"Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and heaven was copied after Mauritius." Perhaps, Mark Twain was right. Mauritius is a heavenly place; a place where you can enjoy looking at the crystal clear waters, where you can wander through the soft white sand and above all, enjoy an exotic dish. There are many things unique to Mauritius, and if you are travelling to this beautiful island, you cannot afford to miss seeing these places. Here we have a list of things and places you should do or see in Africa's best destination:
1. Snorkel in the Waters of Blue Bay
Snorkelling with the turtles and having a close look at the coral reefs finds a place in everyone's bucket list. Mauritius, surrounded by coral reefs, is one of the best destinations for snorkelling. Situated in the Island's south-east corner, Blue Bay Marine Park is an excellent place for snorkelling due to its lesser depth and crystal clear waters. You can come across a variety of sub-ecosystems like algae gardens, seagrasses and coral reefs while diving into these waters. Pointe aux Piments beach on the northwestern coast of Mauritius is famous for sea turtles. Do not forget to take an underwater camera along with you; else you will miss out on a perfect underwater picture with beautiful turtles and angelfish. Flic en Flac, Ille aux Cerfs and Trou aux Biches are some of the most beautiful snorkelling destinations in Mauritius.
2. Discover the Dark Depths of Belle Mare
Exploring the world unknown to the human race is best possible through scuba diving. Being a volcanic Island, Mauritius offers an intriguing experience for adventurers. The unique underwater attractions like caves, arches and tunnels will take you to another level of happiness. Diving in the Belle Mare la Passe du Puits is a beautiful experience as you can come across sharks, barracudas, eagle rays and other stunning sea creatures. Tamarin Bay is also an excellent destination for scuba diving, as it has a diving centre which is very ideal for underwater exploration. Many agencies offer diving packages at affordable rates.
Underwater waterfalls might seem only a fairy tale thing. Well, in this Island nation, it is a reality. Captivating people from all over the world, this underwater waterfall is just an illusion. Located on the shores of Le Morne Brabant in the south-west of Mauritius, this illusion is the result of movement of sand and silt due to underwater currents. Helicopter sightseeing in this region unfolds a feast to your eyes as the view of this waterfall from the air is a real wonder. There are many helicopter tour packages available, which can also be customised according to your needs.
4. Surf in the 'Surfer's Beach'
Tamarin Beach, one of the best beaches in Mauritius, offers the best waves for surfing and beach-bathing. The beach acquired the title of surfer's beach' for the same reason. With its glittering turquoise water, the beach has an excellent view, and there are chances that you can meet a dolphin nearby! La Cuvette Beach Grand Bay, Mont Choisy Beach, Blue Bay Beach and Gris Gris Beach are some other beaches that offer excellent views for sea lovers.
5. Come Face-to-face with Dolphins and Whales
Such substantial marine mammals seem dangerous, yet watching them is going to be a breathtaking moment. There are some spots in this nation where you can encounter dolphins and whales. Swim along with dolphins and watch the whales pass by on the west coast of Mauritius. Humpback whales, species endemic to Mauritius can be observed between July and November when they move to warmer sea areas. There are many whale and dolphin watching excursions and tours with packages starting from $60.
6. Hike and Walk through the Pristine Forests of Black River Gorges Park
Enjoy the stunning views by walking in the Black River Gorges Park. The forest has amazing wildlife and indigenous forest types. Surrounded by hills, this forest is also a good place for hiking trails. The parking facility is available near the entry gates. The gates close at around 6 PM, so make sure that you come out of this 50 km long protected forest before this time. Some trail routes inside the forest lead you to different places like Parakeet, Mare aux Joncs waterfalls and Macchabee-Petrin. You can also hike to see impressive sites inside the forest.
7. Enjoy the Local Dishes and Cheap Snacks of Port Louis
Port Louis, the capital city, is known for markets selling cheap goods and local foods. Dholl pori, a street food, is known for its Indian origin. It is believed to be derived from Indian parantha. Rose-hill is the right place to eat the best Dholl pori. One must also try Victoria pineapples which are sweeter and more delicious than the rest of pineapples. The food of Mauritius is greatly influenced by Indians. Mauritius curry served with rice or bread taste similar to their Indian counterparts but have a different flavour altogether. One must also try the seafood, as the cuisine revolves around seafood itself. Lobsters, calamari and Capitaine, are a must try. Tomahto, the coconut cakes of Mauritius, is made from grated coconut and sugar. They are delicious cookies and are sold in all markets of Port Louis.
8. Taste the Tea of Boris Cheri
Boris Cheri is a town in Mauritius that hosts the tea plantations. The most famous tea brand also derived its name from this town. You can have a look at the tea factory, whereby you can see the tea processing unit. Besides, there is a museum and a restaurant where you can taste the tea without paying for it. You can directly buy from the factory. The landscape is breathtaking, and a visit during the winters will leave you relieved.
9. Surround Yourself in the Midst of Chamarel Waterfalls
One must look at the waterfalls in Mauritius to connect with Mother Nature. The Chamarel Waterfalls, the highest waterfalls of Mauritius, expose volcanic rocks that date back to millions of year. In the same place, you will also get to see Seven Coloured earth, which is a geological formation that exposes seven layers of rocks with different colours. Alexandra waterfalls offer another splendid view with lush green flora and vibrant fauna. Tamarind Falls offer you a chance to involve in some adventure activities like hiking and canyoning. It has seven simultaneous waterfalls, which will be a feast to the eyes.
10. Feel Blessed by Visiting Ganga Talao
Ganga Talao is a crater lake is Mauritius, which also hosts a Hindu temple. This place draws hundreds of pilgrims every year. People visit this place to enjoy the scenic beauty of the lake or to take a walk and play with the monkeys. Maha Shivaratri, the Island's most important Hindu festival is celebrated in the temple of Ganga Talao. Entry to this site is free, and there is ample parking space as well. The place is very sacred and is of cultural importance, as it resembles the harsh conditions sustained by Indian indentured labourers in Mauritius.
11. Shop on the Streets of Port Louis
You shouldn't miss shopping on the streets of Port Louis. Mauritius is known for its amazingly manufactured goods and handicrafts. Port Louis hosts approximately 100 small retail shops that sell Chinese clothing and herbs. Exotic fish, t-shirts, baskets and traditional handicrafts are also sold. Be it on a beach road or in the expensive malls; you cannot afford to not buy them as gifts for your people. There are some other markets, like Grand Bay, Goodlands and arsenal which also sell products at a lower price.
12. Navigate the Caves of Roche Noire
Located in Roche Noire, these caves appear as interconnected lava tubes on the surface. It is an amazing place to explore as it contains flowing water and various other rock formations. These caves have everything that is a feast to your eyes. You should not forget to take a guide along with you inside so that you don't miss some corners of these caves. A map near the entrance will give you an idea about the trails, with which you can easily reach the openings.
So many amazing places await your arrival. Why think more? Pack your backpacks now and have a splendid vacation!