Although this was my first trip to the beautiful island nation of Indian Ocean I had well-read and planned my visit, split day by day into exact spots I wanted to see, things to do in Mauritius and dishes to eat in Mauritius. Also, the big advantage I had was I had a handful of local friends that I had known for a long time and were lucky to take me around like a local.
I was able to tick off everything on my list as expected and if you are about the visit the country for the first time or even planning the same then don’t fret with questions like what places to visit in Mauritius or what are the things to do in Mauritius, just follow this guide and you won’t be disappointed.
1) Party At Grand Baie – The hotspot (not COVID hotspot) for the party in Mauritius. Grand Baie came to picture in the 17th century, the Dutch used to call this as Grand Baie ‘De Bogt Zonder Eynt’ which means”The bend without end”. That would have been true in the past, for now, it is not a bay but a well-developed town with best water sports, resorts and even beaches. Although there are many beaches here my personal favourite here is La Cuvette and mind it, I had a car and went around almost all the beaches in 3 days span and settled for this one because of its clear water and partially confined state.
There are ample water sports here but the ones I find really worthy are undersea walk, cave sea kayaking, blue safari submarine, scuba diving and submarine scooter. I recommend checking underseawalk for the walk and suggest Yemaya for sea Kayak.
2) Hike At La Morne – One ironic fact about Mauritius is, it has multiple UNESCO heritage sites and La Morne remains to be one of them with its scenic view. An early morning hike to see the sunrise is the ideal suggestion but if you cannot wake up and 5 and start hiking that’s understandable. Not everyone is crazy to get the perfect picture in golden hours of lighting. The total hike is about 2 hours if you are fast and agile. The place offers some of the best panoramic shots of the beautiful island nation that will serve as your wallpapers for the rest of your life.
3) Shop at Port Louis – The Bazaar Port Louis is your go-to spot for all your street shopping, it is highly recommended that you visit the place with a local who can haggle in Creole for the best prices. Port Louis Bazaar is a lot like Indian street markets and also functions the same with a lot of discount on everything that you can lay your eyes on.
4) Tour Port Louis – While you are here to shop, you can also spend a few hours to see the city and understand the history of the place by visiting Le Caudan Waterfront, which is not to be missed an evening walk will give you a good peek into the museums and old building also there are some shops here for your retail therapy if you are interested. The China town is also nearby and will give you a great idea into the food and essential culture that has mixed very well and become quintessentially Mauritian.
5) Enjoy Chamarel’s Unique Landscape – Chamarel is unique and marvellous in every sense, there is a piece of land that has 7 coloured earth/ mud that has been collected in the spot over time and is clearly visible to naked eyes. The shades of reds, greens and yellow are the result of volcanic ash that has reacted with air and water over time and has earned these unique 7 colours that everyone wants to visit Chamarel for. Chamarel also has a waterfall which is vertical and quite high and makes for a perfect background while taking pictures.
6) Explore Local Culture in Mahebourg – Mahebourg is the place you should not miss when you want to see the laid back town life of down south people where lesser tourists visit. The markets are all small shops run by families who keep local bakes, daily need stuff and crafts, vegetables and much more. I would highly recommend trying the local Dholl Puri and fresh bakes from the small bakeries here and you will not regret the same.
7) Big Game Fishing – Deep sea fishing is one of the most famous things to do in Mauritius. They can be done from 2 spots in Mauritius Grand Baie as well as Black River. These are majorly held as private expeditions and taken up by serious players of the game. The fishes to be found are Blue Marlin, Dog-Tooth Tuna, Black Marlin, hammerhead Shark, Yellow Fin Tuna and many more.
8) Relax In Flic En Flac – Flic En Flac is west Mauritius and ranks high on places to visit in Mauritius. It has some great peaceful beaches with very less crowd. Not a lot of tourists make it to this place, so this is more of a local spot. Try to look for a serviced home/ duplex considering the size of your group and enjoy as many local bars and massages as you can here, you won’t regret them. I stayed in Bayview Duplex Villa and would highly recommend it to you, also keep them at least 2-3 months in advance, else you won’t find a spot.
9) Stay at Andrea Lodges, Souillac – Souillac is south Mauritius, rather the southernmost tip of mainland Mauritius. I have stayed in much more luxurious spots in Grand Baie but for the priceless solace and majestic views, I am sold on Andrea Lodges. This place is perched between Anguilles River and the Black Basalt Cliffs. It’s like hanging on a cliff to crystal clear waters and your bed faces the rives which is the best damn thing to open your eyes to. They have some 10 odd lodges running in a row beside the cliff and away from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, if you do not have a personal vehicle, this place is out of bounds for you. You can make your booking here, make sure they are at least 2 months in advance else you will struggle to find a place.
10) Quad Biking in Souillac – Although most of you would have done Quad biking in a number of places across the world and so have I but here they take you for a good 2 hours, where you ride the quad and see few great spots in the southern region. They take you via the sugarcane fields to a number of spots like Tamarin Falls and Roches Qui Pleurs, which I would highly recommend and is not really touristy.
11) Walk over to Ilot Sancho – Ilot Sancho is like a micro island that could be walked through a puddle of water and crossed over to, this should certainly be on your list of places to visit in Mauritius if you are into fishing or surfing. Remember to wear proper shoes while crossing through the inlet of you might hurt yourself because you are not a local and not trained for it.
12) Take Pictures at Maconde Point – If you have a list which reads something like, most Instagramable spots in Mauritius or best places to take pictures in Mauritius then you cannot afford to miss this place. It’s a cliff which can be reached by stairs and gives you a panoramic 270-degree view around. May it be day or night, this place will certainly win you over with its beautiful landscape.
13) Meditate at Riviera Des Gallets – Although this might look like a secluded beach with no one around once you give it few minutes you will realise the stones lying on the beach are completely unique and exude a unique sound as if someone is dragging a heavy metal chain into the water. This is a place with a lot of substance and a place for meditation as this sound will soon become ambient to your ear and there is hardly anyone to disturb you. I visited the place twice and crossed it another couple of times, to my surprise I never found anyone else here. So make sure you earn a little peace here.
14) Swim with Dolphins at Tamarin Beach – Tamarin is the southwestern side of Mauritius island, I booked a Dolphin spotting and swimming session here and would recommend you the same if you are an adventure seeker. The team will pick you on the boat early around 7 and take you deep into the sea for Dolphin spotting. If you like to swim then feel free to take a dive. The Dolphins are very friendly and have a general nature and come in a pod (group) but there is always a big Dolphin that likes to swim all alone and is even friendlier, so if you are lucky you will spot the bigger one. I was lucky to spot and swim with both of them.
15) Understand the History at Pamplemousse Garden – Pamplemousse of the SSR national botanical garden is dedicated to their first Prime Minister of Mauritius and is a highly respected image (the airport is also dedicated to him). This garden has giant size water lilies and many other botanical wonders but also has dedicated sections which help you understand the history of the country in brief. The giant lilies make for a perfect backdrop if you are looking for your next best picture.
These are my list of top 15 things to do in Mauritius, also as a bonus I would like to add another point that I feel is essential and brings forward the core culture of Mauritius together which is-
Eat Street Food – Culturally Mauritius is a great mix of Indian, African, Chinese and French cultures, which makes it a unique sweet spot for food, language and cultural exchange. All street food is clean and hygienic as far as I could observe. Some of my favourite things to eat are Boulettes, Grills, Noodles also do not forget to try the local specialities like Napolitan, Tarte Banane and boiled peanuts.
Let me know if you guys feel I have missed anything in my list.