The Emerald Sea, a piece of heaven on earth

October 5, 2020Niry Fidelis

Emerald Sea or Mer D’Emeraude (in French) is a lagoon located at the northernmost point of Madagascar that with its stunningly beautiful sea and striking colours never fails to amaze anyone.

Also thanks to the fact that there very few people visiting this part of the globe, this rare idyllic setting remains an unspoiled and peaceful place where you can truly see nature through different eyes.

Boat trip from ramena to d’emeraude sea

La Mer D’Emeraude (The Emerald Sea) has become a popular day trip destination for everyone heading to Diego Suarez (Antisiranana in Malagasy). The port of embarkation is Ramena Village (Plage de Ramena), a small beach town about 45 minutes by taxi from Diego Suarez.

The journey from Ramena to Mer D’Emeraude is a fairly easy one (when everything goes right) and only takes around 40 minutes. You are taken to cross the bay of Diego in small motor wooden sailing boats until you reach a small uninhabited island where you are served a traditional Malagasy lunch with freshly caught fish. You are then left a couple of hours to enjoy before going back to Ramena again. 

Here I want to clarify that when it comes to Africa, you should know that since their vehicles are very old, breakdowns happen often so a short journey could easily become longer and longer. Plus, in order to save petrol they tend to keep the engine off and this can lengthen the journey even more. 

The boats they use are too small and it could be a problem during a strong wind or high tide . This seems to often happen when returning to Ramena from Mer D’Emeraude at sunset and you’re pretty much guaranteed to get wet. 

Emerald Sea

La Mer D’Emeraude can be very rough between May and November when trade winds are strong. In this case your trip can last an hour and it is easy to get soaked and cold by the end of the trip. 

If you suffer from seasickness do check the boats first. I recommend using a bigger one (if available) which is certainly safer, but the departing boats that I saw were all small. 

Anyways, whatever happens Mer D’Emeraude is well worth the visit. Probably you will never see such a blinding beauty anywhere else. You can experience this unique spectacle only here in Mer D’Emeraude.

The Emerald sea, how much does it cost.

Emerald Sea

Depending on providers, the round trip from Ramena to Mer D’Emeraude costs around € 25.00 euros.

I paid less than that because I was staying in Ramena and I bought my ticket straight from the fishermen on the beach. If I’m not mistaken I paid 100.000 Ariary, which is about € 22.00.

It includes the Malagasy lunch with fresh caught fish and crabs along the way which is cooked by their women upon arrival to one of the Island of Mer D’Emeraude lagoons. You can’t even imagine how delicious that food is. It is money well spent. Believe me, you will never regret it. 

Emerald Sea

In short a standard round trip package From Diego to Mer D’Emeraude Isle includes: 

transport from Diego to Ramena (30 minutes) 

sailing from Ramena to La Mer d’Emeraude (45 minutes in a local sailing boat), 

three/four hours on an island 

lunch that includes alcoholic drinks.

A small note for your trip from ramena to d’emeraude sea.

Emerald Sea

In addition to the countless foreign tour operators (that rely on locals though) there are many local fishermen organizing this wooden boat trip to Mer D’Emeraude. It is easy to buy from them once at Ramena Beach. 

So, if you are on a budget or simply like to help the locals first you can directly hire a boat from the fishermen at the beach in Ramena. 

I would undoubtedly be for this choice. Madagascar needs your help like many other African countries and this small act would really mean a lot to them. Either way, know that sailings are always provided by the locals. 

Moreover, budget travelers must consider arranging their own transport to Ramena by taxi-brousse if they want to save money.

A bit about d’emeraude sea.

Emerald Sea

Mer D’Emeraude is a lagoon at the entrance of the bay of Diego Suarez which traces its name from the surprising turquoise crystal clear water due to its water’s shallow depth and its white sandy bottom.

With its average temperatures between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius it is a piece of heaven in Madagascar that you cannot not appreciate.

Once you are on board you can see the water turning slowly into an emerald green colour. It is truly a heavenly moment that you will never forget.

Based in Nosy Be? Then check this out ▶ From Nosy Be to Ankify by public ferry – Me With My Suitcase

Things to do in d’emeraude sea

Emerald Sea
Emerald Sea
Emerald Sea
boat trip to Mer D’Emeraude
boat trip to Mer D’Emeraude

First of all we must not underestimate that Emerald Sea can be visited all throughout the year and each season has its own irresistible fascination with endless activities for everyone’s wants and needs.

Snorkelling (equipment is normally included), traditional fishing, scuba diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, swimming, or laying down and sun bathing are just some examples. Mer D’Emeraude is a place where everything is organized to make a memorable day.

You won’t go wrong by choosing to do this trip in Madagascar.

My conclusions about the d’emeraude sea in madagascar

boat trip to Mer D’Emeraude

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A boat trip to Mer D’Emeraude is unmissable once in Diego Suarez.

Nowhere else in this world can you see such gorgeous awesomeness. It is really a piece of heaven on earth. Mer D’Emeraude is indeed one of the most spectacular and unspoiled spots on Earth that I’m proud and happy I have been able to witness.

Comments (16)

  • Lauren & Lottie

    October 26, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    Wow this looks and sounds amazing – Definitely a hidden gem! Thanks for sharing this great post ?

  • Ramya

    November 19, 2020 at 6:32 am

    Madagascar is beautiful, I have heard a lot about it. Though it is mostly untouched by tourists, yet one can see the raw beauty, cleanliness, powdery sand in your photographs. I liked the way you have specified everything, right from the big to the smallest details. Mer D’ looks like a must-visit place.


    November 19, 2020 at 1:22 pm

    wow! this Emerald Sea does seem like heaven on earth!! You are so lucky! 🙂 Are you planning to visit again?

    1. Me With My Suitcase

      November 21, 2020 at 7:21 am

      Sure! Would love to!

  • Claire

    November 19, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    I’ve never heard of this, so I like how it wasn’t flooded with tourist – although I suppose a lot of places aren’t seeing a lot of tourists right now – but thanks for sharing – looks beautiful!

  • Claire

    November 19, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve never heard of this, so I like how it wasn’t flooded with tourists – although I suppose a lot of places aren’t seeing a lot of tourists right now – but it does look quite beautiful!

  • Jiayi

    November 20, 2020 at 12:23 am

    This just makes me want to go to Madagascar even more! 🙂 Would love to go snorkeling in this place!

  • Kat

    November 20, 2020 at 6:21 am

    This place looks stunning! The colour of the water is stunning. I had no idea this existed, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Anuradha

    November 20, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Looks like a piece of paradise to me with pristine waters, less tourists around! The colours of the water are so giving me travel bug to pack my bags and visit Madagascar.

  • Jayati | Between Longitudes

    November 20, 2020 at 12:14 pm

    Wow! The color of water is mesmerizing! Haven’t heard of Emerald sea before. The boat trips and all the activities that can be done makes this place quite sought after. Glad to find that it is still unspoiled, though it has all the potential of being a hot tourist-spot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jacqueline

    November 20, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    This article makes me so happy but sad at the same time. I had planned to visit Madagascar before the COVID lockdowns, but of course things didn’t go that way this year. I actually didn’t know the beaches were this nice, I was mostly focused on wildlife, so this makes me extra excited to visit. How did you find the wifi in Madagascar overall?

    1. Me With My Suitcase

      November 21, 2020 at 7:19 am

      Hi Jacqueline, don’t worry we all are in the same boat! You will soon fly to Madagascar!
      About the WiFi, it works good in all the hotels but let me sugget you to buy a Malgasy sim card upon arrival so that you can stay always connected.

  • Agnes

    November 21, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Great tips for travelers planning a trip to Madagaskar. So practical, helpful advice, and perfect photos. I want to take a boat trip to the Emerald Sea. The color of the water is fabulous.

  • Mark and Chuck’s Adventures

    November 21, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Spectacular scenery! It looks like you sailed to another world, and the food looks incredible too. Looks like life’s perfect escape.

  • Aradhana

    November 22, 2020 at 5:37 am

    What a wonderful trip with such rustic, earthy experiences with the locals! Seems like the perfect holiday 🙂 The turquoise waters remind me of Havelock island, beautiful! 🙂

    1. Me With My Suitcase

      November 22, 2020 at 2:10 pm

      Hey girl! I have been to Havelock Island as well and it is of course beautiful but believe me, it has nothing to do with the Emerald sea in Madagascar.

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