TOP THINGS TO DO IN MAURITIUS – BEST PLACES & FUN ACTIVITIES + MAP
Are you looking for ideas for things to do in Mauritius? You came to the right place! In this article, you’ll find a great selection of some of the best things to do and amazing activities in Mauritius that you probably didn’t even know about.
Just as many people, I always had a perception that Mauritius is mostly a honeymoon destination and that people travel here for the sun and the beach. Well, it’s partially true. However, there is so much more to see and do in Mauritius than just the beach! No matter if you are visiting Mauritius for your honeymoon, solo trip, or a family vacation, you really should take the time to explore the island beyond your luxury resort. It will be worth it!
In this article, you will find plenty of inspiration for all kinds of interesting and fun things to do in Mauritius. From historic places and the most famous Mauritius attractions to the most-unbelievable adrenaline-rushing activities that will make your trip truly unforgettable. This incredible selection of things to do in Mauritius will make you want to stay on the island a couple of weeks longer… Read on!
Good to know:
This guide to some of the best things to do in Mauritius is created with the help of a group of international travel writers who recently explored this paradise island in collaboration with the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority. This would not have been possible without their enthusiasm and help.
It’s not a sponsored article, but a guide to Mauritius that I wanted to put together in order to show you how much Mauritius has to offer and how diverse it actually is. Because I wasn’t aware that there is so much to see and do in Mauritius, and probably neither are you…
In order to help you plan your trip to Mauritius, I also created a map indicating all the best places to visit. You can find it all the way at the bottom of this article.
TIP: If you don’t want to hire a car and are looking for private- or group tours that bring you to some of the best places in Mauritius, you can find the best selection of tours here.
Now take a look at this incredible selection of the very best things to do in Mauritius. You’ll definitely find plenty of inspiration for places to visit and fun activities for your vacation in Mauritius! You can use the overview below or just scroll down and check the whole list. You’ll be amazed at how much there is to see and do on this Paradise Island. Find out!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN MAURITIUS – OVERVIEW
NATURE & SCENERY:
CULTURE & HISTORY:
MAURITIUS TEA ROUTE:
LOCAL & SHOPPING:
Because this list contains so many places to visit and so many different activities in Mauritius, I sorted it per topic. First, you can read about the most beautiful natural attractions in Mauritius. Take a look!
1. Black River Gorges National Park
Located in the southwest of Mauritius, Black River Gorges NP is the biggest and the most beautiful National Park in Mauritius. Lush green rainforest and beautiful hills are home to over 300 species of different plants, various birds, boar, monkeys, deer, and a big colony of giant fruit bats. If you visit just one National Park in Mauritius, make it this one!
This beautiful park is accessible via several roads, has two information centers, picnic areas, and over 60km of hiking trails. Needless to say that it’s best explored on foot.
The main highlights of Black River Gorges National Park are Gorges Viewpoint, Alexandra Falls, Macchabée Viewpoint, and Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire (the highest mountain of Mauritius).
Practical information: You can visit the park on your own or join a guided hike.
2. Chamarel: 7 Colored Earth, Waterfall & More
Suggested by Patrizia from the Italian blog Fashion For Travel.
Chamarel is a charming village in the southwest corner of Mauritius and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island. It’s best known for two things: Rum Distillery and 7 Coloured Earth Geopark.
The geopark is a large area and you need a ticket to visit it. The most incredible and famous attraction of the area is the so-called 7 Coloured Earth. It’s a vast area of sand dunes with different colors of sand going from red to brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. Especially when the sun shines all the colors are impressively bright and intense… This place is simply amazing.
In the same area, you also have a tortoise park. At the moment, there are 6 giant tortoises living here. Originally from the nearby Seychelles islands, they are about 150 years old.
Not far from the 7 colored earth, you can see another attraction of the area – the Chamarel waterfall. It’s the highest single-drop waterfall of Mauritius, about 100 meters high. You can reach the viewpoint of the waterfall by car, or you can hike to the base pool of the waterfall where you can also swim. Just beware that it’s a 3-hour hike.
Ebony Forest is a somewhat lesser-known attraction of the Chamarel area, but it’s well worth a visit. It’s your chance to see many ebony trees along with many different kinds of birds and the mesmerizing blue geckos! Nature here is incredible and the views on the coast and the UNESCO site of Le Morne – simply stunning. This extremely wide forest area can be seen with guided jeep tours or walking.
Practical info: Geopark is open daily from 8 AM to 5.30 PM. There is a gift shop and a café on site. You can get the entrance ticket in advance or upon arrival. Here is the best private day tour that visits this area, as well as some other main tourist sights of southwest Mauritius.
3. Le Morne Brabant
Suggested by Rob from Love And Road.
Le Morne Brabant, or simply Le Morne, is an imposing mountain rising 550 meters high in the southwest of Mauritius. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Le Morne is famous for its history, a place used as a shelter by runaway slaves, and for its beauty. You can admire the mountain from the beaches nearby, but if you have some time and are fit enough, you can hike all the way to the top.
I hiked Le Morne and it was one of the best experiences in Mauritius. First things first, however. If you want to hike to Le Morne, I recommend hiring a guide. It is possible to hike by yourself, but it is not as safe as hiking with a guide. Furthermore, going with a guide you will learn about Le Morne’s history, fauna, and flora.
Le Morne trail starts easy, on a clear path and under the trees, which helps to beat the heat. About half-way the walk gets really challenging and you may even need both hands to help with the climb. But it’s so worth it! The views are spectacular! Our guide knew all the good spots for photos and we did a few stops to catch our breath.
To reach the top, it took us about 2 hours and we were rewarded with outstanding views. From the top, you can see so many shades of blue and the stunning underwater waterfall, an optical illusion created by the currents dragging the sand to the deep sea. Totally worth the 2 hours climbing up.
TIP: Go as early as possible because the heat is tough. Also, make sure you wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water, and don’t forget your camera.
Practical information: Le Morne trail has a total length of about 7km. It took us 4 hours in total. If you are staying at one of the hotels nearby, they can arrange a driver/guide for you. Alternatively, you can book a guided tour online and arrange your own transport. This Le Morne hiking tour can arrange hotel transfers for you.
4. Tamarind Falls
Tamarind Falls, also known as Tamarin Falls are a series of 7 cascades on the Rivière Tamarin. It’s located in a beautiful canyon in the southwest of Mauritius, not far from the Black River Gorges NP. The area has more than 10 waterfalls, some with deeper ponds where you can also swim.
There are several hiking paths here, but they are not very well indicated. As stunning as it is, the area is quite confusing and some parts can be dangerous, so it’s best to hike here with a knowledgeable local guide.
Various hiking tours are available, some of just a couple of hours, while some others that go deeper into the canyon, take almost the whole day.
5. Boat Trip to Ile aux Cerfs
Mauritius is a rather big island that is surrounded by so many other smaller islands. Most of these islands are tiny and uninhabited. Some have white-sand beaches, amazing snorkeling, and offer lots of activities for daytime visitors, while some others are just a couple of rocks in the sea… No trip to Mauritius would be complete without taking a boat tour to explore the islands near the coast of Mauritius.
We took Mauritius catamaran cruise that included snorkeling, a visit to historic Ile aux Fouquets (locals call it the Lighthouse Island), Grand River South East waterfall, and some free time on Ile aux Cerfs.
This paradise-like island has stunning scenery and so many activities that it has become one of the most popular day-trip destinations from Mauritius. Delicious BBQ lunch on board and all-inclusive drinks made the day completely perfect.
TIP: The most popular boat trips are those that go to Ile aux Cerfs. Here is a similar catamaran trip as the one I did. This highly-rated speedboat trip covers the exact same itinerary. An advantage of going on a speedboat is that you have more time for sightseeing and relaxing on the island.
6. Baie Du Cap Maconde View Point
Suggested by Sara from In Africa and Beyond.
Baie Du Cap Maconde View Point (at Captain Matthew Flinders Monument) might not be a major landmark, but it’s one of the most popular viewpoints in Mauritius and so definitely worth a visit when touring the island. This little rocky cliff between Le Morne and Baie du Cap in the South of Mauritius is set on a hairpin bend on the coastal road. This area is known for its picturesque landscapes and incredible seascapes.
Known as Cape Brabant in the past, this area was not easily accessible before 1920 when the first road was built. It is believed that it used to serve as a refuge for runaway slaves from the Makonde tribe of Mozambique, from where it got its current name.
From the road, there are some steep stone steps to climb (just a very short climb, though). From the top, you can enjoy spectacular views of the coastline, the nearby village, Macondé Rock, and the Savanne Mountains in the background. Sometimes, you may also see local fishermen catching fish, or boats out at sea. The views are well worth a short stop!
Practical information: If you’re using google maps, search for Captain Matthew Flinders Monument for the exact location of this viewpoint (see map). The viewpoint starts getting busy from around eight in the morning so if you want to have it to yourself, you’ll have to go there really early. It can also be quite windy here.
7. Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Suggested by Mathilde from the French blog Voyager en Photos.
Probably one of the most popular things to do in Mauritius is visiting the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, also known as Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden. Located in Pamplemousses on the north of the island and just a short drive from Port Louis, it is well worth a short visit.
Created in the 18th century, Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical garden in the Indian Ocean. The original idea behind it was to experiment with the acclimation of tropical species to the climate of Mauritius Island.
This lovely botanical garden is a very peaceful and relaxing place where you can discover many species of tropical trees and other plants. The giant water-lily pond is one of the main attractions and is not to be missed.
You can make a pleasant walk through the garden between the giant palm trees and other beautiful plants. Giant tortoises from the Seychelles Islands are roaming freely and will be the highlight of the visit for the kids. If you look carefully, you may also see some giant bats sleeping in the trees.
Practical info: No advance booking is required. The garden is open daily (including public holidays) between 8.30 AM and 5.30 PM. Count about 1 hour for a visit. If you don’t have a car, there are private and group tours available.
8. La Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park
La Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park is a privately-owned nature park focussed on eco-tourism. Located in the south of Mauritius, it’s a natural wonderland with plains and mountains, waterfalls, streams, and a big variety of flora and fauna. The scenery here is truly beautiful.
The main attractions of the park are the waterfalls, the 23 Coloured Earth, and a small Geology Museum. In addition, you can opt for a big range of fun outdoor activities such as quad biking, off-road buggy riding, zip-lining, a hanging bridge, and more. Lots of activities are possible for children as well.
There is a restaurant on-site, but its reviews aren’t great. So you may want to bring your own picnic. If you opt for several outdoor activities, you can easily spend a whole day here. Or just come to look around and enjoy the scenery.
Practical information: Open daily from 8.30 AM to 5.30 PM. Tickets for a regular visit are just around 5 EUR for adults and so it’s worth it just to see the area. However, outdoor activities are quite pricey. For example, if you would like to go quad biking in this area, this 2-hr quad bike ride or this 5-hr quad tour with lunch offers better value.
9. Trou aux Cerfs
Often listed as one of the best natural tourist attractions in Mauritius, Trou aux Cerfs is a dormant volcano in the center of the island. Best known for its green lush crater with a small lake inside, it also offers nice views of the area.
There is a road going all the way to the top, so you can easily see the crater just by driving up to it. I haven’t visited it myself, but the people who did tell me that it’s not really that impressive. So it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth your time or not.
It’s a nice quick stop if you are nearby. For example, if you are hiking to the earlier mentioned Tamarind Falls or visiting the Le Domaine des Aubineaux (see further). But it’s probably not a place you want to go out of your way for.
Now, let’s take a look at the most interesting cultural attractions in Mauritius.
10. Ganga Talao – Grand Bassin
Suggested by Verushka from Spice Goddess. On her blog, you can read about what it’s like to visit Ganga Talao during the annual Maha Shivaratri Hindu festival.
Ganga Talao, also known as the Grand Bassin, is a sacred lake and one of the best places to see in Mauritius. Its significance is compared to that of the Ganges river in India. Back in the ’70s, some holy water from the Ganges River was brought and mixed into the lake, establishing a symbolic link between the two places.
This beautiful crater lake is surrounded by several temples built along its shores. One of the most impressive Hindu temples and one you should definitely visit when in Mauritius is the Ganga Talao Hall.
It’s an incredibly beautiful temple that not only draws Hindus but people of all faiths. At the entrance, you will find statues of the Hindu Gods Lord Shiva and Mother Durga. Serving as gatekeepers of this sacred place, the copper-colored statues have incredible details carved into them. The Shiva statue, Mangal Mahadev, is 33 meters (108 ft) high and is said to be the tallest statue in Mauritius.
As you wander down the stairs, you will get a really good view of the beautiful lake and the other temples. Within the main temple, you’ll find a sacred Hindu stone Shiva Lingam.
No matter when you visit, there is always a hive of activity here with locals and tourists of all faiths praying and leaving offers. Despite this, there is always a sense of tranquility at Ganga Talao.
Practical information: If you have a rental car, you can visit this site on your own. Alternatively, one of the best options is to book a private tour of the South-West of Mauritius and see this as well as other main Mauritius sights in one day.
11. L’Aventure du Sucre
In my opinion, visiting L’Aventure du Sucre is one of the best things to do in Mauritius. It’s both educational as well as fun. It’s a great place for everyone who doesn’t like boring museums but wants to learn more about Mauritius island, its people, history, and culture, as well as taste some local rum. A visit here will make you see Mauritius with very different eyes.
Located in the beautiful Beau Plan Sugar Estate, L’Aventure du Sucre is an events center that also houses a museum, a restaurant, and a shop. The museum is set inside an old sugar factory. A visit here is like stepping back in time, yet the place is very modern and the exhibits are well thought-off.
Every museum visit includes rum- and sugar tasting. In addition, cocktail-making lessons and sugarcane cutting tours are available. There is also a very good restaurant on site.
Practical information: Open from 9 AM to 5 PM every day, including public holidays. Free guided tours are available. For ticket prices and up-to-date practical info, please consult the website of the museum. Here you can read more about my experience visiting L’Aventure du Sucre.
TIP: Combine a visit to Mauritius Sugar Museum with that of the nearby Botanical Garden of Pamplemousse. You can take a day tour that visits both these places and more or hire a private driver for a day.
12. Château de Labourdonnais
Suggested by Julie from Frame Ambition.
Chateau de Labourdonnais is a Victorian mansion on a sugarcane plantation that has been restored and now serves as a museum. Located in Mapou district in the North of Mauritius. It’s just a 20-30 minute drive from the idyllic beach spots of Grand Gaube, Grand Baie, and even Port Louis.
I’d recommend an afternoon at the chateau and estate because of how much there is to learn, see and do. You can visit the beautifully restored Victorian manor with its antique furniture and interiors in their original set-up, indulge in a rum tasting, or take a tour via the Labourdonnais Express mini train. Furthermore, they also have a really nice La Table du Chateau restaurant.
A personal highlight was the rum tasting bar in a beautiful courtyard. Labourdonnais rum is one of Mauritius’ very best brands and there are a couple of different varieties you can try, including spiced and lemongrass-infused rum.
Practical information: An average visit with a meal, rum tasting, and a walk through the museum and gardens/orchards can take 2-3 hours. The estate is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, except for some holidays. All entry costs can be paid for at the gate on arrival, however, tables at the restaurant and the Labourdonnais Express tour will need to be reserved in advance. For more practical information, please check the official website.
13. Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site
Suggested by Verushka from Spice Goddess. As a South African Indian whose ancestors came to South Africa under the same conditions, she recommends this UNESCO heritage site as one of the must-see places in Mauritius. On her blog, you can read more about visiting the Aapravasi Ghat.
If you like to learn a bit more about Mauritius’ past and its history, one of the best places to visit is the Aapravasi Ghat UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a 19th-century Immigration Depot site located in Port Louis that gives visitors a glimpse into the ‘Indentured servitude’ experiment that the British established in Mauritius.
Now known as ‘the great experiment’, it was a system put in place in order to replace slaves by ‘free’ labor.
The abolition of slavery in European colonies in 1834-35 was a problem for the sugar plantations in Mauritius which depended on slave labor. The emancipated slaves were demanding higher wages and better living conditions. At this time India was experiencing a highly depressed economy and the hardworking Indian population seemed to be a great solution to the problem.
It is estimated that half a million laborers passed through this site in Port Louis between 1849 and 1923. A big majority of them came from India. This migration is the reason why about 70% of the current Mauritius population has Indian roots.
The exhibits at the Aapravasi Ghat give you a glimpse into the lives that these brave souls led. Their living and working conditions were not ideal or lived up to the promises they were made to believe.
Practical information: The Aapravasi Ghat exhibition is FREE to visit. There are guides available should you wish to have a guided tour. For opening hours and other practical information, please consult the official website.
And now it’s time for the fun part – the best activities in Mauritius. Take a look at this surprising selection!
14. Quad Biking
Suggested by Nienke from The Travel Tester. On her blog, you can read more about her quad biking experience in Mauritius.
Quad biking is a great way to discover Mauritius off the beaten path. There are many places where you can go quad hiking on the island. We did quad a tour at Domaine De L’Etoile. Located on the lush east coast of the island, it’s a stunning area with 1200 hectares of protected wild flora and fauna. Its landscaped English gardens reminded me of the green, hilly landscape of the Teletubbies…
Domaine De L’Etoile is the biggest private nature reserve of Mauritius. It’s also the base of TerrOcean, an adventure activity company that offers a wide range of fun outdoor activities (most also suitable for kids). You can go hiking, horseback riding, buggy, zip-lining, etc. I joined a quad bike tour and I can highly recommend it to everyone!
On the quad biking tour, you rush through forests, valleys and sugarcane fields… It’s also an easy way to get high up the mountains for the most stunning views over the area, all while following a guide that knows the area best and can tell you all about it. You can choose to be a driver yourself, or sit on the back seat of the quad. Either option will give you a great experience!
After your thrilling ride, you can make a pit-stop at the on-site restaurant overlooking the Grand River South-East.
Practical information: Quad tour at Domaine L’Etoile takes about 2 hours with prices for the tour without lunch starting at MUR 3500 (+- 90 EUR). Tours run three times a day and you get a helmet, test drive and security briefing before departure. The minimum age for a driver is 17, for passengers 12 years. Here you can find and book quad tours in Mauritius.
15. Sub Scooter Diving
Suggested by: Greta from Greta’s Travels. On her blog, you can find more information about diving with a sub-scooter in Mauritius.
If you’re looking for the most epic things to do in Mauritius, you have to add diving with a sub-scooter to your Mauritius bucket list. This is a unique experience that you can only have in Mauritius!
Luc Billard, the co-founder of Blue Safari, invented the sub-scooter (also known as scuba scooter or underwater scooter). At the moment Mauritius is the only place in the world where you can do this activity. As you might imagine from the name, the sub-scooter is a crossover between a scooter and a submarine.
It looks like a Vespa with a big glass dome that covers your head and creates an air bubble keeping your head dry as you explore the underwater world in Mauritius! There are oxygen tanks that circulate the air inside the dome so that you can breathe normally. It can be used by two people.
The sub-scooter goes to about 3m depth and moves at a speed of 4km/h, without ever touching the seabed floor so as not to damage the reef.
As someone who doesn’t love scuba diving, I loved the scuba scooter experience. It gives you a bit more freedom and the opportunity to get close to the fish. It’s a really fun and unique experience, definitely one of the best things to do in Mauritius.
It’s the most unique activity in Mauritius. While not cheap, it’s definitely worth the money if you are looking for something really special to do in Mauritius.
Practical information: Blue Safari is located in Trou aux Biches, on the northwest coast of Mauritius. This activity is suitable for most people and also for kids from 8 years old. You spend about 40 minutes underwater, but including transfers to the platform in the middle of the sea, safety briefings, changing clothes, etc. the whole experience will take a couple of hours. Here you can book this submarine scooter experience in Mauritius (hotel transfers included).
16. Jeep Safari & Picnic in Heritage Nature Reserve
Suggested by Emily from Wander-Lush. On her blog, you can read more about visiting Heritage Nature Reserve in Mauritius.
The verdant Heritage Nature Reserve is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Mauritius. Located in Bel Ombre on the island’s south-west coast, it’s a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities such as off-road driving and trekking on offer. Another great way to explore the area is by going on a safari jeep tour, followed by a relaxing picnic in a beautiful setting.
The 1,300-hectare Reserve takes in Frederica Nature Park, a rehabilitated sugar plantation, and the adjacent Macchabée-Bel Ombre, a protected forest that was listed as a UNESCO Biosphere in 1977.
The area is home to some of the island’s most precious fauna, including rare native birds such as Mauritius Kestrels and Echo Parakeets, as well as fruit bats, monkeys, and deer. It’s one of the last places on the island where you can see endemic trees such as black ebony and takamaka growing wild.
Safari tours of the Reserve are led by expert guides from the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation. Via back roads and bumpy dirt tracks, jeeps weave between Frederica and the primary forest area, climbing hills for a view of the ocean and dipping into deep green valleys.
Highlights include visiting the historic Frederica Lodge, the old stone sugar mill (a relic of the Reserve’s previous life), black-rock streams and waterfalls. There’s also a beautiful picnic area where you can eat an alfresco lunch inside a ‘picnic pod’ – a special tent suspended off the forest floor.
Practical information: Heritage Nature Reserve is a private park and can only be visited with a guide. Tours include jeep ride to the Frédérica waterfalls, followed by a picnic or a fun off-road buggy-ride. It’s best to book your tour in advance.
17. Submarine Experience
Suggested by Bo Saldaña from El Mundo OK
If you are looking for something very unique and unforgettable to do in Mauritius, I recommend the submarine experience. This thrilling ride of about 45 minutes under the sea is an adrenaline-inducing adventure. Give it a try, if you dare. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll never forget.
I visited the island on a press trip and never knew that Mauritius had this surprise waiting for me. I was not aware of undertaking this adventure until we arrived at the Blue Safari Mauritius. As you can imagine, I felt very curious and at the same time a bit afraid. After all, going on a submarine is not something you do every day…
Following the briefing, a small boat transported us to a larger boat docked a bit further away from the coast. When the captain of the 10-passenger tourist submarine that would take us to the bottom of the sea welcomed us explained the procedure, I became a little more scared. I was thinking of throwing in the towel…
But then I gathered all my courage and got on board. The moment they closed the door of the submarine, in my mind I told myself that I could not do anything else anymore, but make the most of it. So I calmed down and began to enjoy the experience which turned out to be truly amazing!
We dove slowly to 40 meters under the surface and it was like being in a dream. It felt like I was hallucinating; watching the fish of different colors and sizes moving freely next to the corals was mind-blowing. We even saw a giant turtle. At times, I felt like we were watching a National Geographic movie or documentary, but then in real life.
Furthermore, this experience really helps you to understand our planet better. I am now more aware than ever that there is all this incredible underwater world and that we must be responsible and take better care of our planet.
All in all, going on a submarine was an incredible adventure and one of the most memorable things to do in Mauritius. It’s something I would recommend to everyone. And if you are a little afraid, as I was, it is a great way to help you face your fears and open up your mind to new experiences.
Practical information: This activity is suitable for most people and also for kids from about 4 years old. It takes about 2 hours, with about 40-45 minutes underwater. It’s not cheap, but it’s one of the most special things you’ll ever do, so definitely worth the money. Here you can book this submarine tour in Mauritius (transfers from/to certain locations included).
Suggested by Annika from the Swedish blog Resfredag.
A fun activity and a great opportunity to get a bit off the beaten path in Mauritius is to go for a guided e-bike day trip. It’s fun, it’s easy, and it allows you to travel slower and appreciate the scenery more. We did an e-bike tour on the south part of the island and I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for something fun to do in Mauritius.
What makes e-biking so special is the chance to see more of the local side of Mauritius. We were cycling through tiny villages, past pristine beaches, finally reaching one of the most magnificent and beautiful viewpoints in Mauritius: La Roche Qui Pleure. It was such a fun day!
Practical information: This e-bike tour starts at 8.30 AM and ends at 3 PM in Bel Ombre. So count the whole day for this activity. Bring sunscreen and sunglasses, the company will provide you with drinking water (and raincoats if needed) and you will also stop for a super delicious lunch at a local restaurant. It’s also suitable for kids from about 1.47m (4’8) height.
19. Casela World of Adventures
Suggested by Veruska and Giuseppe from The Foodellers.
One of the best activities we recommend in Mauritius is Casela World of Adventures, also known as Casela Nature Park. It’s a sort of outdoor amusement/animal park, both for families with kids as well as adults. It’s something different to do on Mauritius Island; perfect if you are like us and get easily bored on the beach.
We went zip-lining and took part in a 1-hour safari quad. You can pump your adrenaline at the Nepalese Bridge overlooking the canyon and from there jump on the 400m zipline. So much fun!
The quad safari takes place on a rugged plateau and allows you to see zebras, ostriches, and African antelopes without bothering them. It is surely something you don’t expect to see in Mauritius. At first, we were quite skeptical about the safari, but we really loved it.
We visited in the morning and the place was already packed (it was mid-November and a school holiday in Mauritius, so it might be less busy in other periods). Since this is a natural park for families and children, a lot of activities with animals are carried on all day long. The good thing is that the more adventurous activities take place in a separate area of the park, where it’s not as crowded. Our best tip to enjoy the park is to go directly to the attractions you’ve chosen to do and skip the animal/zoo part.
We haven’t taken part in any of the activities where you interact with animals and we highly recommend you do the same. Stay away from animal feeding, petting, and any other activity that includes playing with wild animals. Come here to enjoy the Thrill Mountain and the Quad Safari and have fun doing something completely unexpected in Mauritius!
Practical information: Open daily from 9 AM to 5P M, except on some holidays. You can get a ticket to Casela Nature Reserve with hotel pick-up. However, many activities (such as zip-lining and quad) are not included in the entrance ticket price.
20. Helicopter Tour
Suggested by Keith from Velvet Escape. On his blog, you can find more inspiration and information for a helicopter tour of Mauritius.
Mauritius is world-famous for its breathtaking coast, with its crystal-clear turquoise lagoons and shimmering white beaches. And there is no better way to appreciate all this beauty than from the air.
So if you are looking for something really special to do in Mauritius, I can highly recommend a helicopter tour. The jaw-dropping panoramas and the amazing colors are simply unforgettable. Spectacular views over the azure-blue sea and green mountains will take your breath away!
To me, this is one of the most memorable experiences ever and one of the best things to do in Mauritius!
Practical information: One of the most impressive aerial sights in Mauritius is an underwater waterfall that is located in the southwest of the island (close to Le Morne mountain, mentioned earlier). Many Mauritius helicopter tours go there. The cheapest tour that I found is this helicopter tour. There are several companies and prices vary a lot, so do some research before you book.
TIP: If a helicopter trip is above your budget, but you want an extraordinary experience of seeing Mauritius from above, you may want to check skydiving instead.
Suggested by Roobens from Been Around The Globe.
If you are looking for something different and really fun to do in Mauritius, I highly recommend flyboarding. You’re gonna love it!
Even if you’ve never done it before or if you’re not comfortable in the water, don’t worry. You’ll have a life jacket and just float on the water. Furthermore, it’s easier to do it than it looks at first sight.
Basically, you’re standing on a type of hoverboard powered by gas turbines. It’s also called Flyn’Dive-Board. As your guide turns it on, you go up in the air, above the water. It really feels like flying! It takes a few minutes to get used to it and to master balance, but once you get to know how it works, you just don’t want to stop. It’s so much fun!
We went flyboarding with a few people and none of us had done it before. At first, we were all hesitating to do it, but we gave it a try and had a great time! As fun as it is, flyboarding experience only lasts 20 minutes. Make the most of it!
Flyboarding is not a common activity and it’s not something you can do every day, so I really recommend you give it a try. It will make your time in Mauritius even more special!
Practical information: At the moment, there’s only one company in Mauritius where you can try flyboarding. It’s located in Grand Baie, in the north of the island, and flyboarding itself is just a few minutes away from their office. Make sure to book in advance! Here you can find some customer reviews for this activity.
22. Swimming with Wild Dolphins
Suggested by Patrizia from the Italian blog Fashion For Travel.
If you are looking for an unforgettable experience in Mauritius, then you cannot miss the ‘swim with the wild dolphins‘ boat trip! It’s one of the most memorable things to do on your Mauritius vacation.
After a short ride, your boat will stop in the middle of nowhere and while you’re wondering what will happen now, you’ll immediately see some dolphins coming out of the water. The bright light of the early sun and the shape of those wonderful creatures so close to you is something you won’t forget, but… the best is yet to come!
Don’t jump into the water just yet! Your boat will run very speedily away far from dolphins, then suddenly stop and your driver will hurry you to jump in the water and look down. The first time I jumped in, I saw 6 big dolphins and a baby dolphin, swimming just a few meters under my belly. It’s simply incredible! I made about ten different jumps during my boat trip and once I got so close to the dolphin who was about to come out of the water that I could have touched him. This was such an incredibly emotional moment. Unforgettable and highly recommended!
Practical information: Dolphin trips always take place early morning as that is the best time to see them. But it’s totally worth the early start! Here you can book your swimming with dolphins experience in Mauritius.
23. Kayaking in Tamarin Bay
Suggested by Sandy from Voyager – Sandy & Vyjay.
There are many places where you can go kayaking in Mauritius. In fact, pretty much every luxury resort offers kayaks, SUPS, and other non-motorized water activities free of charge… But one of the nicest places to do this might be the area between the Tamarin Bay and Grande Riviere Noire.
What makes Tamarin Bay special is its picturesque scenery, overlooking the peak of the majestic Rempart Mountain which dominates the horizon. The impressive mountain combines with the blue skies, white clouds, emerald waters, and the lush greenery to create an illusion of a stunning life-size painting. Furthermore, dolphins are often seen in this area.
In addition, several rivers flow into the ocean here – Rivière du Rempart and Riviere Tamarin on Tamarin Bay itself and Riviere Noire further down south. So you can also kayak between the mangroves. We paddled into a narrow passage of water. Mangroves flanked both sides, the only sound was that of our paddles striking the water. We stopped paddling and just sat in our kayaks savoring some moments of bliss in what seemed like paradise. It’s a unique and beautiful experience in itself.
Practical information: We kayaked from our hotel Veranda Tamarin. There is also a public beach nearby, so it might be possible to rent a kayak there, but I am not sure. Otherwise, you can always join one of the guided boat tours in this area.
24. Beach, Snorkeling, Diving, and Water Sports
No guide to the best things to do in Mauritius would be complete without mentioning all the amazing watersports and beach activities that you can do in Mauritius.
In addition to the really special water activities like going on a submarine, diving in a sub-scooter, or flyboarding mentioned earlier in this article, you can also go snorkeling, diving, and do countless other fun activities such as sailing, kayaking, SUP, water skiing, banana boat rides, and more… Many hotels offer free glass-bottom boat tours, so you can even see the underwater world without having to get wet.
Practical information: If you are staying at one of the luxury 4 or 5-star resorts in Mauritius, you’ll usually find a big range of available activities at your hotel. Usually, a lot of these activities are included in your stay. Otherwise, you can book snorkeling excursions, diving trips, or dolphin and whale-watching trips online. Possibilities are literally endless.
TIP: If you are still looking for a hotel in Mauritius, you may want to check out The Ravenala Attitude. It’s a great-value luxury 4-star resort with a great all-in formula that includes a big range of activities.
The three places mentioned below are the main attractions along the Mauritius Tea Route. Find out!
25. Le Domaine des Aubineaux
Suggested by Julie from A Lady in London.
Le Domaine des Aubineaux is one of the three estates on La Route du The (Mauritius Tea Route, sometimes also called Mauritius Tea, Rum, and Vanilla Route). The other two are Bois Cheri and the Saint Aubin house (see below). Each one specializes in something different, from tea to rum. This house’s focus is on the history of domestic life on the island.
Located in Curepipe in the center of Mauritius Island, Le Domaine des Aubineaux is a historic house/ museum. Constructed in 1872 from the wood of sailing ships that came to Mauritius, it was the first house built in the English colonial style on the island. Interestingly, It was also the first private residence to be wired with electricity.
Originally a family residence, Le Domaine des Aubineaux is a museum with original furniture that belonged to the people that lived here for generations. Visitors can tour the house from attic to washrooms and see what life was like for some of the island’s inhabitants. Outside, you can explore the expansive surrounding gardens, that have different walking paths under the camphor trees. It’s also possible to have tea or lunch on the veranda.
Practical information: Museum is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. The restaurant here is very good, so it might be a good stop for lunch. Combination tickets are available if you want to visit several houses of the Mauritius Tea Route.
26. Bois Cheri Tea Gardens and Factory
Suggested by Lavina from Continent Hop.
The second place along Mauritius Tea Route is Bois Cheri Tea Factory. Located in the town of Bois Cheri, it is the biggest and oldest tea plantation in Mauritius. A visit here takes you through a sensory journey of how the tea leaves are picked to how they’re dried, flavored and packed. Irrespective of whether you’re a tea or coffee person, the Bois Cheri Tea Gardens will entice you!
The guided factory tour is a great way to get acquainted with the whole process of tea production and its importance to Mauritius. You can then visit the museum and finish off your tour with a tea tasting. The breathtaking panoramic view you get of the South of Mauritius while tasting is unlike any other!
You’re given a big pot of hot water and boxes of various teas are placed before you. Some of them include exotic ingredients like Moringa and Rooibos. What made it special for me was that you could try all of the teas on offer, including herbal and green teas, as many times as you like!
Practical information: The tea factory is open from 9 AM to 5 PM daily, except on Sundays and public holidays. The factory tour is very short, but with tea tasting and all, you should probably count 1-2 hours for a visit. At the moment, a visit costs about 15 EUR/ adult and 9 EUR/child. Bois Cheri is a popular stop on the Mauritian Tea Route and one of the best ways to visit it is with this highly-rated tour.
27. Saint Aubin – La Maison de la Vanille
Le Domaine de Saint Aubin, located in the south of the island, is probably the nicest of the three estates along the Mauritius Tea Route. Built in 1819, this beautiful colonial house used to stand next to the sugar factory, surrounded by sugarcane. It has been moved to its current location in the ’70s and now serves as a restaurant and a museum.
The Domain is home to the Vanilla House (La Maison de la Vanille) and the Rum House (La Maison du Rhum) where you can learn everything about vanilla as well as about rum making. And yes, you can taste some rum. In addition, there is a tropical spice garden, a playground for the kids, and a petting farm.
There is also a nice restaurant and activities like quad biking are available as well. If you want to, you can even stay at their beautiful guesthouse Auberge de Saint Aubin.
Practical information: The domain is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. If you don’t have a car (or if you want to taste rum), I recommend visiting it with this highly-rated tour that also includes Bois Cheri and other interesting places in that area.
And, finally, no list of the best things to do in Mauritius would be complete without mentioning some of its more local attractions. Take a look!
28. Horse Racing at Champ de Mars Racecourse
Suggested by Céline from the French blog Je Papote.
If you want to discover the local Mauritian culture, you have to go to the Champ de Mars racecourse in Port Louis! Horse racing is THE national sport of the country. Seeing a horse race here is so typically Mauritian and not to be missed if you are looking for something really special to do in Mauritius!
Inaugurated in 1812, the Champ de Mars is the oldest racecourse in the southern hemisphere and the second oldest in the world. Horse races are an institution in themselves on Mauritius island. They take place every weekend from the end of March to the beginning of December and are also broadcasted live on television.
In September, you can attend to the big race of the year, the Maiden Cup, the most popular race of the season.
Attending horse races is a great way to share a memorable moment with local Mauritians, many of whom come to bet here every single weekend. The atmosphere is incredible with the shouts of supporters of all ages.
There are plenty of food courts and during the breaks, you will be able to taste the typical specialties such as dholl puri (sort of flatbread stuffed with split yellow peas), gateaux piment (Mauritian chili cakes), and others.
Practical information: Admission is free unless you wish to watch the races from the VIP lodges. I love following the races from the plain – I find the atmosphere there really adds to the experience. But if you want to have an all-in VIP experience with transfers, Crown lodge, and food included, you may want to book one of these packages. The races are held on Saturdays and Sundays starting at noon. It’s a popular thing to do in Mauritius on the weekends, so expect quite some crowd. If you are planning to stand, make sure to get there early for the best spots.
29. Port Louis Central Market
Suggested by Madhurima from Orange Wayfarer.
If you know a bit of Mauritius’ history, you will be intrigued to find plenty of cultural anecdotes to the Indian subcontinent. However, you won’t find much typically-Indian chaos by the azure blue seashore… For that, you’ll have to visit the century-old Central Market at Port Louis! It is an amusing place with vibrant street life, an abundance of stalls, and myriad stories unfolding at every corner. The Central Market at Port Louis has my heart! This place is also a delight for every street photography lover.
The market was built by the French in the 18th century. It’s a favorite with locals and tourists alike. One part of the market houses stalls selling fresh vegetables. I found pumpkins, tomatoes, herbs, and some tropical fruits, differing in size from the produce back home in India.
In the interiors, you’ll find plenty of small stalls selling home-cooked food. No visit to the Central Bazar would be complete without trying a sumptuous Dholl Puri. In the front, the market has a segment selling myriad masks, handcrafts carved out of coconut shells, fridge magnets, and other souvenirs. Haggling will take you far at the Central market. Locals recommend starting at 40% (!) of the original price quote.
Practical information: The market is open daily from 5 AM to 5.30 PM. Sundays – till 11.30 AM.
30. Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis
Suggested by Sara from In Africa and Beyond.
The oldest shopping center in Mauritius, the Caudan Waterfront, is located along the edge of the harbor in Port Louis. Named after a Frenchman who had a saltpan here in the 18th century, it became a collection of unused (or abandoned) warehouses. Nowadays, it is a lively place and a local favorite, that houses boutique stores, restaurants, hotels, a cinema, and much more.
The Blue Penny Museum, that is home to two of the rarest stamps in the world can also be found here. There is an arts and crafts market here, fountains, monuments, and play areas for children. Huge cruise ships can often be seen docked here too.
The Caudan Waterfront is a pleasant place to take a stroll, have a fresh seafood lunch, or some ice cream. It is also one of the most popular Instagram locations in Port Louis due to the umbrella-covered promenade which changes colors every now and then. The umbrellas provide shade as well as a pretty photo backdrop.
Practical information: The Caudan waterfront shopping center is open daily, except Sundays, from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM. Some restaurants in this area are open daily and most are open for dinner.
31. Shopping Bargains, Food & Spa at Bagatelle Mall
Suggested by Lea from the German blog Escape-Town.
Let’s be very honest – you won’t be coming all the way to beautiful Mauritius to visit a shopping mall. But, if you’re on the hunt for some value-for-money spices or have some spare time on a rainy day, Bagatelle Shopping Mall near Port Louis is a good local place to visit in Mauritius.
Located just off the main highway M1 that connects the capital with the airport, the mall offers all-day dining options with an open-air food court, international shopping outlets, a movie theater, and two supermarkets.
Food Lovers is great for international products and bites to eat on the go. Intermart is bigger and has a huge range of spices. Most of them are way cheaper than at the markets, especially if you’re looking to buy cinnamon, chilies or vanilla beans. You can also get local rum (New Grove, Saint Aubin, Labourdannais) there, as well as local beers (Phoenix, Thirsty Fox, Blue Marlin) at good prices.
If you’re looking for a good steak dinner, Savinia is the place to go. They’re experts in dry-aging and preparing meat. The food is delicious and the salted butter caramel ice cream is to die for.
For those of you less enthusiastic about shopping, there is also a Spa that offers a large variety of massages and beauty treatments for small budgets. I went for the 60min Swedish massage to get my back relaxed before jumping on an overnight flight at a cost of around 17 EUR. In comparison, the same massage would cost you at least 5 times the price at the luxury resorts nearby.
Practical information: Opening hours of the mall are 9.30 AM to 8.30 PM daily, on Fridays and Saturdays it’s open till 10 PM, on Sundays and public holidays till 3 PM.
Map of the Best Things to Do in Mauritius
To make it easier for you to plan your time in Mauritius, I created a map indicating all the best places to visit and things to do in Mauritius mentioned in this article. Take a look below. You can also download this map to your phone, but you’ll need an Internet connection in order to use it.
How to Use This Map: Use your computer mouse to zoom in or out. Click on the icons on the map to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the left top corner for the index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu button and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’.
So, these are the best places to visit and the very best things to do in Mauritius. Unless you have two weeks on the islands, you probably won’t be able to see everything. But this selection should give you a very good idea of what there is to see and do in Mauritius and help you choose places and activities that interest you the most. Enjoy your trip!
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- Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.
- If you’re gonna be two-faced at least make one of them pretty.
- Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
- A day without laughter is a day wasted.
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