Mauritius - Sightseeing
It may be tempting to spend your whole vacation in Mauritius at a resort, enjoying the sun and sea. However, you’re doing the island a disservice if you don’t get out and experience more of what it has to offer.
Mauritius is small enough that you can travel all around it by car in a single day. It’s worth taking your time though, to explore the island’s highlights properly.
The Southern Lagoon
The southwest coast of Mauritius is surrounded by a large, turquoise lagoon and white beaches of almost surreal beauty. This is the domain of some of the island’s most exclusive resorts. Many resorts accept day visitors, allowing you to use their beaches and bathe in the still waters of the lagoon. Also, several boat charter companies operate in the area and will transport you from other parts of the island to the lagoon. Popular activities include snorkelling and visiting the small islands in the lagoon, including the Ile Aux Beniters and the Crystal Rock.
Black River Gorges National Park
The Black River Gorges National Park lies just to the north of the southern lagoon and is the island’s largest nature preserve, covering an area of 67.54 square kilometres. With an extensive network of trails, the park provides an opportunity to venture deep into the indigenous Mauritian rainforest and hike into the Mauritian highlands.
Ile Aux Cerfs
The east coast of Mauritius has a distinct climate and topography, and there’s no better way to experience it than on a chartered boat journey to the Ile Aux Cerfs. A trip will usually include a stop at the breath taking Grand River South East Waterfall, before you thread your way through an archipelago of heavily forested islands to the Ile Aux Cerfs. This islet is renowned for its shallow lagoon, white sand beaches and palm trees. The northern tip of the island is ideal for swimming and includes a range of restaurants and shops.
Trou Aux Cerfs
The interior of Mauritius is where you’ll find Trou Aux Cerfs, an extinct volcano that rises to a height of 650 metres above sea level. You can hike to the top of the volcano or ascend by road. From the summit, you’ll be treated to unsurpassed views of the coast and surrounding mountain ranges. The adventurous can climb down to the lake that has formed in the volcano’s crater.
Charamel is a small village that lies close to two of the country’s most famous scenic attractions. The first of these is the Cascae Charamel, a 127-metre high waterfall that thunders over the edge of a precipice. Not far from the waterfall lies the Coloured Earth of Charamel, an unusual geological feature comprising clay dunes formed out of red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow sand. The result is an unearthly landscape that is one of the country’s most photographed attractions.