Mauritius – A tiny heaven
Mauritius is a dream place to travel to for most people around the world. The island offers lush greenery along with clear blue waters. The island offers a pristine atmosphere and is always on the list of couples for their honeymoon. The beauty of this island is such that it will make you fall in love with it. Not only the environment but the island has a lot more to offer in terms of culture as well. French, African, Indian and British nationals stay on this island. This means you can see and experience a lot of festivities here. Be it Diwali or All Saints day. The culture also gets reflected through the cuisine. You can find individual country cuisines or experience the unique blend among the 4 types. The pristine beaches of this island are the ones to die for. They are very clean and well maintained.
The abundance of activities –
The blue waters along with the white sands make them very picturesque indeed. The Blue waters offer a lot of activities for you can strike some off from your bucket list. These activities include snorkeling, scuba diving, sea kart, ziplining and parasailing. If you are not a beach person and mountains are your way out, then you are in the right place. This island has a lot of mountain peaks to hike at since this island was formed out from a volcano. These lush green hills also have waterfalls here and there which are just breathtaking. The island is also known for its sugar mills. This means that the island produces one of the world’s best Rums. One can visit this place and try some Rum tasting too.
Other than that, this place is full of nice people and heritage sites. The island also has tons of places where you can interact with and feed some animals. From tortoise to a giraffe. Getting tempted to visit this place? Keep reading our travel guide then.
Best time to travel –
Since this place is an island, it is a pleasure to visit this place any time of the year. The peak tourist season starts in April and goes on until October. January to March is considered the rainy season. This season is not advisable to visit this place as you would be stuck in your hotel room most of the time. Visiting beaches and mountains becomes dangerous as the rainy season on an island is also the hurricane season. April to September marks the winter season here. The weather is nice and pleasant and I would recommend you to visit during this time.
Transportation options for travel-
The way to get to Mauritius is either by air or by taking the scenic sea route. Taking a cruise ship package is the way to go as these packages cover most of the island’s tourist spots and also include a lot of activities. These cruises generally originate from the South African coasts. Companies like Costa cruises have these packages where you get to go to Male onboard one of their fancy ships. After enjoying an 18-day cruise on board a state of the art cruise liner with facilities like swimming pools, fancy restaurants, opera, movies, and live concerts, you get down at the port of Male. From there you hop on to one of those speedboats and go to the different islands along the Maldivian coastline.
This boat tour includes food tasting, activities such as water sports, and also overnight stays at great resorts. This tour costs a fortune but it is worth it if you have the time and the money.
If you don’t have the time and money and want a short and economical trip, going by flight is the best bet. Mauritius has a lot of airlines coming from different parts of the world. These include continents such as Asia and Europe. The country’s official airline Air Mauritius has a codeshare agreement with many airlines around the world. The airline also has state of the art aircraft such as the Airbus A350 -900 for a comfortable long haul flight. Yes you heard that right, these flights generally have a time duration of 6 hours. Book your flights well in advance as they tend to get more expensive or full during tourist season.
Travel requirements –
The beautiful island of Mauritius grand tourists a 60-day visa on arrival. This is eligible for most countries. If your country is not listed on their website, then you can apply for one online by submitting the required documents. These documents include a valid return ticket, a passport with a 6-month validity, passport size photos, and a valid accommodation booking. The visa on arrival also requires the same requirements except for the passport size photo. The Mauritian rupee is the currency that is used here. There are plenty of exchange booths and ATMs all over the country. Cashless payment options are present in abundance here so you pretty much need cash for local shopping only.
There are about 2-3 mobile operators on this island. The data plans are a bit pricey if you opt for a short plan. It is best to stick to your hotel WiFi to get your work done.
Places to visit during your travel-
You don’t need a lot of days to visit the island completely. The island is so small that you can travel from North to South in less than 2 hours. The island is divided into 4 parts – East, West, North and South. These 4 parts are packed with places of interest and offer a lot to see. The North part is where most tourists go. This part houses numerous hotels and fancy restaurants. The area is also famous for the beautiful Grand Baie Area where numerous activities take place. Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius and is the business hub for the country. The area has offices, shops and banks. One can visit this area for some local shopping. Port Louis also houses the UNESCO world heritage site, the Aapravasi Ghat.
The South of the island is also a popular spot among tourists. It houses the country’s most upscale hotels and resorts. Thus part of the island has hills where one can go hiking. It also has a lot of beaches which offer a lot of water activities. This part also houses the famous Casela animal park and the lovely Chamarel hills. If you are in luck then you can get to see some Rhinos during your visit to the park.
The choice of hotels depends on the part of the island that you would like to explore. If you are visiting this island for the hills, a little bit of the beach, and some adventure sports, then get yourself a booking at a hotel in the Southern part. If you are here for beaches and also wish to engage in cultural activities, book a hotel in the Northern part. The Northern part is a more touristy spot and hence you can experience the rich culture of the island. The best thing to do is to plan your days in such a way so that you can spend half your days in the South and half in the North. Book 2 hotels, one in North and one in South. Book your hotel at least a month before your travel so that you can get a good deal.
People and Food –
The people here are quite friendly and nice. They are very tolerant and hospitable. They are very nice to tourists so you won’t face a problem exploring the city on your own as they will happily guide you. The people here speak Creole which is a combination of the French language with an African accent with some Indian words.
The food here is quite diverse. You can either go for an Indian or French cuisine or try the combination of both. The table manners and food presentation has a high French influence. Dhol Puri is the most famous breakfast dish. It is very similar to the Dal Puri we get in India. Paratha and Curry, European grilled fish and palm heart salad are some dishes you can try. You will also get an assortment of French breads whenever you dine out.
Mauritius can easily be described as the gem of the Indian Ocean. This island has pretty much everything you would want from a holiday destination. From stunning beaches to breathtaking mountains, scuba diving to parasailing. From Indian food to French delicacies. This island has it all. From budget hotels to grand resorts, there are hotels to fit your bill. This island really is the perfect getaway on a budget. The blue waters, lush green hills and animal parks make this a nature lovers delight. The friendly people encourage you to dive deep into their island’s culture. The hustle-bustle of the local market and the local festivities really set the mood. This is a dream honeymoon spot as well as an excellent place for a family vacation. This place is definitely in my bucket list and I would love to visit this place at some point of my life.