Top Things to Do in Mauritius
Top Things to Do in Mauritius
I came back recently from a one week trip to Mauritius and I’m completely in love with this tropical paradise island, so I want to share with you my Travel Guide with Top Things to Do in Mauritius.
Located in the middle of the Indian Ocean near Reunion and off the coast of Madagascar, Mauritius is the perfect destination for beach lovers but also for those looking for some adventurous natural landscapes and culture. I was amazed about how much Mauritius has to offer to visitors, from its famous beaches and lagoons; to natural parks with mountains, waterfalls and rainforests or cultural sites and temples.
Where to stay in Mauritius? There are different areas of the island where you can stay. All of them are beautiful and offer different experiences to visitors. In the north west coast of the island, Trou-aux-Biches and Grand Baie area are quite known for the white sand beaches and they are closer to Port Louis, Mauritius vibrant capital. Some of the best resorts are located in the east coast near Belle Mare area, not far away from Iles aux Cerfs, a small island with some of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. Last but not least, in the southwest coast of the island you will find Le Morne Peninsula near Black River Natural Park with the most stunning beaches and natural landscapes.
I decided to be located in Le Morne and I couldn’t be happier about my decision. Of course that I wanted to relax and enjoy the amazing beaches, but I also wanted to explore the island natural parks and rainforests, so Le Morne was the perfect choice. I stayed in Lux Le Morne, a beautiful resort located in an amazing beach with the best views to Le Morne mountain.
Once you select the place to stay in Mauritius, there are different options to explore the island. You can either book a tour with one of the many tour operators, rent a car or organise a day trip with a taxi. I booked a tour with a guide that took us to all the attractions we wanted to see and explained us everything about the history of the island and the places that we visited.
In this guide I will share a list of Top Things to Do in Mauritius based on my own experience.
Relax at the Beach
Probably one of the main reasons why you have decided to visit Mauritius is to enjoy the amazing Indian Ocean beaches. And I’m pretty sure that Mauritius will exceed your expectations.
Tropical white sand beaches with palm trees, warm pristine waters, stunning sunsets. This is what you will find in in this beautiful island.
There are many beaches to explore in Mauritius. Grand Baie, Trou aux Biches and Mont Choisy in the North; Belle Mare and Ile aux Cerfs in the East; Le Morne and Flic en Flac in the South West are considered amongst the best.
I spent most of my time in Le Morne beach which immediately climbed up to my top favourite beaches ever.
Explore Le Morne Brabant Peninsula
Le Morne Brabant is a peninsula at the southwest of Mauritius with some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the island. Its main highlight is Le Morne basaltic mountain with a summit of 556 meters above sea level, surrounded by a beautiful lagoon with turquoise pristine waters.
The cultural landscape of Le Morne is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it has also a strong historical importance as symbol of freedom and hope. The history associated to Le Morne is an exceptional testimony of resistance to slavery, as the mountain was used as a shelter and hiding place to runaway slaves in the 18th and early 19th centuries before slavery was finally abolished in 1835 under British rule.
Nowadays it is possible to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of Le Morne and to hike it to the summit. It is a 7km hiking journey that takes up to 4 hours and requires some level of experience, but the views to the surrounding nature and the beach are superb. I didn’t have a chance to do it, but I saw some picture and it looks really worth it.
But I did enjoy Le Morne Beach and the surrounding area of the Peninsula and I couldn’t recommend it more.
Another beautiful place to visit around Le Morne is Maconde Point, on the way to Baie du Cap. Stop by for the views to the rugged coastline and seascape views.
Visit Seven Coloured Earths in Chamarel
Seven Coloured Earths is one of the most unique places I’ve visited and you should definitely add it to your bucket list. It is located in the Seven Coloured Earth Geopark in Chamarel, a village in Black River District only half an hour away from Le Morne Peninsula.
This geological formation from volcanic origin is composed by sand of seven different colours (red, violet, brown, green, blue, purple and yellow). Surrounded by the jungle, this stunning site of rainbow-coloured sand is due to the decomposition of lava in clay minerals over thousands of years.
There is also a tortoise park with Aldabra giant tortoises that are originally from Seychelles. This is the second largest species of turquoises in the world and they can reach up to 1m in length and live more than 150 years.
Mauritius is also famous by its natural landscapes and waterfalls and it has breathtaking scenarios that will make you feel like you are inside Jurassic Park movie.
Probably the most known waterfall is located in Chamarel, in the Seven Coloured Earth Geopark. So it’s a great idea to combine both locations in the same visit. I love chasing waterfalls and Chamarel was probably the most amazing I’ve visited. Surrounded by a lush green landscape, the waterfall plunges 100m down against a scenic backdrop of rainforest and mountains. There is a viewpoint near the parking space where you can admire it, but the most amazing views are from a platform located a few hundred meters above and it only takes you a 5 minutes easy hiking to get there.
But there are many other waterfalls worth to explore like Cascade 500 Pieds, Alexandra Falls and Tamarid Falls in Black River Gorges National Park; La Vallee des Couleurs Waterfalls, another natural park in the south with many waterfalls; or Grand River South East Waterfall in the East of the Island.
Fly Over the Underwater Waterfall in Le Morne
At the southwest part of Mauritius near Le Morne, you can find one of the most spectacular natural phenomenons in the world, an underwater waterfall.
Only visible from the sky on a seaplane or helicopter ride, it is not actually a flowing waterfall under the ocean, but an optical illusion. It is caused by sand and silt on the ocean floor pushed by the underwater currents into the submarine plateau. But seen from the above, it looks like a giant underwater waterfall.
I saw many pictures of this incredible natural effect and it was in my list of things to do in Mauritius. But unfortunately in the day I had planned to see it, the weather conditions were not the best for the plane ride so I guess I have an extra reason to go back.
Go to Black River Gorges Natural Park
This is the largest protected forest area in Mauritius and it is located in the southwest side of the island, not far away from Le Morne Peninsula.
It is the perfect place to be closer to the nature in Mauritius and to see endangered species of animals and plants, admire beautiful waterfalls as Alexandra Falls and Tamarind Falls, or to hike in the 60 km of trails available in the park.
Explore Ancient Volcanos
Mauritius is an island with volcanic origin, so one of the main attraction in the island is Trou aux Cerfs, a dormant volcanic crater. Located near the town of Curepipe at 605m above sea level, this crater has a 300m diameter and 100m of depth.
It is believed that the volcano only erupted once and Trou aux Cerfs has not been active for the last 700 000 years.
It is worth to visit for the luxuriant green views and for the exciting opportunity to visit a dormant volcano crater.
Walk Around Port Louis
Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius and the main port of the island, constructed in 1735 by a French governor. It is now a vibrant city and the most populous one in Mauritius and it has become its economic and administrative centre.
In Port Louis you will walk around many colonial buildings and attractions that are part of the history of the island, like Fort Adelaide built by the British in 1835, the Municipal Theatre or the Government House.
If you go to Port Louis it is also worth to explore places like the Central Market or the Mauritius Chinatown to immerse yourself in the daily life of the city.
Get Lost in the Botanical Garden
Located in the North of the island near Port Louis in Pamplemousse district, the National Botanical Garden is one of the most visited attractions in the island.
Also known as Sir Seewoosagur Botanic, it opened more than 300 years ago as a private garden by the French governor of Mauritius and later became the national botanical garden.
It has more than 600 varieties of plants, 85 varieties of palm trees from different parts of the wold, a large spices garden and an iconic lake with giant water lilies which is one of the highlights of this park.
Visit Mauritius Temples
Even if Mauritius is well known by the beaches and natural landscapes, it has also many Hindu temples and religious sites that you can visit like Sagar Shiv Mandir, Sri Pasanna Venkatesware Temple or Sockalingum Meenatchee Ammen Kovil in Port Louis.
Ganga Talao near the Black River Gorges Natural Park, is considered one of the most sacred temples in Mauritius and I recommend to dedicate some time to visit it. According to the legends, the lake was formed when Shiva God spilt drops of water from the Ganges River in India.
Located in a crater lake 550 meters above sea level, this temple also known as Grand Bassim, has thousands of devotees and tourists visiting every year, especially during Maha Shivaratri festival in February and March.
In fact Grand Bassin is the largest natural lake in Mauritius and if you walk around this site you will see many temples and coloured statues of Hindu gods.
Do a Boat Trip to Ile Aux Cerfs
Being Mauritius an island with perfect beach destinations, there are plenty of choices of sea activities like diving and boat tours around the island.
There are many options that you can choose, from sailing catamaran cruises to swimming with dolphin tours or sunset boat experiences.
Amongst the most known boat tours in Mauritius is Ille aux Cerfs, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Located in the east side of Mauritius, this small and picturesque island is famous for the turquoise lagoon and white sand untouched beaches which are ideal for a day tour.
Chase the Most Beautiful Sunsets
I’m a sunset chaser and in Mauritius I admired some of the most beautiful sunsets ever. I stayed in the west coast of the island, which means I had the opportunity to see from the beach the sun going down into the Indian Ocean every day of my trip.
If you decide to stay in the east coast, you will be rewarded with beautiful sunrises by the sea.