Diego Suarez is the main town north of Madagascar. It is a dreamy destination and offers a range of nautical and land activities, in an incredible and breathtaking setting. From beaches to imposing mountain massifs, you will discover a different setting at each stage of your journey. This will be an epic journey that will offer you a lot of memories!
The city of Diego Suarez, also called Antsiranana is the largest northern city of Madagascar. It is also the 3rd port of the island. It was for a long time the former French garrison, where the remains of colonization are still seen today. Diego-Suarez and its region are full of incredible landscapes – Ramena beach is the most glaring evidence. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, with miles of turquoise water and white sand bordering it. The region has many fishing villages and you will stare at the Amber and Ankarana Mountains as a background. You can’t miss the many other sites with grand landscapes that Diego-Suarez has to offer, like the red Tsingy or the Emerald Sea. An exceptional stay filled with flamboyant colors awaits for you!
Ramena is a small traditional fishing village with 3 km of white sandy beach along the coast, located about 20 km from Diego Suarez. There is a typical coral beach where you’ll be able to practice many nautical activities in a water exceeding 25°C. Ramena also offers more cultural visits in colonial fortifications and in Orangea, the former military camp now in ruins.
You can’t miss the area of Diego Suarez without admiring the sharp points in red colors called “red tsingy” – an amazing and surprising discovery through the mountains. It contains sandstone, marl, and limestone, and you’ll find the only sedimentary basin of the island at the foot of the eroded canyons.
The Ankarana natural reserve promises a spectacle of landscapes that are more incredible than the others. It was born under the sea a million years ago. Unique species have evolved there, adapting to the very dry climate and the darkness that reigns in the bottom of the tsingy cavities. You will see bats, lemurs, and crocodiles that all contribute to the natural ecosystem of the reserve.
The emerald sea is a site of supernatural beauty, thanks to its crystalline waters and blinding turquoise color. The shallow depth of water added to a very clear sandy bottom, gives off this particular color. This is why it is named, “The Emerald Sea.” Accessible by boat, you won’t miss a stop to sleep under the stars on the small virgin islands that are around it.
The Amber Mountain National Park culminates at 1475 meters, from Joffreville, which is 30km from Diego. You will find numerous species of lemurs, boas, and butterflies, in the midst of this flora. If you have a little luck, you’ll see the tuberous brookesia crouched in foliage. It’s the world’s smallest primate which is the size of a thimble.
The Diego-Suarez region offers many excursions to do. There is Ambilobe, which is a starting point to discover the Ankarana culture. In the heart of the Mahavavy Valley, you’ll discover the sugar cane plantations, the sacred waterfall and many viewpoints around the city. You will be able to explore the numerous bays which border the coasts of Diego Suarez and the island of Nosy Hara, offering a sublime setting. If you are more experienced, you can go trekking in the Montagne des Francais or the Windsor Castle, exposing monolith that can be seen from Diego Suarez.
Due to its diversity of landscapes, Diego Suarez offers many different activities. The climbing slopes of the bay offer a perfect playground for climbing enthusiasts. You can also enjoy many water sports like kayaking, scuba diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, fishing, etc. If you prefer more land-based activities, Diego Suarez offers many trekking tours as well as motorized raids (quads and motorbikes).