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What to do in Mauritius to get off the beaten track?
1. Stare in awe at Chamarel Waterfall
Chamarel waterfall is one of the tallest waterfalls in Mauritius, dropping at a height of 100 meters! To get there you’ll have to pay an entrance fee that also includes a visit to the Seven-Colored Earth which is made up of colorful sand dunes.
You’ll find two viewpoints here, one on the left side of the parking lot, and the other one is found higher up by taking the stairs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can follow the trail which leads down to the waterfall.
2. Chamarel Seven-Coloured Earth
What makes Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth unique are the colorful sand dunes which were formed thousands of years ago from volcanic activity. The multiple layers of red, brown, green, blue, violet, purple and yellow are what attract most tourists to this part of Mauritius.
For the best experience, make sure to visit on a bright sunny day. This is the only time you’ll be able to see all seven colors clearly. You’ll also find a small tortoise park and a souvenir shop where you can buy locally-grown coffee.
3. Visit Eau Bleue Waterfall
Located in the village of Cluny, visiting Eau Bleue waterfall is one of the most underrated things to do in Mauritius. Eau Bleue is actually made up of six waterfalls and despite being incredibly beautiful, Eau Bleue is almost never crowded. So, if you want to swim in the clearest water without the hordes of tourists, Eau Bleue is the place for you!
4. Le Souffleur and Savinia Beach
One of the most non-touristy things to do in Mauritius is, without a doubt, visiting Le Souffleur and Savinia Beach.
At Le Souffleur you’ll witness one of the most spectacular blowholes in Mauritius! You’ll rarely find a huge crowd there, most probably because the road leading to this spot is pretty rough but the view is so worth it!
And if you decide to explore a little further away, you’ll find Savinia Beach, which is by far the most secret beach on the island. I didn’t even know about it until this year and I’m so glad I got to visit. It’s the perfect place to relax without the hordes of tourists!
5. La Vallée des Couleurs
La Vallée des Couleurs is a nature park famous for its 23 coloured earth, waterfalls, and wide range of outdoor activities including ziplines, a Nepalese bridge, quad biking and more.
During my visit, I opted for the waterfall zipline. It was short but quite a thrill to zipline over the river and straight to the top of a waterfall! I also visited the 23 coloured earth and geology tunnel before ending with a little hike to the waterfalls.
I found that 2 hours was enough to visit the main attractions but if you prefer to do more activities, you could easily spend the whole day there.
6. Vallée de Ferney
The Vallée de Ferney is a forest and wildlife reserve located in the southeast of Mauritius, near Mahebourg. You can hike around the valley on your own or hire a guide for a small fee. The path is well-marked so you can easily follow the trail and admire the indigenous plant species and rare birds.
Vallée de Ferney is open every day from 9 a.m to 5 p.m.
7. Ebony Forest
Ebony Forest is a nature reserve, located in the village of Chamarel. There are different hiking trails leading to panoramic views over Le Morne Brabant and Ile aux Bénitiers.
There is an entrance fee which includes access to the museum, self-guided hike to Ridgeline, Sublime Point and Piton Canot. Also included is a 30-minute guided tour along the Flycatcher walkway which is a suspended bridge that takes you around the forest and if you’re lucky you may even spot some rare endemic birds.
You can also do other activities such as bird watching, the Love Tree tour where you’ll plant your own endemic tree, or the sunset tour including snacks and drinks.
8. Visit the Chateau de Labourdonnais
Built in 1856, the Chateau de Labourdonnais is a beautiful colonial mansion that has now been converted into a museum. Located in Mapou in the north (less than a 25 minutes dive from Port Louis), the building looks quite impressive from the outside surrounded by its numerous gardens.
You can visit the mansion by taking a self-guided tour which includes a complimentary tasting session of several types of locally-made rums and fruit juices.
9. Explore the Eureka Waterfalls
Another thing to do in Mauritius is visit the Eureka Waterfalls. Located behind the Eureka House in Moka are four waterfalls all within a few minutes from each other with quite an easy trail to follow.
10. Visit the Albion Lighthouse
The Albion Lighthouse is located along the west coast of Mauritius and is a great spot for sunset watching. The red and white lighthouse stands at a height of 30 meters on top of the cliffs and is among the most popular photography locations in Mauritius.
Below the cliffs, you’ll find beach caves and rock pools and you can also walk around the cliffs to enjoy the view.
11. Explore hidden spots at Gris Gris Beach
Gris Gris beach is a gorgeous beach perfect for watching the strong waves crash against the cliffs and without a doubt one of the best things to do in Mauritius! The currents here are very strong, so swimming isn’t advisable. You can instead walk along the coastline to explore the hiking trails leading to “La Roche Qui Pleure”, beach caves, and three hidden waterfalls!
12. Explore the Pyramids of Mauritius
Although the pyramids in Mauritius are completely different from those in Egypt, they make for a nice photo backdrop! The pyramids are found in the south of Mauritius, only a few minutes from the airport. So, if you are staying in the area, there’s no excuse to skip this Mauritius attraction!
13. Have an adventure-filled day at Casela World of Adventures
Casela World of Adventure is an adventure park/zoo located in the west of Mauritius and a great thing to do for families.
Those who seek a dose of adrenaline can choose any activity on the Thrill Mountain package (for an additional fee), from zip-lining to bungee jumping to walking on the Nepalese bridge while taking in the view of the mountains and forest!
You can also do a safari to spot various animals such as zebras, giraffes, ostriches and more roaming freely or just take a stroll around the park.
The best time to visit is during weekdays when it’s not too crowded. The park is open every day from 9 a.m to 5 p.m
14. Visit the SSR Botanical Garden Pamplemousses
Another top thing to do in Mauritius is to visit the SSR Botanical Garden (Pamplemousses Garden). Famous for its giant Water Lilies, the garden is great for a quick nature stroll under the shade. There are also several walkways lined with rows of palm trees that make for a great photo backdrop.
15. Telfair Garden (Souillac Beach)
Telfair garden is located by the beach of Souillac and is among the most picturesque locations to visit in Mauritius. Take a stroll along the beach to watch the waves and witness the fishermen at work or have a little picnic on the beach.
16. Admire the epic coastline at Macondé Viewpoint
If you’re planning a road trip along the south coast of Mauritius make sure you add Macondé viewpoint to your Mauritius travel itinerary. Macondé viewpoint, also known as Captain Matthew Flinders Monument, is located across a hairpin turn and offers incredible views over the Indian Ocean. The viewpoint is easily accessible through a narrow set of stairs but you have to be careful when going up as it’s usually very windy.
17. Malenga Viewpoint
What if you could get to one of the most underrated scenic spots in Mauritius without any hiking at all? Overlooking Pieter Both and Deux Mamelles mountains, Malenga viewpoint is a great place to visit for those who seek tranquility. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the northern islets!
There’s also a little wooden kiosk where you can have a picnic with a view! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can visit the two small waterfalls found down the stairs leading to the village of Creve Coeur.
Note: If you’re coming by car, you can park at this spot which also has a pretty nice view.
18. Plateau Remousse Viewpoint
Located in the Black River Gorges National Park, the Plateau Remousse trail leads to one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Mauritius! Those who brave the steep trail will be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of the lush green vegetation clinging to the mountains.
Although the path leading to the viewpoint is rather steep, it’s still accessible to all fitness levels. You can start your hike from the Black River Visitor Center (west side) and make your way through the forest until you reach an intersection and a sign showing the way to Plateau Remousse.
From there, it’s just a matter of following the signs until you reach the viewpoint.
19. Trou aux Cerfs
Located in Curepipe, Trou aux Cerfs is a dormant volcano and one of the most popular natural attractions in Mauritius. There’s a paved track that goes all around the crater, making it a popular spot among joggers.
You’ll also find a kiosk and a few benches scattered around if you want to take a rest and enjoy the panoramic views over the Curepipe, Trois Mamelles, Le Pouce and Pieter Both mountains.
There’s enough parking space at the entrance and public toilets are available as well.
20. Church and temple to visit
i) Visit Notre Dame Auxiliatrice Chapel
Notre Dame Auxiliatrice is a small red-colored roof chapel set against the white-sand beach of Cap Malheureux. It’s one of the most beautiful places to visit in Mauritius especially during sunset and a popular photo spot among newly-weds.
ii) Visit the Ganga Talao (Grand Bassin)
If you’re wondering what to do in Mauritius Island, make sure to visit Ganga Talao, also known as Grand Bassin. It’s a large crater lake located in the central region of Mauritius close to the Black River Gorges National Park.
The Ganga Talao is the most important place of worship for the Hindu community of Mauritius and is home to a 33-meter statue of Lord Shiva, the tallest on the whole island.
In 1972, water was brought from the Ganges in India and mixed in Grand Bassin to create a link between these two religious sites. Nowadays, every year during the Maha Shivaratri celebrations, thousands of Hindus from every corner of Mauritius go on a pilgrimage to the Ganga Talao.
If you want to visit Grand Bassin as part of a tour, I recommend booking this private tour which also includes visits to Trou aux Cerfs, Chamarel, Black River Gorges, Alexandra Falls and Rhumerie de Chamarel.
The lake looks very peaceful and is dotted with temples and statues of Hindu Gods. Be careful of the monkeys though as there are quite a few in this area. Nevertheless, it’s one of the best places to visit in Mauritius for free.