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Like MontaƱita to the south, Canoa has a good beach for surfing, and in fact I prefer Canoa's over MontaƱita's -- it's a much longer beach with far more peaks to choose from. When the waves are small, this is an excellent beach for beginning surfers. Several little stands and shops around town rent out surf and boogie boards, and if you ask around town you should even be able to find someone to give you lessons.

The bluff above and behind Canoa has become a popular take-off spot for hang-gliders and parasailers. The 150m (492-ft.) bluff, along with frequent updrafts and an expanse of deserted beach for a landing site, makes this one of the top spots of aerial soaring in Ecuador. Occasionally you can find a local or visiting pilot with a tandem rig to take you for a ride. For good information on aerial sports in this region, or to set up a tour in advance, contact Mauricio at Volando Ecuador (tel. 09/8571-144; www.volandoecuador.ec). Or simply ask around town or at your hotel, or head to Hotel Sol y Luna.

To arrange surf lessons, board rentals, or any number of organized tour activities, check in with Canoa Thrills (tel. 09/7942-293; www.canoathrills.com), which operates out of the Surf Shak restaurant, right on the beach. These folks offer a fun sea kayaking tour through some local cave formations.

Aside from surfing and technical airborne sports, there's not much to do in Canoa except for sunbathing, swimming, beachcombing, and lying in a hammock. Locals sometimes rent out horses for horseback rides along the beach. Look for them on the beach, or ask at your hotel.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.