Maroantsetra is the northernmost point of the so-called east coast. The region north of the 16th parallel is also called the Vanilla Coast of Madagascar. The city offers - besides record-breaking rainfall of over 4000cm/year - special predicates.
Firstly, Maroantsetra is the starting and ending point of the "Masoala trek" - 100 kilometers on foot through the peninsula of the same name. Apart from airplanes and occasional coastal ships, there is no other connection to the northern part of Madagascar!!!
The island of Nosy Mangabe, located not far from the city in the bay of Antongil, offers the opportunity to visit an almost untouched nature reserve. Without compromise, each visitor is accommodated in a tent under a wooden roof. Everybody has to take care of the food by himself. The garbage will be taken away again.
Black varis, aye-ayes, chameleons and flat-tailed geckos populate the idyllic island. On a night hike you will also get an insight into the life of nocturnal creatures - of which there is an almost infinite number on Madagascar!
In the Masoala National Park itself, several lodges, some of them very exclusive, invite you to stay - a not entirely cheap pleasure, admittedly.
However, if you want to get a deeper insight into the secrets of Masoala, you have to choose one of the mentioned accommodations. All of them are located near the east coast of the peninsula and can only be reached by motorboat from Maroantsetra. From here you can make excursions of any length into the national park under local and expert guidance.
Another top attraction of the area is the migration of humpback whales that come to the wide Antongil Bay every year from the beginning of August to the end of September - an incomparable experience!