Ecuador // The northern lowlands and coast //


Down the coast from Jama and sitting at the upper end of a huge beach extending 17km south to San Vicente is CANOA, which has shifted from sleepy fishing village to laid-back beach resort, thanks largely to its fantastic surf and clean sands. With only a single paved street linking its shaded square to the sea, the town’s low-level hubbub is submerged under the continuous roar of breakers rising and falling on the shore.

It’s a lovely place to relax, with long, empty expanses of coastline and ample waves for surfing (good from Dec–April, best Jan–Feb; many hotels have boards for rent). At low tide you can take a horse ride or a walk to the sandy cliffs rising up through the haze in the north, where there’s a cave to explore; it’s best done with a local guide for safety. Trips to the Río Muchacho Organic Farm can be arranged at their office on 30 de Noviembre and Javier Santos, the second street on the right if walking up the main street from the beach.


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