Le Morne, Mauritius, a UNESCO World Heritage site, sits on the windy southwestern corner of Mauritius and has a storied past. The peninsula that juts out to the west features a single 556-meter monolith on the tip, which can be clearly seen from Flic en Flac Beach, and is surrounded by shallow lagoons. The mountain is private property and can only be climbed with an official guide, but the base has a posh resort and an accessible beach. Kite surfers take advantage of the windy point and their colorful sails stand out against the blue skies.
It’s hard to believe that after all the beaches we’ve stayed on, we’ve only once caught sight of dolphins. And that was six months ago in Punta del Diablo. Being that Mauritius just might be our last stay on a tropical paradise during our yearlong journey around the world, it was high time we set out in search of the elusive creatures.
We had heard that dolphins on Mauritius were often be spotted in the deep bay off the beaches of Tamarin, a town just to the south of Flic en Flac. We had considered taking the long walk to search them out, but then we heard of something better: a boat tour that included swimming with dolphins on Mauritius. The excursion that would take us in Tamarin Bay where we could go swimming with the dolphins and then on to a few spots for outer reef snorkeling and, finally, a beach BBQ lunch.
After a shaky start of our Southwest Mauritius Tour, we were finally beginning to relax. The first two sights didn’t live up to the hype, but our stop at Grand Bassin was just enough culture and beauty to put us back in the right mindset. And, quite frankly, the last items on the itinerary were the ones we were most looking forward to on our Southwest Mauritius Nature Tour.
Southwest Mauritius Nature Tour: Alexandra Falls
We sensed that we were leaving the crowds behind as we entered the Black River Gorges National Park. The traffic thinned, we were surrounded by forest and we could see monkeys playing on the roadside. We were the solitary car on the long, tree-lined entrance to the Alexandra Falls Viewpoint. A short walking path led us over a small creek to a raised viewing platform. Two waterfalls were visible, so we’re not sure which one was the actual Alexander Falls, but the more breath taking scene was the one to the south, across the valley and out to sea.
While we could have spent every day of our two weeks in Flic en Flac, Mauritius on the beach, we had an urge to see what was beyond the coastline. The distant mountains covered in lush vegetation beckoned us for a visit. Finding a southwest Mauritius tour because a priority.
Southwest Mauritius Tour: Setting up the tour
The woman at the tourist office offered a full-day, private Southwest Mauritius Tour, which included an English speaking driver. On our private tour, he was going to take us to the southwestern interior part of the island to the most stunning natural sights. She scheduled a driver, gave me a list of all the possible stops and said we could customize it how we wanted, so long as we didn’t exceed our eight hour limit. We immediately scratched off the first three stops: a glass blowing factory, a ship building factory and a shopping extravaganza, but thought the remaining list was what we were looking for: a volcano crater, lake, temple on a lake, waterfalls, national park and oddly colored earth.
One of the things we’ve enjoyed most about Flic en Flac, Mauritius is the fact that the locals are so visible, especially on the beach. It really shouldn’t come as a shock, but after our time in Southeast Asia where the beaches were void of residents enjoying the beach, it has been a welcome scene to see native people – not just tourists – able to enjoy the beauty that surrounds them.
We’ve watched residents head out for early morning swims, Sunday picnics, evening jogs on the beach and often just to hang out. It’s a natural gathering place and the scenery is astounding.
Flic en Flac, Mauritius is the ninth beach we’ve stayed on during our journey and if I was asked to pick a favorite one, I couldn’t do it. Each place has been so incredibly unique, with the only commonality being the vista of a coastline. The variances of beach width, sand texture, water color, and vegetation are the obvious differences. But, we’ve found that it’s the people and community that makes each place distinct and determine the vibe and atmosphere. We have only just arrived, but we feel there are two distinct sides to Flic en Flac, Mauritius: Resort life and local life – which is different from other beaches we been to around the world.
Ahhh, back to island life…in record time, too! We left Koh Lanta, Thailand, spent two nights in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, two nights in Perth, Australia and then landed in Flic en Flac – and we’ve quickly discovered Mauritius is an island paradise.
What makes Mauritius an island paradise? The air is clean and fresh, the water is cool and blue and the sand is soft and white. We can see mountains rising in the south from the beach and to the east from our rooftop deck. Both palm and pine trees provide shade along the popular public beach, but the warmth of the sun feels quite nice after a swim in the sea.