There is a night bus from Quito to Canoa and it is said to take only 6 hours. Well, I don’t like to travel by night buses as I can’t sleep on buses and I also want to see the landscape. Reina del Camino has got a day bus to Bahía, which is close to Canoa, and there is also a night bus to Bahía. Unfortunately the day bus doesn’t leave until midday, which means it arrives in Bahía at 20.00, as the journey takes 8 hours.
I bought the ticket at Reina del Camino’s terminal in Quito the day before departure. It is situated near the northwestern corner of Parque El Ejido, on 18 Septiembre and Larrea. You will need an id when you buy the ticket and luckily the copy of my passport was enough. The bus ticket to Bahía was $10 (June 2012).
No big bags are allowed inside the bus, but must be put in the compartment below. The luggage of people going to Bahía was put in one compartment and the luggage of people going elsewhere in another compartment. You will get a tag and when you arrive at the destination it is checked to match the one on your bag before you get it. The bus doesn’t stop to pick up passengers along the road, but only makes a few stops to let people off. About halfway, just after El Carmen, the bus stopped for half an hour at a cantina. I bought fish, rice and spaghetti and the meal was $2.50. It was quite cold in the bus.
The bus arrived in time in Bahía, at 20.00. At Amalur in Canoa they had said there was no bus from Bahía to Canoa this late so I had arranged with them to pick me up in Bahía for $10. Two German guys arriving with the same bus where also going to Canoa so we shared the price of the transport to Canoa. While we were waiting for our luggage a bus was ready to leave and from it a man shouted Canoa, Canoa. Apparently there was a bus, but maybe it is not every day they leave that late, or maybe they have recently decided to wait for the bus arriving from Quito. Well, it was convenient to take the bags to a car and the drive to Canoa took another 35-45minutes.
To get to Canoa, many toruists take the public bus from Quito or Guayaquil to Biaha. There is frequent ferry service from Biaha across the river to San Vincente ($0.25). There is a frequent bus service from San Vincente to Canoa (and beyond) for another $0.25.