What Are Some Cities Near the Equator?

Cities located near or directly on the equator include Quito, Ecuador; Macapa, Brazil; Pontianak, Indonesia; and the Kenyan towns of Siriba and Nanyuki. In total, the equator passes directly through 13 countries, including Colombia, São Tomé, Gabon, Somalia and Maldives.

Quito, Ecuador is the capital city closest to the equator. Formally known as San Francisco de Quito, the city had a population of just under 2.7 million people as of the 2014 census. At an elevation of 9,350 feet, Quito is also the highest capital city in the world. In 1978, the historic center of the town became one of the first two World Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO. The actual equator actually lies about 20 kilometers to the north of Quito, where it is marked with a monument known as La Mitad del Mundo, or the Middle of the World.

Macapa, Brazil, which lies at the northern mouth of the Amazon River, actually sits directly on the equator. Visitors to the city can straddle the equator marker line, or marco zero, that runs directly along the equator as it passes through the city.

The Kenyan towns of Siriba and Nanyuki also both lie directly on the equator, although they are both small towns with only a simple sign to inform visitors that they are crossing the equator.