Let me make it clear in the first sentence – I love Canoa! Even though it is often compared to a better known Montanita, I see a huge difference between them. Canoa is a laid-back fishing village, absolutely undeveloped, asleep during week days and a little more vibrating during weekends.
Like Montanita, people come here to surf and relax, unlike Montanita there aren’t any huge parties in Canoa. But you will still find number of pleasant beach bars and “cevicherias”, few restaurants and western-style bars here, where you can profit from happy hours every late afternoon.
The golden sand Canoa beach is 17 km long, which makes it the longest beach in Ecuador. Even during holiday weekends, you will always find a place or a wave only for yourself.
Shopping possibilities are very limited here, there are only few shops with basic goods along the main road (one of only two asphalt streets in Canoa, everything else is dirt), so we recommend to stock up in nearby towns of San Vicente or Bahia. Even for groceries, as there even is no open-air market in Canoa.
Canoa can become a little dangerous after it gets dark. It is not advised to walk on the beach or leave main streets at night. And this is not an idle talk – our friend got robbed with knife by two men just few days ago. We’ve already done some night beach walks, usually with tablets, smart phones and cameras with us. Since this incident we take all the warnings seriously and if we want to go for a dinner or a drink in the evening we only take a little money and nothing else.
And what do I like the most about Canoa? It’s relaxed atmosphere, decent waves and nice people – both locals and expats. This is the right place if you need to switch off, meet new people and relax. A bad place for adventure seekers and big parties lovers though.
Even though I am a little sad that we will leave Canoa in less than two weeks, I can’t wait for the adventure that awaits us in the Andes afterwards.