Straddling the Equator – Finally

Written By: The Planet D

There is something very exciting about being at the exact center of the world. In Ecuador, you can straddle the equator, but also stand at the highest point on the equator on the volcano, Cotopaxi.

The Equator in Ecuador is 59km (30 miles) south of Quito and is a fun stop when taking a day trip from the city. Plus, when you go to the equator, you’ll get to see one of the highest volcanoes in the world.

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.

Cotopaxi is a high mountain in Ecuador and most famous volcano to visit. And nearby Cayambe is the only place on earth where there is snow directly on the equator. Pretty cool eh!

You can climb this mountain as well.

A Few Equator Facts

equator ecuador
Learning About the Ecuador

The world uses the wrong map. We all look at it horizontally, but it should be looked at vertically.

Our world map really should be as the one pictured above. To have a true picture of how all the meridians and the equator works, it makes more sense this way.

My mind was blown. I always thought the equator divided the world into North and South, but this guy states that it should be like this. East and West. Huh?

Originally, the equator was located at a different position. With the invention of GPS, the equator has been moved to the proper location in Ecuador and our guide had the co-ordinates on a map to prove it to us.

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 sundial. 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 the night we could view the Southern Cross and the North Star all at once?

Photos of the Equator

Dave sitting in the Centre of the World!

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!

Deb at the Equator

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

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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About The Planet D

Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil are the owners and founders of The Planet D. After traveling to 115 countries, on all 7 continents over the past 13 years they have become one of the foremost experts in travel. Being recognized as top travel bloggers and influencers by the likes of Forbes Magazine, the Society of American Travel Writers and USA Today has allowed them to become leaders in their field.

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24 thoughts on “Straddling the Equator – Finally”

  1. I’ve just found theplanetD blog while searching for info for our trip to Ireland in 2 weeks. I really enjoyed what you wrote and have saved lots of your recommendations.
    Out of curiosity, I had to see if you had been to Ecuador. Yes! I have lived in Ecuador for 8 years (1 year in Quito and 7 years in Cuenca) and love it. Although, Quito is the capital and the Galapagos Islands are fabulous, there is so much more to Ecuador. Please come again and visit, the Amazon rainforest, Inca ruins near Cuenca, and the beaches of Crucita for paragliding and the whale watching in Puerto Lopez.
    I will be checking out your other isited countries for our next trip after Ireland.

    • Hey Tresa, Thanks for the nice words! And thanks for checking out Ecuador too! We have been and loved it there. We look forward to coming back and exploring more! All the best to you!

  2. Amazing… definately adding this to the ‘must do’ list. Thanks for sharing. And cheesy photos are sometimes the best!

    • 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 😉

  3. 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.

    • 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.

      • 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!

  4. Glad you finally had the chance to accomplish this! And very fitting that it was done in a country named after the equator.

    • 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:)

  5. What fun! I did not know that interesting fact about Cotopaxi. I don’t blame you for wanting to take all those photos. 🙂

    • 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.

    • 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;)

    • 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.