Well known among the locals for rustic, muted vibe, its pleasant weather and it's coffee plantations, Chamarel is a tiny hamlet hidden away amidst the mountains. While a trip to Mauritius is synonymous with beaches, if you're looking for a break from all the sun and the sand, then Chamarel is the perfect getaway for you.
Nestled among the western hills of Mauritius, Chamarel stands at an altitude of around 850 feet above sea level, which explains the breeze perpetually rustling when you visit Chamarel. Not only does the town boast of lush green vegetation and a picturesque landscape, but it is also very well-known for its spectacular eateries, and Chamarel's rum is renowned all over Mauritius for being one of the best liquors all over the island. Having one of the lowest populations in the entire country, Chamarel is a quaint, hilly town that is a refreshing alternative to the coastal plains of Mauritius.
Seven Coloured Earth
Chamarel is home to one of the unique geological formations all over the world - the Terres de 7 Couleurs, or the seven coloured earth. A fenced area with multicoloured dunes in seven different colours of violet, green, brown, red, yellow, purple and blue, the seven-coloured Earth is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Mauritius.
This trendy tourist hub is often the only reason why travellers make a pit stop at Chamarel in the first place. The entire formation is entirely natural and does have a scientific explanation behind it. The soil here is basically of volcanic origin, with the tropical weather conditions having washed out all water-soluble elements, leaving behind only compounds of aluminium and iron which are not capable of mixing.
So even if you take portions of two different-coloured Earth and try to mix them, they will not combine under any circumstances and will settle down into different layers eventually. Of course, you cannot test this out at the actual site, but the souvenir shop lets you buy test tubes and small samples of the multicoloured sand, where you can try it out.
A little away from the seven-coloured earth of Chamarel lies the Chamarel Waterfalls, an equally fascination tourist destination in Chamarel. Falling from an altitude of 272 feet, the Chamarel Waterfalls are formed from the St Dennis river flowing through the island that's surrounded by Black River Gorges Park.
There are several viewpoints all around the falls from where you can get a stunning panoramic view of Black River. You can also swim at the base from where the waterfall flows into a shallow pool.
The flow of the falls depends on the season – during the summer, the waterfall divides itself into two or three thin trickles which never join until they reach the basin, but during the monsoon (or after heavy rain), the waterfall gushes down as one single mighty stream.
Abseiling from the very top of the cliff face through the waterfall and down to the pool is a favourite water sports activity that many tourists choose to take part in a visit to the Chamarel waterfalls.
The town of Chamarel is famous for its rum, and a visit to the city is incomplete without a trip to the Rhumerie de Chamarel, the rum distillery of Chamarel that lets you go on a guided tour through the place, observing the entire process of rum-making, from start to finish, and participating in rum-tasting sessions as well.
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