Museums and Archaeological Sites to visit in and around Quito. Don’t miss the chance of placing one foot on the northern hemisphere and the other on the southern hemisphere of our planet in the Middle of the World site.
RUMIPAMBA ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ECOLOGICAL PARK – The most antique stone walls found in Quito are those of Rumipamba Park, a 32- hectare complex located in a former private hacienda, now in the heart of the city of Quito. The walls date back to 400 AD. It also includes a “culunco”, which is an antique road connecting the highlands with the coast for the commercialization of products. These roads date back to the Yumbo culture, a pre- Incan civilization that inhabited the cloud forests surrounding Quito.
Address: Between Occidental, América and Mariana de Jesús Avenues (North West). Opened: Wednesday thru Sunday: 9h00-17h00. Free admission.
LA FLORIDA BURIAL CHAMBERS– La Florida Burial Chambers date back to 220–640 AD, belonging to the Quitus culture. The complex includes a small museum that exhibits original objects found in the burial chambers. 10 burial chambers have been excavated, which are 15- 17 meters (49– 56 ft) deep and 2 meters (6.5 ft) wide. Some of the most impressive pieces are the spondylus ponchos, which were worn by only a few of the buried bodies of hierarchical importance. In order to present the archaeological findings in a didactic manner, the museum holds a reproduction of one of the burial chambers with 16 bodies and their respective ritual objects.
Antonio Costas N52-104 between Antonio Román and César Villacrés, Northern Quito. Opened: Wednesday thru Sunday: 9h00-17h00. Free admission.
THE MONUMENT ON THE EQUATOR.– Stand on the two hemispheres at the same time! The “Mitad del Mundo City” surrounding the monument includes several restaurants and folklore shops, museums about the geodesic missions that measured the Earth, the “Solar Culture Museum” (with a display of the latest investigations about the real middle of the world), and a Planetarium. Inside the monument there is an interesting Ethnic Museum.
Free entrance: “Middle of the World City” : $3.00, Ethnic Museum: $3.00, Planetarium: $1.50. Visiting hours: Monday thru Sunday 09h00-18h00.
INTI-ÑAN SOLAR MUSEUM– Enjoy a day at Latitude 0°! Located 200 meters (650 feet) north of the Middle of the World roundabout on Autopista Manuel Córdova Galarza, this didactic in-situ museum allows visitors to witness and participate in several experiments that give evidence to the fact of being exactly at Latitude 0.
Visitors can stand an egg on a nail, witness firsthand the Coriolis effect in the Northern and Southern hemispheres only a few meters away, feel the loss of balance when walking along the Equator line, along with other entertaining and impressive experiences, that are possible only at the Middle of the World! You can also stamp your passport to document your visit to Latitude 0. Furthermore, the museum also holds a Solar Clock, an Anthropological Totemic Forest of the Andean cultures, typical huts of pre- Hispanic cultures of the region, didactic samples of Ecuadorian cultures, as well as native flora and fauna.
Opened: Monday thru Sunday: 9h30 to 17h00. English speaking guides are available. Guided visit: $4 adults, $2 children.
TULIPE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE-MUSEUM– Tulipe was built by the Yumbo people, who inhabited the north and northwestern valleys and mountains around Quito from around 800 to 1660 AD. Although disregarded by the Spanish chroniclers and subsequent historians, the site at Tulipe, as well as the 2,000 pyramids and mounds now unearthed, point to an important nation. The remains at Tulipe suggests it was the civilization’s main ceremonial site. It is also thought that it controlled the crucial trade route between the Pacific coast, the Andes and the Amazon to the east. It is made up of eight structures, one of which is of Incan construction, as the conquering Incas built their temple on top of the existing one. Water played a primordial role at Tulipe, with many pools reflecting its ceremonial importance. The “Yumbo People Interpretation Centre” houses didactic information on the site and the Yumbos, and it is the starting point for future investigations.
Opened: Wednesday thru Sunday from 09h00 to 17h00. Located between the towns of Nanegalito and Gualea, on the main road Calacali-La Independencia, which heads northwest from Quito. Admission fee: $3 adults, $1 children and students.