Dubbed the Diamond of the Indian Ocean and the Star of the Indian Ocean, the Republic of Mauritius is always mentioned as the ideal destination for the world’s great vacations by its captivating natural beauty, with stunning beaches, tropical monsoon climate and the hospitality of the Mauritian people. So, is Mauritius worth visiting, how to visit Mauritius, what to do in Mauritius and how to plan a budget trip to Mauritius for the first-time perfectly? Let’s check out our Mauritius travel blog (Mauritius blog) with the fullest Mauritius travel guide (Mauritius tourist guide, Mauritius guide) from how to get to Mauritius, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Mauritius to help you maximize your trip as follows!
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Mauritius has developed since the 60s of the 20th century. It is also one of the wealthiest nations in Africa. Per capita income is estimated over 10,000 USD/year. Most of the people speak both English and French and the native language is Mauritian Creole (Morisien).
About 2000 miles off the east coast of Africa is a group of islands, with the largest of which is called Mauritius, home to more than 1.3 million people. Formed by a volcanic hotspot in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is home to unique flora and fauna, a huge array of coral reefs, and a breathtaking sight: Underwater Waterfall. Although you may think the concept of “underwater waterfall” is impossible, there is a convincing physical explanation behind this spectacular phenomenon.
Overview of Mauritius (#mauritius travel blog)
The lovely island nation of Mauritius is a part of Africa, located in the southwestern Indian Ocean, about 900km east of Madagascar, with a border stretching less than 2000km. The policy of diversifying cultivation, sugarcane production, and promoting tourism has fueled the development of Mauritius, providing the continent with the highest per capita incomes, and turning this beautiful country into a natural paradise attracts people from all over the world, including Africans, Europeans, Chinese, Indians…
The Republic of Mauritius is a volcanic island nation located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean, about 900km east of Madagascar. Mauritius is known as a country with a long history going through many events and ups and downs, and is the only country in the world where the Dodo bird has ever lived.
Although there is no official language, the people of Mauritius mostly speak a variety of languages including English, French, Bhojpuri and the mother tongue is Mauritian Creole. Because it was once a colony of many powers, the religious system in Mauritius is also very diverse, including Hinduism, Roman Catholicism, Islam, and Protestantism.
Mauritius is 2,040 km² (3 times the size of Singapore), located about 900 km east of Madagascar, including the Rodrigues, Agaleda and Saint Brandon Islands. This island nation has 5 cities with about 1.3 million inhabitants. The capital Port Louis (named after King Louis XV of France) has more than 500,000 people living, accounting for nearly one-third of the country’s population. Of these, about 68% are of Indo-Malaysian descent, 28% are of African ancestry and 3% are Chinese.
Mauritius is also the “home” of the strange bird Dodo (named in Portuguese). Although this slow-breeding bird was extinct, the Dodo is still honored to be the main mascot in the national coat of arms.
When is the best time to visit Mauritius? (#mauritius blog)
Mauritius has a tropical marine monsoon climate, with the temperature and weather between seasons not too different, so no matter what time of year you travel, the sunshine here still gives you great moments of relaxation and wonderful vacation. The winter lasts from May to October is dry and warm with the lowest temperature is only about 22 degrees Celsius, the summer which lasts from November to April will have more rain, the weather is dry and humid. It should be noted that from January to March there will be tornadoes.
The best time to travel to Mauritius is from September to April every year. “But for budget travelers, it is recommended to go from May to August because the service price is cheaper at this time because it is not the peak season.
How to get to Mauritius? (#mauritius guide)
There are no direct flights to Mauritius from Vietnam. Visitors must fly to Singapore, then transit to Mauritius for another 6.5 hours. To get to this beautiful island nation in the middle of the Indian Ocean, it certainly takes visitors a full two days to and from. There is one main airline flying from Changi (Singapore) is Air Mauritius, with a frequency of 4 flights/week.
About 40km southeast of Mauritius’ capital, Port Louis, is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport. From Vietnam, there are international routes of Air Mautirius, Malaysia Airlines, Emirates and Kenya Airways can take you to Mauritius quite conveniently, through just one transit. In addition, the port in the capital Port Louis also receives international cruises from neighboring countries.
For Vietnamese, Mauritius issues visa on arrival. Visitors only need to have a round-trip air ticket, hotel booking details, detailed travel itinerary or proof of finance with 100 USD/day to be approved for a visa.
There is also another option, you can fly from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City to Hong Kong or Paris and then connect to the beautiful island nation in the heart of the Indian Ocean, but this route is much more expensive.
What to do and where to go in Mauritius? (#mauritius travel guide)
Mauritius is famous for its beautiful beaches, clear blue sea with coral reefs and rich marine ecosystems. Blue Bay is the place for you to enjoy those things. Diving or taking a glass bottom boat is something you should not miss to explore the features of the ecology here. In addition, the Black River Gorges National Park is also the number one place to go and is very popular with tourists coming here. In Mauritius, there are many other interesting places such as the Charamel (“the land of the seven colors”), Casela Nature Parks with more than 140 species of birds from all over the world.
The capital Port Louis (#mauritius travel blog)
Port Louis – the capital of the island nation of Mauritius is a lively port city with a busy port and bustling commercial areas. It has the luxury resort Mont Choisy, or the Flic en Flac hotel famous for its long beaches and divers. For those who want to explore and explore the ocean floor, Rivière Noire is really the ideal place. In addition, Port Louis also has many other prominent neighborhoods such as Curepipe, Quatre Bornes, Rose Hill, Vacoas and Phoenix.
The first stop of the journey to beautiful Mauritius is Port Louis – the capital of this island nation. Coming here, you will have the opportunity to experience the bustling and vibrant life of indigenous people at local markets or in the areas around La Citadel and Le Caudan ports. In Port Louis, there is also a monument of the ancient capital Fort Adelaide (Citadelle) located on a high hill, where you can see the whole city of Port Louis.
Fort Adelaide (named after a queen) is located on the Petite Montagne hill. It was built between 1838 – 1840, the height above sea level is about 100 m. Standing from the fortress, visitors can see the horse racing field and the whole city. This work once helped the people of this country fulfill the strategic goal of protecting the harbor against foreign invasions and riots occurring in the city.
Walk the banks of the Caudan River to discover local shops and restaurants as you make your way down to the Central Market. Also you should visit the Blue Penny Museum to learn more about the culture and history of this isolated island.
The largest city, Port Louis, does not have as many tall buildings as the island nations of Singapore or Hong Kong. Mr. Utam said that excluding the center of the capital, the tallest house in the suburbs is only up to 2 floors. Because the cost of construction in this country is much higher than the money spent buying real estate. Therefore, they can buy a very large plot of land and build low-rise buildings to reduce costs.
Underwater Waterfall (#mauritius blog)
This island mainly known as the home of the now-extinct Dodo bird. More recently, Mauritius took the world by storm when it discovered a lost continent beneath it, called Mauricia. Now it’s back with another intriguing feature, a spectacular underwater waterfall. Just to be clear, it’s not an actual waterfall, but an illusion that can only be seen from above. Located on the southwest coast of the island known as the Le Morne peninsula, the phenomenon takes place in a turquoise lagoon. Thanks to the crystal clear water, it can see through it, which is the key to unraveling the mystery.
This phenomenon is due to sand and alluvial sediment in perpetual motion. Mauritius, being a relatively young island, happens to be on an ocean shelf above sea level. Off this particular coast, one notices a gradual, abrupt slope ending in a 4,000-meter-deep abyss. Thanks to this marine topography, various shades of blue can be seen due to the movement of sand and alluvial deposits along these slopes. It is the unique harmony of the shades that creates the optical illusion that has attracted so many admirers around the world.
There is nothing better than a helicopter ride over the Le Morne peninsula. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the scenery becomes even more breathtaking for unlimited photos and footage. National airline Air Mauritius offers great deals on this memorable flight.
Africa’s most beautiful beaches
Mauritius has nothing more exciting than its stunning sea. Mr. Utam – tour guide said that the sea surface here is blue all year round, especially more brilliant when the sky is less cloudy and the sun is bright yellow. The sandy beaches are also very long and beautiful, many steep cliffs, majestic waterfalls, green forests. The closer to the edges of the island, the bluer the water.
The name Mauritius is associated with the sprawling sugarcane plantations, the world’s third largest coral reef surrounding the island blocking the waves 2 km from the shore creating a beautiful calm beach.
Having come to Mauritius, you have to have fun on the sea, watch the sea and enjoy different things. That is what the people here advise tourists. A unique feature in the beautiful island nation of Africa is that visitors can go whale watching, swim with dolphins at Flic En Flac beach and ride a cooter on the seabed.
This beach is close to the restaurants and nightlife in Grand Baie, but quiet enough to feel away from it all. Here, the water overflows into a protected marine reserve, which is inaccessible to the island’s ever-growing hotels. The smaller islands a boat ride away are uninhabited except for a small coast guard station. It is home to some of the best diving and snorkeling in Mauritius…
Le Pouce mountain
The mountain known as Le Pouce overlooks Port Louis. It’s not the highest peak in Mauritius, but its location next to the capital makes it the most iconic. Reaching the top takes about an hour. On the way down, the walk to the city center takes two or three hours.
Nearby is the Creole house in Eureka. The colonial house has undergone a splendid restoration and the restaurant prides itself on serving the best of Mauritian cuisine.
The ancient village of Balaclava
Balaclava is an ancient village built in the 17th century, now only the ruins are left with ruined walls, but this is still an attractive tourist destination for you to learn about the lives of the people there.
What makes tourists most excited when visiting this village is seeing the extremely luxuriant and eye-catching Labourdonnais orchard.
Le Morne Brabant Peninsula
This peninsula is located in the southwestern region of the Indian Ocean, impressive with basalt rocks 550m above sea level along with many caves that promise to bring you exciting experiences when exploring. This is also the birthplace of many rare species of plants in the world such as the boucle d’oreille flower (the National flower of Mauritius) or the mandrinette flower.
When the volcanoes that created Mauritius died, one of the craters filled with water and became a lake known as Grand Bassin. It is also known as Ganga Talao, a name that links the iconic water to the Ganges River in India. The waters here also carry a similar religious significance, with a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva dominating the lakeside.
Grand Bassin is a lake that is considered one of the holiest places in Mauritius, especially for the Hindu community. More than half of the island’s population visits for a few weeks during the Shivratri festival held annually in honor of Lord Shiva. On other days, it’s a quiet reflective place with a microclimate that’s cooler than the rest of Mauritius.
Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geopark
Address: H96Q+9VX Seven Coloured Earth in, Chamarel, Mauritius
Hours: 8:30 AM–5 PM
On an exposed hilltop inside a park, the earth has magical rainbow shades of purple, red, violet, green, blue and yellow. The seven earth colors in Chamarel is a natural phenomenon where colors develop according to weather conditions and soil composition.
The colors are most vibrant at sunrise and they seem to change throughout the day as the sun moves and clouds pass overhead. Nearby, a narrow waterfall cascades down the cliff, and nearby Black River Gorges National Park protects what’s left of the island’s original rainforest.
Black River Gorges National Park
In the dramatic hills of southwestern Mauritius, you’ll find lush Mauritian forests filled with the unique native animals as their home. With thousands of giant fruit bats, nine endemic bird species and more than 300 species of flowers, Black River Gorges National Park is the best place to discover Africa’s flora and fauna.
This place is also famous for its 7 color earth with red, brown, gray, purple and brown sand dunes, located right in the middle of Chamarel plantation, looks very beautiful and spectacular.
Chamarel Falls will overwhelm you with a height of 83 meters and is also the highest waterfall in Mauritius.
Subscooter on the seabed
The most interesting part of the journey to discover the island nation of Africa is the Scooter ride on the seabed. The place where this activity takes place is about 10 km from the mainland, and of course guests are transported by canoe far away.
The Scooter is small enough for two people to sit inside, has accelerator pedals and steering wheel and an audio system to communicate with divers. The player is dropped to a depth of 2m, the water is close to the neck, and drive the scooter goes around watching corals and fish at certain distances under the guidance of divers.
In the activity, visitors are used by divers to use bread crumbs to lure the fish closer to take pictures. Time to drive Scooter under the sea from 25-30 minutes does not seem to satisfy many people. To experience this game, each visitor must spend from 150 USD depending on the time long or short. If two people share a seascooter, they will be charged 200 USD within 30 minutes including free photography and soft file return after finish.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
Address: VHWJ+448, Pamplemousses, Mauritius
Hours: 8:30 AM–5:30 PM
Famous for its truly giant water lilies, the SSR Botanical Garden is a favorite picnic spot for the Mauritians, who like to spread out beneath tropical trees. Not all plants have been labeled, but anyone interested in flora stories can hire a guide at the entrance. In addition to the towering palm trees, the gardens also include many of the plants that produce the spices that brought the fighting Europeans to Asia to trade in new flavors. The 18th-century church of St Francis of Assisi faces the gardens, built for the wealthy landowners of the time.
Casela Nature Parks
Address: Royal Road, Cascavelle, Mauritius
Hours: 9 AM–5 PM
The next destination on the journey is the famous zoological farm with Galapagos turtles. You have the opportunity to witness firsthand the turtles lying lazily basking in the sun. This island has a lot to offer and always pleases every visitor. If you have enough time, a visit to the 14-hectare Casela Nature Parks will make a lot of sense for you. It has about 1,500 birds (more than 150 species) and diverse animals such as lions, cheetahs, zebras, ostriches and monkeys. There is nothing more wonderful than when you get to see wild animals up close. It is a memorable experience for any visitor.
Mauritius is like a mermaid in the heart of the vast Indian Ocean has just awakened. This place is endowed by nature with unspoiled, clear and unbelievably clean beaches. When setting foot on the island nation, you will be overwhelmed by the pristine beauty of the long straight beaches. When the boat has just docked, you will admire the beautiful watercolor painting. When each light ray of sunlight shines on the beach, you will be immersed in a quiet space, each cool breeze from the sea rushing back as if dispelling all your sorrows. The turquoise water embraces the fine white sand beaches stretching far away. Each colorful coral reef is hidden under the clear blue water as if joining in the dance to welcome visitors from afar.
Coming to Mauritius, you should definitely not miss the paradise of Grand Bay, which owns the most wonderful and attractive beach. The beach embraces a large beautiful space like a fresco painted by nature. You can both watch the romantic sunset on the beach and participate in interesting activities and enjoy delicious seafood dishes at the seaside restaurants.
A highly romantic experience enjoyed by many couples and families in the island nation of Mauritius is dolphin watching on a catamaran cruise tour.
Enjoy luxury aboard a spacious, 60-foot-long Harris Wilson catamaran. And the best part is watching the adorable dolphins in their natural marine environment. You can immerse yourself in the water to swim with the colorful fish in the vast ocean.
During your stay in Mauritius, you will discover fields full of sugar cane. Similar to the Caribbean islands, Mauritius also has a good reputation for rum production. Nestled in the mountains on the south side of the island is Rhumerie de Chamarel – one of the island’s newest distilleries. They make high-quality rums, with combinations of flavors, some incorporating the island’s rich spices. In addition to picking up a few bottles, you can tour the distillery and sample some of their collections.
Mauritian cuisine is a wonderful fusion of Indian and Chinese cultures, and some of the best meals are found on the streets. Street food is cheap, delicious and definitely not to be missed. To find out the best places to try, we embarked on the Taste Buddies food tour.
It’s a great way to really understand not only the culture and cuisine, but also learn about the people who have set up their food stalls in the city. Everyone has an interesting story and it gives meaning to the dish when we know the stories behind it. It feels like one of the most attractive Island tourism Mauritius activities.
In a few hours, your tour guide will introduce you to Traditional Mauritian Roti (Farata) filled with vegetables, coconut water, sugar cane juice, dholl puri (Yellow Split Pea Wrap), peanuts, fried vegetable dumplings, and salted peanuts sticky rice.
What to eat?
The cuisine in Mauritius is very diverse with Asian, European dishes with fairly high quality standards. Fruits, vegetables, meat and even seafood are imported very often. Specialties in Mauritius include venison, camarons (spicy freshwater shrimp), gateux piments, and octopus. In terms of drinks, fresh coconut, Mauritian beer and rum are enough to get you a hearty feast. The fruits here are quite similar to many other countries such as bananas, watermelons, tangerines, mangoes, pineapples…
Regarding the typical drink of Mauritius, when you come here you can enjoy fresh coconut water, beer and rum of the very attractive indigenous people. In addition, in Mauritius, there is a delicious drink, with an extremely pleasant aroma, called Alouda made from yogurt and fresh fruits.
In Mauritius, there are many food markets, especially weekend markets with many unique fruits such as purple apples, red dragon fruits or typical Indian spices.
What gifts to buy home?
The currency of Mauritius is the Rupee, 1 USD = 45.5 MUR
Most of Mauritius’ shopping items are tax-free, so it has become a paradise for shopping for luxury products such as jewelry, perfume, and designer clothes. Antique household items and ship models are also popular souvenirs.
Where to stay?
As a country with strengths in tourism, the number of hotels and resorts in Mauritius is numerous, built around beautiful beaches on both the east and west coasts. If tourists like to watch the sunset, they can choose a resort in the west, and vice versa, to catch the sunrise, rent a hotel in the east of the island.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Salt Of Palmar, Mauritius, A Member Of Design Hotels™ (Agoda, Booking)
- Constance Prince Maurice (Agoda, Booking)
- Tamassa Resort (Agoda, Booking)
- Constance Belle Mare Plage (Agoda, Booking)
- Trou Aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
- LUX* Grand Gaube Resort & Villas (Agoda, Booking)
- Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resorts (Agoda, Booking)
- Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (Agoda, Booking)
Check out more top and best hotels in Mauritius on Agoda.com or Booking.com
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Mauritius you can refer to
- Discover Mauritius
- Mauritius Essentials 3-Day Trip with Optional Wild Dolphin Swim
- Southwest Mauritius Swim with Wild Dolphins & Volcanic Wonders Tour
- Swimming with Wild Dolphins, Lunch on Benitiers Island & Transfer in Mauritius
- Mauritius West Coast Wildlife Tour
- Mauritius Casela Wildlife Experience 1 Day Tour
- Southern Mauritius Landscape Tour
- Catamaran Dolphin Cruise in Mauritius
- Catamaran to Ile aux Cerfs with 3 Activities Experience in Mauritius
- Mauritius Submarine Ship Tour
- Mauritius Southern Scenic Tour with Takamaka Winery Experience
- Skydiving Mauritius
Check out more Mauritius things to do here.