La Mitad del Mundo is part historic locale, part geographical must go, part kitchy tourist trap. You definitely have to visit if you are in Quito. It is well documented by various killjoys that the site is not quite actually the true equator, which is 240m north of the yellow line – but who cares! Although, I was a bit sad to discover that the whole thing of water moving in opposite directions depending on what side of the equator you’re on is (for small scale operations) bollocks. Since our guide book was published, it seems that there are a number of additional venues besides the Equatorial monument, museum, and pseudo (souvenir shop) village to explore. One of these additions, in the building labelled ‘Francia’, is a museum explaining the history of the scientific expeditions which led to the identification of the equator and proof of the theory that the world bulges in the middle, and not at the poles.
If you’re there at lunchtime I recommend selecting one of the cafes that looks towards the monument, and enjoy watching people’s photo setups incorporating the equatorial line.