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South America > Ecuador > Coastal Lowlands (Ecuador) > Canoa

Canoa

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For other places with the same name, see Canoa (disambiguation).

Canoa is a pleasant, laid-back fishing village on the Pacific coast of Ecuador in the Manabi Province. Popular with travellers and yet not overrun by them, it's an excellent place to chill-out for a few days on the beach or practice your surfing skills.

Canoa beach

Get in[edit]

Every 30 minutes there is a bus connection with San Vicente or Bahia de Caraquez. From Bahia 4 busses daily leave to Quito (two in the morning (06:30, 09:00) and two in the evening).There are now direct buses to Quito and Guayaquil to and from Canoa.

There is also a bus route up the coast to Pedernales. The Sundown Inn has excellent maps of Canoa and the region.

There are direct buses between Canoa and Puerto López, Montañita and Manta.

See[edit]

Do[edit]

  • Surfing: Canoa has some nice surf to learn or perfect your skills. 16 km (10 mi) of beach break with no rocks, no reef and no riptide means nice conditions for beginners and moderate waves in peak surf season which is from January through April.
Surf lessons on the beach of Canoa
  • [dead link] Parapente. Or paraglide. An American has setup a school Fly Canoa which offers several courses. If you don't have time or the desire for this there are also inexpensive tandem flights available so you can get a taste of flying.
  • Adicto Surf & SUP cafe (http://www.adictosurf.com) teaches expert Stand Up Paddle boarding, SUPyoga, and SUPsurf lessons and offer board rentals. They have a bodyboard, SUP, and surf school for the local kids and educate on vegan health foods in the community through the cafe. If your a vegetarian or vegan stop in for volunteer opportunities.
  • SurfShak organizes paragliding, kayaking, surf lessons and rentals, custom swell specific surf tours up and down the coast, whale watching tours and kayaking cave tours.
Yoga studio in Canoa
  • Betty Surf & Yoga, +593 98 94-4830 (mobile), e-mail: . Office: M-F 08:00-13:30. Bilingual certified instructors offering: daily yoga classes, beginner surf lessons, and a 3-day surf and yoga course complete with slacklines, balance Indo Boards and aerial hammocks. They often feature workshops, retreats and teacher training and are the founders of the Community Surf & Yoga Project
  • Teach as a volunteer at the bilingual grammar school through the James Dean Byrd Foundation. If you want to volunteer for just a day you may also contact Betty Surf & Yoga about their community project.
Beautiful Canoa Beach
  • Beachcombing along the beautiful beach at Canoa can be quite rewarding as some beautiful tropical sea shells wash up. One annoying aspect of the popularity of the beach is that, like any popular Ecuadorian beach it often has a lot of rubbish on it at the end of each day. (Canoa itself is known for its ecological pride, but the rubbish is washed in from other coastal areas. You can avoid making this worse by avoiding plastic bottles.) Even if you are not staying at Hotel Bambu, they will give you one free cocktail if you fill a bag up with rubbish - you can fill a bag quite quickly and it's a free drink and a great way to keep the beach clean, so everybody wins.
  • Take a trip to Rio Muchacho Organic Farm. They offer 1-3 day tours with activities including horse trek to howler monkey forest and waterfall, making chocolate and coffee from the bean, making necklaces, bowls, and rings from natural materials, and lots more. They also offer volunteer programs for the farm and eco-schools. You can get more information on Rio Muchacho or other tours in Ecuador at their office in Canoa which also sells fair trade items.

Learn[edit]

  • The Canoa Spanish School is a great place to learn Spanish while enjoying the beach. It is located at the Sundown Inn on the beach just south of town. You can get a 4-week program with private beachfront room, all meals and 80 hours of private tutoring for around USD800.

Buy[edit]

  • There are several tourist shops in Canoa.
  • There is no bank or ATM in Canoa. There is an ATM and bank in San Vicente.

Eat[edit]

  • Restaurante Genesis, Javier Santos #306 (main road), has cheap and decent fish dishes. They may try to get more money out of you by bringing more (or more expensive) dishes than what you ordered.
  • Jixsy (where the main road meets the beach) has good prices and food, including non-fish dishes. The staff is very friendly and will go out of their way to make the dish you want. Good vegy options.
  • Costa Azul (opposite Jixsy), is recommended against. The menu lacks variety, and they couldn't manage to cook edible rice. The staff and owners are also known for having an attitude.
  • The Surf Shak, on the malecon, is a great North American style restaurant that offers burgers, pizza, spaghetti, etc. The food is the best non-Ecuadorian in the area and the prices are quite reasonable.
  • Adicto Surf & SUP cafe, 133250 Canoa (across from Bambu hotel, back one street from the beach.), e-mail: . Vegan cafe open for tourist season each Dec - May. They have lots of healthy options like bean burritos, quinoa stir-fry, zucchini pasta with slow pressed veggie juices, great cafe, and even vegan ice cream and desserts.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

During the 2016 earthquake, many of the hotels were severly damaged. Some were not allowed to open most of their rooms for safety concerns and are being reconstructed.

  • Coconut Hotel. The Coconut Hotel offers stand-up paddle board lessons along with Hatha and Vinyasa yoga lessons twice daily. Hostel and private rooms available from $10-25 a night. Food and drink service available, as well as board and bike rentals.
  • Green House Surf Canoa. A long-term hostel that offers short and long term surf camps. Housing, meals, and surfing lessons are included in all packages. The hostel also offers touristic excursions, Spanish lessons, and volunteer opportunities as well.
  • Hostal Coco Loco. Dorm beds $6 and privates from $15. On the beach with great views from every room, comfortable cheery rooms, hot showers, and a communal kitchen. Friendly and helpful Alaskan owner. Stop by and ask the staff and enjoy a 2-for-1 cocktail during happy hour, 19:00-20:00.
  • Hosteria Canoa, e-mail: . Or canoa@hosteriacanoa.com. Has hotel style rooms with A/C as well as individual cabins with three single beds and a seprate bedroom with a queen. The nice pool is in the center of this hosteria with the beautiful and somewhat secluded beach a short walk away. Good food, drinks and views from the upstairs restaurant.
  • Hotel Baloo. Is probably the quietest and most laid back place in town, away from all the obnoxious loud music that you will find on the beach closer to the busy end of the town. Great steaks on Saturday night, also pork ribs and langostinos (lobster). Free Wi-Fi and pool table as well as reasonably priced laundry service. $7-15 per person.
  • 1 Hotel Bambú, +593 52588017, e-mail: . Is right on the beach. It rents out cabins or hotel rooms or you can pitch your own tent. Besides accommodation there is a busy restaurant and bar. If you fill one of their large (not small!) bags with trash from the beach you get a free cocktail. Furthermore there is a pool table, table tennis, free Wi-Fi, laundry service, and surfboard rental. The happy hour (17:00-18:30) is a good time to meet other travellers. The mood is very relaxed and during this time you get a "2 for 1" deal on cocktails. $4-20.
  • Camping Iguana (One block from the beach towards the south end of town). Quiet little campsite with kitchen, BBQ, hammocks, Wi-Fi. After the 2016 earthquakes, the dorms are not usable anymore. You are only allowed to pitch a tent or sleep in a hammock. $4.
  • Mitad del Mundo Surf (Across from Camping Iguana). Formerly the most expensive hotel in town, only its bar is left after the 2016 earthquake. The bar has been repurposed as a dorm. Includes access to the minimalistic kitchen and most importantly the nice pool. No lockers. $5.
  • Posada de Daniel (Four blocks from the beach in front of the park). $6-8 per person. The bus from Pedernales goes past the door and stops one block away. The bus to San Vicente also stops one block away. There is a pool table, Internet cafe, cable TV, small swimming pool, laundry service and surfboard rental. Rooms are private cabañas with private bathrooms, comfortable beds and air conditioners.
  • Sundown Beach Hostel (About 2 km south of town). A great place to stay and relax outside the noise of main town. Nice beachfront rooms, some with balconies, for $5-8 per person. They also offer Spanish lessons.

Stay safe[edit]

Thefts are very common on the beach, especially at night. Do not leave valuables on the shore when you are in the water and be very careful if camping on the beach at night.

Go next[edit]

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