Stunning beaches, striking volcanic mountains, delicious food and diverse culture makes Mauritius an Indian Ocean gem and well worth a visit. With so many attractions it hard to choose what to do, but my complete guide to Mauritius will point you in the right direction.

You can swim with dolphins and if you’re lucky enough, you might get nudged by a hawksbill turtle like I was! You can climb mountains, look for rare birds in the ebony trees and of course dive or snorkel. There is an abundance of outdoor activities that will appeal to everyone.

 

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Turtle

Luxury here is more affordable than you would think. The main tourist area is centred around the Grand Baie area in the north. The southern part of the island is more tropical and wilder in nature. The east coast has some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Black River Gorges and the rainforest are found in the mountainous interior.

 

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Mauritius

The Complete Guide To Mauritius

 

Have fun on the beach

Mauritius has a long coastline of around 330 km. It is an island paradise in so many ways. The beaches have beautiful sparkling  white sand; the water is a deep azure in colour and palm tree sway gently in the breeze.

There are any number of water sports to choose from and it is easy to hire equipment on the more popular beaches like Grand Baie, Belle Mare, Trou aux Biches and Pereybere. You can also rent snorkelling equipment and diving gear.

 

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Tropical paradise

 

Cruise

Take one of the many catamaran cruises.  Gabriel Island is famous for its unspoilt beaches and crystal clear water. Swimming out in the bay we were surrounded by turtles that surfed the waves and dived under us. It was the highlight of the trip.  Snorkelling is also a must here as this area is a marine reserve.

 

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Catamaran

 

Head to the Jungle

If you have had enough of the ocean make your way to the hills and the tropical forests. There are a number of awesome waterfalls throughout the island. Most of them are set in spectacular spots and the paths to reach them are not easy.

The Chamarel Waterfalls are one of the most popular island attractions. With a sheer vertical drop of around  100m, it is an impressive sight.

 

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Chamarel Falls

The seven coloured earths of chamarel

I had to include this in the complete guide to Mauritius but honestly, I was disappointed. I expected the area to be a riot of colour spread over a vast area, which was not the case. It is relatively small but is still worth a visit if you are in the area. The colours in the earth have developed naturally with the passing of time due to the tropical climate which has removed all the water-soluble elements of the earth leaving a reddish coloured oxide.

Oddly enough, if you mix all the different colours together they will eventually separate into layers. You can buy test tubes of the soil that shows the stripes quite well as a souvenir. The seven colours are: red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow.

 

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Chamarel Coloured Earth

 

Bois Cheri

Visit Bois Cheri a 250-hectare tea factory and museum about 12 km north of Riviere des Anguilles. Aim to go in the morning as most of the activity happens then. Don’t miss the tour and tea tasting in a beautiful pagoda styled restaurant on the top of the hill with spectacular views. I loved the vanilla tea. Any hint of vanilla now and I am right back, standing in the factory.

 

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Bois Cheri Tea Museum

 

Rhumerie de Chamarel

Also worth a visit is the Rhumerie de Chamarel  Even if you are not a rum drinker, and I must admit it’s not my favourite, it is still worth a visit either to do a tasting or lunch at the restaurant. The meal and the presentation were stunning and of course, it was accompanied by a number of delicious rum cocktails.

 

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Rum distillery at Chamarel Mauritius

 

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens

Also known as the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. If you love the thought of majestic trees and exotic spices then this is the place for you.  I was fascinated by the giant amazon lily pads. I kept looking for a frog, but sadly there were none to be seen. The Lotus flowers were in bloom and the wading birds were having a feast paddling around the pond that the lilies were growing in. It was very relaxing to just sit and watch them. Remember to take a hat and some water as it gets really hot strolling around.

 

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Amazon lily pads in Pamplemousses Gardens

 

Visit Ganga Talao

The lake is in a crater at Grand Bassin and is one of the most sacred places on the island for Hindus. A priest once dreamed that the lake was part of the holy Ganges River in India. Since then it has become a site of pilgrimage. It can get very busy over the weekend and religious holidays so you might like to check before you visit.

 

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Ganesha at the lake

 

Port Louis

Although Port Louis is a small capital city in some ways I was reminded of India. It was the noise, the traffic jams, the loud hooting and of course the smells of spicy food that brought back the memories for me.

 

Shopping

For all the shopaholics, and I  must admit to being one on occasion, head to the Cauden Waterfront in Port Louis. There are a myriad of shops and restaurants to satisfy your needs. You will find duty free shops, craft shops, designer labels, textiles and more. Look out for the small kiosks selling divine local fast food treats.

 

The Central Market

The Central Market is simply called the Bazaar Port Louis by the locals offers up a variety of fresh produce, souvenirs and street food snacks. Try as gâteaux piments (chilli cakes) or dhal puri(thin pancakes served with spicy sauce). I also like the pineapple doused with chilli, although it might sound strange, is delicious.

Be prepared to bargain. Like most markets in Asia, the price you start with is not what you end up paying.

 

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Central Market Port Louis Mauritius

 

When to visit

Although Mauritius can be a year-round destination there are definite seasons.

  • January – March: Cyclone season
  • February: Is the warmest month of the year
  • May – September: Dry, with temperatures around 24 degrees C, and evening temperatures of 18 degrees C. There is also less rain, and fewer mosquitos around.
  • June – August:  If you are a surfer, then this is the best time for you.
  • October – Easter:  High season. Days are sticky and hot. An ideal time to hit the beach. It is also the time for game fishing.
  • December – March: Great for diving as the waters are at their clearest.

 

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Sunset in paradise

 

Where to stay

There is accommodation available to suit all budgets.

On this visit, we rented a villa. It was fabulous and had everything we needed. It was a short walk to the beach, and about a 10 minute walk to Grand Baie. It was a pleasure to be close to the action, but also to be in a wonderfully tranquil space. Christophe, the owner, was extremely helpful and a pleasure to deal with.

 

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Navani Villas Mauritius

 

Eating in Grand Baie

La Rougaille Creole

This restaurant is tucked away, in a busy little street, just off the main drag in Grand Baie. The food was fabulous being a wonderful fusion of flavours as well as some stunning seafood. More details and reviews can be found on Tripadvisor 

The Happy Rajah

If you love Indian curry then you must visit this restaurant. You can choose from authentic Indian styled curry as well as local versions. It is in a shopping complex, about a block and a half back from the main road in Grand Baie. There is another branch in Phoenix.

Le Capitaine

For something a bit more special this is the place to go.  We had a fabulous modern lunch which was beautifully presented. The views over the ocean were sublime.

 

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Line fish at Le Capitaine Grande Baie

 

Currency 

Mauritian Rupee (MUR). Obviously, currency fluctuates. ATMs are found all over the island and can be used to withdraw cash. At the time of writing 1 US$ = 35.5 rupees, and 1 € = 37.8 rupees

Discover: City Guides

Top Tips

  • Draw/change some money at the airport on arrival.You will get the exchange rates here.
  • When visiting religious places ladies remember that you need to cover up. I usually carry a sarong.

Have you been persuaded that Mauritius is paradise?  Once you are there, like my husband, you won’t want to leave.

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Ultimate guide to Mauritius
Mauritius: the complete guide to paradise - #mauritius #islands #beach #travel #travelblogger #foodie #restaurants #sailing #rum #tea #thingstodo #sightseeing #africa #market #shopping #diving #snorkel #hiking #nature #whattosee #travelguide
The complete guide to Mauritius

 

 

 

29 COMMENTS

  1. wow – you had me at swimming with the dolphins and being nudged by a turtle! Mauritias wasn’t on my travel list but now that I’ve read this I think I will be adding it very soon.

  2. Mauritius is a small island but rich in nature and things to see. I would love to visit this place and enjoy its tranquility. Those amazon lily pads are quite huge or is it just the picture since it’s zoomed? Hope to see more photos of places of the beautiful Mauritius in this post. 🙂

    • No they really are huge and quite amazing to see. I guess each of these leaves was at least 1.5m in size and I believe that they can get even bigger.

  3. This looks gorgeous, I’ve always thought of Mauritius as being really expensive but if it can be done affordably I definitely would love to go one day.

    • The packages are really expensive, but there are loads of more affordable options if you just dig around a bit.

  4. I’ve never heard of Mauritius before but it’s definitely on my list now! I love how you wrote out the travel seasons for the island!

  5. I loved the giant amazon lily pads…a frog on it would have been epic :). Mauritius seems like a great place to spend a vacation in.

  6. Wow Mauritius is truly a dream destination. I would love to swim with the dolphins and go on a cruise And would definitely want to visit that rum distillery!

  7. It’s my first time to hear about Mauritius. It seems that there’s a lot of things to do there. It’s good that you found a great villa to stay. I’m just wondering, is there a place where you can rent their traditional costume?

    • Karla, I am sorry I have no idea about the national costume, but the sega dancers were a very simple outfit that I am sure you could buy in any of the markets.

  8. you have written quiet a comprehensive guide here for visiting mauritius. I have bookmarked it. I like the way you have put in all the details including when to visit as per one’s preference, where to stay, what to eat and all the other details required to make for a smooth trip. Thank you!

  9. I’d love to go to Mauritius! You have made the pl ning easier because of your tips. I wish I could travel more to farther places like this. The culture is very different yet offers same natural wonders to see!

  10. Aesome information, I wonder if the seven colors are different or brighter at different times of the year?? We have always wanted to go to Mauritius, and we will!!

  11. Mauritius is a dream destination for me. I hope one day I can afford to go there as it’s almost perfection personified. I’ll probably come back with my phone out of memory space 😂

    I’m surprised you can get good exchange rates if you buy rupees at the airport once arrived rather than buying/changing beforehand (IIRC)

  12. Mauritius seems such a beautiful place to visit! I would definitely look forward to planning a visit there! You have amazingly structured this article and I have saved it for when the time comes to visit Mauritius. Stunning pictures!

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