Located in the Indian Ocean, about 2,000 kilometers off the coast of Africa, is the alluring island nation of Mauritius. It was formerly a Dutch colony beginning in the 17th century, then French, and finally under British control until they gained independence in 1968. Due to this tumultuous but fascinating history, the island boasts a beautiful blend of different cultures.
Although I would not mind lounging all day by the pool at a luxurious hotel like Shangri-La Le Touessrok, there is so much more to explore around the island. These are my highlights of Mauritius and I recommend visiting each and every one of these incredible spots.
SEVEN COLOURED EARTHS:
The Seven Coloured Earths are a prominent tourist attraction in Mauritius and for good reason! During my visit, I took a day tour around the island and one of my favorite stops was Chamarel – a charming village with stunning natural landscapes. You must stop and admire this magnificent geological formation created by the decomposition of volcanic rock. Everything from its unique size, shape and color makes you think it is other worldly. I recommend visiting in the morning hours because the sun really brings out the most amazing colors.
Located in the same village as the Seven Coloured Earths, are the jaw dropping Chamarel Falls. The water falls over 300 feet along a vertical cliff and the spray of the fall rises to half the height of the fall itself! Abseiling is a popular water sport that can be organized here at the falls. This can certainly get your heart racing as you are plunging down the length of the fall, landing straight into a pool below. While I didn’t participate in this daring activity during my trip, it is still fun to observe!
TROU AUX CERFS:
It is not often that you come across a crater that was formed almost 2 million years ago! It was actually formed during the second phase of volcanic activity that created the island of Mauritius which is extremely interesting. This dormant volcano, also known as Murr’s Volcano, has a very well defined cone and crater that you can observe from the top of an embankment in Curepipe, Mauritius. Although it has been dormant for quite awhile, scientists believe it could become active at any time over the next thousand years. Luckily, that didn’t happen during my trip but it was still a beautiful photo spot!
If you are visiting Mauritius, chances are you will be in Port Louis at some point since most cruise ships depart from the capital city. The picturesque Caudan Waterfront is worth visiting for some fine dining and shopping. Besides the fabulous high end shops, I’d highly recommend visiting the popular Craft Market. The quality of souvenirs here are some of the best you will find on the island and include Mauritius glass, essential oils, and beautiful artwork.
Grand-Baie is a charming coastal village in Mauritius and a particular favorite of mine. You will find wonderful accommodation here as well as delicious restaurants and lively bars. However, the beautiful sandy beaches and coves are worth the visit alone. Grand-Baie Public Beach is a popular one, and I would also recommend the secluded La Cuvette.
Also known as the Grand Bassin, this is another beautiful landscape that should be on anyone’s Mauritius must-see list. It is essentially a crater lake that is situated in the heart of the island. This is considered to be the most scared Hindu place in Mauritius which is why you will find beautiful temples and towering statues of the gods. The impressive shrines are very elaborate and beautiful. One in particular is called Mangal Mahadev and is the third highest statue in the world of the god Shiva.
I was blown away by the rich culture and stunning natural landscape that I discovered in Mauritius. Whether you are a history buff or nature lover, there is something for everyone to see on this beautiful island.