Canoa is a pleasant, laid-back fishing village on the Pacific coast of Ecuador in the Manabi province. Popular with travellers and yet not over-run by them, it's an excellent place to chill-out for a few days on the beach or practice your surfing skills.
Every 30 minutes there is a bus connection for south with San Vicente, Bahia de Caraquez or Tosagua. From Bahia there are 4 busses daily that leave to Quito (two in the morning (6:30AM, 9AM) and two in the evening). There is a direct bus that goes from Quito to Canoa, it leaves at 10:45 PM from Quito in the Reina del Camino station, which is near from Parque El Ejido in northern Quito, every taxi driver knows where it is. You arrive to Canoa between 4:00 and 5:00 in the morning. The bus that leaves from Canoa to Quito leaves at 9:45 PM and arrives to Quito beteen 4:00 and 5:00 AM too. It is strongly recommended that you buy the tickets one day before you travel so you can make your ride as planned. Each ticket costs 10$.
If you're arriving from Guayaquil, take a quick taxi from the airport to the Terminal Terrestre bus station. From there, Reina del Camino, Cocatur, or Cooperativa offer a range of daily buses. Most go to Bahia/San Vicente and either take the bus or a 15-20 min taxi ($6-8) to Canoa. It's perfectly possible that a bus operator will switch you to a colectivo bus (versus a directo) in Portoviejo that will then pass through Canoa. Just ask!
For schedules and more bus info, see the "Getting Around" section of the Ecuador country page.
Buses between Canoa and San Vicente/Bahia de Caraquez, or Canoa and Jama can be flagged down roadside and cost $0.50 and up depending on final destination which can be discussed with the driver's helper, who will walk back and collect your money once you have found your seat. Don't be surprised if the bus does not "completely" stop for you to get on or hop off; especially if you appear to be an able-bodied male, without luggage. Be careful! Buses are generally regarded as safe and run 7am to 9pm. But getting stuck in San Vicente close to 9 with no buses back toward Canoa is not unheard of; requiring one to take a taxi ($6-7). Once you have gotten the "hang" of catching the buses as the locals do, options to surrounding Canoa such as San Vicente/Bahia, Jama, even the sleepy farm down of San Isidro open up, providing the Canoa visitor with additional dining, shopping and exploring options.
As of 2011, a new bridge "Los Caras", links San Vicente with Bahía de Caráquez, making the road trip between the two towns easier and quicker. However, passenger-only ferries still run back and forth, and are easily taken for 50 cents per person. Look for them down by the town wharfs.
Surfing: Canoa has some nice surf to learn or perfect your skills. Various places around town rent surfboards from $3-10/ half day. (Costs as of June 2013)
Stand Up Paddleboarding and Surfing:
Canoa is a great place to learn to paddleboard. It has a river for flat water lessons in town and the waves are gentle with lots of room for beginners. Lessons are $15 and are available through Adicto Surf Cafe in front of Hotel Bambu.
Parapente or paraglide and recently 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.
Adventure tours can be arranged at Canoa Thrills (run from Surf Shak) or Hostal Coco Loco.. They organize paragliding, kayaking, horseback riding, surf lessons and rentals, custom swell specific surf tours up and down the coast, whale watching tours, kayaking cave tours and much more.
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 treck 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 ecoschools. You can get more information on Rio Muchacho or other tours in Ecuador at their office in Canoa which also sells fair trade items.
ALAS y OLAS ECUADOR, Freedom Sports Bar (2km south of Canoa), ☎ 0998891807, . Alas y Olas Ecuador is an adventure sports company that offers paragliding (both lessons and tandem rides), kitesurfing (learn to kite in warm waters!), surfing and yoga classes. Located just south of Canoa with a full service bar and restaurant situated right on the beach.edit
Betty Surf and Yoga, North Malecon (North beachfront road), ☎ 0989744830, . 8:00- 2:00. Betty Surf and Yoga Ecuador offers professional surf instruction and yoga classes with International Surf Association and Yoga Alliance certified instructors along with professional quality equipment at their in town shop for travelers. Betty Surf & Yoga also packages monthly surf and yoga all inclusive luxury retreats in Canoa & the Galapagos Islands. $10- $25 classes at the shop. 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 2 kms south of town (20 mins walk along the beach). You can get a 4-week program with private beachfront room, breakfast and lunch, Monday - Friday and 80 hours of private tutoring for around $800. (0°28'59.9"S 80°27'04.5"W)
There are very few businesses that accept credit card (as of Aug, 2013) in Canoa. Hotel Bambú will accept credit card.
Change for large bills ($20s and up) is a constant issue/struggle in Canoa. Prepare appropriately. It would not be unwise to bring $20-$50 in $1 bills or coins to Canoa for every week you plan to stay.
There are several tourist shops in Canoa. Basic groceries, beer, liquor, and other personal items are available. Be aware that the large general store down the street from Jixsy and across from Hotel Dorado will overcharge you on everything. Better to use one of the other stores further down the street that doesn't price gouge tourists.
There is no ATM in Canoa. However, there are ATMS in San Vicente and Bahia de Caraquez, both a short bus ride (19 kms) south of Canoa.
Many restaurants and hostels have Wifi for clients
"Adicto Surf Cafe" has vegetarian food, breakfasts, Sushi, Burritos, and snacks like Guacamole and Garlic bread. Power smoothies and veggie juices. Free wifi and surfer hangout right on the beach in front of Hotel Bambu. $2.50 Vegetarian Almuerzos during lunch hours.
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.
Hotel Bambú (see Sleep) serves excellent crèpes all day. One of the few places in the area that grinds and maintains a professional espresso machine, AND is open in the morning to use it. Keep a lookout for the pumpkin soup. Also try the pasta.
Pizzeria Sunset Beach (one block from Hotel Bambú) has reasonable food, but is a bit expensive.
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.
There is now an ATM in San Vincente
Upishum, (2 Streets off the beach on the North side of the Main Street), . Unique Ecuadorian/Argentinian restaurant with simply terrific food "made with love". Look for the bamboo sign on the main avenue.edit
The happy hour (5:00pm till 6:30pm) in Hotel Bambú (see Sleep) is a good place to meet other travellers. The mood is very relaxed and during this time you get a "2 for 1" deal on cocktails ( 2 of the same type for the price of one).
Freedom Ecuador Restaurant & Bar, 12.5 Kilometer San Vicente-Canoa Highway (On the beach, 1 mile south of Canoa.), ☎ +(093) 099552418, . late. Located on the about 1 mile south of Canoa, Freedom sometimes has a bit of an atmosphere for those looking to escape the noise of Canoa. The food menu is the bland. Free wi-fi, free pool hall, dance hall, Arabian-style lounge areas, outdoor lounge area, free hookahs, and a projector scren for movies and sporting events. Drinks are $1.50 for a liter of the native Pilsners or Club beers. Wine and cocktails are also offered. Great food, great prices, great live entertainment if you are in your eighties. As of August 2013 the bar is closed to public due to change of management, only open for parties some saturdays. average. edit
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. Prices go from $7 to $15 per person (approximately), depending on room and and how many occupants. Great steaks on Saturday night, also pork ribs and langostinos (shrimp). Free WiFi and pool table as well as reasonably priced laundry service.
Hotel Bambú,  is right on the beach. It rents out bamboo sheds, cabins or hotel rooms or you can pitch your own tent. Besides accommodation there is a restaurant (good food, but a bit pricy) 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. Prices vary from $4.00 for the bamboo shed till $20.00 for a double hotel room with private bath.
Posada de Daniel is four blocks from the beach in front of the park. The bus from Pedernales goes past the door and stops one block away. The bus to San Vicente also stops one block away. Groups may be able to bargain down to $6 pppn; the typical price is about $8. 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 is a great place to stay and relax outside the noise of main town. Easy 20 mins walk to town along the beach. Nice beachfront rooms, some with balconies, for $5-10 per person. Full kitchen with dining area available for use. Very friendly staff. They also offer Spanish courses. (0°28'59.9"S 80°27'04.5"W)
Hosteria Canoa, email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Hostal Coco Loco on the beach has great views from every room, comfortable cheery rooms, hot showers, and a communal kitchen. Highly recommended by lonely planet as well as fellow travelers. The Alaskan owner is friendly and outgoing. Still, many travelers are concerned because money spent here does not go to Ecuadorians. Dorm beds $6 USD and privates from $15. Stop by and ask the staff and enjoy a 2 for 1 cocktail during happy hour, 7 till 8pm.
Coconut Hotel, Canoa, . The Coconut Hotel has new owners and is offering Stand Up Paddleboard lessons along with Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga lessons twice daily. Hostel and private rooms available from $10 to $25 a night. Food and drink service available, as well as board and bike rentals. edit
Green House Surf Canoa. is a long term hostal 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.edit
Canoa Beach Hotel, . Newley opened in December 2012, is a relaxed 10 minute walk south down the beach from Canoa. This Ocean Front Hotel features Ocean View, Air Conditioned rooms with Balcony and WiFi. Pool with walkover bridge, swim up bar and a water fall coming out of a gigantic caldron and hammocks are hung near the pool. The full bar features micro brewed beers on tap (These are brewed locally just outside Canoa by “Roche’s Brewery”), as well as house specialties such as Mojito’s, Margarita’s, Caipirinha’s and of course Piña Colada’s. And now, a great new Restaurant with fish, chicken, hamburgers, fries and some of Greg’s specialty recipes. edit
Camping Iguana, Canoa, . Camping Iguana offers affordable cabanas and camping in a relaxed atmosphere just one block from the beach in Canoa right behind Pasada Olmito. Bring your own tent, rent one, sleep in a dormatory or in a comfy double bed cabin. Price range $3.50 (camping) to $14 (cabin). Outdoor kitchen and wifi.edit
Hotel Rutamar (email@example.com), Calle Zapallo, ☎ 052588083, . Hotel Rutamar is one of Canoa's newest hotels, situated in a beautifully handcrafted three-story building. Located a block from the beach and a couple of blocks from Canoa's main drag, Rutamar offers a quiet peaceful location and top-quality facilities and cleanliness. Guests get access to common areas, shared kitchen, and bar.edit
Jungle Bar, (One street from the beach). A super relaxed bar with the best music in Canoa, from hip-hop to Calle 13 passing by Dub, Reggae and Electro. Happy hour from 7 to 8pm. It's the perfect place if you want to scape the loud and repetitive music from most of Canoa's bars. edit
Hotel Rio Mar, Canoa. Hotel Rio Mar is a new hotel with simple, clean, private cabanas (2 queen beds and small refrigerator available for longer stays)and a main building with a small number of rooms with fans and good ocean views/breezes. All cabanas have glass windows and air conditioning. WiFi also available. This is the only hotel in Canoa on the ocean with a pool. It is situated on the river and ocean on the north side of town. You can hear the music but it is better since the hotel is the northernmost in town. Owned by Ecuadorians. They can make long-term arrangements. www.riomarcanoa.com$40-$80. edit