Mauritius is an island nation in the East Indian Ocean known for pristine beaches, plunging waterfalls, verdant rainforests, colorful coral reefs, and cool lagoons. Diverse culture and sumptuous cuisine only add to the island’s allure. A popular dive destination, there’s an underwater world that’s equally enticing. Those lucky enough to make it to this heaven on earth will appreciate these 25 things to do in Mauritius.
1.Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site
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Only the most significant places around the world have the honor of becoming a World Heritage Site. Aapravasi Ghat is one of those places. Once an immigration port for an Indian workforce, the site is now a century and a half old. The site is recognized as part of the British government’s decision to transition from slavery to employing an indentured servant workforce. The site features a memorial to those that were brought there. With remnants of the sugar plantations on the site, a historic military hospital, and former customs areas, taking a guided walking tour through Aapravasi Ghat is a great way to understand a bit more about the complex history of Mauritius.
Ex-DWC Building, 1 Quay Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-17-31-58
2.Black River Gorges National Park
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Located in the southwestern part of Mauritius, Black River Gorges National Park is the largest protected land area in the island nation. Many endemic animal species live in the park, including the Mauritian flying fox, a bat, and an echo parakeet, a bird known for its bright green color. It’s also common to run into others enjoying the park, hiking and jogging. With tables located along the trails, the park is a great place to have a picnic. The park protects the remaining Mauritius rainforest and, by continuing its conservation efforts, will continue to do so for generations to come.
B103 Plaine Champagne Road, Mauritius, Phone: +23-04-64-40-53
3.Blue Penny Museum
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The Blue Penny MuseumCaudan Waterfront, Block A, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-10-81-76
4.Blue Safari Submarines
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Gliding through the ocean waters, the submarine is a great place to observe sea animals up close. Blue Safari Submarines allows visitors to go deep in the Indian Ocean to see diverse wildlife, including colorful fishes and the mako shark, the fastest shark. Although no children under the age of 2 are allowed on the submarine, there’s no upper age limit, making the submarines are a great family-friendly option for all generations. Passengers also have the option of boarding a subscooter to explore on their own or with a partner. Besides observing the oceanic wildlife, Blue Safari also offers underwater lunches and champagne dives.
Coastal Road, Trou aus Biches, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-65-72-72
5.Bras d'Eau National Park
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In the northeast part of the island, Bras d’Eau National Park is home to an assortment of native wildlife and flora. It’s actually one of only three national parks in all of Mauritius. Hiking and bird watching are two of the most popular ways for visitors to enjoy the park. There are two trails here, the Coq des Bois Trail and the Coq de Bois Loop. Both wind through the forest and are easy to explore. Native vegetation in the park includes a thriving mangrove population, and native wildlife to the park includes many colorful migratory birds. This coastal region tends to be hot and humid.
Bras D’Eau, Mauritius, Phone: +23-04-10-53-62
6.Casela Nature & Leisure Park
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The most visited park on the island, Casela Nature and Leisure Park sits on a hill overlooking sugarcane fields with Rempart Mountain in the background. Established in 1979 as a bird sanctuary, the park has become a favorite among tourists and locals alike. Casela hosts a variety of adventures for everyone in the family. Parkgoers can try ziplining, get face-to-face with a cheetah, or ride a camel through the nature reserve. Young kids will enjoy feeding the lorikeets and giraffes, which also makes for great photo opportunities. A big part of the Mauritius economy, park revenue also helps conservation efforts on the island.
Route Royal, Cascavelle, Mauritius, Phone: +23-04-01-65-00
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Over 200 feet tall, the Chamarel Waterfall has been enjoyed by visitors and locals for generations. From afar, the best views of the waterfall are of the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth reserve. To get up close to the falls, which are formed by the River St. Denis, there is a trail that leads to the shallow waters beneath. Surrounded by the lush vegetation of the Black River Gorges, this is one of the most beautiful sites on the island. Adrenaline seekers can reserve an opportunity to abseil from the top to the pool, a descent of about 310 feet, with Vertical World.
Riviere Noire District, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-69-10-00
8.Champ de Mars Racecourse
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Since the early 1800s, horse racing has been a hugely popular pastime in Mauritius. The Champ de Mars is not only a racecourse but is also an integral part of Mauritius history. Over a 150 years after its opening, the country made the racecourse the locale for their declaration of independence. Although the island nation is small, the racecourse is held to a high international standard and thoroughbred horses from all over the world are brought here to compete. Today, admissions to the grounds are usually free of charge while tickets in the stands are about Rs 50 to Rs 100.
9 Dauphine Street Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-12-22-12
9.Chateau de Labourdonnais
© Chateau de Labourdonnais
The Chateau de Labourdonnais has been home to the Wiehe family for over a century. Evolving from a personal property to a place for visitors and locals to visit hasn’t put a damper on the architectural history of the home. The château is now also home to a crop processing center where the home brand Les Vergers de Labourdonnais supplies most of the hotels with fresh fruits. A charming café close to the château is the perfect place to relax with a cup of coffee or a quiche. Large events are commonplace on the property, and cocktail receptions, weddings, and conferences are hosted on the grounds, which feature an extensive garden.
Riviere Du Rempart, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-66-95-33
10.Curepipe Botanic Gardens
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Home to the world’s rarest palm tree, the informal Curepipe Botanic Gardens are a natural reserve located in Plaines Wilhems District in Curepipe (also referred to as La Ville-Lumière, or The City of Light). Originally planned to be the location of exotic plants, they now comprise the second largest botanical garden in Mauritius. The garden’s design in 1870 was to aid the growth of plants that thrive in cool weather. Boasting the rarest and most endangered endemic plants of Mauritius, the Curepipe Botanical Gardens, are a quiet place in nature for guests to relax on their island vacation. There is also a lake and river on the property.
Route des Jardins, Curepipe, Mauritius, Phone: +23-06-74-00-03
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Overlooking the picturesque skyline of Port Louis, Fort Adélaide, otherwise known as La Citadelle, dates back to 1835, when the British colonists first built the fortification under the direction of William IV. Originally built to guard the harbor below against enemy attacks, today the fort remains preserved as a cultural heritage site. Tourists take a 10-minute hike to visit the fort at no cost and enjoy its panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and city below. Up top, visitors can explore inside, view cannons on display, and take the stairs up to the roof.
Sebastopol Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-42-21-29
12.Frederik Hendrik Museum
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History buffs shouldn’t miss the Frederik Hendrik Museum, located on the southeast coast in Vieux Grand Port. Although this open-air museum has not completed all of its excavations, visitors can enter for free and explore ruins from the Dutch and French colonial settlements, including the original fort and dwellings. Walking through the ruins, sightseers can imagine the arrival of the first Dutch ships in 1638, discovering the island’s secrets like the strange and endearing dodo. The museum, surrounded by lovely tropical gardens, showcases area history and displays artifacts, archeological finds, and a dodo skeleton.
Vieux Grand Port, Mauritius, Phone: +23-06-34-43-19
© Jummah Mosque
Built in 1850, the Jummah Mosque blends architectural elements of Indian, Creole, and Islamic cultures. As the most important mosque in all of Mauritius, this striking edifice of white and green offers a calm respite from the busy streets of Port Louis. The mosque welcomes all faiths, but requires conservative attire for those who wish to admire the inside. A work of art in and of itself, the mosque is illuminated by glass chandeliers with Indian almond and badam trees standing in the middle of its courtyard. A designated guide leads tourists through the front portion of the building, which is typically open to the public, with no entry fee required.
Royal Road, A1, Queen Street, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-42-11-29
14.La Vanille Nature Park
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Travelers with kids and reptile-lovers alike should stop by La Vanille Nature Park, housing impressive scenery and an abundance of animals. Tucked inside the sugarcane fields behind the village of Rivière des Anguilles on the southern part of the island, the nature reserve covers 3.5 hectares that include a giant tortoise reserve, fossil park, and insectarium. The entrance fee comes with a guided tour, along which guests encounter tottering tortoises, hungry crocodiles, and mischievous monkeys. Youngsters can interact with and feed animals in the petting zoo or hold a baby crocodile. Visitors should also try to catch the crocodile feeding every day.
Rivière Des Anguilles, Mauritius, Phone: +23-06-26-25-03
15.L'Aventure du Sucre
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Tourists can satisfy their sweet tooth at L’Aventure du Sucre, a tour of a former sugar plantation turned museum. For a small fee, inquisitive guests learn about the history of the island and the role of sugar in its development. The guided tour demonstrates the process of turning sugarcane into crystals with interactive displays, videos, and quizzes. Old machinery enthusiasts will especially love exploring the factory, first erected in 1797. At the end of the tour, the museum hosts a sugar tasting, plus throws in different types of rum to sweeten the deal. Afterwards, hungry guests can grab a bite at the restaurant serving local cuisine.
Beau Plan B18, Pamplemousses, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-43-79-00
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Outdoorsy types looking for a respite from the city can enjoy breathtaking views and green scenery from a hike up Le Pouce. In English, Le Pouce means “the thumb.” Le Pouce actually resembles a thumbs-up that juts into the skyline overlooking Port Louis. As the third highest mountain in Mauritius, Le Pouce hikes can prove challenging, and guests should come prepared with proper attire, insect repellent, and plenty of water. Hikers can choose from two paths leading up the mountain from North Port Louis or South Moka. The top of the mountain reveals unobstructed 360 views of the Port Louis waterfront and adjacent mountains.
Moka Range, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-69-10-00
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Mahebourg Museum sits in a shady wooded park in Port Louis. The historical colonial mansion lures guests in to explore its collection of antiques and arms, flora, and fauna. Recent additions include a retrofitted train carriage and a replica of Napoleon's boat used in a naval battle to defeat the British. Items salvaged from the battle wreckage include a cannon and grapeshot. Exhibits within the museum contain paintings and bones of extinct species native to Mauritius, including the Rodrigues solitaire, red rail, and dodo bird. Today, history buffs can enter the museum for free and take a peek into the island’s past.
La Chaussée, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-02-06-39
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Referred to as the Grand Shivala Temple by the locals, Maheswarnath Mandir stands at the northern end of the village of Triolet. Walking into the Hindu temple, visitors of all faiths get a glimpse of the island’s Indian culture and religion while admiring colorful decor and brightly painted gods sitting behind glass vitrines. As the largest and oldest temple of its kind on the island, it has provided a peaceful place for prayer for over 120 years. Tourists can stop by the temple on the way to the botanical gardens or access it by bicycle, taking a 10-minute ride from the Trou aux Biches public beach.
Triolet, Pamplemousses, Mauritius, Phone: +2-30-59-81-87-46
19.Natural History Museum
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While in the City of Port Louis, inquisitive sightseers should peruse the galleries of the Mauritius Natural History Museum. The Fauna Gallery uncovers the ancient history of Mauritius during the Jurassic Period, showcasing cast fossils, bones of giant “dinosaur birds,” and other specimens. Meanwhile, the World of the Dodo Gallery contains a complete skeleton of the now extinct dodo, standing over 3 feet tall. Curious guests can also satisfy their curiosity at the Marine Life Gallery, the Endangered Bird Species of Mauritius Gallery, or the Insects, Meteorology, and Giant Tortoise Gallery.
La Chaussée, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: 23-02-02-06-39
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Located at the end of a cobbled pedestrian street in Port Louis, the Mauritius Photography Museum uncovers a nostalgic timelessness. While small in size, this museum offers an engaging walk back in time, displaying vintage cameras and movie projectors throughout its exhibitions. The museum preserves the legacy of local photographer, Tristan Bréville, who put together one of the largest collections of historical photography equipment in the world. It includes some of the first photographs taken with the predecessor to the camera. The museum harkens back to a bygone era while also providing information about the history of print and photography on the island.
Rue du Vieux, Consiel, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-11-17-05
21.Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary
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The Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary is located close to the village of Roche Bois in the northwestern part of the island near Mer Rogue. Comprising over 24 acres, it’s a unique reserve that serves as the temporary home for roughly 1,200 migratory birds annually, some traveling from as far away as Serbia in order to avoid harsh winters. The curlew sandpiper, whimbrel, ringed plover, the ruddy turnstone, the Terek sandpiper, and the little stint are among a few of the species found on the island. A visitors center was created on this extremely protected land in 2004, providing information and a telescope to naturalists passing through.
H. Ramnarian Building, Mer Rouge, Port Louis, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-06-54-00
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Located in the Savanne District of Mauritius, Rochester Falls is set in a wild, lush, and rugged green landscape. This magical spot has featured in several Bollywood movies, and is a top tourist attraction in the area. The one-of-a-kind cliff face has been altered over the past 100 years into craggy slabs from the strength of the vigorous waterfall. These 32-foot-high waterfalls are a picturesque destination and an ideal place to enjoy a picnic. There are two ways to enter the falls; both are clearly marked, and each offers its own unique sights along the way. One passes through a sugarcane field, while the other follows a stone-strewn track passing a graveyard and farmland.
Suite 206, Grand Bay Business Park, Royal Road, Grand Bay, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-69-10-00
23.Seven Coloured Earths
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The Seven Coloured Earths is a truly unique and extremely rare geological oddity that demonstrates that brown is not the only color of dirt. Surrounded by an expansive, lush, green forest and extending out in seven unmistakably individual colors, these colorful dunes were created from a strange confluence of volcanic activity. These actions brought several different elements together, creating their own one-of-a-kind hue. The colors featured are brown, red, purple, blue, green, violet, and yellow, presenting a truly magnificent and beautiful vista. This phenomenon was created when the different sand particles settled together, creating areas enriched by blue-hued aluminum or reddish iron.
Chamarel Plain, Rivière Noire District, Mauritius, Phone: +2-30-54-99-46-18
24.Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is the second best botanical garden in the world and the most popular tourist attraction in Mauritius. Sitting on over 62,000 acres, the gardens feature an array of flora, fauna, monuments, palms, and medicinal and spice plants. The focal point of the area is the serene pond filled with large Victoria amazonica water lilies, which begin as young leaves and emerge as wrinkled balls that unfurl into a tea-tray shape expanding up to 6.5 feet within a few hours. Tours of the gardens, which can be taken by foot or golf cart, are recommended, since many of the plants here have yet to be labeled.
Royal Road, Pamplemousses, Mauritius, Phone: +24-39-02-74-54
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Tamarind Falls is a breathtaking attraction located in the southwest region of Mauritius surrounded by untouched nature in an incredible, though hard to reach, area. Guests will be astounded by the incredible views of forests, mountains, rivers, and waterfalls as they hike to the falls. Located on the central plateau close to the quaint village of Henrietta, the hiking trail features 11 waterfalls, lush vegetation, deep ponds, and multiple jumps along the way. It is one of the most incredible canyons on the island, ideal for those with an adventurer’s spirit. There are two distinct full-day hiking tours and one private full-day hiking tour option for visitors to choose from.
Suite 206, Grand Bay Business Park, Royal Road, Grand Bay, Mauritius, Phone: +23-02-69-10-00
25 Best Things to Do in Mauritius
- Aapravasi Ghat World Heritage Site, Photo: Courtesy of borroko72 - Fotolia.com
- Black River Gorges National Park, Photo: Courtesy of Olga Khoroshunova - Fotolia.com
- Blue Penny Museum, Photo: Courtesy of PackShot - Fotolia.com
- Blue Safari Submarines, Photo: Courtesy of 2436digitalavenue - Fotolia.com
- Bras d'Eau National Park, Photo: Courtesy of czamfir - Fotolia.com
- Casela Nature & Leisure Park, Photo: Courtesy of ronedya - Fotolia.com
- Chamarel Waterfall, Photo: Courtesy of Konstantin Kulikov - Fotolia.com
- Champ de Mars Racecourse, Photo: Courtesy of Fabian - Fotolia.com
- Chateau de Labourdonnais, Photo: Chateau de Labourdonnais
- Curepipe Botanic Gardens, Photo: Courtesy of Unclesam - Fotolia.com
- Fort Adelaide-Citadel, Photo: Courtesy of Olga Khoroshunova - Fotolia.com
- Frederik Hendrik Museum, Photo: Courtesy of nikla - Fotolia.com
- Jummah Mosque, Photo: Jummah Mosque
- La Vanille Nature Park, Photo: Courtesy of OlegD - Fotolia.com
- L'Aventure du Sucre, Photo: Courtesy of PackShot - Fotolia.com
- Le Pouce, Photo: Courtesy of keithydee - Fotolia.com
- Mahebourg Museum, Photo: Courtesy of lkpro - Fotolia.com
- Maheswarnath Mandir, Photo: Courtesy of luja_104 - Fotolia.com
- Natural History Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Luis Vilanova - Fotolia.com
- Photography Museum, Photo: Courtesy of Nejron Photo - Fotolia.com
- Rivulet Terre Rouge Estuary Bird Sanctuary, Photo: Courtesy of Sapsiwai - Fotolia.com
- Rochester Falls, Photo: Courtesy of bennymarty - Fotolia.com
- Seven Coloured Earths, Photo: Courtesy of Andreas Edelmann - Fotolia.com
- Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, Photo: Courtesy of pascallagesse - Fotolia.com
- Tamarind Falls, Photo: Courtesy of davis - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of tobago77 - Fotolia.com