Quitsato, Cayambe

The Quitsato Sundial is a cultural-tourist place located at La Mitad Del Mundo, near to Cayambe, 47 km at North of Quito. It was built in 2006 and inaugurated in 2007 as an independent, non-profit project in a 24756 ft² (2300 m²) area. Its main goal is to share crucial aspects of the astronomical knowledge of the prehispanic cultures of the region. The expositions are carried out by community members as a self-sustaining project. According to Google Maps, the central pillar is 4 meters below the true equator.StructureIt consists of a circular platform of 177.64 ft (54 m) in diameter which forms a mosaic of light and dark pebbles drawing an eight-pointed star that indicates the solstices and equinoxes, plus intermediate lines pointing to the cardinal directions. In the center of this platform there is a 10 m (32.80 ft) and 1.30 m (4.27 ft) diameter cylindrical orange tube which serves as a gnomon, pointing to the corresponding hours and months of the year in the platform according to the shadow cast by the Sun. The ten meter high gnomon represents the metric system, based in the meter which in its beginning was intended to be the result of one ten-millionth of Earth's quadrant. The aim of the color difference between the stones, apart from showing equinox and solstice lines, is to explain the meaning of albedo and its use in astronomical study. The Equator line is drawn by using smaller, darker pebbles between two metal plates.
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Quitsato Reviews
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58 reviews
  • This is a great place to stop to listen and learn. Have an open mind. The explanation only takes 15 minutes or so, but very interesting.  more »
  • We did not want to go to one of the tourist traps, but wanted to be touristy and straddle the real Equator - this is the place to do it. We stopped on route between Quito and Ottavalo for half an hour...  more »
  • Here the whole complex system represented a very vividly from Equator, Star, etc. and most simple, illustrated by very well-educated young people who work here. Here is the true zero line. Who's driving from Quito to Otavalo does include here not a marked detour along a minor road. Parking for the car are located in front of it. You should look into even a great, funny, free and very clean outhouses.
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  • Great stop to Otavalo . Detailed explanation of the sun dial and the equator. The equator passes through the sun dial. Good facilities, cool bathroom design
  • Nice, informative stop. Good view of Cotopaxi and the sundial. Interesting take on representation of the globe: sideways from the usual depiction of the equator running horizontally with a vertical axis of spin.
  • This is a far better option than the tacky one near Quito. Only complaint was that the booklets and dvd on offer were way too expensive.
  • A must see
  • This place, I really like that it has a strategic location. The part astronomica is amazing
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