La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park, Mauritius Overview
Mauritius is renowned for being one of the most aesthetically pleasing tourist destinations all around the world, and most of the credit for this title goes it to its long stretches of beautiful white beaches and its shimmering blue waters surrounding the island. However, Mauritius is a lot more than that. With its long history of colonisation, its plethora of dedicated historical monuments, as well as a few other enthralling tourist attractions that are unique to the island; Mauritius is an incredibly diverse tourist destination that has something to offer to every traveller, no matter what kind of holiday they’re looking for. Mauritius is home to plenty of tiny little towns that are well off the beaten tourist track but are beautiful places to visit regardless. One such town that boasts of being home to one of the unique geological formations all over the world is Chamarel, a tiny hamlet nestled amidst the western hills of Mauritius. Chamarel’s main tourist attraction is the La Vallee des Couleurs, which is one of the biggest tourist draws on this side of the island.
A Haven for Nature Lovers
One of the most intriguing tourist attractions in Mauritius, La Vallee des Couleurs is a nature park which is home to a variety of different natural attractions, the most famous of them being the 23 coloured earth. The 23 coloured earth was discovered as late as 1998, but its actual origin goes all the way back to when the Bassin Blanc volcanic eruption took place, millions of years ago. This magnificent spot is primarily a result of magma and lava from the volcanic eruption cooling and solidifying over the years. With the process of weathering of molten rock due to surface conditions altering the chemical as well as the mineral composition of the molten rock; thus giving birth to the myriad of colours one would be able to see today.
At first glance, the 23 coloured earth looks almost like someone has dipped a brush in a plethora of colours and painted the entire surface artificially. However, not even a single inch of the landscape has been artificially enhanced in any way, and the colours that you would be able to see today have stood witness to climatic changes over thousands of years, and still retained the same appearance.
The 23 coloured earth is a unique phenomenon that is unlike anything else you will find anywhere in the world, making it the main highlight of the La Vallee des Couleurs nature park. If you’re interested in knowing more about the scientific process behind the formation of the coloured earth, there is an exhibition room near the entrance to the park where you can test the various soil samples and see their composition for yourself.
Apart from the 23 Coloured Earth, the La Vallee des Couleurs is also home to a variety of fern gardens, which house a stellar collection of different plants and wild orchids, including the rare Banana Bouquet and the Trochetia. The La Vallee des Couleurs comprises not just of flora, but fauna as well, with the park being the habitat of various animals such as turtles and monkeys, along with rare Mauritian birds like the Pink pigeon and the Cateau Vert.
Other activities that tourists can enjoy at the La Vallee des Couleurs nature park include quad biking and ziplining, both of which are done under the supervision of trained professionals.
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Best Time To Visit La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park
The best time to visit the Terres de 7 Couleurs is during sunrise, as the fiery reds and oranges from the rising sun paint the entire landscape a vibrant shade of crimson. This makes the distinctly coloured dunes stand out even more, to the point where you will have difficulty believing that the formation in front of you is real and tangible, and not something straight out of a painting.
How to Reach La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park
The easiest way to reach the La Vallee des Couleurs is most definitely by hitching a ride on one of the several the public buses travelling between Port Louis and Chamarel at all hours of the day. Being only 50km away from each other, a bus will drop you off at the picturesque destination you have been dreaming about after a somewhat comfortable journey through the island in just over one hour. Private taxis, though more expensive, can also be hired to take you to the park as they are a comparatively faster and more accessible means of travel.