Dom’s Guide to Canoa, Ecuador

Where to stay in Canoa?

-My top choice for a quiet, clean, safe place right on the beach is the Hostal Playa Azul, at $8 per person for a private room with a shared bath or $10 per person for a private room with a private bath.  Contact 086600991 or hostalplaya_azul AT hotmail.com for reservations.

-For a more social atmosphere, choose the top pick among backpackers in the area, Coco Loco, with dorm rooms for $6 a bed and privates starting around $12 per person.  For more try hostalcocoloco.com

Where to eat in Canoa?

-Try the seafood at the Saboreate Restaurant on the main drag, amazing shrimp dishes around $5.

What to do in Canoa?

-Take a one day tour to the nearby mangroves or to an organic farm

-Hand glide near Canoa.

-Surf off Canoa.

-Dance the night away with friendly locals in Canoa.

-Horseback ride on the beach

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Dom’s Guide to Bahia de Caraquez, Ecuador

Where to stay in Bahia?

There’s not much accommodation selection in Bahia, but that may be to a lack of demand, Bahia being primarily just a weekend destination for most travelers.

I recommend for higher end budgets La Herradura Hotel, the only hotel right on the boardwalk, ocean front in Bahia.  The hotel has an upscale restaurant and prices start from $20 for the single room, $40 for the double.  Ask for one of the few rooms with an ocean view!  Contact 05-2690446 or see laherradurahotel.com for more.

For budget travelers I recommend y personal fav, La Bahia Hotel, right in front of the Puerto Amistad Bar-Restaurant.  The rooms are Spartan but clean and the price is right, $8 per person and $16 for a double.

Where to eat in Bahia?

I recommend the Puerto Amistad Bar-Restaurant with amazing views of the bay this is the foreigner hang out, but locals like it too.  The wings and Quesadillas are some of the best in Ecuador and priced under $5.  Seafood and typical Ecuadorian dishes are also available.

What to do in Bahia?

-Go for a morning jog on the boardwalk.

-Hike up to the Cross on the mount.

-Take a one day tour to the nearby mangroves or to an organic farm

-Hand glide near Canoa.

-Surf off Canoa.

-Dance the night away with friendly locals in Canoa.

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The boardwalk in Bahia

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Machala – An Insider’s Guide

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Machala was a dump most quickly passed over just a few short years back, but after the urban-renewel the place is rockin!

Well, it still has a small town feel, but it’s well worth a visit if getting off the beaten path is for you.

Chances are, here, you won’t see another foreigner around.

Where to stay?

-For budget travelers I’d stay at the Hotel Mosqueto, 2 blocks from the main plaza right beside Hotel Montecarlo, singles with fan $12. Acceptable, simple place.

-For bigger budgets looking for nice AC rooms, I’d try Hotel Montecarlo (all the taxis know it) 2 blocks form the main plaza. Single $30, Double rooms $40.

Where to eat?

-For some delicious tacos and Mexican food I’d try the stand on corner of Av 25 de Junio and Ayacucho. Prices start around $2.50.

-For some delicious local seafood dishes starting around $6, try the row of restaurants at the boardwalk (Malecon). $3 taxi ride from city center.

What to do?

-Be sure to visit the main plaza, grab an ice cream, then head out to the port and boardwalk area where you can grab a delicious seafood lunch or dinner.

-Take a tour of a Banana plantation with CristyViajes at Juan Montalvo 2338 entre Arizaga y Pichincha, a local travel agency, $25 half day tour.

-Take a tour of a nearby natural reserve where thousands of hummingbirds congregate on the route to the town of Piñas (also offered by ChristyViajes).

-Take a boat to the nearby island of Jambelí, where you can hit the beach at the resort area called El Faro.

-See the only petrified forest in Ecuador a few hours from Machala in the Natural Park, Puyango.

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