We only stayed a day in Canoa. Since everyone we talked to seemed to love the town, I wanted to see it despite what we had heard about the damage. We found the Hotel Bambu that was recommended by several different sites. It was the perfect little hotel right on the edge of town. They lost a building due to the quake and there was some construction going on, but it didn’t take away from the laid back, beach bar ambience. They had a pool table, ping pong, and hammocks strung up throughout the grounds. The hotel also offered yoga and surf classes. Most importantly, they had great wifi and hot water showers. We were thrilled to be there even just for one night and would have gladly stayed longer but we were due in Santa Marianita this afternoon.
Canoa was a bustling little tourist town up until April of this year. On April 16th it was hit by a a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The devastation along the entire coast in this area is intense. Entire mountainsides crashed into the ocean. Many people still live in tents and schools are set up under tarps donated from various relief organizations. Walking through the streets you can see the how the waves of the earthquake rippled through the earth in the imprints left on the sidewalks. There are crumbling buildings, giant piles of rubble, or cleared lots ready to build anew. Amidst the continuing devastation the people of the town are upbeat as they begin to rebuild. The highways in Ecuador have been very good and the government is trying hard to repair damaged areas. The government is also trying to help sponsor programs to get tourism back into the area.