Top 10 Travel Destinations in Mauritius

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Nestled amidst the Mascarene Islands, Mauritius – the jewel of the Indian Ocean offers a surprising wealth of attractions – natural and manmade, each complementing the other. There are miles and miles of gorgeous sun-kissed beaches with a waterfront perfect for enjoying water sports of just about every kind. Geological landmarks and lush greenery, breathtaking waterfalls and stunning multicoloured dunes vie for your attention with equally majestic and beautiful landmarks such as botanical gardens, houses and mansions, museums and chateaus among many others. There is so much to see and experience, that each destination leads to a new adventure. Let us see which of them are counted in the Top 10 destinations of Mauritius.

10. Le Chateau de Labourdonnais

Travel back in time to the 19th Century with a visit to this historic Chateau, the final member of this top 10 rankings list. With lush green gardens, endless acres of orchards, century-old mango plantations, exotic plum trees and spice plantations surrounding the teak wood mansion, the chateau remains one of the most beautiful colonial estates in Mauritius. Together, they offer an interesting perspective to the lifestyle of 19th Century Mauritian high-society. As you tour the house, you will actually feel transported to the 19th century as you look at the vintage silver and china in the vast dining rooms and the beautifully decorated Victorian style bedrooms. You can even tour the operative rum distillery and tasting bar within the premises.

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9. Le Morne Brabant

Jutting majestically high up to the sky, the Le Morne Brabant, a gigantic Basaltic monolith stands proud testimony to the thousands of slaves who escaped in the 18th and 19th centuries- a time when slavery was at its peak. It is believed that the escaped slaves, unaware that slavery was abolished, jumped to their deaths from the cliff when they saw soldiers coming. While the adventurous will enjoy the trek up the cliff, most tourists find themselves falling in love with the peninsula’s secluded sandy beaches, scenic lagoon and amazing kite surfing, kite boarding and wind surfing opportunities. The scenic surroundings and wealth of recreational sports push Le Morne Brabant to the 9th position in the popularity rankings.

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8. La Vanille Reserve – Crocodile and Giant Turtles Park

The greenest part of Mauritius, La Vanille Reserve des Mascareignes is where you can come face to face with over 1000 gigantic tortoises, 1500 Nile Crocodiles, over 23000 species of insects and butterflies – the world’s largest private collection; geckos and other wildlife including deer, bats, monkeys, mongooses and non-native, immigrant farm animals. You can even meet one of the world’s largest giant tortoises – Domino, who is over a 100 years old (born in 1910!) and weighs over 260 kilos. With features including a tortoise museum, a fossil museum, an aquarium, a children’s corner and guided tours for all, this reserve stands up to most contenders to take the 8th position in these rankings.

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7. Port Louis

The financial, cultural and historic centre and the capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis astounds visitors on all fronts. Within this 18th century port city, you will find some amazing historic attractions, countless entertainment venues and a waterfront brimming with exciting shopping and dining venues. Begin your tour from the waterfront, where shops by the dozens sell international branded clothes, fine jewellery and more and pubs become literal watering holes with happy hours extending until 9 PM on Fridays and enjoy an excursion to Domaines Les Pailles on the city’s suburbs to revel in the charisma of old-age sugar estates. With attractions including the oldest racecourse and the oldest theatre in the Southern Hemisphere, Port Louis definitely ranks 7th in this list.

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6. Île aux Cerfs Island

Ile aux Cerfs or the Deer Island might not be famous for its deer today but it definitely is renowned for its pristine beaches. These sun-drenched white sands are among the best in the world and offer the best combination of sun, sand and surf. The surrounding waters are thriving with sea life, giving snorkelers a magnificent time in water. You can also enjoy water sports such as water skiing and parasailing. As you set off inland, you will find nestled amidst the lush greenery, a five-star hotel, which incidentally owns much of the island; an 18-hole Golf course; an astounding lagoon, where you can swim and snorkel to your heart’s content; and the picturesque GRANDE RIVIERE SUD ES cascades.

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5. Grand Baie

Grand Baie or Grand Bay is where you can simply let your hair down and revel in a top-class Mauritian beach holiday. Endless miles of pristine white beaches flanked by the emerald blues of the Indian Ocean beckon beach bums and water sports lovers alike. Plop down on the beach with a bottle of sunscreen and a great book, or hop on to a sailboat and set sail to the northern islands or across the seas. At Grand Bay, you can even rent a small submarine and descend down to the seabed to meet the native sea life of Mauritius. With the best restaurants, shopping venues and nightlife, Grand Bay soars ahead of most destinations to make to the 5th spot in these rankings.

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4. Mauritius Botanical Garden

A visit to the Mauritius Botanical Gardens will be one of the best times of your holiday. The 4th most popular holiday destination in Mauritius, the gardens is an interesting gateway to a world of plants as diverse as palms, the Giant Lotus and orchids. It is only here that you can marvel at the astonishing variety of palms in existence – there are so many. In addition to palms, exhibits include the Marmalade Box tree, sausage tree, the fish-poison tree and the talipot palms, which flower once in 40 years and then die. Opt for guided buggy tours to make the most of your visit to the world’s second best botanical garden and the Southern Hemisphere’s oldest botanical garden.

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3. Chamarel Village: park – 7 coloured earth & Chamarel falls

Right behind the Black River Gorges National Park in the top 10 travel destinations rankings is Chamarel Village, a scenic outpost of two natural wonders. The Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth, a geological formation, is formed out of basaltic lava that has degenerated into clay minerals to give rise to the multiple hues across the dune. These sands have the unique property of settling down with their own coloured sands even when mixed! Rainfall has carved distinctive hollows and shapes across the dune, giving it an enigmatic look. The second natural attraction that you just cannot miss is the Chamarel Waterfall – the highest waterfall in Mauritius – you can enjoy great views from the upper deck on the Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth Reserve.

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2. Black River Gorges National Park

The Black River Gorges National Park might be the nation’s only National Park, but it does more than enough justice to the protection of endangered wild animals and plants. Spread across 16,600 acres, this lush green land provides a sanctuary to thousands of plants and endangered animals such as the Pink Pigeon, parakeets and the Mauritian Flying Fox. Explore these wonderful lush greens with a hike through the meandering trails, hop on to a horse with just a map or hire a knowledgeable guide. With breathtaking waterfalls, a gurgling river and outstanding views across the gorges adding a distinctive charm, the Black River Gorges National Park is second only to Casela – for nothing can beat the thrill of walking with lions!

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1. Casela Bird Park

Wonder what it feels like to be able to stroke a lion, walk alongside it and then pose for photographs? At Casela Bird Park, you can do just that and much more. You can take the zip line experience for a bird’s eye overview; go canyoning or explore the canyons via ferrata. You can also hire a quad, a SSV or a Segway and make your own way around the park. The less adventurous can enjoy a drive-through in a covered van. With lions, tigers and cheetahs, ostriches, lemurs, giant tortoises, zebras, Java deer, wild boars and mongoose inhabiting over 4500-hectares of wilderness, Casela Bird Park offers endless adventures and beats all other destinations to take the top spot in these rankings.

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CONCLUSION

As you saw, there is much that you can do and enjoy in Mauritius. The diversity of attractions and destinations ensure that no matter what your interests or preferences, you will never get bored while holidaying in the island. Just research your preferences well while planning your holiday and book your accommodations close to the attractions you wish to explore. You can research beach resorts for beach holidays or stay in the city centre and be in the middle of all excitement. Either way, you will have a great time in Mauritius. Have fun!

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