There is a good paved road on the western side between the airport and the northern tip. The remaining roads are dirt, rock,or sand. All midrange and top-end hotels offer private transfers from the port and the airport.
To & From the Airport
The airport is at the southern tip of the island, 13km south of Ambodifotatra. A tuk-tuk costs Ar15,000.
Virtually every hotel and all kinds of other places have bikes of varying quality for hire. The going rate is from Ar20,000 per day. Once off the paved road you need a mountain bike.
Car & Motorcycle
- The whole food chain of motorised vehicles – including cars, buggies, quads, motorcycles and scooters – is available for hire.
- Quads cost Ar300,000 per day, including fuel and a guide; although pricey, they're a great way to get off the beaten track and operators have devised plenty of circuits to do just that.
- Much cheaper is a motorbike, which you can hire for Ar50,000 per day (fuel not included). This is a particularly good option to go to the Ampanihy Peninsula (via Ilampy).
- For those who wish to putt-putt along sealed surfaces, you can pick up a scooter from around Ar40,000 per day, which is a lot of fun. Virtually every hotel has scooters for hire; you'll also find them on the main road in Ambodifotatra.
- If you wish to travel in a group, you can hire a car and driver through any high-end hotel; negotiations start at Ar250,000 per day.
There are just a handful of taxis-brousses on Île Sainte Marie, which are unlikely to be much use to travellers. There is at least one departure per day from Ambodifotatra to the northern tip (Ar8,000, two hours), and one departure to the pirogue crossing for Île aux Nattes at the southern tip (Ar2,000, one hour).
Tuk tuks have become the default option for getting around Sainte Marie. They sit three (sometimes even four if the driver shares his seat) passengers; flag them anywhere on the road. Short trips will cost Ar2000 to Ar5000; longer trips, say from Ambodifotatra to the airport, the southern tip of the island or Loukintsy, cost Ar15,000 to Ar20,000.