The main attraction in this sleepy region is Nirvana d’Ambila, which faces the ferry crossing at the end of the Brickaville piste. The hotel enjoys a captivating location astride the barrier beach, with its canal dock on one side, the roaring ocean on the other, and barely 50m in between. The clean and basic bungalows, with private bathrooms and hot water, have all been renovated, and the atmospheric restaurant (breakfast Ar10,000, set menu Ar40,000) features lots of fresh seafood.
From the ferry crossing, it’s another 4km north along a sandy track to Ambila-Lemaitso, where you can inquire about boats heading up or down the canal. Less expensive but even simpler accommodation can be found at Tropicana. The most incongruous sight here is the two large French canal boats straight from the Canal du Midi, which are rented out for Ar250,000 per four hours, Ar750,000 per full day. Three days sailing to Tamatave (excluding food) costs Ar1 million.