Are you thinking about your next travel destination? Are you into culture, nature, and adventure? Mauritius might be your ideal destination whether you choose to come as a honeymooner, backpacker, or as a discerning holidaymaker. Besides, the sun, sun-soaked beaches, velvet blue sky, Mauritius has more to offer you. With its diverse population coming from different cultural backgrounds, the island has blended into a beautiful melting pot, thus giving birth to the Mauritian Creole. Consider the list below if you wish to discover the real Mauritius!
Visting 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
If you to get a bit into the history of the island then visit the Blue Penny Museum which has a collection of some rare stamps, including the blue penny and orange stamps dating 1847. Learn about the historical and cultural heritage of Port Louis, and discover the first edition of the famous ‘Paul et Virginie’ novel.
Aapravasi Ghat- Port Louis
Previously known as Coolie Ghat, the Aapravasi Ghat is a historical landmark of Mauritius as it was the first landing place of the immigrants coming from India, China, Southeast Asia, Madagascar and Eastern Africa. It is a protected World Heritage Site where the ‘Great Experiment’ took place. Indentured laborers were brought by the British colonial government in 1849, in order to work on the sugarcane plantation. 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 1820’s 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 which are written in Cantonese, traditional Chinese medicines, delicious street food, house decorations, mural paintings, grocery stores and many more. Do not miss the Chinese New Year, Dragon boat and Moon festival which are celebrated with much pomp.
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
Known for its sublime beaches fringed by verdant casuarina trees, Mauritius is indeed an ideal place to escape the bustling stressful life. The volcanic island is bestowed by magnificent coral reefs, thus providing a perfect condition for swimming, snorkeling, or diving. The northern beaches (Pereybere beach, La Cuvette, Mont Choisy, and Trou aux Biches) are ideal for swimming or doing some fun water activities such as parasailing, kayaking, water tube ride, or glass bottom. if you like some real fun adventures then try windsurfing at the Belle Mare beach, and if you wish to explore the rich biodiversity of the marine ecosystem then going to the Blue Bay marine park is just what you need to do. 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, where you can certainly connect yourself with nature. You can tread slowly, breathe the fresh air, enjoy the magnificent views and connect with the real 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, Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, Le Pouce Mountain, Sept Cascade (Tamarind Falls), Lion Mountain, and Pieter Both.
Quad Bike in Mauritius
Visiting incredible waterfalls of Mauritius
One of the iconic waterfalls of Mauritius is the Rochester Falls which has been featured in many 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. The waterfall is located in the southernmost part of the island just some 2.5 kilometers away from Souillac. You can swim in the refreshing water basin but avoid visiting the place during rainy seasons (February-March) since the water gets muddy and accessing the region becomes very challenging.
Eau Bleue Waterfalls
The Eau Bleue waterfall has now become one of the iconic waterfalls of Mauritius. The waterfall is renowned for its turquoise blue water which is supplied by underground water springs. The waterfall is nestled in a pristine, wild and isolated area south-east of Mauritius (at Cluny). There are five spellbinding waterfalls ranging from 8 to 15 meters blessed with scenic surroundings.
Underwater Waterfall- Mauritius
The volcanic island is gifted with some really amazing geological features, including geological phenomenon. The illusory underwater waterfalls is one of the breathtaking phenomena offering a surreal view 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 Pamplemouses, where you will get to learn the history combined with botany. The garden sprawls an area of 37 hectares consisting of a huge pond filled with giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies, varieties of palm trees, a spice garden, the historical house of Mahe de Labourdonais, and animals such as the stags and tortoises.
Exciting watersports at Ile aux Cerfs Island