Visiting Mauritius: 20 unmissable activities to discover

 Visiting Mauritius: 20 unmissable activities to discover

Are you going to Mauritius soon and you still don’t know what to do in this little tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean? No worries, I tell you about all the must-see visits and activities to do in Mauritius in this article! I have just returned from a month in Mauritius and I can already tell you that the island is THE ideal destination for going on vacation. Sunshine, very pleasant temperatures, magnificent beaches, exceptional nature and cultural diversity, a very welcoming people, what more could you ask for when visiting Mauritius? There are many things to see and do if you plan to visit Mauritius for a week or more. But what to do in Mauritius? To learn more, follow the guide!

What to see and what to do in Mauritius?

If you think Mauritius is all about beaches and luxury, think again! The island is obviously renowned for its many beautiful beaches, its turquoise water lagoon and its superb hotel establishments, but Mauritius is much more than that!

It is already a population of multiple origins, with descendants of Indian workers, African slaves, Chinese traders and English or French settlers who have mixed over the centuries, making it an island very rich in a cultural point of view and this is reflected in the food, in the architecture and in the celebrations. It’s a real melting pot of cultures and I’m sure you too will be fascinated by the many facets of this little corner of paradise. And although the population of Mauritius is French-speaking, the island is not a French territory contrary to what many people think, it obtained its independence from the English for more than 60 years.

We always talk about the beaches of Mauritius but the center of the island is also very beautiful, very green, there are beautiful mountains, sublime waterfalls and tropical forests. Something to delight lovers of nature and hiking! There is also a very authentic side, whether in the small villages in the center or on the coast in the fishing villages. In short, Mauritius has a lot of assets and if you take the time to discover it, you won’t regret it!

Swim with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins is a dream for many of us. And I can tell you that the experience was magical for me! In the water with a mask and a snorkel, you see schools of dolphins pass less than 3 meters from you! The show is amazing. That day, we saw about forty mammals in the water, to everyone’s delight.

When I look back on the souvenir photos and videos I was able to take with my GoPro, I feel like I’m reliving the experience. In short, it was a great activity. And the dolphins are not fed by humans, which is a very good thing!

On the other hand, there can be a lot of people in the water in summer and it can quickly become a large swimming pool with a lot of people and a few dolphins  Prefer operators who leave early in the morning to avoid the crowds. You may even have the chance to witness the spectacle of the sun rising on the other side of the island!

It is a 2 to 3 hour excursion on the water and I highly recommend it. Trips to swim with dolphins in Mauritius are generally done on the west coast, near Rivière Noire and Tamarin.

Swimming with dolphins is an activity not to be missed in Mauritius!

Take a hike to Le Morne Brabant

I told you, there are not only beaches in Mauritius! For lovers of nature and sports activities, I advise you to discover Le Morne Brabant.

Le Morne Brabant has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. It is one of the wildest mountains on the island. Culminating at more than 550 meters, its ascent is one of the essentials of Mauritius. The view at the top over the southwest lagoon is truly exceptional. I was able to hike with Yan from Yanature and I loved it!

The 3 hour hike is not the easiest for non-athletes but it is worth it. It is especially the last part which is quite technical but you will be rewarded with a heavenly setting.

The landscapes are breathtaking and the site is steeped in history. Indeed, Le Morne Brabant has long been the land of exile for slaves who fled their masters.

For me, if you are a bit sporty and don’t know what to do in Mauritius, it’s a great activity 

Discover Chamarel and its earth of 7 colors

If you go to the south-west of the island, between Black River and Pointe du Morne, the Chamarel region presents one of the main natural curiosities of Mauritius: the earth of the 7 colors! This incredible natural site takes the form of colored earth dunes. It is very impressive to see this contrast of colors ranging from ocher to red through brown and purple. This geological phenomenon would be due to the different volcanic ashes of the region containing minerals of different colors.

If you like photography, I advise you to go there during the day when the weather is very nice to better see the color differences and not have the shadow of the trees around on your photo. If you have children, there is an enclosure of giant tortoises in the park that you can see.

The village of Chamarel is not limited to the park, it is probably the most authentic village of Mauritius, nestled in the hollow of the mountains. You can walk there and meet the Rastafarian community, visit the Rhumerie de Chamarel and be surprised by the pineapple plantations (did you know that pineapples don’t grow on trees?!) You can also discover the traditional way of making coffee and if you want a typical Mauritian lunch, take a trip to the Palais de Barbizon! After the hearty dishes, rum-juice and dessert, you’ll just want to take a nap under the trees.

In any case, if you are in Mauritius and you love nature, do not miss to discover the picturesque village of Chamarel! I discovered Chamarel with the swimming with dolphins excursion + visit of Chamarel + Grand Bassin & Trou-aux-Cerfs.

Enjoy the beautiful beaches

Because we still go to the island to sunbathe and relax, I made you a short list of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius in my opinion.


large white sand beach, located in the north of the island

Mont Choisy: white sand beach, turquoise lagoon protected from the wind, a very beautiful place. No wind, rock and corals, ideal to enjoy with the family.


located on the west coast, it is one of the most touristic beaches on the island, but also one of the most beautiful.

Tamarin: no white sand but a very beautiful setting. It is also the beach for surfers and it is from Tamarin that you will come out to swim with the dolphins.

Le Morne: a beach lined with trees, with turquoise water and overlooked by the mountain of Le Morne Brabant. 

Blue Bay: superb beach in the southeast of the island. You can go snorkeling in the marine park.

Pointe d’Esny: a little before Blue-Bay, we find the beach of Pointe d’Esny; no parking here, the beach is located in front of houses on the coast.

Belle Mare: located in the east, Belle Mare beach is one of the most beautiful and wildest in Mauritius

Visit the small islands around Mauritius

Because the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius are undoubtedly those of the islets. If you do not know what to do in Mauritius, you can opt for an excursion to discover the surrounding islands. These are half or full day tours and you won’t be disappointed with what you see. 

Discover the Ile aux Aigrettes

Off Mahébourg, Ile aux Aigrettes is an essential stopover for lovers of nature and beautiful landscapes. After a short cruise on the turquoise water, you arrive on a small islet classified as a “Nature Reserve”.

You can walk in the footsteps of the Dodo, an endemic bird of Mauritius that died out during the 18th century. During the walk, you will be able to see giant tortoises in freedom, but also the fauna and the flora of this protected island.

The colors are sublime and the reserve being protected, you may have the opportunity to see Gunther’s geckos or the Cardinal of Mauritius, this little red and green bird! To do with family or as a couple, without hesitation if you do not know what to do in Mauritius.

For your discovery of the Ile des Aigrettes, you can book directly on the official website of the organization which deals with the preservation of the island.

Exploring the Southeast Islands

This boat trip is not the best known but is undoubtedly the most beautiful in Mauritius. You can dive in the Blue Bay marine park, have an aperitif in the transparent waters around Ile aux Aigrettes, then visit Ile de la Passe, a rocky island with ancient fortifications.

Then, we take the boat back and head for the Ile aux Fouquets with its disused lighthouse. You can eat grilled meats there and discover this superb island with a view of the peaceful lagoon of Mahébourg on one side and on the other, on the stormy open sea. When the weather is nice, it is an idyllic day not to be missed when you are in Mauritius.

Sunbathing on Ile aux Cerfs

It is in the lagoon of Trou D’Eau Douce on the east coast of Mauritius that you can find Ile aux Cerfs. It is a small uninhabited islet and one of the most beautiful excursions on the island.

If you do not know what to do in Mauritius, I advise you to discover Ile aux Cerfs for a day. You can get there by water taxi from Trou d’Eau Douce every day from 9am or opt for a group excursion with sea trip.

On the island you can enjoy the magnificent white sand beaches, but also the turquoise water. On the program: idleness! If you feel like doing water sports, you will find activities on site.

Look at the color of this water! It was just amazing! One of my best days in Mauritius.

Visit Gabriel Island
Located in the north of the island, Gabriel islet is a stopover not to be missed if you want to relax and discover! Indeed, it is a protected nature reserve with crystal clear waters that you can discover by snorkeling with superb unspoilt white sand beaches! You can do this by booking a catamaran trip to explore the northern islands and enjoy a good grill on the beach.
Take a walk in the Pamplemousses Garden
If you are in Port-Louis or in the North of the island, visiting the Jardin de Pamplemousses is one of the things to do in Mauritius. If like me you like to walk in the middle of nature, you will be delighted to discover dozens of plant species from all over the world and especially the highlight of the garden: the large pond covered with huge water lilies.
Grand Bassin, the sacred lake in the heart of the island

During your stay in Mauritius, consider visiting Grand Bassin, in the center of the island. This sacred lake, lined with temples and statues of Hindu deities, is a very important place for Hindus. But regardless of religious beliefs, this place is very popular with visitors for its tranquility, beauty and mystical side.
I wandered around the lake a bit: you can see fruits and coconuts that were put there by the faithful as offerings. And they attract lots of monkeys and cats, which are part of the landscape.
If you are in Mauritius, don’t miss snorkeling With a mask and a snorkel, you can admire the seabed very easily. I love little rocky corners, you will find your happiness there 
In most hotels, you can borrow masks and snorkels to enjoy both the beach and the sea. And during boat and catamaran trips, you will also be provided with all the necessary equipment.
Animal parks in Mauritius
I have never been a big fan of animal parks but I know that many of you go to Mauritius with your family. If you are looking for what to do in Mauritius with your children, there are two main addresses to remember:
Casela Park
Casela is undoubtedly the best known animal park in Mauritius: there are many animals there, especially from the African continent. You can even go on safaris, walk with lions, have lunch with giraffes!
At the base there were only birds but gradually, the park grew to accommodate many animals. You can also do many activities there, such as zip-lining, quad biking, canyoning or summer tobogganing.
Vanilla Crocodile Park

Further south of Mauritius, La Vanille Nature Park will make you discover lots of reptiles and mainly Nile crocodiles! The park is in the middle of nature and we discover the green nature of the wild South.
If you go there at crocodile feeding time, you will witness a captivating but frightening sight. And if you are also hungry and the sight of crocodiles has not moved you, the restaurant offers dishes based on crocodile… I did not really want to try but there are also other dishes! You can book an excursion to discover La Vanille Crocodile Park as well as the wild beaches of the South.
Stroll through La Vallée de Ferney
If you want to recharge your batteries in the heart of nature during your stay in Mauritius, I advise you to go to the Vallée de Ferney, which is home to one of the last endemic forests on the island! In the southeast, facing the Bay of Mahébourg, at the foot of the Lion Mountain, is this nature reserve where a wide variety of native animal and floral species live, some of which are rare or endangered. Every year, many endemic plants and birds are reintroduced to this conservation area.
If you are a nature lover, I strongly advise you to take a guided tour of this reserve, you will learn a lot about the local fauna and flora and you can ask your questions to the guides who will be happy to discuss with you. . You will also see the conservation area with the nursery, the turtle park and the kestrels! You have three options to discover the Vallée de Ferney: the free walk on the trails, the guided tour, the 4×4 ride, during which you will have superb views of the coast. You will probably encounter wild boars, deer and most certainly bats during your visit! After this walk in the heart of the Mauritian nature, I advise you to have lunch at the restaurant La Falaise Rouge which is located right next to a small cliff and offers an incredible view of the sea. You can taste delicious dishes creole 
Discover the South by quad
If you want to discover Mauritius differently, do not hesitate to take a quad ride on the cliffs of the wild south of the island. You will see that in Mauritius, there are not only white sand beaches but that there is also a less tame side.
You will have superb views of the cliffs and the stormy sea, you will pass through cane fields and come across herds of goats. Don’t be surprised when you see cows taking a dip in the lagoon! You will also have the opportunity to see some wild and less accessible beaches such as La Cambuse.
Take a horseback ride
If you like horses, I advise you to take a horseback ride, either on the beach or in the middle of nature. Indeed, the paradisiacal setting of Mauritius lends itself perfectly to this. Moreover, if you plan to do so, I recommend Les Haras du Morne: they have very beautiful horses, well maintained and the staff is very friendly. We went horseback riding on the beach with them one morning and it was an exceptional experience at the foot of Morne Brabant. After the ride, which lasts about an hour, we bathed in the sea with the horses, it’s a memory we won’t soon forget!
What to do in Mauritius: thrilling activities
For lovers of thrilling activities, you will have the opportunity to do so during your trip to Mauritius!

If you have never done one, I advise you to try it in Mauritius, you will be able to see the different shades of blue of the sea from your parachute! It’s just magic. 
You can do it in different places, but I recommend Grand Baie, Ile aux Cerfs or Belle Mare. Flying over this turquoise water is exceptional. Looking back on it makes me want to go back!
Parachute jump
If you’re not scared (yes I’ve done it before, but I’m not sure I want to do it again) you can always skydive in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
I promise you adrenaline and thrills! You will be able to take beautiful photos during your tandem jump!
The experience is incredible and it remains for me, the greatest thrill to date 
Learn to kitesurf
Mauritius is also known for its kitesurfing spots! And it must be said that the lagoons of the island really make you want to try this activity. The best season for kitesurfing is from March to November.
The most famous place is Le Morne beach, because there is a good wind in winter and above all little depth in the lagoon, perfect for trying out this sport! It is the most complete spot on the island and there is enough to satisfy amateurs and pros. We find the Kite Lagoon with shallow water for beginners but also two legendary wave spots: Manawa and One-Eye.
Pointe d’Esny, in the southeast, is also a very nice place to practice kitesurfing. If you don’t know what to do in Mauritius, why not try a new sport in the best conditions? 
See the “underwater waterfall” of Mauritius by seaplane
If you are planning to go to Mauritius, you have certainly already heard of the famous optical illusion of the underwater waterfall in the southwest of the island! This phenomenon is caused by ocean currents that push beach sand out of the underwater plateau on which the island sits, producing the effect of a waterfall.
You can see this “fall” from above, by helicopter or seaplane. We chose this second option, we left with Lagoon Flight and it was a great experience! In addition to the waterfall, we also had the opportunity to admire Le Morne Brabant and the entire southwest coast of the island and I can tell you, it’s really worth it, especially if the weather is nice!
What to do in Mauritius: discover the island through its flavors

Typical Mauritian cuisine

If you want to taste authentic Mauritian dishes, I have some good addresses to give you. We do not find the typical cuisine in all corners of the island. Yes, you will find “fried mines” and “faratas” on every street corner but for real Mauritian cuisine, you can go to Escale Créole in the center of the island at Moka, at Tante Athalie in the North, La Roche Cari in the South or in Chamarel. You will enjoy dishes with many condiments and sauces.
Taste wine with lychees
Mauritius is not known for its vines but that does not mean that there is no wine! For several years, a Mauritian oenology expert has been offering delicious wines with particularly tropical aromas. He makes lychee wine and as a lover of good wine, I can tell you that he is surprising but delicious! You can visit the Takamaka winery to have the process explained to you, have a tasting and even eat dishes made with local products at the restaurant!
The cassava biscuit factory
Lovers of Brittany and Breton shortbread must absolutely visit the Rault biscuit factory during their stay in Mauritius. Cassava biscuits have been made there since the beginning of the 19th century, inspired by the recipe for Breton shortbread. Visiting the factory is a timeless experience as the manufacturing method has remained the same for a century and a half. And after tasting the biscuits with a tea or coffee, you will discover a whole new snack!
The Tea and Rum Route
If you want to discover the colonial past of Mauritius, the Tea Route is a very good idea for an excursion. You will do it in three stages, at the Domaine des Aubineaux, which is one of the last colonial residences on the island in the center, then at the Bois Chéri factory where you will be shown how the tea is picked, dried and made. And the last stop, which is my favorite by far, the Domaine de Saint Aubin in the South where you will be treated to a delicious meal, you can taste lots of different rums, vanilla, coffee, coconut. A delight! There are also greenhouses of anthuriums and vanilla plants.
Where to sleep in Mauritius?
If you do not know where to sleep in Mauritius, know that Mauritius is famous for its hospitality and there are many hotels and lodges around the island. But I’ll give you three of my favorite addresses, the most atypical, those that have marked me the most!
The Bay
The Bay is a very charming little hotel on the waterfront in Rivière Noire, on the west coast, just in front of a small beach. In a tropical garden, with swimming pool and a restaurant offering delicious cocktails, tapas and dishes, you will fall in love with this establishment. The area is quiet, it is a hotel on a human scale and the surrounding beaches are magnificent. For a room, count around $215 per night with breakfast included.
Otentic Eco Tent Experience
For a luxury camping experience, I recommend spending a weekend at Otentic Eco Tent Experience. Located on the banks of the Grande Rivière Sud-Est, this establishment offers a host of outdoor activities, included in the price, including canoeing, cycling. A free boat shuttle service is also provided to Île aux Cerfs. Otentic’s restaurant offers delicious local dishes as well as a bar area. For one night for 4, count around $140.
Ile aux Cerfs Bubble Lodge

For an exceptional experience and an immersion in nature, spend a night at Ile aux Cerfs Bubble Lodge. Admittedly, the budget is quite high (around €460 with breakfast and dinner included) but you will have the impression of being alone in the world; there are only three “bubbles” on Ile aux Cerfs! Luxury will also be in order since you will have a personal butler and meals will be served at the clubhouse of the magnificent golf course on Ile au Cerfs.
Here we are at the end of this article on what to do in Mauritius. I hope the information has helped you prepare for your trip to Isle de France! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to let them know in the comments. As Mauritians would say, it’s time for “Kas enn poz” (to rest) 
And if you don’t know when to go to Mauritius yet, don’t miss my full article on the subject!