If you’ve talked to us at all in the last year, then you know that we can’t stop gushing about our trip to Mauritius. 10 out of 10, would recommend, 5 stars, wish you were here. I’d never even heard of Mauritius before Aman suggested it (when we found out our first choice of destination was having a small civil war and we were like “eh, maybe now’s not the time”), but now I can’t wait to go back.
Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Mauritius Right Now
10. The Roads
This might seem like a super weird reason, but after two years of Indian roads, I would move this higher up the list.
We rented a car (a automatic so I got to drive! a little) and circled the whole island over the course of our 10 day trip. The roads, even though the mountainous region, seemed brand new and beautifully maintained. There were lots of roundabouts, and (my favorite part) everyone followed the rules.
9. The Food
Mauritius is an island, so obviously the seafood is great. It’s also unique blend of cultures. You can find influence from the nearby south African countries, by the large number of Indians who live there, by the French who originally colonized the island and still vacation there frequently, and of course, there’s Chinese food and KFC.
I had beef there for the first time in months, and we also did our own cooking in our AirBnB after shopping at the local market. Fortunately, we packed our own popcorn, so we didn’t need run out for that very important item.
8. The Tea
Bois Cheri tea is grown and processed on the island. You can visit the tea fields, factory, museum, and of course, the cafe where you can sample their dozens of flavors while overlooking a gorgeous lake surrounded by greenery. The day we went was Very windy, so we did not visit where the tea is grown.
7. The Umbrellas
Le Caudan Waterfront is an Instagramer’s dream come true. The main walkway is sheltered by hovering umbrellas that change colors to match the the occasion. Beautiful and functional as they protected us from the drizzle and provided shade.
6. The Zoo
Casela Nature Parks made the perfect stop as we moved from the relaxing southern coast to the bustle of the capital city. We spent a lot of time in the aviary and with the big cats, but there were plenty of other exhibits. There are safari rides, kids parks, an adventure area with zip lines, canyon swings, and rock climbing, and opportunities to get up close and personal with the animals. As part of the Pan-African Association of Zoos and Aquaria, they also offer lots of programs focusing on education and conservation.
5. The Botanical Garden
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses, Mauritius (yes, it’s a mouthful) is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere. It was created in 1770 and is 91 acres of trees, flowers, sugar cane, spice plants, and the famous giant water lilies. Many of the trees are marked with not only their common name but also the name of the famous person who planted it. You can definitely spend hours wandering around the garden.
4. The Vallée des Couleurs Nature Park
One of our favorite tourist attractions was definitely the Vallée des Couleurs in the southern part of the island. We rode 4-wheelers, we zip lined, we saw waterfalls, we pet tortoises, we ate, we hiked, and we loved every bit of it. We did end up buying the photos from the professional photographers, which I don’t normally do, but I don’t regret it in this case.
3. The Views
Our first stay was near Le Morne – a unique mountain on a peninsula jutting out from the southwestern corner of the island. Le Morne carries a weighty history as a place of refuge for people escaping slavery but of late, has become a tourist resort. And for good reason – there’s no bad view of Le Morne.
Some of the best views came from driving up Black River Gorges National Park. We could look down on the whole southern coast of the island, hike for miles, and see so many birds – and the occasional altar.
In the capital of Port Louis, we were nestled between mountain ranges that let us look down on the city instead of the sea. We could pick out Chinatown and just barely see the ships in the harbor.
2. The Water
The Indian Ocean can be reached from any direction. Some beaches are perfect for swimming with shallow slopes and protected from waves. Others are better for contemplating your place in the majesty of the earth. We found some beaches that were nearly deserted, and others where we were crowded in with the rest of the tourists. Aman and I both prefer to feel like the only people on the ocean, and all we had to do was keep driving until we found an open beach.
1. The People
Not only did we get to meet up with some internet friends – everyone we encountered was generous and helpful. We loved chatting with the cafe owner near our AirBnB. We always found someone to help us when we had questions. Even the family who’s reunion we accidentally crashed were gracious with us. Mauritius is such a unique blend of various cultures; I hope they learned tolerance and connection quicker than the US where we are still struggling.