Nosy Be’s southernmost beach is one of the island’s most touristy, although not its best. Its popularity with foreign men of a certain age in search of young Malagasy love is what gave Nosy Be a bad name. Many travellers will feel uneasy about the sleazy atmosphere, particularly in bars and restaurants. That said, Ambatoloaka can be fun: the nightlife is good by Madagascan standards, and the village comes into its own on Sundays when locals come en masse to enjoy a day at the beach. A number of hotels have taken a very firm stand against sex tourism and their efforts deserve to be supported.
Ambatoloaka is snazzy small town, stretched along one long street, with most of the hotels, bars and restaurants clustered at the beach end. The beach itself, which becomes Madirokely at its northern end, is pretty, but the constant flow of touts, diving boats coming in and out, and noise from seafront establishments, means it’s not that relaxing; head north if that’s what you’re after.