and heritage. I had a lovely time shopping for some traditional pieces of art from Ecuador.

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Get the Teleferico to watch the sunset from above

I watched the sunset in Quito from 4100 meters and it was beautiful! The gondola takes you up in about 10 minutes and it’s possible to have an amazing view from the town for 8.50$. Up there it’s possible to eat in one the restaurants and do some shopping. A tip for a next trip: getting to explore Pichincha Volcano which is possible to do once you get up there!

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Night

Eat a meat feast for a very low price in one of the traditional Steakhouses in Quito.

I can tell you I struggled to finish!

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More stories from South America coming soon! ❤️

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EcuadorQuito

WHERE IS THE EQUATOR LINE IN ECUADOR?

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The Equator line is about 40,075km and it’s an imaginary line that goes from the North Pole to the South Pole dividing the Earth into Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. The latitude in equator is 0°. In the Equator sunrise and sunset times are almost constant throughout the year and there is little distinction between seasons with basically two seasons the ‘wet season’ and the ‘dry season’. The average temperature is around 30°C during the day and 23°C at night.

I really wanted to visit Ecuador because of the equator line and in there they take great pride in their special  location. Quito the capital is just in the middle of this imaginary line.

So, when in Quito a visit to the equator line is one of the things to do! I got a taxi/tour guide which is a must in Ecuador and went on an adventure to the middle of the Earth! The equator line is located in Ciudad Mitad del Mundo – Middle of the World City, in San Antonio, 26 km from Quito. In there I visited the Monument of the Equator, which was built to commemorate the exact location of the Equator or so they say

The yellow line divides the 2 hemispheres

So, is this not the real Equator line in Ecuador?

The location of the equatorial line in Ecuador was decided in 1736 by the French Geodesic Mission that carried out measurements to prove the coordinates. This expedition did prove that the world was oblate and not elongated at the poles, but unfortunately the measurements of where the line was marked were proven to be wrong by 240 meters north using modern GPS systems.

Still, the Ecuadorean Government built in 1935 a monument to honour this expedition that was then replaced in 1972 by the monument called Middle of the World City even knowing that it was not the place of the exact coordinates, misleading a lot of people, just like me! I only learned about this once there thanks to our taxi driver/tour guide.

Now what??

Just a few minutes driving to the left, a local attraction called Intiñan Solar Museum with an entrance fee of 4$, is where (they say) lies the truth location of the Equator line. As soon as we entered, there was a big sign with the coordinates and the mention that they were measured with GPS to prove the 0° latitude in that location.

I was very amused by what I have seen in there, things that according to them can only happen in latitude 0° like the water flowing both counter-clockwise and clockwise down a drain representing the Coriolis effect. Another activity that I had lots of fun was the ‘egg master’ which consisted in balancing an egg on top of a nail and surprise, surprise, that was incredible easy to do!

Egg master

All of these in the Equator line, or so I thought!

So it looks like I was very close but GPS tests have mixed results and accurate readings are very hard to obtain. Later on the day we learned from other travelers that this location is not exactly the location of the latitude 0°, so I got mixing feelings!

If anyone knows where the location of the Equator line is in Ecuador, please leave me a comment, I am still very curious about this!

Where is the Ecuator line? Ecuador

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