When we talked to people about going to the beach in Ecuador we would always ask “Where should we go?” People would generally say Montañita and other such places with large sections in the guidebook, but another town also always seemed to come up–Canoa. “It’s the quieter and more up-and-coming beach” was the common opinion. So we made the long trip north from the more southerly beaches, almost back to the equator, and were dropped off in a very small, very quiet beach town.
In Canoa, all the roads are still made of sand and the people, foreigners and locals alike, all have a very laid back attitude. The houses are built with thin walls to bring in the sea breeze, as the weather is perfect for minimalist construction. I remember saying how nice it was that we could hear only one blasting stereo at a time; that’s craziness in Ecuador! We had three very relaxing days in Canoa, eating cheaply and camping just a block away from the beach. I think it would be a great place to open up a restaurant or bar now, but in five years it will probably be packed and loud, with plastic and glass bottles strewn everywhere. Even if it’s destined to turn into all the other places, it was nice to catch something beautiful before to world comes to ruin it.