What to Do in Mauritius? Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Activities and Beaches
Mauritius a honeymoon destination? Sure! But did you know that the island offers so much more than all-inclusive resorts and guided group activities? I’ve lived and worked in Mauritius for 6 months and while I wasn't sure if there was going to be enough for me to see and do, I quickly discovered that the island offers tons of beautiful surprises. And not just for luxury travellers!
Excited to see what Mauritius has in store for you? Here is my list of favourite things to do on the island!
Famous things to do in Mauritius
Every destination has its highlights and although you’ll risk being one of many tourists, it’s always worth checking a few of them out. These are the most famous things to do in Mauritius:
1. Catamaran Cruise
I was hesitant about a cat tour being too touristy, but it ended up being one of my favourite activities on the island. There are lots of catamarans departing Grand Bay every day - I chose TopCat and it was fantastic. We visited Coin de Mire and Gabrielle Island, had the best crew, did some great snorkelling and enjoyed a delicious BBQ on board. Don’t miss out on this when you’re in Mauritius!
2. Snorkelling with turtles
Snorkelling with turtles from Trou aux Biches is a fun but very touristic thing to do in Mauritius. As soon as you arrive at the beach, you’ll find plenty of boats eager for you to join their tour. The turtles are close to the shore so the whole experience takes about 1 to 2 hours. Note: this activity is very popular and you’ll be surrounded by other tourists. If you prefer a more private experience, I advise you to go early (around 8 am).
3. Chamarel & Seven Coloured Earth
Chamarel is located in the south of Mauritius and is a must-see. Most tourists only come to check out Seven Coloured Earth, a geological formation of coloured sand. It was a little underwhelming for me to be honest, but still worth seeing if you’re in the area. I'd recommend renting a car for the day and combining Seven Coloured Earth with the Ebony Forest, the Chamarel Rhumerie (tip: do a tasting), and the Chamarel Waterfall.
Pro tip: have lunch at Le Chamarel Restaurant for stunning island views. If you have extra time, I absolutely advise you to spend the night at Green-Cottage Chamarel. Waking up in the middle of a tropical forest to soothing bird sounds was an absolute dream for me.
4. Resort Day Pass
I’m generally not a fan of all-inclusive resort holidays, but I was all ears when I heard some of the luxury resorts in Mauritius offer day passes. We spent a day at Club Med and for approx. €60 we got unlimited drinks (that includes cocktails!), snacks, a delicious buffet lunch, sunbeds and access to all facilities and water sports. The ultimate lazy and luxurious day if you ask me!
5. Mauritius National Botanical Garden
I haven't been to the botanical garden in Mauritius myself, but I've heard it’s one of the most visited attractions in the country. There’s a small entrance fee and walking tours with experienced guides are available.
6. Get your PADI or go diving
Mauritius is a popular dive destination and it's possible to get your PADI at various places around the island. Are you an experienced diver? The country has over 200 dive sites to choose from, here’s a list of the 10 best ones.
Besides diving, Mauritius is very known for its kitesurfing possibilities. The season starts in April and lasts all the way up until November. Some of the best kitesurfing spots in Mauritius are Le Morne, Bel Ombre, Trou d’Eau Douce, Poste Lafayette and Anse la Raie.
Unique things to do in Mauritius
The definition of unique can be debated, but to me, these experiences have been one-of-a-kind and are definitely worth checking out.
1. Snorkelling with dolphins
Swimming with dolphins in the Indian Ocean has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. If you’re looking for an intimate and animal-friendly tour, try booking a private sunrise tour with Vitamin Sea. Trust me, the crew is amazing and their tour an absolute pleasure.
2. Deep-sea fishing
Most deep-sea fishing trips are done on an exclusively private basis, making sure you
experience a fishing adventure tailored to your level and preferences. I recommend departing before sunrise for a truly wonderful and unique start to the day.
3. Ille aux Cerfs Island
Ille aux Cerfs is a picturesque island off the east coast of Mauritius. A visit to the island might not be considered unique, as lots of tourists find their way here every single day. If you depart very early in the morning from Trou d’Eau however, you’ll have Ille aux Cerfs almost all to yourself. I found the island to be stunning, rugged and with the bluest water I’ve ever seen. Depart Ille aux Cerfs around midday when all the larger boats come in, and enjoy lunch at local restaurant Green Island Beach before heading back. Truly a wonderful day!
4. Chateau de Labourdonnais
The Chateau de Labourdonnais is a large colonial family home, constructed in 1859. Nowadays the building is transformed into a museum, where you get a true feel of the nineteenth-century Mauritius lifestyle. It’s possible to combine a visit to the estate with a lunch or dinner and a small rum tasting onsite.
5. Whale watching and swimming
Humpback whales are most active in Mauritius between July and November, while the smaller sperm whale can be spotted year-round. Join a whale-watching tour or, if you’re brave enough, dive in and swim alongside these giants. A breathtaking experience but, from what I've heard, actually not entirely legal.
Free things to do in Mauritius
Great news: there are lots of options for free activities in Mauritius. These are my favourites:
1. Black River Gorges National Park
Located in the southwest of Mauritius, the Black River Gorges National Park boasts 50+ km of stunning hiking trails. Not feeling very active? Take a scenic drive instead, and stop at various lookouts, waterfalls, and local markets along the way. The best starting point is the visitor centre. If you’re eager to explore more, I recommend making a pit stop at Chamarel or Ganga Talao while you’re in the area.
2. Tamarind Falls
The Tamarind Falls - also called the Seven Cascades - are the highest waterfalls on the island and definitely worth a visit. There are 3 hiking trails that get you there, each with different levels of difficulty. If you’re not a trained hiker or if you feel more comfortable in a group, you always have the option to book a guided hike and join an experienced guide.
3. Port Louis Market
Despite living in Mauritius for 6 months, I have to admit that I never made it to Port Louis. I was honestly too busy exploring other parts of the island and heard that the city is pretty dirty and crowded. If you don’t want to miss out on the capital of Mauritius however, the Port Louis Market might be a good starting point to explore the city. From what I’ve heard the waterfront is also worth a visit, but that’s really how far my Port Louis knowledge goes.
4. Ganga Talao
Ganga Talao (or “Grand Bassin”) is a crater lake situated in the heart of Mauritius. The lake symbolizes the Ganga River, making it the most visited and holy Hindu place in Mauritius. Along the lake shores, you can visit various Hindu temples dedicated to Lord Ganesh, The Goddess Ganga and Lord Hanuman.
Tip: be mindful and keep your belongings close when you visit Ganga Talao, plenty of cheeky monkeys roam around here!
5. Road-tripping the island
Heading out for a road trip has been one of my favourite things to do in Mauritius. I encourage you not to plan anything, but to hop in the car and see where the road takes you. Stop for a swim at tropical beaches, check out small towns, and grab some fresh fruit from roadside stalls. Some of my favourite road trips took me to the secluded beaches around Balaclava in the west, to the picturesque area around Le Morne and to the rugged Gris Gris in the south, and along the coast from Pereybere all the way to Trou d’eau Douce in the east.
6. Le Morne Brabant hike
Le Morne Brabant is the most iconic mountain of Mauritius, and a hike to the top is a must-do for active travellers (I wasn’t one of them). The trek takes about 3-4 hours to complete and is known to be quite challenging, especially in the last hour of the trail. Once you’ve made your way to the top, you’ll be treated to a magnificent 360-degree view of the island.
7. Chasing waterfalls
Besides the famous Tamarind- and Chamarel Falls, there are lots more waterfalls to discover in Mauritius. Take the Rochester Falls, the GRSE Falls, or the Minissy for example. Some of these hidden gems may require a bit of a hike or climb, but the reward is usually very much worth it. Be sure to always bring mosquito repellent and sunscreen, and don’t forget your camera and swimmers!
Historical Mahébour offers a charming feel and authentic atmosphere that doesn’t come naturally to most cities in Mauritius. Start your visit to Mahébourg at the bustling local market, dive into the island’s history at the National History Museum, and take a stroll along the waterfront. Just outside the city, you’ll find the breathtaking beaches of Pointe d’Esny and Blue Bay. More time to spend? Daily boats depart from Mahébourg for trips to gorgeous tropical islands in the vicinity.
The 10 best beaches in Mauritius
If Mauritius is known for one thing, it’s the stunning collection of tropical beaches that you’ll find all over the island. Making a selection wasn’t easy but here we go: this is my top 10 of the best beaches in Mauritius.
Pereybere Beach. Popular among locals on weekends with delicious and affordable food stalls.
Secret Beach. Still not sure of the actual name of this gem, but my absolute favourite beach of them all. Nestled in between Pereybere and Cap Malheureux, with easy access to Bain Boeuf Public Beach where you can rent sunbeds for the day.
Mont Choisy Beach. A long and tree-lined beach with a local feel.
Trou aux Biches. A beautiful and long beach with food trucks and resorts. Boats depart here for turtle swims.
Flic en Flac. A personal favourite with clear blue water, great snorkelling, and a lively boulevard.
Tamarin Beach. A surfer’s hotspot with stunning mountain views and natural beauty.
Le Morne Public Beach. A great spot for watersports with a gorgeous backdrop of Le Morne Brabant. Surrounded by luxury resorts and a charming coastal town.
Belle Mare Beach. One of the longest beaches on the island with clear blue water and good snorkelling opportunities.
Blue Bay Beach. The best beach for snorkelling, with popular scuba-diving and glass-bottom boat tours. Unfortunately, it's said that many corals have been damaged over time.
Gris Gris Beach. A rugged beach in the very south of Mauritius. Swimming is not allowed on Gris Gris but the views are absolutely breathtaking.
These were my top picks for the best activities and beaches in Mauritius, based on my 6-month stay on the island. Despite having somewhat low expectations before arriving, I have to admit that I fell in love with the country and really hope to return someday. Want to know what it’s like to live and work in Mauritius? Read my blog post “Why you want to work remotely in Mauritius” for lots of insider tips and info. If you have any questions about Mauritius or one of the other destinations where I lived and worked, I encourage you to reach out down below or follow me on Instagram for updates on all my remote work adventures.
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