"Maroantsetra" Maroantsetra by quapaw

Maroantsetra Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 12 photos

Arrival

We arrived in Maroantsetra after a week on Ile Sainte Marie. From Sainte Marie we flew through Tana and Toamasina to Moaroantsetra. Directly upon arrival there was clear that this was a remote town. The small twin otter plane landed on the small airstrip in the rural area just out of town. Many zebus walked right next to the small shabby airport building. A handfull of taxi drivers awaited us and a tout convinced us to stay at Hotel Le coco beach (We already read in the guidebooks that this was a good place to go). The ride in the taxi was quite funny. Here they have other petrol saving driving methods. First he accelerates to about 120 kms an hour (on the small country side roads full with holes and traffic!!) and than he shuts down the engine to let the car roll to a stop before accelerating again.

Maroantsetra

Maroantsetra is quite a lively town. There is quite a big market which is good to stroll around. The bread is the best in Madagascar here!!! You can also buy quite a bit of crafts and pottery. Although there is only electricity between 18.00 and 22.00 at night, there is a disco right next to Le coco beach. Good to go and have a cold THB and some brochettes, which they sell at the bbq's outside. Inside it is more like a school cafeteria with a huge video screen showing tacky songs. Entrance fee is 10.000 FMG. and beer is more expensive so its better to just sit outside. Keep in mind that if you sleep on this side of the property when staying at Le Coco beach it can be very noisy.
At Le Coco beach there is a guy called Rakoto Vazaha and he can help you arrange all sorts of trips and tours. Through him we arranged a two day trip to nosy Mangabe and a day trip around Maroantsetra.

Day trip around Maroantsetra

After we came back from the exellent trip to nosy Mangabe we still had a day left before flying back to Tana. We decide to go with Rakoto Vazaha on a day trip around Maroantstetra. We visited a cinnamon and a vanilla plantation at a locally owned plantation. We went to look for the Tomato frog, a huge red frog which only occurs here. And we took a pirogue north on the river to visit a rural village and taste some local "wine", betsa betsa. Most people come here to go to Nosy Mangabe and or the Massoala peninsula but if you have the time this day trip is also absolutely recommended.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:remote feel, exellent national parks nearby
  • Cons:hard to get to
  • In a nutshell:remote, lively, traditional, town within reach of beaitiful unspoiled nature
  • Last visit to Maroantsetra: Jun 2005
  • Intro Updated Nov 3, 2005
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