This post was most recently updated on April 20th, 2018
Everyone loves Mauritius for its pristine beaches and water sports. But there is a lot more to Mauritius. Ancient indigenous forests, several waterfalls, quad biking and even zip lining await.
Grand Bay / Grand Baie
The Grand Bay is the most popular tourist spot in Mauritius. It is a bewitchingly beautiful village by the sea. Visitors can enjoy an exciting nightlife in the evenings and idyllic days by the emerald colored sea. Water sports like swimming, surfing, deep sea fishing, water skiing, and sailing offer an exciting challenge. Centuries ago, the Dutch dubbed it The Bay Without End. Local shops sell charming souvenirs, and nightclubs and bars offer a good time all the way up to the wee hours of the morning.
Ile aux Cerfs Island
Known otherwise as Deer Island, Ile Aux Cerf is a 100 hectare island paradise. The deer that gave this island its name have long died off, but the amazing beaches, white sands, and beautiful lagoon remain. Tourists arrive via boats and yachts. They engage in snorkelling at the coral reef, golfing, fine dining, and water sports.
Black River Gorges National Park
Black River National Park is the best place to enjoy a pleasant and peaceful walk through a forest. The forest trails measure more than 50km. This means that you can walk or as much as you want without getting bored. Picnic sites are available too.
Eureka house is a former colonial home turned into a museum. A wealthy family built the elegant home back in the 1830s. There is a souvenir shop and a restaurant on the premises. Some people call this house the house of the 109 doors.
The house is surrounded by beautiful grounds. Gardens, waterfalls, and lawns adorn the compound. A walk in the garden is a pleasant experience.
Mauritius Botanical Garden
This is one of the most popular tourist sites in Mauritius. Planted 300 years ago by the French, the botanical garden is so large that it would take a week to explore it all. More than 650 plants live in these gardens.
Some of the more famous attractions are the famous baobab trees, giant water lilies, and palmier Bouteille. 85 different types of palm trees grow here, and they make a fascinating collection. Guides are available.
Chamarel Falls & Seven Coloured Earths
The waters of the Chamarel fall drop down hundreds of feet. Tourists climb up a steep and slippery hill to get to the waterfalls. To see the waterfall at it’s heaviest, go after November and before May. There are two popular vantage points for viewing the waterfall, depending on how high you want to climb.
Long ago, basalt gullies decomposed and transformed into clay. The clay turned into different colors by interacting with the soil. Near the colored earths, you will find a garden with different types of trees and some tortoises.
La Vanille Nature Park
La Vanille Nature Park is populated with giant tortoises, monkeys, crocodiles, fish, and birds among others. The crocodiles and the tortoises are the greatest attraction. There are more giant Aldabra tortoises here than anywhere else in the world. The tortoises are beautiful and people enjoy photographing them and petting them.
People also enjoy feeding the crocodile. La Vanille Nature Park is equipped with a nice souvenir shop and scenic gardens. An insectarium displays different varieties of butterflies. More than 3 hectares of lush vegetation provide the setting for this park. Children will love the pony rides.
Waterfalls (Chamarel waterfalls, Alexandra waterfalls, Tamarind waterfalls, Rochester waterfalls, Exil waterfalls)
Mauritius is a small island with many waterfalls. Rochester Falls in Southern Mauritius roars for miles around. Visitors have to walk through sugarcane fields on the way to it. Some adventurous people will jump down the 10 meter falls into the pool it pours into below. The trip down is risky on a rainy day because a fall can be fatal.
The imposing Alexandra falls, surrounded by lush vegetation is on the way to the Grand Bassin. Tamarind Falls has seven waterfalls that pour together from Tamarind river. It is an excellent location for bird watching, hiking, canyoning, and studying the indigenous plants.
Chamarel Falls are among the top attractions in Mauritius. They are the highest Waterfalls in the country.
Hidden among the Southwestern mountains of Mauritius is the sacred lake known as Grand Bassin or Ganga Talao. This lake is sacred to the Hindus of Mauritius, who use it as a representation of the mighty Ganges. A Hindu priest saw the lake in a dream back in the 1890s.
He journeyed across the jungle in search of the lake, having received a revelation that it was connected to the River Ganges. Pilgrims have been making the trip ever since. Hindu faithful pay at the sacred lake. They burn incense and offer fruits and vegetables as offerings to their gods.
Statues of Indian gods adorn the shores of the lake.
Casela World of Adventures / Casela Nature Park
Casela combines a safari kingdom, nature kingdom, mountain kingdom, and discovery centre. At the Safari Kingdom, the experience is more suited to adventure travelers. Quad biking and photo safaris are thrilling. The Mountain Kingdom too, caters for thrill seekers, with canyoning, wall climbing, zip lining and a via ferrata.
The Nature Park offers a calmer, less adrenaline-inducing experience. Bird watching and an animal show await. At the Discovery Center, visitors learn about Mauritius through a 4D cinema and 3D maps.
Ile Aux Aigrettes
Visiting the Ile Aux Aigrettes is like traveling back in time. The small island off mainland Mauritius is a dry coastal forest, much like what Mauritius was before it was occupied. Walking trails around the island allow visitors a more intimate experience with the birds, plants, and fauna of the island.
Some of the original inhabitants of the island have gone extinct. You can see them in a local museum which has paintings and bronzes.
Maheboug is a city in the Southwest of Mauritius. Seated close to the airport, Maheboug hosts lively markets and exciting festivals. The local museum is interesting, and the local food is really good. Take time to enjoy the beach and sample local hotels.