When to Travel to Mauritius
Mauritius can be expensive, yes, but only if you travel during the peak season which is from May to October. The pleasant temperature during these months makes it an ideal time for a holiday. However, for budget travellers, the trick is to travel to Mauritius during the low season which is September to November and then March to May. The weather becomes a bit hot and humid compared to other months of the year. From January to March, travelling to Mauritius can become a bit dicey as Mauritius is occasionally hit by cyclones, but if you travel during the low season, you can easily cover Mauritius on Budget.
Getting to Mauritius on a Budget
Flying to Mauritius can be expensive but like always, there are ways in which you can save on flights as well. While searching for flights, if tickets to and from your city turn out to be expensive, then try booking roundtrips to Seychelles, Madagascar or Reunion. From any of these cities, you can book another roundtrip to Mauritius by Air Mauritius, Air Austral or Air Seychelles. These destinations are among the cheapest options.
Note: For cheaper rates, you can subscribe to newsletters from Mauritian airlines like Air Mauritius and Air Seychelles so that you know about the flash sales and book tickets immediately.
Getting Around Mauritius on a BudgetWhile tour agencies do offer easy transfers between resorts and places of attraction in Mauritius, they can often very pricey. Also, taxis are not at all pocket-friendly in Mauritius. Not only that, they are extremely time-consuming due to the winding mountain roads in Mauritius. The only way you can enjoy most of Mauritius, even on a budget is travelling by public transport.
The island's bus network connects all the major attraction in Mauritius and is also extremely affordable. However, one major disadvantage is that the bus service shuts down by early evening. So, if you want to travel around till late in the night, you should consider other options like scooters and bicycles which are also easily available and cheap as well.
There is no train service so bus and bicycles are the cheapest options. If you plan on covering too many tourist attractions in a day, then hiring a car is worth it. Avoid hiring cars on a weekly deal as it becomes a waste of money. One-day rentals can be really cost-effective as well as hassle-free.
What to Eat in Mauritius
- Mauritius has amazing fine-dine restaurants but for budget travellers, there are great options too!
- Alongside every beach in Mauritius, you can easily find take-away food stalls and food-trucks which serve lip-smacking local cuisines at extremely cheap rates. This saves money and at the same time is a great way to discover the Mauritian culinary culture which is a great amalgamation of African, Chinese, Indian and Malay influences.
- Baked baguettes, deep-fried samosas, manioc goujons and "Dhal puri" are a few Mauritian specialities you can try at any street stall. Also do not forget to try the local Creole cuisine, served in an authentic way at all food shacks in Mauritius.
- Another place to find great cheap food are the local supermarkets. You can buy veggies and meat at cheap rates and then cook them yourself if you have access to a kitchen. This way you can save loads of money.
Budget-Friendly Stay Options in MauritiusMauritius has an array of accommodations for every type of traveller so you can easily choose the kind of accommodation you wish to book, according to your pockets. If you want to enjoy the luxuries of a resort, then keep an eye on the deals and travel during the low-season to avail them. But before booking hotels, make sure you keep in mind about the cost-effectiveness.
So, if you are someone who can have loads for breakfast and then skip lunch, you should try going for the half-board packages that most hotels offer- which includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner. But if you are someone who needs three meals a day, then try going only for accommodation and have meals outside the hotel like in some food shack-like we have already mentioned in the above section.
Note: Some hotels offer packages which include accommodation, meals, transport as well as tickets to major attractions. In such a situation, you can compare the ticket prices and see if the package costs you less. If so, then definitely book the hotel package. One last thing to keep in mind is the location of the hotel. If you plan on seeing the attractions in the south of the island only, then search for hotels in the southern part of the island so that you can save on high transport costs.
Top Free Things to Do in Mauritius
1. Visit Mauritius Beaches
Mauritius is undoubtedly famous for its scintillating beaches and luckily, there is no entry fee for accessing these beaches. You can simply relax on the beach, sunbathe, engage in water sports, lie down on the beach and what not!
Some of the most popular beaches in Mauritius are:
- Tamarin Beach
- Mont Choisy Beach
- Grand Bay Public Beach
- Blue Bay Beach
- Belle Mare Beach
2. Explore ChamarelThe village of Chamarel is located in quite an offbeat location in Mauritius. The beautiful rainbow coloured landscapes offer some great spots for natural photography so this is actually a great spot for photographers. Giant tortoises can also be spotted in Chamarel.
3. Visit Rochester Falls
Located in the south of Mauritius, near Souillac, the Rochester falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the archipelago and can be witnessed for free! This beautiful waterfall deserves to be captured by your lenses so do not forget to get your camera!
4. Visit Cap MalheureuxCap Malheureux literally translated to a Cape Misfortune, due to its history with shipwrecks. Located in the northern tip of the island, this fishing village offers mesmerizing views of Ile Ronde and you can spend a leisurely day just by observing the daily lives of the fishermen along with spectacular views.
5. Explore ChinatownYou can wander into the streets of China Town in Port Louis and get a look into the Chinese culture. The streets remain decorated throughout the year and there are plenty of restaurants and food stalls which offer lip-smacking Chinese delicacies. Other than that, there are regular street markets which offer fascinating Chinese items and a lot more.
6. Spend a Day at Ganga TalaoGanga Talao is located in the district of Savanne in Mauritius. On the shoreline of this crater lake, there is a Hindu temple with a shrine dedicated to different Hindu gods. You can spend a day here by praying or playing with the monkeys around, or simply sitting by the lake and enjoy a peaceful day.
7. Go Hiking Through Black River Gorges National Park
The protected Black River Gorges National Park offers a long 50km hiking trail and for those who love adventures, walking through the dense forest is surely going to give you some adrenaline rush!
8. Indulge in Spectacular Sports on the BeachWho does not love water sports? But these spots can be quite expensive in a busy tourist spot like Mauritius. So, if you are visiting Mauritius with tight pockets, then you have to resort to spectatorship on the beaches, but that can be a lot of fun too!
9. Explore the Lanes of Mauritius and Discover Local Art ScenesThere is nothing better than exploring a new country on foot. You get to know so much about the local cultures and their ways of life.
10. Enjoy Breathtaking Sunset
There is nothing like spending time just by watching a beautiful sunset, that too for free! There are numerous beaches in Mauritius which have free access. The top spots to see sunsets in Mauritius on a budget are:
- Flic en Flac beach
- La Preneuse
- Le Morne
- Trou Aux Biches