Middle of the Earth: Quitsato, Ecuador

Few countries can boast to its visitors “your adventure begins at the middle of the earth!”


I just came back from an “Adventure by Disney” trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos. And I began my adventure at the middle of the earth.


The equator, that imaginary but consequential line delineating the planet in almost two equal halves, also etches the country Equador’s existence.


I visited the Quisato Equator Sundial. “Quitsato” is where the equator sundial is located. The word Quitsato is from the Tsafiqui language of the Tsachilas people from the Ecuadorian coast. “Quitsa” means “Middle,” and “To” means “world” – Quisato therefore means Middle of the World.


Quitsato originates in the equinoctial Andes, specifically on the equinoctial line (the great circle on the celestial sphere midway between the celestial poles) and the archaeological cultural patrimony.


A local expert introduced us to the monument and its history. Sitting precisely on the equator, the sundial marks not just the location, but the cultural identity of Ecuador.




What a treat to stand at the center of the world as I visited the enormous sundial. The bigger-than-life circular dial plate and 32.8 foot high (10 meters) gnomon mark both the sun’s position and the nation’s cultural identity.







As the interpretative pamphlet disclosed, “The Equatorial Line is not only an imaginary line – it’s much more than this: it’s a profound sense of being. The Equator is the balance line of equilibrium and is the line that joins to the two hemispheres.  With the natural and correct perspective, countries to the north and to the south do not exist – all of Earth’s nations have their specific position. We appeal to a conscience of balance, union, and reciprocity.”


Here are a couple of video clips of what our interpretative guide was teaching us. Enjoy!