Top Attractions in Mauritius

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Top Attractions in Mauritius

Go beyond the beaches of Mauritius – if you can tear yourself away. There is so much more to do on this beautiful isle. While all-inclusive resorts, infinity pools and white-sand beaches are never far away, if you want to dive deeper into authentic Mauritius, there will be much reward. You’ll find a kaleidoscope of cultures and traditions, from French and Dutch to Indian and Chinese. Here, we offer a look at the varied natural attractions and cities you won’t want to miss – you’ve come a long way to get here, now treat yourself to all this glorious island has to offer.
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Mauritius Botanical Garden
Surround yourself with natural beauty at the Mauritius Botanical Garden, also called the Pamplemousses Garden and the Sir Seewoosagur Botanical Garden. This is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Mauritius and conveniently located near Port Louis. Fun fact: It’s the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. Wander through endless acres of colorful tropical plants, many of them indigenous to the island. The garden was originally privately owned by the French governor of Mauritius and now holds more than 650 plant varieties. Look for baobabs, the Palmier Bouteille, giant water lilies, medicinal plants, spices and more. There are 85 different palm tree varieties to be seen, from all over the world. Grab a guide at the garden entrance and consider taking the inexpensive guided tour.
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Black River Gorges National Park
Another top destination in Mauritius, the Black River Gorges National Park is in the island’s southwestern section and stretches over an area of over 16,000 acres. Created to preserve the island’s last remaining rainforest, the park welcomes visitors to two information centers, picnic areas and 37 miles of trails. As you wander, look for the endemic flying fox, kestrel, parakeet, cuckoo-shrike, bulbul, olive white-eye, great white-eye, fody and the pink pigeon.
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Île aux Cerfs Island
For fun in the sun, head to Île aux Cerfs Island (“Deer Island” in English) for its famous sandy beaches, gorgeous lagoon and championship golf. Go beyond sunbathing and go ziplining at the adventure park, parasailing, waterskiing, wakeboarding and on speedboat rides. Golfers will love the Île aux Cerfs Golf Club, the 18-hole championship course that was designed by Masters champion Bernhard Langer. Work up an appetite, then attend a Sunday family BBQ or dine at one of three beachside restaurants on the northern half of the island.
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Port Louis
Spend a day in the capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis, dating back to 1735. The city is surrounded by the Port Louis Moka Range of mountains. In town, the historic, colonial architecture is worth seeing, including Fort Adelaide (also known as La Citadelle), which was built by the British in 1835. The top sightseeing attractions in Port Louis are the Caudan Waterfront, the Port Louis Bazaar, the Police Barracks, the Mauritian Chinatown, the National History Museum and the Stamp Museum. The bazaar, in particular, is a great spot for picking up local handicrafts and spices, produce, inexpensive clothing, art and souvenirs.
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Grand Bassin
Head inland to discover Mauritius’ Grand Bassin lake, hidden away in the mountains of the Savanne district. The lake is considered holy for local Hindus – it is believed that the lake water communicates with the water in the holy Ganges River of India. You’ll find a temple at the lake dedicated to Lord Shiva, as well as Hanuman and Lakshmi. There is a large statue of Mangal Mahadev overlooking the water. If you visit in February or early March, your trip may coincide with Maha Shivaratri, during which half a million Hindus make a pilgrimage to the lake.
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Chamarel Seven-Colored Earth and Chamarel Falls
Marvel at the striated earthen layers of the Chamarel Seven Colored Earth, a rare geological phenomenon created by volcanic activity and centuries of natural elements. The bands of color include hues of red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow, caused when different sand particles merged and settled, creating areas of red iron or blue aluminum. It’s surprising to geologists that the dunes do not seem to erode, given the island’s heavy rainfall. Check out the mesmerizing dirt layers, then continue on to the 272-foot Chamarel Falls. Some of the best views of the falls are from Black River Gorges National Park, where there are both lower and upper viewpoints. The upper deck can be found at the Chamarel Seven-Colored Earth site. You can swim in the shallow water at the bottom of the falls if you take the trail to the lower viewpoint.
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Trou aux Cerfs
This famous dormant volcano, also known as Murr’s Volcano, is located near the town of Curepipe. The crater measures 2,132 feet above sea level, with a diameter of 1,148 feet and a depth of approximately 328 feet. The highlights of any visit to the crater are the crater lake, the jogging park and the 360-degree viewpoints over Rampart Mountain, Trois Mamelles and the Port Louise Moka mountain range. The splendidly green jogging track is a fun spot for an early-morning run or evening stroll and is a favorite of the locals.
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Ile aux Aigrettes
The tiny coral island of Ile aux Aigrettes is off the coast of Mahebourg. A boat operates daily from nearby Pointe Jerome to take visitors across to the island for a wildlife-viewing tour. The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation takes great care to preserve the natural resources and endangered species on the island, including the kestrel, one of the world’s rarest birds. Look, too, for the rare pink pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise. An indigenous plant nursery will delight green thumbs – look for endemic trees, including the ox wood, pipe wood, rat wood and bottle palm. You may even get a chance to see a rare orchid in bloom.

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