Mauritius, a beautiful island nation located off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean, is a treasure. One of the most wonderful things about Mauritius is the size of the island. 40 miles long and 30 miles wide, it is easy to move around and do multiple activities. The island is surrounded by more than 100 miles of white sandy beaches, and the lagoons are protected from the open sea by the world’s third-largest coral reef.
Multicultural and full of biodiversity, there are a range of activities and sights to explore, whether that’s hiking through the many national forests, standing on top of the mountains, kitesurfing, or simply enjoying the sandy shores – there’s something for everyone. The Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority is inviting everyone to come and explore and experience the marvel of Mauritius. So, if you are planning Mauritius as your next getaway, read on to find out five things to do on your trip.
Five things to do
1) Visit Chamarel La Terre des Couleurs
Chamarel La Terre des Couleurs is a geopark located in south-western Mauritius, is home to the most stunning natural phenomenon – lunar rainbow dunes. Red, brown, purple, green, blue, yellow, and more, these sand dunes are extensive on this geopark but are natural formations with layers of different colours. The lower level boasts a garden full of vegetation native to Mauritius whilst the upper edge offers picturesque views of the surrounding tropical forest. The vast surrounding flora makes the colourful sand dunes look even brighter and all entwinned together make a spectacular picture. Further adding to your experience, you can explore the turtle park (one of the turtles is 92!), rest and refresh yourself at the restaurant and of course the souvenir shop cannot be missed.
Almost hidden away amongst the dense vegetation, the Chamarel Waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Mauritius standing at a brilliant 100m. A culmination of three distinct streams pouring into Saint Denis River, the Chamarel Waterfall is gorgeous.
Apart from enjoying picturesque views of the waterfall along your way to the Seven Coloured Earth Geopark’s 3km access road, there is also a trekking option to fully experience the Chamarel Waterfall. Though you’ll have to trek through the dense tropical forest for three hours, it will most definitely be worth it, as you swim in the oval pool at the bottom of the waterfall as the water rains down on you. The trek also includes the opportunity to learn more about the waterfall and its history, such as the landscape being formed by lavas of two different ages. So, if you love a bit of adventure and or history, the Chamarel Waterfall is a must.
For any rum enthusiasts, you’re in for a treat with La Rhumerie de Chamarel, which encompasses a distillery and agricultural plantation on an eco-friendly estate. Located in the south-west of Mauritius, La Rhumerie de Chamarel provides a holistic tourism experience as you are taken around the distillery and learn more about the rum making process. The distillery itself has been designed by Mauritian architect Maurice Giraud, creating a building that blends with its surroundings, finding a balance between nature and man-made architecture. If you’re wondering what type of rum exactly is produced at the distillery, there is something to tantalise everyone’s palates – single barrel rum, XO rum, vanilla rum, spices rum and VSOP rum. Whilst La Rhumerie de Chamarel produces a fantastic selection of the finest rums, the plantation is full of growing sugar cane alongside pineapples and other tropical fruits.
Ebony Forest is another way to immerse yourself into the tropics of Mauritius. With conservation at the core, they have planted 141,000 endemic and native plants, reintroduced Pink Pigeon and Echo Parakeet birds, created an ecology centre and more. They take saving endangered species, sustainability and educating everyone to a whole new level. There’s so much to do at Ebony Forest, from learning about native bird species, going on a hike or simply making memories by taking in the vastness of Ebony Forest. Activities to look forward to include:
- The Love tree
- Bird watching
- Drive through the forest
- Guided trek
- Sublime sundowner.
5) A Catamaran to Ile aux Cerfs
Take a day to travel to Ile aux Cerfs, an island located off the east coast of Mauritius, through a Catamaran cruise experience. A completely unique experience, the Catamaran departs from two locations – Blue Bay and Trou D’eau Douce. Both journeys include snorkelling inside Mauritius’ largest lagoon, where you’ll be able to swim amongst the corals and tropical fish.
Onboard the catamaran, you can enjoy a brilliant BBQ lunch a bar which serves everything from local rum to soft drinks. Ile aux Cerfs is somewhere you can do water sports, beach activities, restaurants and a golf course at a 5-star hotel. On the way, stop at The Grand River South East Waterfall in the longest river in Mauritius. This spectacular waterfall is close to the mouth and is accessible by a smaller boat. Look out for the cute monkeys who are resident near the waterfall.
Food in Mauritius
The country’s collage of cultures reflects in the delicious and diverse cuisine. For a small island, Mauritius has an exceptionally rich and varied food culture, infused with influences from its blend of inhabitants. Mauritius is blessed with fertile soil so native produce is sensational.
Lunch at Escale Créole – We experienced a memorable lunch at Escale Créole, a family run restaurant set in a tropical garden. The Creole cuisine is a real Mauritian experience with home made classics like Rougaille Saucisse (tender pork sausages), Cari Ourite à la papaya (octopus curry with green papaya), Vindaye Poisson (the classic dish but with mustard seeds, lemon and garlic) and Salmi Cerf (deer stew).
The quality of the ingredients is phenomenal and the style of cooking is so delicate and authentic. Marie-Christine and Majo (Mum and daughter) have created a gastronomic experience with exceptional value that will leave you with a lasting joyous memory of Mauritius. The vibe is happy and so relaxed. Escale Créole is open for lunch Monday-Friday and booking is essential. escalecreole.net
In a nutshell
Mauritius though a small island, is booming with activity and there is so much to learn and explore on and off the beach. By discovering this dreamy island, you can really feel the true essence of Mauritius.
To discover more about Mauritius, visit: mauritiusnow.com
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All imagery courtesy of Mauritius Now, unless stated otherwise. Leading image courtesy of Xavier Coiffic (Unsplash).