The Emerald Sea

The Emerald Sea (French mer d’emeraude) is a paradisiac lagoon at the entry of Antsiranana (Diego Suarez) bay at the northernmost tip of Madagascar. The name traces back to the turquoise, crystal clear, shallow water of the lagoon. The lagoon has a length of approximately 12 kilometres and is only three kilometres broad. A large coral reef and several islands protect it from the rough waves of the Indian Ocean. In this place, the coral reef is largely untouched and thus a paradise for all kinds of fish, rays, sea cucumbers and sea turtles.

The beach of Ramena, where you can start your trip to the Emerald sea

From Diego Suarez or Ramena, you can organize a day trip to the Emerald Sea for small money. Depending on providers, you should expect prices of about 60.000 Ariary (about 15 $) for a whole day including the boat trip, lunch and drinks. The small wooden boats or pirogues with simple sails will drive you to the sea and cross the huge bay of Diego. You will stop at lonely, deserted beaches or sometimes directly on the islands of Antaly Be, Nosy Diego or Nosy Suarez. The boat trip to the Emerald Sea takes about one hour from Ramena or Diego. Usually, you have the beaches all to yourself, only very rarely you will meet other travellers here. The deeply turquoise coloured sea invites you to swim. The water has more than 25°C all over the year. And in most cases, you will get a delicious lunch with freshly caught and grilled fish, accompanied by the traditional Sakalava coconut rice.

Thanks to the steady east wind called Varatraza by the Malagasy people, the Emerald Sea is an insider tip for Kitesurfing. The neighbouring Sakalava Bay is even more famous for this sport. From June to September, which means the dry season, is the best wind for Kitesurfing. You can book trips including equipment from Babaomby peninsula or from Ramena. Even Scuba diving is possible – the Emerald Sea has an activity for everyone. Passionate anglers can learn line fishing from traditional fishermen, too. Just be sure to take enough sun cream with you, in the best case bring a lot of it. But then have fun and enjoy your day in paradise!

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