Holidaying in Mauritius doesn’t only mean to bask in the sun on the talcum-white beach, or swim in the turquoise sea or drink fresh coconut water. Though being usually lauded as the honeymoon destination, Mauritius has more to offer in terms of its wild rugged terrains, where who would find lush gorges, meandering rivers, and spellbinding waterfalls, especially in its southern coast. But there’s also its cultural side, where the locals come from different cultural backgrounds made up of Afro-, Indo-, Franco-, and Sino-Mauritians. So you might expect to witness a cultural festival while on vacation (mostly occurs in the first three months of the year). And if you’re a bit confused about what to do in Mauritius, then find our list of things to do in Mauritius below:
Visiting the Cultural Capital of Mauritius- Port Louis
The 18th century capital of Mauritius was founded by Mahé de La Bourdonnais (a French governor) in the north-western part of Mauritius. It is the mecca of commercial activities, historical and cultural sites, including an eclectic range of scrumptious street food to tease your taste buds. Being the largest city in the island Port-Louis or ‘Porlwi’ has an elevated temperature especially during summer seasons (November – April). The capital city offers avid travelers with a holistic experience that will ignite all the senses. Consider these amazing spots to stop by during your trip on the island:
Central Market- Port- Louis
Experience a local cultural tour by visiting the Central Market located at the Farquhar street of Port Louis. Here you will come across some enticing local products such as handicrafts, jewelries, souvenirs, tropical fruits, fresh vegetables, spices, herbs, and medicinal plants. Find your way to the food section where you will have the opportunity to taste the local delicacies such as dhal puri (flatbread with curries), roti, gateaux piment, samosa, and chilled drinks such as alouda with ice cream.
Tips: To avoid the high temperature it is better to visit the market before noon. Though it is safe, it is always better to be cautious when you carry your purse.
Caudan Waterfront- Port Louis
Aapravasi Ghat- Port Louis
The Aapravasi Ghat is a historical landmark, a designated World Heritage Site, where the ‘Great Experiment’ took place. It is this very place where immigrants from India, China, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and Eastern Africa landed for the first time. These immigrants were the reason for the fast economic growth of the island since they devoted their time into working as indentured laborers in the sugarcane fields, merchants and farmers.
At the site, there is the Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre (BRIC) which displays some magnificent artifacts, including a replica of the ship which transported the immigrants from overseas. The Aapravasi Ghat is located on the Bay of Trou Fanfaron close to the bus terminal of Port Louis.
China Town – Port Louis
The diverse population of Mauritius consists of 3% of Sino-Mauritians (Chinese descendants) and has formed a crucial component of the ethnic groups of the island. The first Chinese immigrants are believed to land Mauritius in the 1820s from the Kwang Tong province (southeastern part of China), and Honan (central China). This led to the creation of a small Chinese community in the area of China Town. While strolling in this part of the capital, you will find some glimpses of the Chinese culture depicting through the street plates (written in Cantonese), traditional Chinese medicines, street food, mural paintings, grocery stores and many more.
Grand Bassin-The Holy Lake of Mauritius
If you are in search of a cultural experience and curious to know about the Hindu pantheon, then you should definitely head to the holy lake of the island-Ganga Talao at Grand Bassin in the Savanne district. This crater lake is about 550 meters above the sea level with a depth of around 18 meters. The lake is abundant with marine life such as fish and eels. There are Hindu temples dedicated to various statues of the Hindu divinities such as Ganesh, Krishna, and Buddha. At the entrance of the sacred place, there is a huge statue of Goddess Durga and Lord Shiva.
Note: It is prohibited to fish in the lake
Fun activities at the beach- Mauritius
This tiny island is definitely known for its sublime beaches fringed by casuarina trees-the island idyll for your summer vacation. Thanks to its volcanic origin, Mauritius is bestowed by magnificent coral reefs, thus providing perfect conditions for swimming, snorkeling, or diving. The northern beaches (Pereybere beach, La Cuvette, Mont Choisy, and Trou aux Biches) are ideal spots for swimming, parasailing, kayaking, water tube ride, or glass bottom. There’s also windsurfing spot at the Belle Mare beach, and if you wish to explore the rich biodiversity of the marine ecosystem then the Blue Bay marine park is your next bet. The Tamarin beach which is situated in the western part of the island is a hotspot for surfers.
Note: There are no nudist beaches in Mauritius. The water can be slightly cold during the winter seasons (May-October) especially when it gets breezy.
Hiking in Mauritius
Hiking in Mauritius is a fun way to explore the rustic side of the island and provides a good excuse to connect yourself with nature. You can tread slowly, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the magnificent views and experience the other side of Mauritius. Discover the off-beaten tracks, spellbinding waterfalls, and deep lush green gorges as you hike along your way. The island offers numerous hiking trails ranging from easy, moderate to the challenging ones. The famous hiking trails are Black River National Park (several hiking trails such as Cascade 500 Pieds, or Mare aux Joncs), Le Morne Brabant, and Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, just to name a few…
Quad Bike in Mauritius
Visiting incredible waterfalls of Mauritius
One of the iconic waterfalls of Mauritius-the Rochester Falls was featured in many Bollywood movies due to its peculiar rock formations hidden under the waterfalls. The site is a rough terrain completely lost in the wilderness and surrounded by trees and bushes. Located in the southernmost part of the island just some 2.5 kilometers away from Souillac, the waterfall has a wonderful waterhole for some refreshing plunges during the summer time. Though, you might not want to swim during the rainy seasons (February & March) since the water gets pretty muddy.
Eau Bleue Waterfalls
The Eau Bleue waterfall has now become one of the iconic waterfalls of Mauritius due to many instagrammers and facebookers. Renowned for its turquoise blue water which is supplied by underground water springs, Eau Bleue is composed of five spellbinding waterfalls ranging from 8 to 15 meters blessed with scenic surroundings. This surreal sanctuary is nestled in a pristine and isolated area in the south-east of Mauritius (at Cluny).
Underwater Waterfall- Mauritius
The volcanic island is gifted with amazing geological features, including geological phenomenon such as the illusory underwater waterfalls just off the coast of the Le Morne Peninsula. From a bird’s eye view, it seems that there is an underwater waterfall, unfortunately, it is not the case. It is due to the run-off of the sand and the silt on the ocean floor which give the impression of a-pouring-down-waterfall. To witness this scenic view you can opt for a seaplane tour.
Eco-Tour at Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve
Leisure stroll at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
Visit the 18th-century botanical garden in Pamplemousses, where history combines with botany-a sprawling garden of 37 hectares consisting of a huge pond filled with giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies, a spice garden, and the historical house of Mahe de Labourdonais.
Exciting watersports at Ile aux Cerfs Island