Mauritius is a small, lost paradise, spanning 1865 km² in the middle of the Indian Ocean. It attracts numerous tourists annually with its beauty, extraordinary landscapes, and pleasant tropical climate. Its isolation and climate have fostered a unique ecosystem, offering a true change of scenery. If you’re fortunate enough to stay on this beautiful island, flanked by Reunion Island to the west and Rodrigues Island to the east, here are six must-visit places:
The Grand Bassin
This lake, formed in an ancient volcanic crater, is a gem. Nestled in the mountainous Savanne district, it’s the most sacred Hindu site in Mauritius. A temple dedicated to the goddess Shiva stands here, believed by locals to contain holy waters from the Ganges. During the Maha Shivaratri festival, Mauritian pilgrims trek barefoot from their homes to this sacred lake for meditation and prayer. A towering Shiva statue overlooks the area, revered by all and creating an atmosphere that immerses visitors in the heart of Hindu and Mauritian culture.
The Vanilla Reserve of the Mascarene Islands
This zoological park in the island’s south lets families explore new animal and plant species. The park’s highlight is the Nile Crocodile, but it also features iguanas, caimans, giant tortoises, monkeys, and mongooses, along with a vast collection of 20,000 insect species, one of the world’s largest private insect collections. After touring, visitors can even sample crocodile meat in a specialty restaurant. Will you give it a try?
The Chamarel Plain
This plain boasts charming natural spots, including the must-see Seven Colored Earths, multicolored earth dunes formed by volcanic ash erosion and temperature fluctuations. Nearby, the 100-meter Chamarel Waterfall offers a stunning panorama and swimming opportunities.
Le Morne Brabant
In the southwest, Le Morne, a peninsular mountain near the coast, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It symbolizes a significant chapter in Mauritian history. In the 17th and 18th centuries, during colonization, escaped slaves often sought refuge here. Thus, Le Morne symbolizes the island’s anti-slavery struggle. Its location provides breathtaking views of the surrounding lagoon.
Île aux Cerfs
In the east, this large islet is known for its pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear, bluish waters. It’s an ideal spot for relaxation, with activities like parasailing, golf, and water sports to enjoy amidst its stunning natural beauty.
The Black River Gorges National Park
Covering over 6574 hectares, this park preserves Mauritius’s endemic fauna and flora, accounting for 3.5% of the islet’s ecosystem. It’s home to more than 300 plant species and rare birds like the Pink Pigeon. The park offers numerous hiking trails leading to attractions like the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire, Cocotte mountain panoramas, and various waterfalls, gorges, and peaks.