For a country that is mostly known for its high Andean mountains and cloud forest natural environments Ecuador sure carries a beautiful coast line. The majority of travellers who visit Ecuador stick to the inland portions of the country, and only a few venture to the coast, mostly to places like Manta and Mantanita. Those, however, who decide to take the long journey to get to the tiny coastal village of Canoa will not be disappointed. The waters that wash up onto the soft sands of Canoa are as calm and clean as many of the Caribbean waters and the chilled out environment of the city will have you wondering if you have wandered off the path to the Caribbean. Canoa, to date, is far from the beaten path of travel to Ecuador but is much worth the journey to get here.
Things to do in Canoa
- Beach: Obviously the main draw to Canoa is the beach, and the majority of tourists to the area simply relax along the waters or stroll down the sand. This is one of the great places in South America to do either.
- Surfing: You can easily rent boards in town, and the waves a gentle enough here that even beginning surfers can take part. If you’re looking for lessons head to the surf shack.
- Paragliding: Due to the steep cliffs that rise off of the waters near the beach paragliding is a real opportunity here in Canoa. The price is as good as you’ll find, around 40US$.
Where to Eat in Canoa
The food selection in Canoa is almost entirely geared towards catering for the international tourists. At the Surf Shack you’ll find good sized meals at decent prices, although the food is very “Western.” If you’re looking for seafood head directly to a place called El Oasis.
Where to Stay in Canoa
Being this far off the beaten path means there still aren’t all too many hostel options in the city. Most backpackers head directly to Hostal Baloo which has private rooms for about 10US$. The only place in town that has dorms is Linda Onda which has dorms, and a nice vibe, for about 7US$.
Getting out of Town
Canoa can be a bit of a struggle to get to, especially if you’re coming from the capital. The best thing to do is catch a bus to San Vincent and transfer from there to Canoa (30minutes in shuttle). There is a couple direct buses to nearby San Vincent as well (8hrs to Quito). From San Vincent there are also buses to Guayaquil (7hrs).
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