Top 10 things to do in Mauritius, God's own paradise!

“Should I watch Happy New Year,” he enquired? "Nah, waste of time", We replied. He thanked us as he stamped a 30-day entry visa on our passports. We couldn’t believe this colorful conversation was happening at Mauritius Immigration, more than 3000 miles away from my home in India. Known as “God’s Own Island” with endless white sandy beaches, turquoise blue waters and coral reefs, Mauritius stunned us with its ethereal beauty. A honeymooner, nature lover, adventure sports enthusiast or a vacationer, Mauritius has something for everyone. We came back full of splendid memories, but here are our top 10 things to do in Mauritius

1. Try the local nectar

If you think wine is bottled poetry, then wait till you try the variety of local rum and beer available in Mauritius. The local beer, Phoenix costs MUR 30 approximately and is available everywhere. For rums, try Green Island or Chamarel Premium rums freshly made at Rhumerie de Chamarel. We stocked up on both from Super U, a supermarket located at Grand Baie. We spotted two beautiful rum punch bottles (mango and tropical fruits) too at Super U. Pour it over ice and enjoy a sundowner after a hot day like we did.

A glass of Phoenix goes with everything!
A glass of Phoenix goes with everything!

My sundowner!
Our sundowner!

Tea lovers can enjoy a variety of teas; our pick was Bois Cheri vanilla tea. Do not miss sipping on tender fresh coconut water or sugarcane juice, which is like tasting nectar in a glass! Mauritius is home to amazing tropical fruits and there are many stalls selling fresh juice all over the Island. Try an irresistible mélange of Victorian pineapple and mango juice, we surely did! Be a little adventurous and try Alouda. Made with Ice-cold milk, basil seeds, vanilla and almond essence, its tasty and refreshing.

2. Drive around the beautiful expanse.

“You came here on bike!!!” squealed the tiny sales consultant at Cauden Water Front. Yes, we replied. She smiled and advised us to wear our reflectors on our way back. There can be nothing more thrilling then driving on the roads of Mauritius flanked by sugarcane fields on either side or chasing the bright golden sun. We hired a scooter at cost of MUR 600/-per day and easily hopped across beaches to find that perfect picnic spot. Driving is absolutely safe and one can rent a car easily as well.

3. Relish the Street Food

Relishing the street food of Mauritius is like relishing heaven on a spoon. Dholl Puri, a thin roasted crepe stuffed with yellow split peas served with bean curry and chutneys, is a must have. Next on your list should be the Creole curries, made with lots of tomatoes and less of chili. We tried the Octopus curry, but if you find that too chewy, try it with local fish or prawns. Roti Chaud, roti filled with bean curry and chili paste, Biryani, Gateaux piment or chili cakes -pea fritters with chili or Samosa- deep fried, crunchy filo pastry filled with vegetarian and non vegetarian fillings. Prawn or Chicken Rougaille (pronounced as rooh-guy) and Mine Frite (fried noodles) is another must try dish.

Mine Fritte, Mauritian noodles and Phoenix
Mine Fritte, Mauritian noodles and Phoenix

There is nothing better than tanning under the Mauritian sun while lazing on the beach with a Victorian pineapple smeared with chili powder for that extra zing!

Chili smeared Victorian Pineapple.
Chili smeared Victorian Pineapple

4. Enjoy the beaches

The blue waters beckon you from a mile away and you can smell the salt in the air. With a never-ending and beautiful coastline, “Life is a Beach” at Mauritius. Swim in the calm waters at La Cuvette or indulge in water sports at Grand Baie. We saw amazing sunsets at Mont Choisy and snorkeled at Trou aux Biches. The best part at Mauritius is that all beaches are public.

Never leave a chance to take a Selfie

Imauritius beach

La Cuvette Beach- Stunning, no?
La Cuvette Beach - Stunning, no?

The Stunning Mauritius Sunset
The Stunning Mauritius Sunset

5. Have a Picnic

Pack a picnic- we requested Le Meridian, the resort where we stayed to do it for us and drove around till we found a perfect spot, spread a picnic blanket and whispered hasta la vista to our worries.

6. Make Friends

Mauritius is a multi-ethnic society, with ancestors of Indian, French, Chinese and African origin and speaks Creole, French and English quite fluently. We encountered warm and friendly people wherever we went. At La Cuvette beach, we were invited by a very nice family to eat Biryani with them, which was extremely appetizing after a long swim.

No Journey is complete without new friends

7. Strike up a conversation with locals

If you approach them with a smile, the locals are ever ready to help with recommendations of where to dine or surf, those hidden beach spots or directions when you get lost. We chatted with a few locals to understand their daily life and loved what we heard. Ditch that GPS, connect with real people, instead.

8. Shop at Local Bazaars

Colorful and buzzing enough to arouse your child like curiosity; Mauritius has many bazaars for indulging our inner shopaholics. Quirky t-shirts, bags and local crafts- you get them all here. Head to Grand Baie bazaar, just off royal road, Port Louis main bazaar, Quatre Bornes’ central market or Flic En Flac, the choice is endless. One also gets factory surplus of Ralph Lauren t-shirts all around but its tough to say if they are indeed original. Head to Pride Mark, located at Port Louis market to buy authentic brands like Zara at reduced prices, we surely returned with huge bags!

9. Take a local bus

Locals rely of buses for their daily commute. North and South parts are covered by separate bus services. One sees a hearty mix of locals and tourists heading to explore on the buses. Cute bus stops dot the roads and the frequency is not bad. The downside- buses mostly don’t run after 7 or 8 pm.

10. Visit Chamarel and Ile aux Cerfs

Soothing- yes, that’s what we would call our experience of Chamarel waterfalls and the colored earth. Created by volcanic rocks, the different colored earths formed separate layers. Look at them minutely and they change colors with the intensity of the day. Before you sip coffee at the café overlooking the colored sands, indulge in another spectacular sight- the waterfall that dips 95 m. isn’t that’s a long way down? Located inside private property, there is an entry fee to see the colored earth but not the falls.

Colored Earth at Chamarel
Colored Earth at Chamarel

Chamarel waterfalls

Ile aux Cerfs, situated on the east coast is breathtaking …no wait, even better. Accessible from Trou d'Eau Douce, do enjoy parasailing here surrounded by crystal clear waters. Swim, laze of the beach or eat at the various restaurants- the best way to experience the Mauritian life!

Up, Up and Away!
Up, Up and Away!

Crystal Clear Waters at Ile Aux Cerfs
Crystal Clear Waters at Ile Aux Cerfs

Don't forget to pose for photos after the swim!

If like us you believe in collecting “Moments” rather than “Things” do visit Mauritius


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