ECUADOR  |  Quito, Ecuador Travel Guide
Sunday, February 23, 2020
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Around Quito

Guapulo Suburb

Where the flanks of the Andes form the main north-south boundaries of Quito, the Río Machángara cuts a deep canyon that forms the eastern border of the city. The relatively affluent Guapulo district is here, along Quito’s mid-eastern edge. This area offers great views of the river valley below, as well as interesting urban sites, such as the Basilica of Guapulo, built during the colonial era in the 17th century. In addition to spectacular architecture and attractive décor, the basilica provided the foundation for Quito’s renowned colonial art community. It is beautiful and well worth a visit.

El Mitad del Mundo (Equatorial Monument)

Don’t forget to visit the “Middle of the World” during your stay; after all, it is the country’s namesake and possibly the only chance you’ll have to stand with one foot in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere. Lying just north of Quito, the equatorial monument features the equatorial line (of course), as demarcated by Charles-Marie de la Condamine and his French expedition in 1736. The paved area around the central monument has a bright yellow line that bisects the two hemispheres. The focal point of the monument is the Museo-Etnografico, a 98-foot-high multilevel museum topped with a giant brass globe. It has displays on the indigenous people of Ecuador that are as informative as they are interesting. Take the elevator to the top (if it’s working) and then spiral your way down the many levels of exhibits.

Outside of the museum, wander around the park, which was modeled after a “typical” colonial town. In addition to restaurants, gift shops, and other tourist facilities, there is a huge model of colonial Quito, as well as a planetarium with regular shows. Note that the church within the park also has the yellow paint line running down its middle. Busloads of school children regularly visit the monument and park.

Solar Museum

In the nearby town of San Antonio is a small but impressive solarmuseum full of equatorial and solar exhibits. The showpiece is a solar chronometer that shows the precise time, day, and month of the year. Inquire with Nuevo Mundo Expeditions in Quito, as the museum is open only by appointment or as part of a prearranged tour.

Last updated November 23, 2007
Posted in   Ecuador  |  Quito
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