Who would’ve thought an invisible line would be so hard to find? As the very name of the country describes, the Earth’s Equator bisects Ecuador into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres—although pinpointing the exact location of that line has been an ongoing challenge. For hundreds of years, it was believed the Equator bisected Ecuador at the Mitad del Mundo monument, but new data has revealed the site is off by a few hundred meters. The nearby Intinan Museum, it’s said, is the site of the real Equator, although GPS info seems to point out that neither spot is correct. Either way, regardless of the Equator’s exact location, this small museum north of Quito is still a fascinating stop. Try to balance an egg on a nail or watch water spin opposite ways, and while some of the exhibits might be staged, the concepts behind the gravity and physics are curiously entertaining. In addition to exhibits about the Equator, the Intinan Museum also offers a look at Ecuador’s culture—from the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands to Amazonian tribes. There’s even the chance to take a photo with an ancient shrunken head, and while the somewhat kitschy Equator tricks are admittedly fun to see, it’s the authentic looks at Ecuadorian culture that defines this Quito museum.
The Intinan Museum is open daily from 9:30am-5pm. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children, and the museum is approximately a 20 minute cab ride from the center or Old Town of Quito.