If there is a mini paradise on earth, well it is here, on this island called Mauritius. It has all the facilities honeymooners can dream of and all the excitement holidaying groups and celebrities can crave for. Be it fun filled sun and sand outings on beaches and lagoons or just enjoying the beauty of nature , flora and fauna of natural rain forests or even parks and museums, monuments and shopping hubs, it’s all here. Giving a run down on some of the most popular and most visited places in and around this island you can chose and plan on your outing using the conducted tour option or hire a car and move around in your own time.
Top Tourist Attaractions in Mauritius are as below
1. Ile Aux Cerfs Island
Close to the main island of Mauritius to the East lies this beautiful island which has some very beautiful beaches and lagoons where you can swim in pristine clear water and snorkel to witness amazing marine life. The whole island is only about 100 hectares that was once home for deer as the name suggests, though the animal is rarely seen here now.
The facilities created on this little heaven on earth are world class and very popular among tourists who find it convenient to spend a whole day with not a single dull moment.
Reaching here is very convenient by either taking a speed boat or a catamaran or even yacht. On reaching here you can choose from various options of water sports or just relax in the restaurants of luxury hotels and even play some golf on an exclusive 18 whole course.
You may even opt for different types of cruises on the catamaran or speed boat rides which comprise full/half day tours and even helicopter flight trips.
The water sports include skiing, banana ride, the scooter ride or just glass bottom boat.
2. Chamarel Colored Earth
This is an amazing phenomenon which is unique and found only here, and attracts tourists from all over the world. It also has an amazingly high (100 m) water fall that is at its best between December and April when there is plenty of water.
What is really intriguing is the fact that in a relatively small area of sand dunes the sand displays distinct layers of seven different colors roughly the shades of red, brown, violet, green, blue, yellow and purple. The fascinating fact is that even if you mix the different colored sand in some water it will settle down in layers of its own color. Geologist attribute this phenomenon to the mineral composition of the sandy particles which comprise of pulverized iron and aluminum oxides that have different percentages of mix of the two metals with silicon melting in different shades of red, blue, cayenne, etc.
3. Casela World Of Adventure
This place lies at the south western region of Mauritius and infact is the main attraction for tourists as it presents more than a dozen exciting options for every age group. The entertainment never seems to end.
This extremely scenic nature park has a beautiful location near the Rampart Mountains and the diverse leisure activities available include safari tours, speedy rides on dusty tracks or on the metal road or a chopper flight over the forested high lands.
YOU CAN CHOOSE FROM THE FOLLOWING ADVENTURES WITH NATURE:-
A. Interaction With Lions
Face to face with the majestic lions is indeed an encounter you will not forget for life and infact will love to tell your folks and friends back home. This 15 minute meeting with the king of the jungle will cost INR 850 per person, age limit is 15 years and above with specific time slots of 09:30am, 11:30am, 01:30pm and 03:30pm.
B. Interaction With Tigers
Very similar to interaction with lions this is equally exciting but a bit more caution is to be observed as told to you by your guide. Deviating from the SOP could be dangerous. Here you need to pay INR 1000/- per person for the same 15 min and time slots are 09:30am, 11:30am, 01:30pm and 03:30pm.
(ii) Giraffes Feeding And Interaction With Rhinos : This too is for 15 minutes each and you can click selfies with these tall/bulky beasts. Whereas feeding the giraffe costs just INR 350/-per person, the Rhino interaction attracts a ticket of INR 2000 /- with a minimum of 2 and maximum 4 people per slot.
C. Walk with the Lions
This is where you get real close to this majestic cool beast, of course with the lion handlers by your side. You get to walk alongside the lions and even pet them apart from watching them move in the park freely, climb trees, play and mix with each other and the handler including feeding them.
The ticket costs INR 3750 per person for 1 hour. Age limit is 15 years and above with specific time slots of 09:30am, 11:30am, 01:30pm and 03:30pm.
D. Big Cats Drive Through
Here there are no age restrictions as you move around through the habitat of the Lions, Tigers and Rhinos in a safe safari vehicle. You will get a chance to get very close to the big cats and click some very interesting pictures so keep your camera ready. You can even be taken for 15 min into some big cat enclosures for a very close interaction along with the handlers. The complete trip lasts 45 minutes and costs INR 320 /- per person (non Residents) and INR 210 /- for residents.
E. The Segway Trip
If you are comfortable riding a segway then here is where you can have a full 60 minutes of thrill zipping through the park with stopovers to have a closer look at Javader, hares, mongoose, wild boars, zebras, monkeys, African antilops and Ostriches. You even get to see some local flora and unique vegetation such as pink pepper, cassias, ebony tree and tamarind trees plus many more.
Price – INR 1500 /- Per Person.
Age – 12 years and above (weight 40-100 kg).
Time – 9:15 am, 11:15 am, 2 pm, 3:30 pm all 7 days of the week.
F. Safari Quad Biking Adventure
The variation in this exciting activity is Single Quad for the ones who have some previous experience, Double Quad for you and someone experienced or vice versa and Buggy for a small group. Each one has a thrill attached and personal preference. All you do is maneuver around the park on this four big wheeled open vehicle and look out for deer, zebras, antelopes, wild boars, ostriches and many more such species of inhabitants of the park. You go up the hill or dunes and wade through shallow streams down into a valley and enjoy the scenes presented by nature. Age limit: 12 years + with an adult on a double quad bike, 16 years + for single quad or to ride a bike and must be 1m35cm tall. The following are the details of each type of option:
(i) For One Hour –
- Single Quad / Buggy – 9:15 am , 10:00 am , 11:30 am and 1 pm, Price INR 2600
- Double Quad / Buggy Quad – Price INR 2040 per person
(ii) For Two Hours – Time Slot – 9:15 am and 2:30 pm
- Single Quad Bike / Buggy – INR 3425 without lunch and INR 4600 with lunch per person
- Double Quad / Buggy Quad – INR 2730 without lunch and INR 3320 with lunch per person
G. Mud Karting
A very exciting activity for those who enjoy car racing and karting. Mud karting is a bit more exciting when you splash the mud on this twisting and turning muddy track competing with your friends. Your adventurous driving skills just tend to show up when mud flees all over you. There are two options, the Single Mud Karting and the Double Mud Karting, both for 20 minutes duration between 9 am to 4:30 pm and costs INR 800 and 500 per person for tourists and INR 640 and 400 per person for residents respectively.
H. Zip line and Nepalese Bridge.
This 500 m long zip line across the slopes of low hills, ponds and ponds below gives you a thrilling experience of a mountaineer. You will put on a rope harness and meeting other safety prerequisites you just zip across and find your adrenaline rushing to a new high. You also get to walk on an elevated rope bridge 350 m long with planks of wood and its base stretched over lush green tropical forest. You can click selfies and pictures of self and surrounding. This also gives you an opportunity to view from top the uncovered slopes of 23 layers colored earth, something that has acquired worldwide attention. While on the hill top view points between the zip line and bridge you can get an excellent view of the South Coast of the island. This facility is open from 8 am to 4 pm all seven days of the week for everyone above 12 years of age for INR 4000/- per person, that lasts for 60 minutes.
I. Canyon Swing
This is a variation of the Bungee jumping with additional excitement that is scheduled between 9:15 am and 2:30 pm for age group above 12 years and max 100 kg weight. You get perched on a 45 meter high platform and then suspended with cables and let go like a swing down into a canyon. That’s enough to let your heart take a deep dive. All this excitement costs just INR 450/- per person
J. Via Ferrata Circuit
This activity is one of the most exciting ones that take you across cliffs, gorges, plateaus on an aerial passage created with cable and hanging bridges connecting view points on hill tops. The first step is that you are taken to the peak of the Mamzel Zabeth Mountain from where the excitement begins. At this point you get an overwhelming panoramic view of the Western Coast as well as flora and fauna, lagoons and streams below. You do need to be physically fit to a reasonable extent and should have no problem in climbing on steps and ladders with adequate support. As you would wade through puddles and muddy patches do carry some dress change, extra pair of foot wear, a swim suit, towel, insect repellent etc. Light snacks and water etc are part of the package and will be provided at site. The pickup time is between 7 am to 10 am and drop back is 1 pm to 6 pm seven days a week for age group above 12 years.
K .The Zookeeper For A Day Kids Package
This is an exclusive package for kids between the age of 8 to 14 years as the name suggests to look after certain caretaking activities to the zoo animals. This includes preparation of food, its distribution to different animals and care taking activities like bathing of animals, cleaning their habitat, mending broken items of play etc. It also teaches the kids about the duties of zookeepers to ensure that the zoo inmates remain healthy. Kids get a chance to learn about all this by visiting enclosures of birds, zebra, cheetah, tiger, rhino, giraffe, ostrich etc.
L. Le Morne Brabant
This is a preserved world heritage site of UNESCO and holds a very fascinating historical background related to the slave age. Infact this area was once a slave trade zone. Located at the south western tip of Mauritius this mountain is 556 meters high with thick vegetation growth and numerous caves which were once home to and hideout of the slaves who managed to escape from African mainland Madagascar and India. The place has its history written on the walls of the caves telling you about the culture and sufferings that the slaves went through. As this Maroon age was well known the world over, it even acquired the name ‘Maroon Republic’ as there was hardly any food, no reasonable shelter and the looming fear of being detected and taken back.
Around the base of this Le Morne Brabant mountain lay lovely lagoons and there is a 3.5 km long hiking trail with steep slopes at places which invites adventure seeking youth who wouldn’t mind 3 to 4 hours of adventurous trekking. However you will be guided by experienced guides over the gigantic basalt rocks, through lush green surrounding and enjoy the breathtaking view of the town below, the southern coastal region of Mauritius as well as the Indian Ocean. This is a full day outing so one must carry light snacks.
4. Tamarind Falls
Located on the South Western hill top of Mauritius this 290 m high waterfall is the highest in Mauritius and getting there is itself a very exciting and fascinating experience. Though of course you need to be physically fit if you choose to take the trekking route up as well as come down the steep slopes, take a couple of plunges into the water from 5 to 7 m high.
To reach there you need to know that this fall is also called the 7 cascades as it has 7 simultaneous waterfalls at different heights (plateaus) and is close to a small village Henrietta. Just take a cab or bus and reach Henrietta by road. From their on you are on foot. You can enjoy the waterfall from a distance as well. Yet if you want to trek it up be sure you carry enough water, some snacks, trekking shoes and have a local guide else you may wander off the main trail. Should you plan to take swim you need to carry your trunk, a towel and a set of change.
You will come across unique vegetation, trees, plants and flowers as well as very beautiful birds; carry your camera to click some really memorable pictures. The sun is generally harsh and mosquitoes are in plenty. It is advised to carry some sunscreen lotion and mosquito repellent as well.
Take a glimpse of the hydroelectric station which uses a part of this water for producing hydroelectricity. You may plan a half day or a full day outing depending on your plan of hiking and swimming.
5. Black River Gorge
This National Park is located in the South Western part of the island and covers 3.5% of the island i.e. about 6750 hectares. The flora and fauna in this park is unique and very diverse in variety. Thus there are NGOs in addition to the Government that work seriously for conserving this park. It has beautiful Orchids and Anthuria of very attractive colors apart from 300 odd plant species. You get to see some very beautiful and rare endemic species of birds like the Pink Pigeon, Mauritius kestrel and Mauritius sitting. In addition to these you have imported species of Tenrecs, Red deer, Macaques, flying fox, exotic butterflies, wild boar, Roe deer, etc. Mainly Bird watching and hiking is the main activity at the national park which is open to public on Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm. The hiking trails are extremely well marked for its entire 60 odd kms.
6. Blue Safari Mauritius – Submarine/Sub Scooter
Blue safari operates submarines and sub scooters for visitors from the North Western part of Mauritius Island. They are operators of this underwater adventure activity throughout the world and at Mauritius they have two classes of submarines i.e. 10 seater BS 110 and 5 seater BS600 plus plenty of sub scooters.
This adventure can be undertaken by non swimmers as well. The air-conditioned 7.5m long sub has a glass window for every occupant to enjoy the marine life 35m below the sea as well as a picture on the TV screen fitted inside the cabin that is connected to a camera on the outer deck bridge. You can even opt for an underwater lunch with champagne for a party of upto four people who may be celebrating a birthday or wedding anniversary.
This too is a unique experience for 8 yrs and above wherein you have a shared glass bubble over your head that facilitates normal breathing under water as well as gives you a panoramic view of the marine life and colorful corals. The scooter moves 3-4 meters below the surface of water and the level can be controlled by buttons on the steering wheel. You will get detailed instructions on how to maneuver the sub scooters before diving down. Children must be accompanied with an adult whereas adults can chose to go solo or double moving underwater at 3 km/hr.
Both these underwater machines are fully certified for safety and underwater operations.
Your ride lasts around 40 minutes and you can interact with the marine staff through ultra sound phones available only on the submarine.
While you are underwater you get to see the exotic colored sea turtles, shoals of fish moving in amazing formations, amazingly bright colored living corals and other marine life. While in the submarine you will get to see the wreckage of 17th century ship wreck of Star Hope Ship as also an anchor of that period covered with amazing marine weeds and creatures.
7. Under water sea walk excursion
This is indeed an experience of a lifetime not available elsewhere in the world for tourists. Neither you needed to know swimming nor you need to be an experienced diver. You have a glass globe fitted over your head resting on your shoulders that facilitates breathing under water. You will be required to follow certain very simple instruction imparted by the conducting staff before undertaking this amazing adventure.
You go around 3-4 m below water surface walking on the sea bed and you will be guided by experienced guides who will move by your side under water to give you that ultimate safety feeling.
You reach the center of the lagoon in a speed boat and get on to a platform to put on the underwater gear and get briefed on the basic safety requirements as well as the conduct of this 30 minute experience under water. You get to see the beautiful marine life from very close quarters while you walk through the coral reefs. The cost of underwater walk is 35 Euros and for non diving participants is just 15 Euros.
8. Sea Hover Adventure
This is indeed the ultimate excitement for the speed lovers and is absolutely safe. The inflatable hover is about 2 m wide and 2.8 m long with the propelling turbine at the rear. The hover can accommodate two adults and a child. The 60 minute ride on the West and South-West Coast of Mauritius is not only safe but your added security by way of guide boats moving to your side and is equipped with state of the art communication system for meeting any emergencies. The hover is totally non sinkable. You will be given instructions on its operation and will be required to put on a life jacket at all times while on the hover, which is a must.
While zipping at great speed you get a spectacular view of the Black River mountain range, the Rampart Mountains as well as the Le Morne Mountain in the peninsula.
The cost of this exciting ride is around 150 Euros for two plus kid (free). What more, you need not know swimming.
9. Catamaran Cruise in Mauritius
This Cruise is a full day affair starting around 9 am and well you return before the sun goes down. You get to see the colorful marine life at the snorkeling spot, enjoy the pristine waters off the coast and around the lagoons near the mouth of Grand River South East, take postcard quality pictures of the waterfalls and dolphins if you are lucky. To top up the excitement you get a very elaborate bar–be-que lunch with unlimited bear and wine on board the Catamaran. There is infact never a dull moment throughout the cruise even when you decide to swim ashore and enjoy the sun at the beaches.
The full day Isle Aux Cerfs Catamaran cruise leaves you totally satisfied while you sail back to Pointe Jerome from where you started.
10. Snorkeling and Diving at Mauritius
These two activities are the main attractions while you are at Mauritius. The presence of crystal clear water, the numerous reefs created by ships that sank during the 17th and 18th century and became home to exotic marine life and colorful variety of fish has created an amazing new fascinating underwater world which just cannot be missed. There are shallow lagoons where you can snorkel like the Blue Bay Marine Park, Pointe aux Piments, Trou aux Biches and Ile aux Cerfs or you may try diving further down to the bottom of the ocean near the coral reefs at Colorado & Roche Zoro located a little off the Blue Bay into the sea on the Southern Coast.
The excitement underwater is never ending and how you wish you could stay on a little longer underwater in this fascinating world of exotic colors and marine life. The island is almost completely encircled with a barrier coral reef where you can spot variety of multicolored fist such as Damselfis, the playful clown, the Trumpet and the exquisite orange colored scorpion living amongst amazing underwater creepers and other vegetation of striking shades of green and red color.
You need to have adequate experience in diving and snorkeling and preferably be a reasonably skilled swimmer to enjoy these activities to the fullest.
11. Botanical Garden
Going North on this island will take you to Pamplemousses where this famous Botanical Garden of Sir See woosagur Ram goolam exists. The 35 hectare Garden can keep you busy for a whole day. Guides are available to tell you how this garden grew up from a small vegetable garden started by Mahe de Labourdonnais on the banks of River Rivere-de-Pamplemousses. He was a very enterprising person and even introduced some herbs which grew very well and were used in making medicines. The garden is known as the richest garden in species of plants and even exports seeds all over the world. You will find unique tropical plants called the Victoria Regia and the Amazonas Waterlily has huge leaves that claim to support the weight of child without sinking in water. The place is open 7 days a week between 8:30 am to 5:30 pm with an entry fee of INR 100 per person.