Having heard so much about Canoa from my Ecuadorian friends, I knew I would not be able to resist the temptation of visiting the place and seeing what the ‘hype’ was about with my own eyes. And so, once such weekend, I did exactly this.

Hopped into my car and off I went driving to find more about the mysterious place called ‘Canoa’.
There are 2 options to reach Canoa- By bus or by a car. A lot of people choose to travel by the bus as it allows you the complete freedom to use the travel time as per your liking. Sleep, read, listen to music etc for the next 6 hours till you reach your destination. The bus ticket from Guayaquil to Canoa will cost you around USD 20. Some buses are direct buses to Canoa, and there are some which go up to Bahia from where you have to get on another bus to Canoa.
Since I wanted the option to stop en-route to click pictures and explore the many towns which fall on the way, I decided to take the other option and thus decided to drive down instead.

The roads are great and except till the outskirts of Guayaquil, you will not face any traffic issues. The landscapes are mind blowing and the complete drive is a pleasure. You will not even realize how the 4.5 hours pass and before you know it, you will be entering the streets of Canoa.

This time for a change, I had not booked a hotel in advance, and had decided to look for one, once I reached the destination. This my friends I realized, was a BIG MISTAKE. I am not kidding when I say, that I walked up to the receptions of almost 10 hotels/hostals and ALL of them said that they were completely BOOKED as it was a weekend and that they did not have even a single room available.
I had not faced such a situation, even in Montañita, which is one of the most famous beach destinations of Ecuador. I was so not prepared for this scenario.But I decided to keep trying, and there had to be at least one hotel which would have a room available. I was ready to take whatever was available by this time and mentally told myself not to be choosy.
Finally, after I decided to stir away from the main lane which was facing the beach, I found a hotel with a room available. Pheww…Saved from spending the night in my car.
My night in Canoa would be spent in Hotel Mirador, and the place turned out to be decently reasonable(USD 25 for a night). By no means was it luxurious, but it was clean and comfortable, and that’s all that is important for me.
After leaving my stuff in my room and changing into my beach clothes, I decided to catch a quick bite before I went to soak a bit of the sun.
Of all the raving reviews that I had read, I decided to go straight to Hotel Bambu. In fact this was my first choice for getting a room as well. But since this hotel is the most popular one in Canoa, there were no rooms available. Thus, I settled for just the food instead.
The food was so incredible that I came back for breakfast the next day as well. The best part about Hotel Bambu was it’s location and ambiance. Facing the beach, one can sit outside and enjoy the meal along with the surroundings. Highly recommended to anyone who is in Canoa.
After a great meal, I went off to the beach with my precious book and ipod and settled down in one of the sun beds which one can rent for USD 3. In between lounging on the sun bed and admiring the surfers in the water, I went for quick dips many times, in that 2 hours that I spent on the beach.The town offers many recreational activities as well and you will come across many signs about Yoga classes, cooking classes, surf classes etc. So if you plan to stay here for few days, you have a lot to keep you occupied and content :).

Wet, sandy and now shivering because of the cool breeze I decided to head back to my room for a shower. I had read that Canoa, unlike the other beach towns in Ecuador, was not known for it’s ‘nightlife‘. The shops closed down early and so did the restaurants. Hence, in order to ensure that I manage to catch a little bit of the evening flavor of Canoa, I was back in the streets by 8.30 PM.
One can find a number of small carts with jewellery, handicrafts and decorative items on display. The cocktail bars on the beach play loud music so that those who were keen to shake a leg, could do so while enjoying their drinks.I bought myself few pizza slices and opted to go sit on the beach next to a cocktail bar, so that I could have it all- the food, the music, the dancing, the stars and the deep blue ocean.

By 11.30 pm almost everything had shut down, and once again I was glad for the research I had done on the town before coming.If I hadn’t known that the town shuts down early, I would have most probably wandered in later in search of dinner and after realizing that I would find nothing open; would have had to go back to the hotel-to my bed- and to sleep, on an empty stomach.

Bless GOOGLE and the invention of INTERNET.
After a fulfilling, relaxed, calming day spent at Canoa, I was all prepared for my journey back to Guayaquil the next morning after breakfast.
I thoroughly enjoyed my stay and time in Canoa and look forward to being back soon.

Read more about the cities in the Manabi province in my other blogs by clicking the links below to get an idea about what to expect when you plan your next holiday here.
1)Manta, Manabi- SUN, SAND and so much More..
2)Santa Marianita, Manabi- The best KITESURFING place to be..
3)Bahía de Caráquez, Manabi: Popular vacation destination for the RICH and the WEALTHY.
4)San Vicente, Manabi- A MUST STOPOVER when enroute to Canoa…

You can also refer to the below links for more information on the amazing town of Canoa:
1)Ecaudor Beaches
2)San Playa

Hope you enjoyed reading my blog.

Do keep reading more of my blogs, reviews, travel tips etc.
Till then,

Chao!
Adiós!
Hasta Luego!

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