Is Mauritius expensive? Anyone thinking of visiting this incredible island has GOT to have asked that question at some point. The country is smack bang in the Indian Ocean making it a true tropical paradise with lush volcanoes, palm-tree-lined beaches, and turquoise blue waters.
Unfortunately, the thing Mauritius is well-known for other than its powdery white sand beaches, safety, and unique mix of cultures… is its incredible high-class resorts. The country mainly caters to wealthy tourists who will happily spend an average of just under 2,000 USD a week including flights according to tripnumbers.com *faints*
While this is a large blow for us regular folks, the good news is you can still visit Mauritius on a budget! This epic guide will look at everything from the best (and cheapest) ways to travel around the island, how much you will have to fork out for accommodation, the cost of eating out, PLUS we’ll be sharing our money-saving tips (so you and your bank balance will be happy!). Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Is Mauritius expensive – the average cost of a holiday to Mauritius
Clearly, Mauritius isn’t exactly a budget holiday destination. Most people going here want luxury, and they are willing to pay for it. The average cost of a single person with flights is 2,000 a week and for a couple, it’s roughly 3,150 USD a week. These are averages though, and depending on where you’re flying from, how much you wanna drop on hotels, and where you eat, the price could go up and up and up! BUT, the same applies the other way! Make some wise choices and you could be looking at a more reasonable vacation price (we’ll get into that later on).
Here’s a summary of how much you can expect to spend on a daily basis:
|Mid-range three-course meal for two||$34|
|Local beer 0.5-liter draught (restaurant)||$2|
|Coke 0.33 liter bottle (restaurant)||$1|
|Average hotel cost for two (one night)||$180|
|Island hopping tour with lunch (per person)||$80|
|Average cost per day||$297|
Accommodation prices in Mauritius
We all know that accommodation is by far the biggest expense when it comes to most holidays. Things are no different in Mauritius, and where you stay will have a huge impact on your final costs. Just conjure up the image of a beachfront or ocean view resort, complete with tropical landscaping and an infinity pool and you’ve pretty much nailed the “feel” of most of the resorts in the country.
Luckily, if you look a little past the shroud of luxury hotels, you may just find a bargain or two! There are actually plenty of options when it comes to hotels and resorts under $50, but you’ll be more likely to be staying somewhere a bit inland, and chances of a pool are few and far between (although they are out there!). We’ve done some searching for you, and have found some reasonably priced properties, and one you may want to go just a little over your budget for!
- Chantauvent Guest House ($$) – A romantic beach-front property surrounded by gardens. Well worth splashing out a little!
- L’Oiseau de L’ocean Tourist Residence ($$) – A clean comfortable family-friendly hotel with a swimming pool.
- Studio at Flic en Flac ($) – A budget studio that’s just a short walk to the beach.
Is Mauritius expensive to visit for foodies?
Anyone who knows anything about food will be all clued up into Mauritian cuisine and how totally unique and awesome it is! The country has been influenced by so many cultures and regions over the years, that it’s no surprise that this ended up in their local cuisine. Imagine traditional African food, with a dash of Indian, Chinese, and French flavors, then you’ve got a good idea of just how awesome Mauritian dishes can be.
But is Mauritius expensive to visit for the food??? Well, to that we say that it’s hard to put a price on a type of cuisine that can’t really be found anywhere else in the world. We’re not sure about where you’re from, but for us, popping over to our local Mauritian place for a bite to eat isn’t really possible… But even then, one of the most awesome things about Mauritius is that eating well locally isn’t expensive at all! Actually, it’s cheaper to eat like a local, gorging on street food from vendors. You can find snacks for as little as 50 cents and a full meal for under 3 USD!
Some top dishes you need to try are momos ka baap, a type of steamed dumpling, boulettes (A.K.A Mauritian dim sum) yet another type of steamed dumpling, and Bol Renversé, a rice-based dish topped with veggies, meat, and egg, served with a chop suey-like sauce. These traditional dishes can also be found in restaurants, but expect the prices to be steeper than street-side dining.
Mauritius during high season
The high season in Mauritius is from November to April, but it gets especially busy (and expensive) between late December until the end of January. This super busy period lines up with the Christmas holidays, so if you’re set on having a tropical… Christmas in Mauritius… then you’re just going to have to grit your teeth and pay the premium prices. Most hotels will require a minimum seven-day stay in order for you to book during December and January, and they’ll put their prices up. Flights around this time are also roughly 50% cheaper than the rest of the year.
During this time you’ll find most of the popular beaches at Flic en Flac and Grand Baie packed with other tourists, you may need to make reservations at some of the island’s more popular restaurants, and you will need to book your accommodation early to get your choice of the best places. November to May is the island’s cyclone season, as the hot, humid, and wet summer weather are the perfect ingredients for a raging storm. To reduce your chances of rain, spend more time on the beach on the west coast (like those near Flic en Flac) as they’re more sheltered and generally drier.
Drinking in Mauritius on a budget
Having a cheeky drink or two, especially when you’re on a fabulous beach vacation is kind of part of the course! We can’t think of anything better than sitting on the beach with an ice-cold beer or admiring the sunset while sipping on happy hour cocktails.
Here’s where the GREAT news comes in. Drinking in Mauritius is incredibly cheap, even in a nice hotel or bar. Cocktails in an upper-class beachside bar can be as cheap as 4.50 USD! Sticking to local beer is cheaper, but the price difference is still minimal (around 1 USD), so the choice is yours. You also won’t be saving a lot by drinking beer at home, as local beer is only around 50 cents cheaper on average in the supermarket than in a restaurant.
Choosing your activities wisely
There is so much to do in Mauritius, you’ll be sure to have an action-packed holiday (if that’s what you’re after). You can choose between days relaxing lounging by the beach, playing golf, and getting a spa treatment, OR, adventurous-filled days hiking up mountains, trying your hand at windsurfing, and diving with sharks.
As always, most activities will come with a price tag, whether it’s a couple lessons at a windsurfing school or simply renting the equipment, hiring an umbrella to give some much-needed shade on beach days, or even joining a tour to go trekking through the jungle! But don’t fret, there are plenty of free things to do too, and the choices you make could bring your spending down. A lot.
We suggest balancing out some pricier activities with things that will be more friendly on your wallets. For instance, instead of taking two dives, you could opt for one and spend the other day snorkeling. If you want to hike, you could choose a couple of easier trails that you feel more comfortable navigating solo!
Here is a quick list of some popular activities in Mauritius and what they cost on average:
|Island hopping tour with lunch (per person)||$80|
|Beginner windsurfing lesson (two hours, private)||$135|
|Scuba diving (one dive, with gear)||$38|
|Snorkeling (off the shore, no equipment)||FREE|
|Tamarind Falls (full day, guided hike)||$80|
|Le Souffleur and Savinia Beach (self-guided hike)||FREE|
Is Mauritius expensive to get to?
One of the key steps to budgeting any holiday is to see how much it costs to get there! Mauritius has its own international airport (naturally), and flying is really the only way to get to its remote location. There are regular flights and the island nation is served by some big-name airlines such as British Airways, Australian Airlines, and their own airline, Air Mauritius. The bad news here is that you won’t find the likes of budget airlines like Ryanair or EasyJet, as Mauritius is just TOO remote.
The peak season in Mauritius coincides with the cyclone season (weird, we know) so choosing that time to fly won’t really save you any big bucks. The best way to shave those costs down is to book in advance and to head out during the “winter” months (temperatures are still around the mid-70s) of June to September. Flights during this time can be up to 60% cheaper than the peak peak season in late December to January!.
Mauritius on a budget: Our top money-saving tips!
Damn, Mauritius isn’t looking too shabby is it? Even if you’re on a budget. Yes, Mauritius CAN be expensive, but, if you’re smart about where you book, when you book, and what you do, you could turn it into a seriously affordable vacation. Here are our top tips to wrap things up:
- Travel during the low season – It’s best to avoid November to April (especially December to January), if you want to lower your costs. Going in the winter (June – September) can save you up to 60% off flights, and hotels will generally have lower prices too. Don’t be afraid of the word “winter” either, as these months are still warm with temperatures staying around the mid-70s, and are actually drier too!
- Book early – Booking early is always a good strategy to pay less. Booking early usually saves you money on flights and hotels, and if you’re planning on traveling to Mauritius in the high season, you may also find that not booking early will narrow down a lot of your choices for you!
- Eat like the locals – Street food is a large part of Mauritian culture and you’ll find vendors selling delicious meals in all the main tourist spots and big cities. With meals as cheap as 2.75 USD you’d be mad if you didn’t at least eat like a local once a day!
- Take the bus – Mauritius has a really well-connected bus service that runs throughout the island. The buses are clean, safe, and comfortable. Plus, tickets are less than a dollar, even for longer journeys!
- Balance out your activities – It would be a perfect world if we could afford to go on island hopping tours, take windsurfing lessons, and go on guided hikes every day of the week. But, reality is calling us, and doing that is sure to rack up a huge bill! There are lots of little ways to save on costs in this department, from snorkeling for free off the shore of your nearest beach, to choosing easy walks and hikes that can be done without a guide. Even doing free and paid activities every other day will make a noticeable difference in your spending.