Blessed with deep blue seas, sandy white beaches and dreamy tropical luxury, Mauritius is a beautiful island country located in the Indian Ocean. Uninhabited till 16th century, the place is a biodiversity hotspot with great geographic variations with a friendly local population that make the place the beach destination of choice for travelers. Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions of Mauritius that you would love to visit:
The Grand Baie: Said to be one of the main tourist attractions of Mauritius, The Grand Bay is traveler’s paradise as well as a great shopping destination. Famous for its excitingly vibrant nightlife, the fun at the beach is not just limited to the night birds. With a long shoreline lapping with deep blue waters and sandy beaches, you can indulge yourself with swimming, windsurfing, waterskiing, and sailing in addition to other water sports activities. You can even book yourself on various helicopter excursions that depart from the bay or deep sea fishing and boat excursions that take you to the more exotic islands that lie to the north of Mauritius including Flat Island, Gunners’ Quoin, Serpent Island and Round Island.
Tamarind Falls: Also known as the Tamarin Falls, this beautiful waterfall is located to the southwest of Mauritius. Though a little difficult to reach, the place is well worth the effort when you are awarded with the beauty of the national park and the awe of taking a deep cool bathe at the bottom of a series of seven spectacular waterfalls. The best way to enjoy the place is to book yourself on a full day hiking trip with a guide where you shall be guided down an impressive canyon with both forest and water giving you equal company. The pace may well be termed as a tropical paradise with various exotic plants, birds and animals dotting the area nearby. Though the hike may be a little steep and fit for only healthy physically fit people, yet the place is well worth the effort made with the calm beauty it offers to everyone.
Chamarel Village: Located in the Black River District of Mauritius, Chamarel Village is small village with a population of just 700 but possessing great scenic locations and natural attractions in its folds. One of the main attractions of the place is the ‘Seven Colored Earth’ that refers to dunes that display seven different colors. Spreading over a large area, these fine sand dunes sparkle with various colors during the day creating an amazing spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed. The place is also famous for its local grown coffee and the famous Rum distillery.
Le Morne Brabant: Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this peninsula has a special significance in the history with relation to runaway slaves who formed the first settlements on the summit and the caves of Le Morne Mountain. The place has become a symbol of the fight the slaves made for their freedom as well as their sufferings and their sacrifices. In addition to its historical significance, the pace is hugely popular among the tourists for its single standing Basaltic rock that stands at a height of 1821 feet above sea level. The place is also home to some of the rarest plant species of the world such as Trochetia boutoniana and Mandrinette.
Black River Gorges: Spread over an area of over 16,244 hectares, Back River Gorges National Park is the sole national park of Mauritius that covers over 3.5% of the total island surface and is home to over 300 species of plants and some nine exotic Mauritius specific species of birds. The place is a paradise for nature lovers as they will get to watch some rare bird species along ith some rarely found plat species such as the dodo tree, the black ebony trees and wild guavas. There is also the famous Pink Pigeon that is slowly staging a comeback from the brink of extinction. Opened in 1994, the park is best traversed through hiking trails that may not always be well marked, thus necessitating the need of a guide, that shall take you through an exciting forest expanse giving you ample opportunity to do some bird watching and catch some scenic locations on the way.
Blue Penny Museum: For all you philatelics, this is one place that will surely find its way on your itinerary. The place is an embodiment of the Mauritian obsession with one penny and two pence stamps from 1847. The place gives you an insight into the island’s history through its exploration, settlement and colonial period maps, photographs and engravings. However, the pride of their fantastic collection are the two world’s rarest stamps- the blue two pence and a red one penny Post Office stamps issued in 1847. In fact, they are preserved in such a way that they are lit up for only 10 minutes at a time every hour making them a national treasure and most valuable objects on the entire island. There is also an added attraction of viewing the country’s most famous art work on the ground floor o the building- an 1884 carved life like statue by the famous Mauritian sculptor Prosper d’Epinay.
Lion Mountain: Immediately recognizable due to its sphinx like profile, the Lion Mountains overlook the Vieux grand Port and offers some stunning views of the coast. The walk up the lion’s back to the head of the mountain may be very challenging for some but offers some rewarding moments when you reach to the summit. In fact, you can see right across the interiors of the island from the top thus making an excellent view that is worth making the effort.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens: According to popular opinion, after London’s Kew Gardens, the SSR Botanical Gardens of Mauritius is the best place in the world to learn more about flora and fauna. Easily accessible from anywhere in Mauritius, the place is named after the first prime minister of independent Mauritius along with housing the special funeral platform where he was cremated. Best traversed with the help of a guide who intimates you with the most interesting species of plants in the park, the place was started as a vegetable plot in 1735 but came into its own in 1768 under the auspices of French horticulturist Pierre Poivre. In fact, during earlier times, the place has been home to some very credible horticultural espionage. However, the central attraction of the place is a giant pond filled with south American giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies. The place is home to trees planted by some of the most noted dignitaries of the world such as Indira Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and various others.