Mauritius is the beautiful Indian Ocean island famous for its white sandy beaches and lagoons, but if you’re looking for some time away from the beach or to perhaps even get a little closer to the ocean, then read on for some ideas about some great things to do. My husband who has spent time in Mauritius, helped me put together this list, based on activities he did whilst visiting.
It’s clear from the photo below, that there’s no question about whether the beaches of Mauritius are beautiful, they are amazing. However, if you’re lucky enough to visit this beautiful island, why not enrich yourself by looking at some of the other great things there are to see and do.
I have limited this post to 5 picks, but of course there are many more things to see and do. There are some great resources online where you can find out more about the great activities that Mauritius offers.
1. Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Formally known as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, this is a popular tourist attraction in Pamplemousses, not far from Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. Built by Pierre Poivre in 1770, this botanical garden is the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere and is famous for it’s big pond of giant water lilies. Better known as the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, the garden also features spices, ebonies, sugar canes, and 85 varieties of palms from Central America, Asia, Africa and the islands around the Indian Ocean. World leaders and royalty have planted trees in the gardens. Pamplemousse or pamplemoucier is the grapefruit tree which grows in the region.
2. Scuba Diving
With the crystal clear water that surrounds Mauritius, diving is a great way to experience some amazing marine life. The best, most beautiful diving sites are said to be in the North and West of the island. Options aren’t limited to experienced divers either as there are plenty for beginners too. There are large areas of natural coral, bursting with underwater sea life and clear underwater visibility. You are also unlikely to encounter any large sharks, so if you are not an experienced diver then Mauritius is a good place to try it out. It is common for hotels to hold regular introductory dives at the swimming pool where you get to try out the equipment first. After this, you can then see if you still fancy doing it for real in the Indian Ocean!
3. L’Adventure De Sucre
If you want to find out about the history of Mauritius, a great place to visit is L’Adventure De Sucre (The Sugar Adventure). It is an old sugar factory that has been converted into a museum. which gives a very thorough display and description of the workings of a mill. Travelling through the museum, visitors learn about the very intertwined history of sugar and Mauritius, and how it led to the multicultural society of today. It lies within the beautiful Beau Plan Sugar Estate, located close to the famous Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. The fact that the machinery is still all there and in working condition gives everything some perspective. The museum provides a very comprehensive history of Mauritius and it’s events and issues, via a mixture of information panels, displays and videos. Don’t miss the rum or cocktail tasting at the end of the tour or the great restaurant that is on site too. Watch the video below to see a Mojito being prepared at L’Adventure du Sucre using dark muscovado sugar.
4. Blue Safari
Blue Safari is a submarine experience which has been operating since 1998. It began with a single submarine for five passengers, and has expanded to become a multi-site, unique tourist attraction with two submarines and a fleet of underwater scooters. Each chair in the submarine has its own window, so you get a comfortable, uninterrupted view of the ocean bed. Once beneath the waves, you will be taken to the wreckage of the ‘Star Hope’, where you will see a mix of zebra fish, eels and other sea life.
The trip lasts for two hours which includes a dive to 40 metres. There is no need for special clothing or equipment, just sit back and relax (with your camera) to enjoy the stunning views of the ocean floor.
5. La Vanille Nature Park
La Vanille nature park is located in the South of Mauritius and is a part of the island which is said to have a feeling of the “old Mauritius”. The park is home to various species of animals, reptiles and plants, set in a beautiful rain forested valley with natural freshwater springs, full of prawns and fish. One of the main attractions of the park is the crocodiles. As you enter, you can see some right at the beginning. Then throughout the park, you’ll see the crocodiles in their different stages of growth. The other main attraction is the giant tortoises. The giant tortoise’s enclosure is very big with a lot of them all around. You can walk amongst them to take photographs and even feed them with leaves. A visit to the park takes about 2-3 hours.
This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of things you can do, which is amazing considering the island of Mauritius covers just 787 sq miles.
Have you been to Mauritius? What do you think about my picks? Please leave a comment as I would love to read your thoughts.
*Disclosure: this is a collaborative post
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