Mauritius. The 12 sights of the island.
Mauritius is a small island republic in the Indian Ocean. It lies 2,400 km from the southeast coast of Africa. Mauritius has become one of the most popular destinations for luxury tourism. It is known for its stunning beaches and natural attractions.
The island of Mauritius once rose to the surface due to volcanic eruptions. Now it rests on a dormant volcanic plateau.
An interesting fact – despite the volcanic origin of the island, there has not been a single eruption in the past 100,000 years.
The turquoise waters with unique flora and fauna have made the island a real magnet for tourists.
The white sandy beaches of Mauritius are protected from the ocean by the third-largest coral reef in the world.
On an area of 2040 km 2 there are dozens of beautiful beaches. In addition to the many tourist attractions there are wonderful attractions.
We will tell you about the 12 best attractions in Mauritius.
Located on the northwest coast of the island of Mauritius, the city of Port Louis is the capital of the island state. In addition, it is not only the capital but also the cultural center of Mauritius, the largest city and the largest port on the island.
The population of Port Louis is more than 150,000 people.
The city is very popular with tourists. In addition to its natural charm, Port Louis has attractions such as the Aapravasi Ghat building complex. The name means literally “immigrant terminal” in Hindi. It was one of the first buildings operating to send migrant workers from India throughout the British Empire.
More than 500,000 people passed through Aapravasi Ghat
China Town is a colorful slice of China in Mauritius.
China Town is one of the most impressive parts of the city.
In 1940, a large number of Chinese immigrants arrived in Mauritius. They started settling around the King’s Road in the heart of Port Louis. That’s how the Chinatown in Mauritius came to be.
The Field of Mars Hippodrome in Port Louis was inaugurated in 1812 making it the oldest in the southern hemisphere.
You’ll also find museums and numerous colonial monuments here.
Village of Chamarel
Chamarel is a picturesque village located in the south of Mauritius. Less than 1000 people live here. This makes it one of the least populated places on the island. Chamarel is known for its coffee plantations and natural attractions. All of this makes Chamarel a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
The highlight, of course, is the famous colored sands of Chamarel.
Right in the middle of the jungle you find such an amazing place
They are also called “the seven-colored sands. This interesting place strikes the imagination. Imagine, in the middle of green dense jungle opens space with colorful sands.
Find out more in our separate article about the Chamarel Sands.
The Chamarel Falls are no less attractive here.
The highest waterfall in Mauritius
This is, by the way, the most popular waterfall in the country. It is surrounded by lush greenery and is fed by the St. Door River. The height of the waterfall is almost 83 meters. Therefore, it is visible from afar.
An underwater waterfall of Mauritius
On the southwestern tip of the island, at Cape Le Morne, you will see the famous 3D natural effect. It is called the “Underwater Waterfall”. This sight is best seen from high up.
It seems that the water really rushes deep into the ocean
How nature created this unique place, and what it is, you will learn in our article about this Underwater Waterfall.
Belle Ombre is a coastal village located on the southernmost coast of Mauritius. It stretches from the interior hills to the turquoise lagoons of the Indian Ocean. Belle Ombre appeared in 1765. However, the rapid development of the village was in 1810 – 1833. At that time the Irish physician and botanist Charles Telfair contributed to the development of the region. His social, engineering and botanical innovations transformed the village.
Today, Belle Aubre has become one of the most popular tourist resorts in southern Mauritius. It mixes Old World charm with a chic new age tourist infrastructure.
The region has two 5-star hotels, several private villas, a beach club, a colonial house, a golf course and a restored former sugar mill. In addition, you’ll find Heritage Preserve here. And you will definitely love the World Of Seashells Museum. After all, it is the largest collection of seashells in Africa.
And that’s just a small part of the museum called World Of Seashells.
The village of Souillac is located on the southern tip of Mauritius. There are many attractions, which attract a large number of tourists every year.
Worth noting is the 30-meter waterfall Rochester.
Note the ledges of the waterfall. They are formed by ancient lava flows.
You will find it on the border of St. Aubin and Souillac villages. There is a bumpy road leading to the falls through sugarcane fields. There are almost no signs on the road. However, once you are here, you will not regret it. This beautiful waterfall falls from interesting columnar lava rocks.
Another attraction not to be missed is La Souffleur. It is a half-formed grotto on the side of a cliff.
At high tide or in a storm, the water bubbles up to 20 meters through a naturally formed opening.
Approximately the same phenomenon you can see in the famous Thor’s Well in the American state of Oregon.
Pereber is located near the northern tip of the island of Mauritius, between Cap Maleret and Grand Bay.
A great place for diving enthusiasts
The main attraction of Pereybere is its beach and diving centers. There are many dive centers here that offer tours with multilingual guides. This is a good opportunity even for novice divers to have a unique experience exploring the seabed filled with corals, turtles, octopus and colorful fish.
In addition to the beach and the many activities, there are several Hindu temples in Pereybere. Also worth noting here is the Mauritius Aquarium.
Curpipe is a beautiful small market town located on the Central Plateau of the island of Mauritius.
Although the island is known for its stunning beaches and lagoons, Curpipe has still become a tourist attraction. Even though it is inland, the town attracts tourists. Primarily because of its relatively cool weather and natural beauty. In addition, it is one of the highest points of the island (550 meters above sea level).
Culpipe is an ideal holiday destination for those who want to experience the natural greenery of the island of Mauritius
Attractions in the vicinity of Culpipe include Black River Gorge National Park, and several colonial-style buildings. Among them are the Carnegie Library and the Hôtel de Ville.
Cape Maleret is the northernmost point of the island of Mauritius.
This coastal fishing village is part of the Rivière du Rempard district. It offers spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and the islands off the coast of Mauritius.
Besides its scenic beauty, Cap Maleret is known for its red-roofed church.
The most photogenic church on the island of Mauritius
It is Notre-Dame-Axiliatrice, which is considered the most photographed church on the island. The red roof of the church against the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean has photographers enthralled.
Grand Bay is a coastal village that has become the most popular beach resort on the island of Mauritius. It is located on the northern tip of the island.
It is for such views that many tourists come here.
The beautiful blue water of Grand Bay beach attracts tourists from all over the globe. Here you will find a lot of entertainment for all tastes and wallets.
However, due to the fact that Grand Bay has become extremely spoiled by tourists, many are trying to find more peaceful places to relax.
Balaclava and Pointe aux Pimans
Balaclava and Pointe-aux-Pimen are two small settlements on the northwest coast of Mauritius. In recent years, they have become popular with tourists who want some privacy. There are beautiful beaches with white sand and casuarina trees.
The Rivulet Terre Rouge bird sanctuary is a short drive from Balaclava.
Pamplemousses is an area located in the northwest of the island of Mauritius. It is one of the most popular tourist areas of the island. There are more than 20 kilometers of coastline.
The main attractions of Pamplemousses include a botanical garden and a restored sugar mill museum.
The Pamplemus Botanical Garden opened to the public in 1771. This makes it the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere.
Pamplemus Botanic Garden.
The Sugar Mill Museum – also known as L’Aventure du Sucre – is an interactive museum. It introduces you to the history of one of the largest industries in Mauritius in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Flick-en-Flac is a coastal village located in the River Noir region. It boasts one of the longest and most beautiful white sand beaches in Mauritius.
It is the perfect place to enjoy a sunset on the Indian Ocean while sipping a cocktail at one of the many seaside restaurants or bars
If you’re traveling with your family, visit Casela Amusement Park. It is just one kilometer west of the village.
Mauritius: The 9 best attractions on the island
Mauritius, with attractions scattered throughout the territory, is very popular with vacationers. Because of its beautiful nature, hospitable locals and mild tropical climate, it is often called paradise on earth. But beaches and panoramas are not all that the island can boast. Besides them, there are many interesting architectural sites, museums and truly rare natural objects. Let’s mention just the main ones.
Le Morne Mountain Brabant
The photo of this landmark of the island of Mauritius adorns many tourist brochures. And there is nothing surprising in this, because it is one of its main symbols. It is on its slopes in the late 18th and early 19th centuries escaped slaves were hiding, so many people associate Le Morne Brabant with the history of slavery and human suffering.
There is a tragic moment associated with these events. When the slaves saw the law coming up to them, they were very frightened and began to jump down. None of the dead could have imagined that they had in fact received the good news that slavery had been abolished.
Le Morne Brabant is 556 meters high, so you can see it from just about anywhere. If you want to climb, use the services of an experienced guide. Despite the fact that special trails lead to the top, the way will not be easy (it is attributed to a medium degree of severity). Those who make the ascent will find a beautiful panorama, caves of runaway slaves and a metal cross mounted on the highest point. For more information about the attraction, see this page.
“Underwater Falls” is an impressive natural phenomenon located off the shores of the Le Morne-Braban Peninsula. From a bird’s eye view, it looks like a huge stream falling into a deep oceanic crevasse. In fact, it is just an optical illusion created by strong underwater currents, the movement of silt masses and the unusual topography of the Indian Ocean. Amplify the effect of transparent water, shimmering green, blue and white tones.
Despite the fact that the Underwater Waterfall is located near the shore, you can look at it only from above. And you have to do it at a certain angle, otherwise the illusion is immediately dispelled. To do this, go on a helicopter tour or climb to the top of Le Morne Brabant.
Neither from the ships nor from the coast Padun is not visible at all, so the sailors who sailed past this place for centuries, did not notice anything. Yes, you can sail to it by boat yourself and make sure that there is no hollow in the middle of the ocean. This fact is confirmed by numerous studies, which have shown that the depth of coastal waters is no more than 100 meters.
- Where is it: the southwestern edge of the island.
- Cost of the flight: about 4 thousand rupees per 1 person.
More details about this attraction are collected in this article.
Beaches of Mauritius
There are many beaches on the island, each one is good in its own way. There are both municipal recreation areas and wild places. The first are equipped near the popular hotels – they are cleaned daily, there are toilets, showers, changing cabins, cafes, parking, food trucks and other infrastructure. The wild ones don’t have that, but that’s where you can enjoy the natural surroundings to the fullest.
Almost the entire coastline of Mauritius is covered with white sand. Entrance to the water is smooth and very comfortable, the ocean is quiet and calm, protected by a wall of coral reefs. Typically, the coast has a strip of trees, which provides natural protection from the hot sun. The only drawback – in some places there are a lot of sea urchins, so without special shoes is impossible.
Of course, during your vacation you can not visit all the beaches on the island, so take note of at least the best of them. They are described here.
National Park “Seven-colored sands”.
Not sure what to see in Mauritius? We recommend visiting the Chamarel 7 Colored Earth Geopark, a unique natural site discovered in the mid-20th century.
In the distant past, an active volcano towered over the site. The ash, lava, and ore that erupted from its crater formed hills, and the basalt rocks colored them in seven different shades – yellow, blue, pink, purple, and more. Over time, the lava crumbled into grains that looked like sand. No matter how much you stir these particles together, they will still separate in color (even in spite of the wind and rain). The nature of this phenomenon has not yet been solved.
The best time to visit the colored dunes is at dawn, when the first sunlight hits the sand, they change color. In addition, the morning hours are not as hot as the daytime. True, some say that the live view of the spectacle looks less magical than the pictures on the Internet. But you can add to your collection of beautiful photos and buy a souvenir in the form of a bottle of sand. In order not to disturb the structure of sand dunes, for tourists is equipped with an observation deck.
Apart from the seven-color sands, there is another famous attraction in this geopark. It is about Chamarel, the highest waterfall of Mauritius, which reaches 100 meters in height. It falls from a basalt cliff into a large oval pool and flows down through a canyon fringed with forests.
You can look at this stunning spectacle from the observation deck – it is located at the access road on the left side.
The hike to the bottom of the waterfall takes about 3 hours. Tourists can even take a swim if they wish.
Other activities offered by the Seven Colored Sands National Park include a visit to an authentic coffee shop, shopping in a souvenir shop, and meeting the giant Seychelles turtles.
Location: Southwest Mauritius, Chamarel village (fenced area owned by a sugar cane company).
- October to May: 08:30 to 17:30;
- June to December: 08:30 to 17:00.
- Mondays off, but the park is open on holidays.
- Adults – 250 rupees;
- Children 5 to 12 years old – 150 rupees;
- Children under 4 years old are free.
Official website: www.chamarel7colouredearth.com.
Gorges de Rivière Noir National Park.
Looking at photos of Mauritius attractions in the brochures, you will surely notice the Black River Gorge. This is another park located in the southwestern part of the island and covers almost 7,000 hectares. And almost half of its territory belongs to the Maccabee Belle Ombre Biosphere Reserve.
Black River Gorge was created in 1994. Its main task is to preserve the island’s unique flora and fauna, as most of the island’s animals and plants are endemics (i.e. are not found anywhere else in the world). Deer, wild boars, monkeys, relict forests, black ebony, Seychelles maba, dodo tree, etc. live here in abundance.
There are forests, swamps, mountain rivers and waterfalls in the park. But the most visited sites of this place are considered:
- The Rivière-Noir area – you can see the Alexander Falls cascade from here;
- Piton de la Petit Peak – the highest point of Mauritius;
- Lake Grand Bassin – formed in the mouth of an extinct volcano;
- Plan Champagne Plain, the rainiest place on the island.
You can also see many other sites – Tamarin Gorge, Pitrin Plateau, Black River Canyon, Maccabi and Bris Fer Ranges. There are also science stations here, doing a variety of research.
The Gorges de Rivière Noir has four entrances, and there are 60 km of well-marked trails for tourists. The staff offers educational tours. The best period to visit the park is September to February. If you come here during this time, you will catch the flowering of trachetia, the national flower of Mauritius.
- Location: west of the island, Rivière-Noir district, near the town of Cuirpipe.
- Opening hours: Mon-Fri. – 08:00 to 15:15; Saturday from 08:00 to 11:00.
Nature and Recreation Park Kasela.
One of the most visited attractions in Mauritius occupies about 350 hectares and is divided into 5 zones – African safari, kingdom of raptors, thrill mountain, the world of events, as well as birds and attractions Pangia. This place is considered the best for families, so if you plan to see it on your own, book your tickets in advance.
In the tourist (i.e. developed) part of the park is equipped with a zoo. Here you can see the typical representatives of the island fauna and personally interact with tame lions or other felines. You have 2 options – enter the enclosure for 15 minutes and take a picture (600 rupees) or take a tour for 45 minutes (3500 rupees).
Safari tours are organized in the Casela wilderness. During the hour-long walk in a comfortable bus you will meet ostriches, zebras, cheetahs, peacocks, giant tortoises and other animals. If you want, the driver hands out the bread, which you can feed the local animals.
Other activities include bungee jumping, ziplining, and walking over the gorge on a suspension bridge. The park also has an observation deck – look for it on the map given at the entrance.
- Location: southwestern Mauritius.
- Opening hours: Thu. – Sat. – 09:00 to 17:00. December 25 and January 1 – days off, on other holidays the park is open.
- Cost to visit: 850 rupees.
- Website: https://caselaparks.com/
Ganga Talao Hindu Temple
What to see on your own in Mauritius? Be sure to go to the Shiva Temple, built on the shores of the sacred Ganga Talao Lake. This place is popular not only among pilgrims but also with ordinary tourists.
The roof of the temple complex is crowned by a statue of the famous Hindu god installed in 2007. It exactly replicates the Indian statue of Shiva on the lake Sursagar. The height of the monument is 33 meters, so it can be seen from the access road.
To go inside the temple, you need to take off your shoes. One is free to take pictures, as long as one does not make noise and behaves decently. Women at the entrance are offered a bandi (colored dot on the forehead), but it is very difficult to wash it off, so think twice. Around the lake and the sanctuary itself there are bollards for offerings to the gods – most often fruit. The greatest number of pilgrims is observed on the festival of Shiva. They come here to receive the blessing of the deity himself and to wash their feet in the waters of the sacred lake. For those who come on foot, a special road has been paved next to the highway.
- Location: south side of the island, near Black River Gorges Park.
- Admission is free.
Curious Corner of Chamarel Museum of Illusions
What to see in Mauritius when traveling with children? Visit the House of Illusions, located next to the seven-color Chamarel Land. “Curious Corner” includes more than 40 mazes, optical illusions, puzzle rooms and other interactive exhibits. These include an Ames room that changes a person’s height, a laser music studio that allows you to play your own color melody, a mirror tangle with light effects, an upside-down room and other unusual attractions for children and adults.
The authors of this project are Englishmen David Hartshorne, Paul Rose and Ed Gray. They say that the idea for such a museum came to them over a glass of rum. Whatever the case may be, it paid off – now the Curious Corner of Chamarel is one of the most visited museum complexes on the island. In addition to having fun, its halls also produce unusual photographs. There’s also a puzzle store, small bar and cafe on site.
- Location: Baie Du Cap Road 90402 Chamarel, Mauritius.
- Open Saturday and Sunday from 09:30 to 17:00.
- Cost to visit: adults 220 rupees, children 200 rupees.
Le Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis
Caudan is the waterfront in Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius, and one of the best places for shopping and strolling, named after the famous French figure. Beautiful architecture, many trendy boutiques and luxury restaurants, shopping malls with duty-free outlets, casinos, cinemas, swings, hotels – it is a true paradise for shoppers and those who want to have fun.
Most of the establishments are open 24/7, so life on Le Caudan Waterfront doesn’t stop for a minute. Curiously, some of the waterfront’s tourist attractions are occupied by historic buildings. For example, the Courtyard and Namaste Restaurant are in the first weather observatory, and the Blue Penny Museum is in the former Docks office.
It’s hard to believe, but just a few decades ago it was a regular dock and warehouse for the city’s port. Today there are such well-known establishments as the Mall of the same name, the Blue Penny Museum, and Flemingo and Madison’s Duty free stores selling candy, expensive alcohol, watches, jewelry, leather, and tobacco products.
The waterfront also has more affordable entertainment. From it, you can admire the Indian Ocean and see how the harbor works. Yachts, liners, and fishing boats regularly call in.
As evening falls, vocalists, dancers, mimes, musicians and other artists perform here. And along the promenade sit street artists, ready to paint your portrait at quite affordable prices.
It is worth noting that many of the museums and attractions of the island of Mauritius are either on the Codan itself, or on the adjacent streets. One such place is the Didus Art Gallery, founded in 2002. It has chain stores where you can buy painting accessories, mosaics, picture frames and furnishings.
Mauritius, the attractions of which are pleasing to the eye, offers an excellent holiday. It is an island that adults and children alike will love, and a look at the places to see first will make your vacation even more interesting.
All prices on the page are for December 2021.
Video: overview of Mauritius attractions with details, aerial shots of the island. Check it out for sure!
Author: Olga Musienko
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