Sun, sand, sea and all the island cliché is what you will experience during your time in this tropical paradise and yet, I urge you to go and see for yourself. And again, there is of course a lot more than white sand beaches, sun beds and turquoise waters that Mauritius has to offer. See for yourself the list of our top things that we did during our seven days in Mauritius.
THINGS TO DO IN MAURITIUS
DRIVE INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE
This was probably one of our favourite things that we did in Mauritius. Rented a car and simply drove around the country to wherever the roads led us and all while discovering hidden beaches, chatting up with the locals, stumbling upon charming nooks for a bite and a drink, taking in the rugged yet beautiful landscape, chasing the sun as it sets over the hills and getting lost in tall sugarcane fields.
Expect for the narrow lanes, almost no street lights in the dark and bumpy spots here and there; driving around the countryside away from the main towns was very peaceful and we did not experience any kind of traffic at all.
TRY DHAL PURI
There are a handful of street food options to try here and out of a bunch that we were well pleased to have indulged in, DHAL PURI was our favourite. It’s a couple of simple flour pancakes stuffed with ground lentils and served with chutneys, beans and a tomato based sauce.
You will find this popular Mauritian street food on almost every street corner. However, the most popular stall for this lip smacking snack is in the Central Market in Port Louis. You will find a number of stalls there, just head to the one with the longest queue.
SPEND A DAY IN PORT LOUIS
The country’s capital has a lot to offer other than just dhal puri. In Port Louis you with find a blend of cultural parade; from Indian to African to Chinese.
The town is so compact, you definitely won’t need more than a day to explore with a lot of time to spare for a sunset ride up Fort Adelaide for a spectacular view of the town nestled between green mountains and the Indian ocean and a local beer at one of the many restaurants by the waterfront, before it all shuts down after dark with only casinos open for business.
Things you can do and see in Port Louis:
Explore Central Market for souvenirs and street food.
Spectacular bird’s eye view of Port Louis from Fort Adelaide.
Learn more at the Natural History Museum.
Cocktails by the vibrant Le Caudan Waterfront.
More history at Blue Penny Museum.
EXPLORE THE CULTURE
Apart from street food and getting lost in the markets of Port louis, if you are looking for some distinct cultural impact in Mauritius, visit the Grand Basin also known as Ganga Talao.
This serene crater lake and the temple on the edge of this lake, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva is definitely worth it. Also, within the district standing tall are the the Hindu Goddess Durga‘s and Lord Shiva‘s 108ft statue. The Hindu locals here are firm believers of Lord Shiva and celebrate Maha Shiv Ratri- a hindu festival celebrating Lord shiva with all the pomp and glory.
INDULGE IN WATER ACTIVITIES
What’s better than getting off the land for some adrenalin rush and familiarising yourselves with the Mauritian waters. Other than taking a dip in the Indian Ocean there is a huge scope to experience a ton of amazing and unique water activities here. Some of our favourites are:
Sea Kart – A mix between riding a speed boat and a jet ski and so much more thrilling.
Snorkeling – Reefs are amazing here to experience the vibrant corals and swim with sea turtles.
Glass bottom boat – Incase getting in the water isn’t your thing and feed baguettes to stripey fishes.
Paragliding – To get a birds eye view of the Island.
Water Skiing – Skim along with the waters for an adrenaline high.
Kayaking – In the sea caves are an experience.
Wind Surfing – Again, waters is the south are the best and you will easily find company there.
Deep sea fishing – Catch your own dinner.
Dolphin and whale watching – A surreal experience watching these beauties in their natural habitat.
VISIT THE NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
CHAMAREL: A little village in the south west of the island is known for it’s unique natural attractions. This must be Mauritius’ most touristy spot and yet is worth visiting for the spectacular natural wonders like the seven coloured earth and Charamel waterfall.
BLACK RIVER GORGES NATIONAL PARK: It is a protected forest land with a spectacular view of the Indian Ocean on one side and Alexandra falls on the other.
TROU AUX CERFS: Just north of the Black Gorges national park is a dormant volcano where you can walk up the rim to find water at the bottom surrounded by lush forested slopes.
LE MORNE BRABANT PENINSULA: Le Morne is a must visit as turquoise water with rising plateaus from the beach, surrounded by reefs is one spectacular sight.
TAKE A CATAMARAN CRUISE
With postcard beaches and rugged yet vibrant landscape, touring the island from its waters is an amazing experience in itself. Swaying palm trees to spectacular reefs and not to mention the famous illusion of ‘underwater waterfall’ makes booking a cruise worth your visit.
This might be one of the most indulgent activity within this list, however, in case you consider it, there are various local catamaran cruise companies on the island varying from all day or overnight cruise to just four hour cruises.
WATCH THE SUNRISE/SUNSET FROM A BEACH
I know this was supposed to be a list of things to do beyond sun bathing and living it up resort style. However, I’d regret it if I didn’t mention it once.
Apart from all the above activities this might be one of the best things to find time for while in Mauritius. Just sit back and enjoy the moment with a coconut or a drink, as the sky busts into vibrant pinks and oranges from behind the scattered clouds while the sun comes up or goes down.
Belle mare is the best place to catch the sunrise and Le Morne for the sunsets.
OUR 7 DAYS ITINERARY
DAY 1: Arrive in Belle Mare
DAY 2: Explore Port Louis and drive around discovering hidden spots.
DAY 3: Spend day at the resort and water sports
DAY 4: More water sports and Port Louis in the evening
DAY 5: Grand Basin, Black River Gorges National Park and arrive in Le Morne
DAY 6: Kayaking and Sea karting in Le Morne
DAY 7: Explore Chamarel and Catamaran cruise at sunset.
We were there towards the end of June which falls under Mauritian winter. Humidity was low and evenings were a little chilly, especially when close to the sea.
Some locals that we came across mostly spoke French and some broken English.
Seafood is impeccable there.
Due to winter, not may tropical fruits were around. We were really looking forward to juicy pineapples.
Carry mosquito repellent if you enjoy evening strolls.
Avoid driving after dark into the fields or countryside as there are no street lights and the lanes are extremely narrow. If you have to then try and stick to the main roads.
Also, everything in the town shuts down after 6 pm except for casinos and a few restaurants.