Going to Mauritius Island can be a spectacular experience, though at times it can feel overwhelming because there are just too many things for you to do. When planning your trip, it is best to just focus on the top few things that you want to do and then planning around those items. For example, you may want to pick one “big” thing to do every day and then plan smaller activities around that. Still not quite sure where to start in your planning? Here are the top things to do in Mauritius:
Top Things to do in Mauritius:
1.Visit Île aux Aigrettes
One of the most popular ecotourism destinations in the world, this 26-hectare nature reserve is a wildly popular destination for visitors to Mauritius. It is right near the coastline and is one of the few places where you are able to see some of the most endangered species of wildlife living almost identical to how they would live in the wild.
Note that this is a guided tour destination, and you cannot go by yourself and just look at the animals. Still, you will be able to spot Aldabra giant tortoises, wild orchids, pink pigeons, and other rare animals that you won’t be able to spot elsewhere. The guides are incredibly adept and finding and spotting the animals, so they do serve as a big help.
Note that in peak tourist periods, these tours can sell out in advance so you may want to make a plan to go early for the best chance to get a ticket inside.
2. Eat the Mauritian Food
Of course, what trip would be complete without eating the food of a region? Mauritian Street Food is incredibly popular here, and with good reason. This food is a unique mix of the different cultures that melt together here, including Indian, Chinese, African, and Creole cultures. The dishes are all highly flavorful and boast incredible spices and textures. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and get something uniquely yours.
If you love food, be sure to bring cash and try a little bit of something from everywhere.
3. Visit to the Sacred Lake of Grand Bassin
Whether you want to hike there or take a car, the people of Mauritius believe that the Grand Bassin or also known as Ganga Talao, a lake high into the mountains, is the most sacred Hindu space on the island. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva there and many will pilgrimage there throughout the year.
Of course, you will also see a 108-food statue of Shiva and a space to collect some of the holy water.
4. Visit the Flat Island
Flat Island, also known as Ile Plate to the locals, is located near Round Island. Flat Island is a place that you absolutely must go because it is at risk for sinking and it might not be there all that long. On this island, you will find a small graveyard that goes back to the 19th century. In it, you will find some unique stones and markings from people who died from diseases years ago. They were sent to this island, essentially, to die, and to prevent the spread of diseases.
You will also find one of the two working lighthouses in Mauritius.
The most famous place to go on Flat Island is a dive site called The Shark Pit, where sharks are abundance thanks to the rich oxygen available.
5. Just Drive Around
If you have never been to Mauritius before, just driving around will help you to better understand the island and the people there. Most tourists will decide to take cars because most people fly into Mauritius. However, renting a car and driving around will help you to better control what you see and do. Rent a car and just get to town.
One thing to look out for is to never use just a GPS – they don’t always work the best. Instead, ask for directions and almost anyone on the island is more than willing to help you get somewhere you want to go. There are plenty of rental car companies on the island and they are all competitors, so you should have very little trouble getting a deal.
6. Spot the Chamarel Waterfall
At 100 meters tall, Chamarel is the tallest waterfall in Mauritius and one of the most beautiful places on the island. This is a great place to get some fantastic photos and spend some time in nature. Make sure to bring your walking shoes as you can climb the stirs to look down onto the pool. You will get a little wet, so take that into consideration as well.
Most people who visit Chamarel will combine the trip with a visit to the Sven Colored Earth, which is another beautiful natural landmark where sand dunes of different distinct colors including reds, browns and purples fill the earth. These dunes come from volcanic rocks that were cooled at different temperatures and then settled.
7. Try the Black River Gorges National Park
The Black River Gorges National Park is another beautiful, natural landmark that stretches over 6,500 hectares of land. You can hike, have a picnic, take photos, play, look at the wildlife, and just enjoy nature while you are here.
The forest is incredibly thick and home to over 300 species of flower plants. You will also see the famous pink pigeon in the wild here.
If you do plan to hike, make sure to come prepared with all of your gear, some of these trails can get long and windy. Along the way, you will see vistas, gorges, peaks, waterfalls, and meet some of the greatest people that Mauritius has to offer.
8. Drink Some Rum
For those who are of age, you definitely do not want to get out of Mauritius without having at least a sample of some rum. There are quite a few different flavors and they are all quite famous. While Jamaica is known for rum, Mauritius is almost a hidden gem when it comes to rum production. This island has some of the best sugarcane fields and so rum is incredibly fresh and they are doing some unique and fun things with the drink.
You will likely enjoy the white rum in cocktails that you sit along the beach, but don’t be afraid to try a premium rum or two – they have been aged in oak barrels and they are fantastic.
9. La Vanille Crocodile Park
Haven’t had enough animals yet? La Vanille Crocodile Park is another great place to visit to see wild animals in Mauritius. Of course, the crocodile is the tar, but you will see some other hits while you are here, including giant turtles, monkeys, insects, bats, and birds. There are many beautiful flowers here as well, including plants that you cannot find anywhere else.
Another reason to visit La Vanille? You can taste some of the most amazing foods in the food court there.
10. Take a Walk Through the Sugarcane Fields
While this might not seem as interesting on paper, visiting the sugarcane fields in Mauritius is one of the best things you could do while there. It gives you a better background in just what makes the country what it is and what drives the island. Sugarcane has a storied history on Mauritius, and it is something that everyone should know.
Wander through a few sugarcane fields if you get the chance. If you are really interested, the sugarcane museum, L’Aventure Du Sucre, is a great place to visit as well. Whatever you do, always ensure that you try a fresh glass of sugarcane juice.