Maroantsetra (maro-ant-setr), set on Baie d’Antongil near the mouth of the Antainambalana River, is a remote and isolated place full of languid charm, surrounded by beautiful riverine scenery. It’s well worth spending a day or two exploring the area on foot, quad or mountain bike. On the way you’ll pass vanilla plantations, wave-pounded beaches and the occasional chameleon on the side of the road – plus, of course, dozens of waving children.
From July to September there’s a good chance of seeing breeding and birthing humpbackwhales.
Maroantsetra’s climate is one of the wettest in Madagascar, with close to 3500mm of rain annually. May to September are the wettest months, although rain can fall at any time of year. The nearest good beach to Maroantsetra is Navana, which has a backdrop of virgin rainforest. It’s a 30-minute boat ride from town.