Being a natural geographical volcanic outcrop, the island of Mauritius is home to more than just beaches and lagoons. The island boasts of a vast variety of unique natural topography including caves, waterfalls, and even volcanic craters! While Mauritius is renowned all over the world for being a tropical beach tourist destination, the entire island is not beaches and coastal land. Curepipe, one of the most famous residential cities in Mauritius is built on one of the island’s highest plateaus, and it is the only place in Mauritius where you can stand and look down into the crater of a volcano that used to be active till even recent times.
Into the Heart of a Volcano
The most popular tourist attraction of Curepipe, Trou Aux Cerfs is a dormant volcanic crater, where you can stand on the rim of the crater and look deep down into the pit of the now-dormant volcano. Back in the days, there were plenty of volcanoes on the island, but as of now, Trou Aux Cerfs is the only volcano that is not dead yet. Even though the volcano has been inactive for over hundreds of years, the fact that it is dormant means that it could potentially erupt again in the future. Trou Aux Cerfs stands at the height of over 600 metres, and with the depth of the crater being over 100 metres, peeking down from the top into the pit where now all you can see are trees and stagnant water, but imagining it once spewing molten-hot lava and ash is a rather thrilling experience. Unlike what you would expect from a standard volcanic terrain, the crater of Trou Aux Cerfs is surrounded by lush vegetation all around, including gigantic palm trees and indigenous plant species.
Trou Aux Cerfs is famous not just because of its inward view, but because of its outside view as well, because one look out towards the ocean gives you a panoramic 360 degree of the entire island and the miles of water surrounding it. The bowl of the crater is densely forested, and it is a favourite hangout for walkers and joggers, not just for tourists but the locals as well. The dense vegetation all around as well as the altitude makes the weather a little cold, so carrying along a light shawl or a jacket is recommended.