The Ciudad Mitad del Mundo, meaning “Middle of the World City” is located at the San Antoñio area of the canton of Quito, Ecuador, only 26 kilometers north of Quito. It is a tract of land that is owned by the prefecture of the province of Pichincha, Ecuador.
There is the Monument that highlights the exact location of the Equator, measured by a Franco-Spanish Geodesic Expedition in 1736. Although this is where travel agencies would send you, it is not the actual equator.
The real equator is actually 250 yards away, as it was determined only a few years ago through the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology that was not possible in the 18th century.
Even though the mistake was revealed, the Ecuadorian government had already built the Mitad del Mundo Museum( Museum at the Middle of the Earth) along with a 32ft high monument on the old site in 1935 to honor the French mission guided by local geographer Luis Gudiño.
In spite of its inaccurate coordinates, the monument was replaced in 1972 with a new 98ft high monument, named “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo”. It is a pyramidal monument topped by a globe which weighs 5 tons. Inside the monument, there is a small museum where a variety of indigenous items of Ecuadorian culture can be seen. On the weekends there are various cultural and musical events held at the Central Plaza just in front if the Ciudad Mitad del Mundo.
A few years ago, an Ethnographic Museum Monument was built on the exact location of the equator as determined by GPS measurements.
It is known as the Intiñan Solar Museum and hosts exhibitions about indigenous Ecuadorian culture. The tour guides also demonstrate phenomena believed to be possible only on the Equator. For example, by moving a bowl of water north and south of the marked equator line, you can purportedly see a change in the direction of flow from clockwise to anti-clockwise as the equator is crossed.
There are more tricks that visitors can try themselves such as balancing an egg on its end or weakening muscles due to latitude.
Taxi drivers from Quito can take you on a three to four-hour tour of both places.