We missed our opportunity to balance on the Equator in Kenya. It was 2008 and civil unrest had broken out while we were cycling from Cairo to Cape Town. When we got to the border via Ethiopia, we had to turn back and fly to Tanzania. No Equator crossing for us.

In Indonesia we had another chance to cross the Equator, but instead we chose to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta thus going right over ground zero  in the air. We were still very excited to be in the other half of the world, but we always wanted that photograph with us straddling the equator.

tropic of capricorn

We did cross the Tropic of Capricorn and Cancer in Africa, but no Equator

We almost missed our opportunity again in Quito. We just arrived home from the Galapagos. I had caught one of those terrible colds that happens when you turn the air conditioner on too high and it was pouring rain outside. Needless to say, we weren’t very motivated, so we went back to bed instead.

Will We Ever Make it to the Equator?

We had made plans the day earlier to catch a cab to the equator with one of our travel mates, but when the morning came, none of us were up to going. Oh, well, I guess we were never meant to walk that line.

But something miraculous happened.

As we were driving out of town a couple of days later with our guide from Urban Adventures, he told us that we could stop at the Equator if we liked. There was another popular spot to see the meridian of all meridian’s. We said, let’s do it.


Deb and Dave make it to the Equator!

There is something very exciting about being at the exact centre of the world. In Ecuador, we were also standing at the highest point on the Equator. Cotopaxi reaches a height of 5798 meters (19,342 feet) making it the only place on the Equator that has snow. Even where we stood, there was a chill in the air. It may have been hot in the Galapagos, but high in the Andes Mountains it is definitely a cooler experience.

Right behind the pole, directly along the line of the equator is Cotopaxi. You can’t see it as it was shrouded in cloud, but this high mountain is the only place on earth where there is snow directly on the equator. Pretty cool eh! You can climb this mountain as well. Something we will have to try our hand at one day as we really dug Ecuador and want to come back.

Time to learn a thing or two


Learning About the Ecuador

We listened and learned. 

  • Originally, the equator was located at a different position. With the invention of GPS, it has been moved to the right location now and he had the co-ordinates on a map to prove it to us.
  • The world uses the wrong map. Our world map really should be as the one pictured above. We should be looking at the world sideways to have a true picture of how it all works. I didn’t understand a thing. I always thought the equator divided the world into North and South, but this guy states that it should be like this. Huh?
  • The ancient Andean World worshipped the sun and had great knowledge of the celestial bodies. They built ceremonial and ritual sites right along the Equator.
  • The site that we visited is actually one giant sun dial. We had a bit of an overcast day so we couldn’t actually see it in action, but never the less, it looked impressive.
  • This location on the Equator is the best place for scientists to study the sky equally from the north and the south. Could it be that if we stayed until night we could view the Souther Cross and the North Star all at once?

We Then Took Pictures

We couldn’t get enough of taking cheesy photographs on the Equator. After all, it took us over a decade of travel and over 60 countries before we finally made it to the actual equator. You never know when we’ll get back!


Dave sitting in the Centre of the World!

Deb doing the exact same thing only Standing!


Deb at the Equator

A Heck, Let’s get one more shot of this baby! We were at the Equator!


The Equator in Quito, Ecuador

We had such a great day trip out of Quito with Urban Adventures. We did so much more than a quick stop at the Equator and we’ll be sharing that with you in the coming days.

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    1. debndave Post author

      Thanks Charles. It’s one of those things that we’ve always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity. We were pretty excited to have it as part of our tour and we didn’t even know it.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hey Stephanie, Unfortunately we weren’t that organized. Next time I go, I’m going to bring a pot of water to try that water swirling test (although I think I need a toilet) and now I’ll add the egg to the mix. Is it supposed to stand up on its end and balance? We really should have done some research before going;)

    1. debndave Post author

      Ha, thanks! Yes, we had so many more of us doing silly things on the equator, I didn’t think everyone would want to look at them all so I only chose a few. The rest will have to go up on facebook;) We get very excited over the little things.

    1. debndave Post author

      We thought so too. I forgot to mention that we were on the Equator in Ecuador during the Equinox! I’m going back in the post to add the right now, I can’t believe I left that out:)

  1. Michele Peterson

    Embarrassing to say for a travel writer but I had to look on a map and see exactly where the equator runs as it’s so much further south than I expect. Next time I take a trip I’ll make a point of trying to find a marker and get some fun shots.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Michele, you are right it is surprising how far south the Equator is. We didn’t realize that it passes through such few countries until we took a look at the map. We were wondering why we didn’t have more opportunities to cross it on land and then we checked out a map and saw that there really aren’t a lot of countries that border the equator. I guess that is why it is such a special moment. And yes, please do take fun shots, they always make for great memories.

      1. Awesome

        Hi that is amazing I had to do school work on the equator and the Andes mt. and I found out all I needed to know pluss other cool things that is just so cool. I want to go there one day! It’s to cool to be true, you know, what happened to you guys!

    1. debndave Post author

      I wish we did. I never think of things like that until after the fact. Did you and did it work? We never noticed anytime we’ve been on the other side of the world. I’m not even sure which way the toilet flushes in Canada ;)

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