Maroantsetra is a town on the north east coast of Madagascar overlooking Antongil Bay, which by its 60×30 kilometres area is the second largest bay in Madagascar. Maroantsetra is at the northern end of this bay.
The estimated population of the town and surrounding area is 22,503 (2005).
With an annual rainfall of about 5,000mm, Maroantsetra is perhaps the wettest town area in Madagascar. The surroundings have therefore developed a highly diverse and dense forests. The driest months are November and December.
Daily life is determined by agricultural cycles, such as the plantation, gathering, processing and trade of vanilla and other spices.
Hotels and restaurants
Hôtel du Centre (rooms & bungalows)
Tel: +261 (0)20 5772131
BP 61, 512 Maroantsetra
Reservations office in Maroantsetra map: https://goo.gl/maps/ETjwD
Tampolodge in Masoala map: https://goo.gl/maps/TD9rW
Tel: +261 (0)32 4271337 / +261 (0)34 3174797
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Hotel Antongil (8 rooms)
Maroa Hotel (6 bungalows)
La Pagode (7 bungalows)
How to get from Antananarivo to Maroantsetra
The easiest and surely qickest way to reach Maroantsetra is by plane. There is a domestic airport 8km from town. As Air Madagascar approaches Maroantsetra only ... times a week using a small plane, free seats are often sold out. Spontaneous travellers might have a problem obtaining a ticket.
Another option but surely not ideal for everyone is to go by private car or taxi-brousse. Although the RN2 from Antananarivo to Toamasina is in very good condition, the northern part of the RN5 running along the east coast is often impassable. The usually 2 days car journey between Toamasina and Maroantsetra can easily change into a 3-4 days adventure throughout the rainy season.
The third option is a combination of taxi-brousse and boat transfer. There are numerous taxi-brousses leaving Tana direction Toamasina in the early morning hours. For those who don't want to wait until the taxi-brousse is finally filled up with enough passengers or simply want to have a seat for themselves should go by Cotisse Transport. The ticket is slightly more expensive (24,000 Ariary in 2015), but the buses leave on time and have free Wifi. The Tana-Toamasina stretch takes between 6 and 8 hours. In Toamasina one can jump on a pousse-pousse to get to the Melissa Express office. Melissa Express offers boat services between Toamasina and Maroantsetra. As the boat goes only twice a week, one should not hesitate to buy one of the rare tickets (180,000 Ariary in 2015). The boat leaves from Soanierana Ivongo, a small town 163km north of Toamasina. The transfer to the boat takes about 4 hours and is included in the ticket price. A regular taxi-brousse costs (10,000 Ariary, 2015). From Soanierana Ivongo the boat leaves after midnight usually between 2am and 3am and arrives after a stop in Mananara about 8 hours later in Maroantsetra.
Guides located in Maroantsetra
- 5 days trek from Maroantsetra to Antalaha
- 7 days Maroantsetra Antalaha trek around the Masoala peninsula
- View all Maroantsetra photos