Today you will enjoy a full-day, private-guided tour of Quito and the ‘middle of the world’.
We will start at the Mitad del Mundo (middle of the world), a site located just 30 minutes north of Quito, is the monument that marks the equator at its closest point to the city. Archaeological evidence shows that both pre-Inca and Inca civilizations recognised and celebrated the equinox, the day the sun is directly over the equator.
In the morning we will make the 45 minute journey northwest to the equatorial line where we will walk on the rim of the extinct Pululahua volcanic crater. Afterwards you will visit the “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo” a group of buildings designed to explain the significance of the site, as well as the Ethnographic Museum or the Initñam Museum, which is located right on the Equator. Here you will have the chance to be in two hemispheres at the same time!
After lunch, we will continue our tour in Quito. The place to start is Colonial Quito, a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls and, rising above, the steeples and cupolas of the city’s many spectacularly decorated historic churches. The city has one of the best preserved colonial centers in all South America and its integrity was assured in 1978 when the United Nations declared Quito a World Cultural Heritage site. Quito is the first city ever to be named a world heritage site. First on the agenda is a walk through the Main Plaza, the Plaza de Independencia, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built around the XVI and XVII centuries, including the monastery of San Francisco, for which building began only 5 days after the founding of the city.