Mitad del Mundo monument north of Quito


Visited Mitad del Mundo park and Centro Historio.  Mitad del Mundo park has a large equatorial monument filled with exhibits about Ecuador.  Centro Historico has a couple of plazas surrounded by Spanish colonial style buildings including the Carondelet Palace. 

Time of Visit: April 2024

Duration of Visit: Two Nights


Quito is Ecuador’s capital city and is the largest in the country.  The city is expansive and built on mountainsides.  It is home to roughly 3.5M inhabitants.

The two most popular places to visit in Quito are the Mitad del Mundo Park and the Centro Historico.

Mitad del Mundo Park

Walking the equatorial line at Mitad del Mundo Park
Exhibit inside the Mitad del Mundo Monument meant to look like a magazine cover

The Mitad del Mundo Park is located at the city’s northern outskirts. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach by rideshare (Uber) from the historic district.  Fortunately, Uber rides in Ecuador are not expensive.  We actually wondered how these Uber drivers make money.

There is a $5 pp park  entry fee.  The park is not very large but packed with enough things to see to spend up to half a day.  Most are visual exhibits about the country’s heritage. There is even a planetarium with a short movie about the solar system, albeit the narration is only in Spanish. There is also a tour train and playground to keep your little ones entertained. There is no shortage of places to eat in the park.

People come to the park so they can take photos while straddling the equatorial line.  Then most visitors go inside the equatorial monument to see the visual exhibits and take photos from the viewing area at its top.  Some fail to notice the photo set-up in the ground level (behind the stairs) where it is meant to look like a magazine cover.

Colorful cultural dance presentation at Mitad del Mundo Park

Do not miss the cultural dance presentation that happens around noon at the plaza in front of the small church. It is very entertaining and there is even an audience participation to end the presentation.  The dance presentation itself is worth the entrance fee.

Historic District

Monument at the center of Plaza Grande

The historic district is worth a short visit if you like looking at old Spanish colonial buildings.  There is a cathedral museum too if you are a history buff.  The Carondelet palace was fenced off at the time of our visit perhaps because it was election day. 

Plaza Grande has many benches to rest your tired feet and have the opportunity to observe the locals.  Within some of the historical buildings around Plaza Grande are interior patios where you can eat a meal or enjoy your favorite drink.

An interior patio inside a historic building

A portion of the historic district is also pedestrian only.  Plus there is a strong police presence such that it felt very safe.

There is a subway station (San Francisco) in the historic district making it easily accessible.

Getting Around Quito

Modern underground subway station
Quito subway station map

The cheapest way to get around Quito is the subway. The facility is modern and appears new.  However there is only one line so accessing other places in Quito using the subway may not be an option.

Uber is widely available and not very expensive.  You can further cut your travel cost by getting most of the travel miles with the subway and finishing it with the rideshare service or taxi.

There are local buses that go in all directions. We did not bother with the local buses as the Uber rides were inexpensive.


Quito is Ecuador’s capital city.  The city is expansive and built on mountainsides.  The two popular places to visit in Quito are the Mitad del Mundo Park and the Historic District.

Mitad del Mundo Park has the equatorial monument and line. There are exhibits, shops, restaurants and a playground enough to spend half a day.  Do not miss the colorful cultural dance presentation that happens everyday around noon.  It is entertaining to watch.

The Historic District has many Spanish colonial buildings dating back to the 1800.  The district is pedestrian friendly.  At the center of the district is Plaza Grande.  The plaza has a lot of benches, perfect to rest your weary feet and legs after a few hours of walking.  Do not miss the opportunity to explore the hidden patios within the buildings.  You might just find a perfect place to chill and detach yourself from the hustle and bustle occuring in the district.

Quito is more than just the gateway to explore Ecuador.  We would encourage you to spend at least a day in exploring this capital city.