How I Got to the Middle of the World for Less than $1.

IMG_20170507_123935Let me start by saying that I was already in Quito, Ecuador this past Sunday morning. My husband and I are frequent travelers and this was our fourth city tour in a South American country. We started our day at about 8:30 am to walk from our hotel in La Mariscal to Estacion Seminaro Mayor, where we caught a bus heading to Ofelia station. That trip was $0.25(USD) each.  Once we arrived at Ofelia, we searched for a bus to Matad Del Mundo.  Since none of you want to look like a tourist, let me share with you what happened next so that you can feel at ease when you go through this process. Look for the sign that says Matad Del Mundo on the platform and also on the front of bus. The last stop is Pululahua.  The bus boarded passengers from the back of the bus and we paid our fare after the bus took off.  One of the bus operators walked through the bus and asked us to pay $0.15 (USD) each.  The journey was about 2 hours in total.  Our hotel had advised us to take a private taxi that would take us to the middle of the world, wait for us to complete the tour at museum, then take us to Pululahua to see where the volcano was and its present community living in the crater.  The driver would then bring us back to our hotel for a whopping $60.00USD.  We knew there had to be an easy affordable way of getting there and we are all about experiencing the local way of doing things, so we did. If you don’t mind riding public transit, you will likely experience the local hustle and bustle on the bus.  Sit back, relax, and enjoy, but hold your things securely, so nothing gets stolen.  No worries though, the bus is safe.

The cost to get into the Mitad Del Mundo is broken into a few different categories. If you want to just do the equator line tour the cost is $3.50.  We chose to visit a few additional museums on the property and paid $7.50 for each full pass.  Before or after you visit this museum, be sure to go to Museo Intinan just a few yards away from Mitad Del Mundo.  It has been noted as the most accurate site for the equator line. We had a guided tour in English for $4.00 each and the tour was about 45 minutes. The guide took us through the history of the land and did interactive science experiments with us. This place is more interesting than Mitad Del Mundo in a more indigenous way.

After touring these sites we asked a taxi driver right out front if he can take us to the Reserva Geobotanica Pululahua. He insisted on charging us $10 (USD). Screw that …. we knew it was only 5km away and that is not the right price to charge in Ecuador. It should only be $2.00 and even $3.00 would be pushing it.  So I think you know what we did next. We walked back to the street and caught the bus in the direction to Pululahua. I can’t remember, but I think we paid $0.30 for the two of us. We got off at the last stop and had to hike up the mountain. That took about 15 minutes. On the way, we saw randoms dogs, that were harmless, a cow herder with his two cows that mooed us out of the way.  Our landmark was the Temple of the Sun Museum, which is a castle like structure at the top of the mountain. We by passed that museum, due to time and went straight to the Reserva.  We were there in the late afternoon and fog was in full affect.  We snapped a few pics walked down a few steps on the trail and after about 10 minutes, we decided it was better to head back down the mountain and get the back to Quito before it got too late.

At the bottom of the mountain, we crossed the street to the main road and caught a bus heading to Ofelia. This time the fare was $0.50 each, but when we got to Ofelia we didn’t have to pay another fare. We caught a bus heading to Estacion Seminario Mayor. The travel back was a bit quicker. I think it only took about 75 minutes.

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The signage at bus platform.  The back door of the bus opened to our line and we all rushed in.

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