Just half an hour north of Quito, you'll find the Mitad del Mundo (the middle of the world), a monument marking the location of the equator. In actuality, the monument called Mitad del Mundo was inaccurately reported as the equator line by a group of international explorers in the 19th century. The original monument is worth a visit for its three-story museum (entrance $3) which goes into great detail on all of Ecuadorâ€™s indigenous tribesâ€™ typical dress, food and customs. Ask for a guide, they almost always have someone that speaks at least passable English, and its difficult to understand the exhibits otherwise. The area around the monument has become something of a downtown Disney with touristy shops, a main plaza with occasional performances and lots of cafes and restaurants. Access to the area costs $3.
Today anyone with access to a GPS can tell the line is about 100 meters off. There is a small sign at the actual equator now in an outdoor museum called Museo del Sitio IntiÃ±an, or IntiÃ±an Museum, which is dedicated to experiments and a 30-minute tour for $4.
To get there, take the Metrobus ($0.25) to Ofelia station, where you board a blue Mitad del Mundo bus ($0.50). Alternatively, catch a blue bus labeled "Mitad del Mundo" ($0.50) at 18 de Septiembre and Av. AmÃ©rica - these buses go directly to Mitad del Mundo. Last option is to take a $10-15 cab ride from Quito. For more info. see Getting Around Quito.