Sainte-Marie, known as Nosy Boraha, means the island of women. The island is surrounded by a coral reef, a turquoise lagoon and sandy beaches.
At its heart you will find a very dense vegetation, hills covered with vanilla and cocoa and rivers between the trees. A cosmopolitan island, Nosy Boraha has hosted pirates, fishermen, sailors and traders over the centuries, from the four corners of the world; Asia, Africa, the East and Europe.
Right next to Sainte-Marie, is the Ile aux Nattes, a small, divine island, where the beaches are endless. Its nature is ostentatious and promises pleasant walks. You must climb to the summit of the island. From here the view is magnificent. To the south of the island, you can also find many lemurs.
In Sainte-Marie you will find many different hotels and their prices are varied, from low-cost to high-quality.
Hiking, mountain biking and travelling by motorcycle are particularly pleasant on the island. Diving and snorkeling are offered by most hotels in Sainte-Marie and the Ile aux Nattes.
Whales! Even though the possibility of observing whales is offered almost everywhere in Madagascar, Sainte-Marie has put in place an efficient infrastructure to receive and direct tourists. The presence of the canal limits the space where the whales can splash about, thus making it more likely that you will see them here, especially between July and September.
For mountain biking trips or by motorcycle, be sure to check the tyres and adjust the brakes before leaving because the roads are not in good condition.
Do not leave too late a trip whether it be by mountain bike, motorcycle or on foot, as night falls quickly and the roads, which are not lit, are in very bad condition. The cyclone period (late December-early April) is to be avoided.
Sainte-Marie is known for its fish and delicious seafood.
You can bring back vanilla as a souvenir. The vanilla from Sainte-Marie is delicious.
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