X Marks the Spot

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Maybe the area’s magnetism, or perhaps the starry desert nights of this particular corner of Quito, must somehow explain why so many equatorial monuments lie so close to each other. The popular Mitad del Mundo complex was one of the first theme parks ever conceived in Ecuador. Inaugurated in 1982, it feels a bit like an aging 80s pop-star on a comeback tour. It celebrates the French Geodesic Mission, however, the yellow line so many take their pictures on – sorry, but we have to say it – lies seven seconds to the south of latitude 0°0”0’. A bull-fighting ring, an attractive model of downtown Quito, arts-and-crafts shops and an ethnology museum inside the Equatorial monolith make it an attraction. Museo Solar Intiñán, on the other hand, is a more entertaining version of the same, without the monolith, but with interactive tours, a totemic installation and more on the peoples of the Equator. One of the more far-out of Equatorial tributes is Temple of the Sun, on your way to the Pululahua Crater, an entire art and architecture project created by Cristóbal Ortega, otherwise known as the man who painted 100 paintings in an hour!

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