What to see in Mauritius: 25 interesting places

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You can spend a vacation in Mauritius in different ways: you can enjoy all day long beaches of the island, and you can get acquainted with the sights of Mauritius. Despite the fact that Mauritius is a small island, there are many opportunities for active entertainment, excursions and places worth visiting. I talked about excursions around the island in the article “10 day tours in Mauritius you won’t miss“. In this article, I have compiled a list of places to see on the island of Mauritius. Also I made a map on which I marked the sights of the island. There are already detailed articles about some places, and some are planned. Bookmark this article so you don’t lose it.

Mauritius attractions on the map

Compared to other countries, there are not so many attractions on the island of Mauritius: it is affected by the fact that it was uninhabited for a long time, and the first settlers (the Dutch) began to develop it only at the beginning of the 17th century. Almost all of the remarkable places in Mauritius are of natural origin, but there are also several museums that are connected with the history of the island and its frequent change of hands.

What to see in Mauritius

I decided to divide the list into two parts:

  • The first part is a selection of places worth visiting if you are visiting the island for the first time. We can say that these are the main attractions.
  • The second part is the sights of the island, which can be left for the next time, but which are nothing less interesting.

All the places listed below can be viewed on your own by renting a car (an article about the features of car rental in Mauritius), or with one of the excursions around the island. I have covered it in a separate article that talks about the best excursions in Mauritius.

List of things to see for the first time

1. The colored sands of Chamarel (Terres des Sept Couleurs) is a world-famous natural phenomenon. The grains of sand in the dunes are of different shades and have a special property: they do not mix, and even if you mix different layers with each other, they will gradually separate into colors.

The sands of Chamarel is located in the southwest of the island, in a small, fenced area that belongs to a sugar cane company. Reviews about Seven Colored Earth are different, but in my opinion, they are worth a look. Detailed seven-colored sands review →

2. The Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is one of the oldest in the world. It was founded by the French botanist Pierre Poivre with the pragmatic goal of growing spices. Now the garden is spread over 25 hectares and has become home to half a thousand species of plants. There are many aromatic rocks among them, so visiting it will be a feast not only for the eyes, but for other senses as well. The most famous inhabitants of the botanical garden are a variety of palm trees, of which there are about 80 species, and giant water lilies, whose leaves reach two meters in diameter and can withstand the weight of a child’s body. Detailed park trip review →

Pamplemousses Garden is a must-see in Mauritius

Pamplemousses Garden is one of the island’s must-see attractions

3. La Vanille Nature Park is located in the southern part of the island and is also known as the “Crocodile park” – thanks to the crocodile farm, where hundreds of alligators live. If you come to the reserve on Wednesday or Saturday, there is a chance to get to feed them – they say, it is a very exciting sight. Another pride of La Vanille are the turtles. There are several species of them here, and among them there are gigantic elephant tortoises brought from the Seychelles. You can climb into their enclosures, examine them up close, touch and feed them.

Review of visiting La Vanille Park →

The reserve also boasts an excellent insectarium, where more than 20 thousand species of insects are represented, and the Dodo Museum, which contains everything about the extinct dodo bird.

Mauritius Attraction La Vanille Park

Mauritius Giant Turtles in La Vanille Park

4. Fort Adelaide in Port Louis is one of the 4 remaining fortresses on the island. From the walls of the fort offers a picturesque view of Port Louis and the harbor. The entrance is free.

By the way, there are enough interesting places in Port Louis that introduce the history of the island. I advise you to visit the capital of Mauritius with a one-day tour of the north-west of the island or on your own. Read more in the guide to Port Louis.

Fort Adelaide - one of the sights of Port Louis

There are cannons in the courtyard of the fortress

5. Chamarel Falls – a huge waterfall located in the same park as the seven-colored sands of Chamarel.

alt = Chamarel Falls - attractions of Mauritius

Chamarel waterfall – the highest in Mauritius

6. The underwater waterfall near the Le Morne peninsula, strictly speaking, is not a waterfall – the illusion of water falling into the abyss is created by cascades of sand, washed out by currents, and a rugged landscape of the bottom. However, this does not prevent it from being one of the most picturesque natural attractions of Mauritius and the hallmark of Le Morne Beach. Unfortunately, you can’t see anything from the shore, but you can book a helicopter or seaplane tour and see the underwater waterfall from a bird’s eye view.

7. The Black River Gorges National Park is the largest (6500 hectares) and the most famous national park in Mauritius. Once this area was considered a hunting ground, but in 1994 it was declared a nature reserve in order to preserve rare species of Mauritian plants and animals. Among them are giant fruit bats, pink doves, parakeets, Mauritanian kestrel and other endangered animals.

Due to the picturesque landscape and unique nature, the Black River Gorge is very attractive for hiking. About 60 km of hiking trails have been prepared for visitors here.

National Black River Gorges Park - what to see in Mauritius

The second famous attraction of the park is the highest peak of the island, Mount Bench 828. I talked about climbing it on my own in this article.

Climbing to the peak of the Rivière Noire in Mauritius

Me in front of the famous bench Bench 828 on the highest mountain in Mauritius

8. Cape Gris Gris on the east coast of Mauritius with stunning ocean views.

What to see in Mauritius - Cape Gris-Gris

I admire the ocean at Cape Gris-Gris

9. A giant statue of the god Shiva near Grand Bassin Lake was erected not so long ago, in 2007, but it already attracts pilgrims and tourists from all over the world. There is also a temple complex dedicated to Shiva, the largest of all the religious buildings of the island. For Hindus, this place is of such great importance, since the Grand Bassin lake is considered part of the sacred river Ganges. According to legend, when Shiva carried the river with him, when he stopped in Mauritius, he accidentally spilled some water from it. Now Hindu rituals and cultural festivals take place here.

10. Chateau de Labourdonnais and rum factory. This place is interesting for two reasons:

  1. A well-preserved chateau (estate) with interiors of the colonial era allows you to feel how the colonizers of the island lived. It’s very interesting to see how it was.
  2. Good tasting rum. Although they do not show the production as in the St. Aubin estate, the tasting is better.

Other sights to see in Mauritius

Casela Nature Park

Casela Nature Park - walks with lions in Mauritius

Casela Nature and Leisure Park consists of two parts – “wild”, which occupies about two hundred hectares and where rare species of animals live among tropical vegetation, and developed, where you can see the fauna of Mauritius with your own eyes. In the tourist part of Casela Park, there is not only a zoo, but also the opportunity to communicate outside the cages with tame lions and other large cats. Detailed review about visiting Casela Park →

If you decide to go to Casela on your own, it is better to buy a ticket online in advance, because the park is always full, and you have to queue at the ticket office. Ticket can be bought by link →

The Blue Penny Museum, aka the Postal Museum, is located in Port Louis and got its name from one of its two main exhibits, the Blue Mauritius and Pink Mauritius stamps (also known as “Orange Mauritius”). At one time (in 1847) they were printed in a very small edition and with an error – the inscription Post Office instead of Post Paid. Since then, philatelists from all over the world have been hunting for these stamps, paying millions of euros for them. The two outstanding stamps, blue and orange, were subsequently returned to Mauritius and are now in the Postal Museum. The exposition displays copies of them, as well as many other exhibits: nautical charts, paintings and engravings, historical documents.

Aapravasi Ghat is the landing site for slaves at Port Louis.

Aapravasi Ghat is considered one of the most interesting historical sights of the island. Some of the buildings have been preserved. Inside the barns, where the brought slaves were placed, an exposition was made that talks about the history of this place and the city as a whole.

Aapravasi Ghat has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Museum of Indian Immigration (Aapravasi Ghat)

The dormant Trou aux Cerfs volcano is located just outside the city of Curepipe, which makes it a favorite vacation spot not only for tourists, but also for locals. You can climb the mountain along the paved path, enjoying the picturesque views and lush vegetation that has grown on the slopes of the volcano. When you get to the top, you will get the opportunity to relax in one of the pavilions, view the city from a height, and even look into the crater. In the depths of the crater, you will see a beautiful volcanic lake; once it was possible to go down to it, but now the passage is closed by a fence.

Mauritian Notre Dame in Cap Malheur is the most famous Catholic church in Mauritius. A very beautiful, though not big, but well-kept church.

Lighthouse Albion (Phare d’Albion) – a lighthouse built in 1910, still in use. You won’t be able to go inside, but next to the lighthouse the scenery is very picturesque. I recommend visiting at sunset.

Albion Lighthouse is one of the island's landmarks

One of the island’s two lighthouses in operation

Rochester Falls – not the most famous waterfall, but one that the locals adore. It impresses with its stone columns, along which the boys climb to the very top and jump down. Located near La Vanille Park.

The Eureka Manor, attached to the sugar factory, has been home to many generations of the Le Clésio family, owners of a sugarcane factory. Now in this building – one of the few that have survived from the 19th century – a museum is open. Here you can get acquainted with the colonial life of that time, ride around the territory in a horse-drawn carriage, and at the same time try dishes prepared according to recipes from the 17th-19th centuries. The music room of the owners of the estate, study, bedroom, bathroom and an unusual circular veranda with more than a hundred doors have been perfectly preserved or restored.

Monument to Lenin in Port Louis. A bust of Lenin is installed in one of the parks of the capital of Mauritius.

Statue of Lenin in Mauritius

Captain Matthew Flinders Monument – A small monument in the south of the island. It is located on a cape in a picturesque place from where you can watch sunsets.

A picturesque cape in the south of Mauritius

Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis – a beautiful waterfront in Port Louis – a place for walking and shopping.

Square of colored umbrellas in Port Louis in Mauritius

The square in front of Le Caudan Waterfront is very Instagrammable – dozens of colorful umbrellas are hung over it. They not only cover the guests of the city from the sun, but also serve as an excellent backdrop for photographs.

Tamarin Falls are seven waterfalls that, at 300 meters high, are among the highest waterfalls on the planet. You can get to them from the city of Curepipe, which in itself is a very remarkable place well worth a visit. From Curepipe you get to the village of Henrietta, and then either get to the observation deck or book a tour with one of the local guides. Unfortunately, only one cascade is visible from the observation deck. To see all the cascades, you have to go hiking. More about trekking to Tamarin waterfalls and why it’s worth it →

Bois Cheri tea factory. Mauritius also has tea plantations. They can be seen during a trip to the Bois Cheri tea factory, where the tea museum is located. You can also do tea tasting there.

Where to go in Mauritius - Bois Cheri tea factory

Bois Cheri tea factory

The ruins of Balaclava are the well-preserved remains of a French fortress built in the 18th century. Once there was a weapons arsenal here, and this is what caused the destruction of the fortress – it could not withstand the explosion that occurred in 1774.

Now you can see in Balaclava not only the ruins of the fortress, but also what remains of the household buildings of that period, such as mills and lime kilns. True, you won’t be able to freely explore the ruins of the fortress – you will either have to stay at the Maritim Resort hotel, to which the ruins belong, or call there in advance and ask for permission to enter. You don’t have to pay to visit the ruins.

Chateau de Robillard is one of the main attractions of the city of Mahébourg, located on the east coast of the island. The castle was built in 1771 right at the entrance to the city and once served as a home for the Robillard family, whose head was the commandant of the Grand Port district. In 1950, the castle was bought by the government, and it became a haven for the Historical Museum of the Navy.

The museum consists of two expositions. The first of them is devoted to marine relics, and among them you can see ship instruments, shipwrecks, navigation charts, personal belongings of sailors and other items, mostly raised from the bottom of the sea. The second exhibition highlights the British period in the life of the island and the construction of the Mauritian railway.