A handful of empty beaches and thatched-roof homes make up the sleepy fishing village of Canoa. Travelers searching for a quiet, relaxing beach destination need look no further.

Just north of the developed city of Bahía de Caráquez, Canoa provides for a more relaxed beach experience. This mellow fishing village is one of the few low-key places left along Ecuador’s coast. A handful of palm tree-lined dirt roads and thatched-roof buildings make up Canoa. The city center is modest, with only a few shops, restaurants and bars. Hotel options are limited as well, but the majority are located close to the beach.

There are more surfboards and hammocks than people in Canoa—a good indication of the main activities here. Savvy surfers know Canoa for the consistent and uncrowded waves that grace the shores from December–May. Outside of the water, visitors can roam the pristine and undeveloped coastline. Below the rugged cliffs that border Canoa, several caves can be explored during low tide. Horseback riding is another popular activity. No matter what you do here, relaxation is inevitable.

For those looking for an off-the-beaten-path beach destination, Canoa fits the bill perfectly. Although services and activities aren’t as numerous as other destinations, Canoa’s simplicity is actually its best trait. With little signs of further development, visitors will be able to enjoy Canoa’s tranquil vibes and pristine beaches for years to come.

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