Pedernales, the closest beach to Quito.

Is Pedernales beach the closest to Quito?

This seems to be one of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to finding a beach vacation spot near Quito, the capital of Ecuador.

The answer to this concern is Pedernales Beach, located in Pedernales, one of the cantons with the highest tourist influx in the province of Manabí. Pedernales Beach is located about 280 km from the center of Quito, which would take between 4 and a half to 5 hours by car, making Pedernales the closest beach to Quito.

The climate in Pedernales varies between 21 and 28 degrees Celsius / 70 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit making this beach one of the most popular destinations for tourists looking for short trips and warm weather.

What to do in Pedernales?

Pedernales offers extensive beaches that invite you to relax and enjoy its warm waters and fascinating gastronomic offer in its cozy cabins at sea level. Within the 54 km of beaches that Pedernales has, you can practice different activities, from water sports to a day of relaxation on a beach with calm waters.

Discover places and activities near Pedernales:

Central Park of Pedernales

Like any good tourist attraction, Pedernales has a great historical legacy, as it was one of the settlements of the Jama-Coaque culture, of which remains of ceramics are still preserved.

It’s worth noting that the line of the equator passes through Pedernales. In 1736, this led the Geodesic Mission to consider Punta Palmar (north of Pedernales) as the starting point for measuring the arc that would ultimately determine the shape of the Earth. Evidence of their work can be found in a historic stone that stands as a symbol of their efforts in the Pedernales’s Central Park.


The small coastal town of Cojimíes, in the province of Esmeraldas, has beautiful and clean beaches of white sand, tall palm trees and clear waters. Due to its geographical location, the beach of Cojimíes offers the possibility of swimming, water sports and even fishing, which is such an important activity that during the month of August, the Corvina and Róbalo Festival is held as one of the events of the Month of Tourism and Ancestral Culture Rescue.

Playa de Cojimíes en Manabí

La Isla del Amor

One of the most popular activities is visiting the islands off the coast of Cojimíes, especially the Isla del Amor, a beautiful white sandbank located in the Cojimíes estuary, declared a Natural Heritage Site due to its great biodiversity. This island can be reached by boat from Cojimíes and takes only 10 minutes to cross.

In the center of the island there is a natural pool in the shape of a heart, which is how it got its peculiar name.

Isla del Amor Cojimies by Katheryn Belen Vilela

You can also take a river tour through the mangroves in the area and get up close and personal with the community’s way of life.

Mache Chindul Ecological Reserve

Cacada en la Reserva Mache Chindul by Fernando Bueno

From Cojimíes it is also possible to reach this reserve by a long boat trip. This place is an ideal place to visit due to the great biodiversity of its tropical rainforest, fauna, natural pools and waterfalls. Its vast area is home to more than 1400 species of plants and about 720 species of animals.

Discover more about this reserve here.

La Cabuya

This charming village lies 22 km south of Pedernales on the Ruta del Sol. Its tranquil beach is pristine and the crystal clear waters make it a delightful spot to appreciate the ocean’s beauty.

Senderismo en Mache Chindul by Fernando Bueno
Atardecer en la Playa Cabuya desde Cabañas Camarones

The peaceful and friendly landscape provides the perfect setting for a relaxing day at the beach. The food available at various locations in Cabuya is excellent and incredibly fresh.

The town church, built on one of its cliffs, is undoubtedly a great attraction as beautiful sunsets can be observed from there.

Gastronomy of Pedernales

The gastronomic offer of the beach closest to Quito is extensive and full of nuances, you can find a variety of dishes made with fresh seafood in the cabins at the foot of the sea at affordable prices, as well as in the restaurants in Pedernales or on the Route of the Sun, of which this wonderful place is a part.

You can savor iconic Pedernales dishes such as coconut crab, shrimp ceviche or viche on the Cojimíes boardwalk, where you’ll find scrumptious food at great prices.

Gastronomía de Cojimíes restaurant las delicias de Jessenia

Las comidas de Jessenia is one of many restaurants in the canton that stands out with its unique and delicious food, making it the preferred spot for both locals and tourists. It’s located in the center of Cojimíes parish.

Where to stay in Pedernales?

If you are looking for accommodation in Pedernales, you should know that there are a variety of options when it comes to comfort, location, and services. Prices range from $10 per person in low season to $80 per person in high season.

Check out the link below to find the hotel that best suits your needs 😉

Or if you prefer, you can check the real-time availability on your own at here. ⬇️

Tips for traveling to Pedernales

When traveling to Pedernales, keep in mind that this canton was heavily affected by the 2016 earthquake and has made a good recovery in a relatively short time. Most of its hotel infrastructure is new and the access roads to the canton are in good condition. However, there may still be some places under construction.

When to visit Pedernales?

The best time to visit Pedernales, due to its climate and the activities on offer, is from June to September, which is also the time of year when humpback whales can be seen along the coasts of our country and, of course, you can take a boat trip from this canton.

If you are planning to travel during the high season, we recommend that you book your accommodation well in advance, as they tend to be in high demand.

Author: Maria Paz Proaño, mother, traveler, writer and passionate about self-education.

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