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Mauritius Island is an idyllic vacation destination awash with teal blue water, powder sand beaches and swaying palm trees. As a remote island paradise, spending time on the pristine beaches is one of the top things to do in Mauritius. However, there are more places to see in Mauritius than just the sublime shorelines.
Boasting a diverse landscape, the island nation features a mountainous interior and an array of Mauritius attractions that should not be missed!
6 Top Things To Do in Mauritius
Our tips of what to do in Mauritius are based on our personal experiences and include spectacular beaches, inspiring nature and local culture. These Mauritius sights are not listed in any particular order. At the end of the article, we include a map of our recommended Mauritius places to visit, as well as other tips for visiting Mauritius.
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#1 Bask in the Beauty of Mauritius Beaches
Without a doubt, the beaches are the best places to visit in Mauritius. The fine white sand and unbelievably blue water is what lured us to the isolated island in the Indian Ocean – and we were not disappointed! The top Mauritius beach destinations are along the west-facing shores…and we set our sights on Flic en Flac.
Best Beach in Mauritius: Flic en Flac
Visitors searching for the most beautiful places in Mauritius need to go to Flic en Flac Beach! Partially lined by upscale resorts, portions of the 5-mile-long stretch of shoreline remain undeveloped. A protective offshore reef creates a tranquil lagoon of turquoise water that gently laps the beach. The inviting sea, both calm and clear, is perfect for swimming.
Public Beach, Fishermen and Mauritius Resorts
The long stretch of beach at Flic en Flac (one of the longest beaches on Mauritius) attracts both locals and tourists. The public beach is lined with pine trees, rather than palm, which offer shade from the intense sun. Although most locals bring their own picnics to the beach, food trucks set up along the road selling kebabs and ice cream.
The rocky outcrop north of the public beach is a popular spot for local fishermen. Both young and old, the men stand waist-deep in the sea with their lines in the water – a reminder that Flic en Flac was once a quiet fishing village.
The south end of Flic en Flac beach is home to all-inclusive resorts and upscale properties. Palm trees, lounge chairs and umbrellas line the shore. Watercraft – like windsurfers, stand up paddle-boards and jet skis – are available for guests to rent for ocean activities.
Snorkeling in Flic en Flac
The reef that protects Flic en Flac, which sits about a half-mile from the mainland and contributes to the overall beauty of the beach, is also a destination. Teeming with sea life, snorkeling on the Flic en Flac reef is one of the top things to do in Mauritius.
Resorts offer boat rides to the reef and snorkel gear to their guests and will sometimes take non-guests for a fee, as well. We hopped a ride out to the reef and were astonished by the abundance of fish we spotted while snorkeling in Mauritius.
We saw bright red, large-eyed crown squirrel-fish, a spot-fin porcupine fish and swam with a colossal school of yellow-striped goatfish. The coral tips were neon blue and reefs as big as satellites provided shadowy spots for shy fish. Not all the fish were shy, though – some were so inquisitive of our presence that they charged straight at us, bumping into our masks!
Flic en Flac Sunsets
Although there are numerous west-facing beaches, we believe Flic en Flac is one of the best places in Mauritius to watch the sunset. Perhaps it is because of the gently rocking boats or Le Morne rising from the sea to the south that seem to frame the sunset so perfectly.
Other Popular Beaches in Mauritius
After extensive research, we determined that Flic en Flac was the beach that best fit our travel style. In fact, it is where we decided to stay on Mauritius (more on that at the end of the article). However, there are many Mauritius beaches to choose from. Other popular beaches in Mauritius include Grand Baie, Trou aux Biches, Ile aux Cerfs Island and Le Morne .
#2 Take Mauritius Boat Excursions
Surrounded by the Indian Ocean and islets and islands, it’s easy to understand why boat trips are one of the top activities in Mauritius. There are numerous Mauritius excursions that explore the area by sea – the most intriguing of which is the popular all-day tour that includes swimming with dolphins, snorkeling and a beach BBQ lunch.
Full-Day Mauritius Boat Trip
Our excursion began in Tamarin Bay, a large cove just south of Flic en Flac that is frequented by dolphins. After swimming in the bay, we traveled to the Outer Reef where we had two fantastic snorkel stops. Then we spent the afternoon on an secluded island indulging in a traditional Mauritian beach feast!
Swimming with Dolphins on Mauritius
Although more crowded and chaotic than we thought it would be, watching the wild dolphins glide over the surface right next to our boat was an incredible scene.
When we were allowed in the water (the number of swimmers is regulated – and there are strict rules about in-water behavior), I caught sight of the lightening-fast pod swimming beneath me. Rather than chase after them, I watched from afar and was delighted when they came even closer, playfully swimming and spinning as they zipped right past me!
Snorkeling the Outer Reef on Mauritius
Leaving Tamarin Bay, we motored to the Mauritius Outer Reef in search of a secluded snorkeling spot. When we found the perfect place, we were in awe of the sea life. Large, protruding reefs housed an array of exotic fish – which were much bigger than the ones we had seen in the shallow lagoon.
It was a mostly cloudy day, but when the sun broke through, the reef lit up in a rainbow of colors. We made a second stop at the famous Crystal Rock before heading to Benitiers Island for a local BBQ lunch.
#3 Explore Le Morne, Mauritius
Le Morne, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, occupies the windy southwestern corner of Mauritius. Surrounded by shallow lagoons, a 1850-foot-high monolith, called Morne Brabant, stands impressively on the peninsula and has a storied past.
In the early 1800s, escaped slaves found refuge on the rock, creating walking trails and making the caves their homes. When slavery was abolished in 1835, soldiers climbed the mountain to spread the news. The slaves didn’t understand and, fearing the worst, many jumped to their death rather than being recaptured. The mountain is now looked upon as a symbol of freedom.
Le Morne, Mauritius Things To Do
Although Le Morne Brabant is still a relative sleepy fishing village, there are a few fun things to do in the area.
Hike Le Morne with a Guide
The Morne Brabant monolith stands, quite literally, as one of the top Mauritius tourist attractions. And not just for the beauty of the steep terrain and it’s legacy, but also for the hiking.
Portions of Le Morne are private property and the hike is rated as difficult, therefore it is best to climb with an official guide. Learn more about the region and mountain as you trek up the cliffside. From the “V”, take in the spectacular views. Book this hike!
Le Morne Beaches, Kitesurfing and Lagoon Flight
The beaches facing south are breathtakingly beautiful, but the water is extremely shallow and not really ideal for swimming. The sun lights up the golden sand under the translucent water and fades into shades of green and blue further out to sea. Kite surfers take advantage of the windy point and their colorful sails stand out against the blue skies.
The shallow lagoon is more like a sandbar; I waded out about 100 feet and was only in ankle deep. Volcanic rock and pine trees edge a long stretch of windblown shoreline, providing a gorgeous and rugged landscape.
While kitesurfing is a top Mauritius activity, taking a Lagoon Flight to see the area from above is nearly as thrilling! The highlight of a Le Morne plane tour is viewing the “Underwater Waterfall” at the mouth of the lagoon.
Le Morne Resorts
At the base of Brabant Mountain, there are several high-end Mauritius beach properties. The three poshest 5-Star resorts are the JW Marriott Mauritius, LUX Le Morne and Dinarobin Beachcomber Mauritius. Check availability for these luxury resorts on Mauritius at Booking.com!
#4 Tour Black River Gorges National Park
Designated a national park in 1994, Black River Gorges is one of the last remaining forested areas of the island – and one of the absolute highlights of Mauritius. Covering rolling hills and deep ravines, the nature reserve park is home to native birds, the Mauritian Flying Fox (a giant fruit bat), Macaque monkeys and miles of hiking trails. We visited Black River Gorges and other southwestern Mauritius sights on a tour with a private driver.
Black River Gorges Lookout Point
A must-see in Mauritius, the Black River Gorges Lookout Point offers stunning views of the gorge and distant hills. After taking in the phenomenal view that stretches on for miles – all the way to Flic en Flac, as a matter of fact – visitors can head off on a trail to the right of the viewing platform. The path leads deep into the forest to a creek that flows into a cascading waterfall.
Top Tip: Pack a picnic lunch or snacks and enjoy your mid-day meal on the large boulders in the middle of the creek!
Alexandra Falls, Mauritius
Not far from the Black River Gorges Viewpoint is Alexandra Falls – another top place to visit in Mauritius. Two waterfalls flow down the side of a sheer rock cliff, that is otherwise covered in foliage. An elevated platform provides a nice look at the beautiful falls – as well as a view across the valley and out to sea.
Near the platform, we discovered a trail that leads to the top of Alexandra Falls. Although we had to hop-scotch our way across the creek using stones as steps, the path continues to an impeccable viewpoint over the top of the second waterfall!
Hiking in Mauritius at Black River Gorges NP
Unfortunately, our time was limited in the area – and we would have loved to explore more of these hiking trails. Visitors who want to join a guide can learn more about Black River Gorges, its inhabitants and the region while trekking through the lush landscapes. Find out more!
#5 View Chamarel, Mauritius Sights
Touted as one of the top attractions in Mauritius, Chamarel Village features intriguing geology and breathtaking nature. For a reasonable entry fee, visitors can access a waterfall viewpoint, see naturally colored earth and view giant Mauritian tortoises!
The Chamarel Waterfall is an incredible natural sight and one of the most amazing attractions on Mauritius! Marking the spot where volcanic lava once flowed, water now pours over the edge of a 325 foot cliff.
The two streams crash over rocks below and fall into an unseen poo even further down the mountainside. Two viewing platforms offer the best vantage point of the remarkable waterfalls and is popular with birdwatchers, too!
The 7 Colored Earth
Perhaps not as enthralling as the brochures made it sound, the 7 Colored Earth is a naturally occurring oddity and one of the the unusual tourist attractions in Mauritius. The phenomenon began more than a million years ago with lava, which has decomposed into iron and aluminum oxides that display colorful stripes.
Long ago, tortoises were plentiful on Mauritius, but an 18th century belief that they had the power to fight scurvy resulted in them becoming hunted and, eventually, extinct. The tortoises at the 7 Colored Earth were brought from Aldabra Atoll, which is part of the Seychelles.
The enormous reptiles live to be 150 years old and grow to more than three feet in length. We watched two very active tortoises as they stretched their long necks and feasted on grass, while slowly – and only with great effort – moved about their area.
#6 Visit Grand Bassin Temple
Those seeking out cultural places to visit in Mauritius should go to the Grand Bassin Temple. The Hindu pilgrimage site has a history that dates to the late 1800s. Devotees arrive with offerings and to light incense, but visitors are invited inside to observe the customs, view the architecture and statues and even receive blessings.
Mangal Mahadev Statue
The can’t-be-missed gigantic statue of Shiva, the Hindu deity, stands at the entrance to Grand Bassin. The statue is more than 100 feet tall, ranking as the tallest on Mauritius and 19th tallest in the world.
Ganga Talao Lake
Identified as a holy lake by a Hindu priest in 1897, several temples were built around the perimeter of Ganga Talao Lake. Since then, holy water from the Ganges River in India has been added to the lake, making it even more sacred to Hindu believers.
Shrines and statues decorate the water’s edge. We watched several families come to the lake to pray and make offerings. Also interesting are the giant eels that swim just below the surface!
Inside the main temple, a holy man offered to give me a Hindu blessing. As he marked my forehead with red paint, he blessed me with happiness, prosperity and good health. He then put his hands on my head as a blessing for a good mind and long life.
Top Tip: Although Grand Bassin is a Mauritius tourist attraction, its main purpose is a place of worship. Be mindful of the people who are there to pray, dress appropriately and remove shoes before entering the temples.
More Great Things To Do on Mauritius
Our list of Mauritius places to see is based on the sights that we were most drawn to during our trip. Other may be interested in these Mauritius attractions recommended by locals and fellow travelers.
Port Louis, Mauritius Attractions
Port Louis is the busy capital city of the island nation. Built up during the 18th century when Mauritius was a French colony, Port Louis features historic architecture, the main harbor and the Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
Top attractions include the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, the Blue Penny Museum, the Citadel and Central Market. Horse racing in Mauritius is also popular – and the Champ de Mars racetrack in Port Louis is one of the oldest tracks in the world.
Visitors can also go shopping at the Caudan Waterfront and tour the Aapravas Ghat World Heritage Site, which details the history of Mauritius, slavery and sugarcane production.
Located in the north of Mauritius, Grand Baie (or Grand Bay) is a popular resort town and one of the top Mauritius destinations. A hub of tourist activity, visitors have ample choice when it comes to things to do in Grande Baie. Sea activities, shopping and a vibrant Mauritius nightlife attract guests from around the world.
Casela Nature Park
A safari adventure site just a stone’s throw from Flic en Flac, Casela Natura Park is home to an array of exotic animals – including cheetahs, zebras, giraffes and ostriches. The ‘Lion Walk’ with the big cats is a highly rated activity at the adventure park, but ziplining and the petting zoo are top park attractions, as well.
Tourist Map Of Mauritius
Use this link to Google Maps for an online version of our Mauritius Map.
Sightseeing Mauritius: Car, Driver, Tour
While deciding what to see in Mauritius, visitors also need to consider how to get there. Many of the top things to do in Mauritius are in the south, but getting between the sights requires a vehicle.
Rental Car Mauritius
We preferred not to drive on Mauritius, so we hired a driver for a day. We made our list of the top things to see in Mauritius, planned our route and had our driver take us exactly where we wanted to go. For groups of two or more people, hiring a driver can be economical and more enjoyable.
Public Bus On Mauritius
There is public transport on Mauritius, and it can be an inexpensive way to get around the island. We used the public bus to get from Flic en Flac to Le Morne. However, the routes are not designed for tourists and the buses are slow and hot. Unless visiting Mauritius on a budget, we would not recommend using the public buses.
Book a Mauritius Day Tour
Several of the top places to go in Mauritius can be seen on a full-day tour. See the sights of Chamarel, taste local rum from a distillery, visit Grand Bassin and enjoy a traditional meal on a one-day tour of Mauritius. Read the rave reviews!
Mauritius Travel Tips
Now that you what to do on Mauritius Island, we have a few more tips that will help you plan your amazing vacation. From where to stay to what to pack, we are covering the need-to-know Mauritius trip planning details!
Mauritius Currency Rate
The official currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee. Check current rates before you arrive on XE Converter.
The weather on Mauritius is a mild, tropical oceanic climate. The island has two seasons: Summer and Winter, although the temperature in Mauritius remains fairly steady year-round.
- Summer: Hot and humid, the summer season in Mauritius is from mid-October until mid-May. February is the wettest month and October is the driest.
- Winter: Cooler and dry – but still very warm – “winter” lasts from mid-May to mid-October.
Best Time To Visit Mauritius
We visited during the November shoulder season – which we believe may be the best time to go to Mauritius. The weather was ideal, with low humidity and sunny skies; plus minimal crowds.
Where To Stay in Mauritius
When we were searching for the best place to stay in Mauritius, we set our sights on Flic en Flac. Not only is the beach picture-perfect, but the location on the west coast of Mauritius is ideal for reaching other parts of the island.
Some of the prime resorts in Mauritius sit on Flic en Flac Beach – but we were seeking a more local experience. Rather than staying in one of the Mauritius beach hotels, we opted to stay in an Airbnb Apartment.
How To Travel to Mauritius
Travelers typically reach the island of Mauritius by airplane, with some arriving via cruise ship. Flights to Mauritius land at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU), which is (inconveniently) located on the southeast side of the island.
The national airline is Air Mauritius, which services numerous destinations – such as Kuala Lumpur, London, Paris and Singapore. We flew Air Mauritius for our visit – arriving direct from Perth and departing nonstop to Cape Town.
Top Tip: On arrival, be sure to have the complete address of your accommodations. We had arranged for our host to pick us up, and never asked for the full address. Without that information, we were held up at immigration for more than an hour.
Mauritius Travel Packages
While we traveled to Mauritius independently, those looking for money-saving deals can find hotel and flight packages for Mauritius holidays on Expedia.com.
What To Pack for Your Mauritius Trip
Mauritius Sun Protection and Beach Gear
Our #1 tip is to pack plenty of sunscreen – you will definitely be using it! You can buy sunscreen once you are on Mauritius, but expect it to cost a lot more than at home.
Beach towels take up too much room in luggage, so inquire if your hotel or apartment provides them. If not, bring a sarong or wrap that can double as a beach towel.
Top Tip: While the sand is like powder, sea urchins are found along the shores of Mauritius – so water shoes are an excellent idea.
Camera, Dry Bag, Underwater Action Camera
You will definitely want to bring a camera to capture the beauty of Mauritius. We recommend using an actual travel camera, rather than relying on your phone. We use a Canon Rebel with an 18-135mm lens, which is a well-priced camera for travelers.
Whatever digital devices you will be carrying, be sure to have a dry bag they can all fit into. We use the reliable Sea To Summit cases to keep our electronics safe when out on the water or at the beach.
Mauritius Travel Insurance
Travel insurance may protect against a wide range of unfortunate events – like lost luggage, delayed flights and injuries or illnesses abroad. Consider traveling protected with coverage for your trip with World Nomads.
Organize Your Mauritius Travel Plans
Planning a trip to Mauritius is a big endeavor. From flights to hotels to activities, travelers need to stay on top of the details of their vacation plans. We suggest using our Printable Travel Planner for optimal trip organization!
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