Mauritius may not be as well known as other island destinations like Hawaii or the Maldives, but make no mistake, this island paradise belongs up there with the greats! Also known as the “Pearl of The Indian Ocean”, this stunning African country is teeming with lush tropical jungle, turquoise-blue lagoons, and long stretches of powdery white sand beaches.
It strikes the perfect balance between an adrenaline-filled adventure holiday and a laid-back beach vacation. If you want to fill your days with action-packed activities, you can zipline through the rainforest, go jumping off waterfalls deep in the jungle, or take to the water for a bit of kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing… the list goes on and on!
For people who prefer actually relaxing on their vacations, you can fill your days with golf, sunbathe on one of the many beaches, or browse the local markets for one-of-a-kind souvenirs! The island is rich with culture and DEFINITELY deserves to be on your list of places to go. If you’re still a little unsure, let us give you 7 epic reasons that Mauritius is worth visiting!
It has gorgeous beaches
In the words of Mark Twain “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven and that heaven was copied after Mauritius”… Good old Mark wasn’t wrong there as this place is insanely beautiful.
It’s a tropical island, so we wouldn’t expect anything LESS than some seriously out-of-this-world beaches, but what really drives Mauritius’ beach game over the edge, and why it is definitely worth visiting, is the variety of beaches available! Sure, you’ve got your classic postcard-worthy white sand, azure blue water, palm-fringed beaches in the north, but in the east, you can find rockier, quieter bays. In the west, there are long stretches of secluded golden sand beaches, and in the wild, wild, south you’ll find beaches with some serious swell, perfect for surfing!
Some of the most popular beaches amongst tourists are around Flic en Flac and Grand Baie. Beaches here tend to have more infrastructure and there are usually umbrellas for hire as well as watersport equipment for rent. Pereybere beach in Grand Baie is great for families as there’s lots to do to keep the kiddos entertained, but for the best sunsets you should head over to Flic en Flac (or anywhere else on the west coast). Tamarin Bay on the west coast is also THE place to go dolphin watching!
If you wanna go where the locals go then Belle Mare is where it’s AT. It’s busiest on the weekend, but on the weekdays you could very well find sections of this 10km long stretch of coastline all to yourself. It’s a great place to relax and if you wanted to try out a spot of parasailing, this is your beach.
The climate is incredible
Mauritius is worth visiting for the warm year-round temperatures! The coldest it gets is a pleasant 62°F in the winter, with highs of over 86°F in the summer. The summer (between November and April) is warm, humid, and wet, but tourists can still enjoy some fantastic drier weather on the west coast of the island which is more sheltered!
June to September are the winter months, these months are drier and breezier, but still nice and warm! The average temperature during the “winter” hovers around the mid-70s, and there are roughly 7 hours a day of sunshine. Just perfect for getting that tan on. During July and August, you might want to pack a light jacket as some parts of the island can be exposed to some cool winds.
May and October are considered transitional months, but of course, both months are STILL warm in the mid to high 70s (we love you Mauritius!). The driest month is October, and in May the amount of rainfall is steadily decreasing as it gets closer to winter.
There is a cyclone season in Mauritius from November to May, but the island is well equipped with a phase warning system.
It’s a hiker’s paradise
One of the TOP reasons why Mauritius is worth visiting is the abundance of hiking trails. There are plenty of hikes that go off the beaten path, and you could find yourself swimming in natural pools, finding secret waterfalls, and reaching mountain tops with the most incredible 360 views of the island!
Best of all, there are beginner-level hikes, plus some that are a little more advanced (for those who like a bit of a challenge). Pretty much all of the most popular hikes are day hikes too, so you can easily hit up the trails before spending a nice relaxing evening watching the sunset, glass of Ti Punch in hand.
One of the best hikes to see some stunning waterfalls, and to do a little bit of jungle swimming, is the Seven Cascades A.K.A Tamarind Falls. Seven waterfalls may sound like a lot, but what if we told you there are actually 12?! This is considered a “moderate” hike with a distance of 5km, however, there will be some uphill inclines, so expect it to take you around four to six hours to complete.
If you only have time to do one hike, then you HAVE to hike Le Morne Brabant. The entire mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it should take you between three and five hours to complete the “moderate” 7km circuit. The final elevation is 556 meters, so, if you can make it to the summit, you’ll be rewarded with some of the best views of the island!
There are amazing water sports
Mauritius has got pretty much every water sport imaginable. If you prefer to spend your time on top of the water you can kayak around the coast, exploring magical sea caves and small islands. For something less strenuous, you could try your hand at SUP, and have a chill paddle out around sunset time, sounds dreamy, right?
If you’d rather be in (or should I say under) the water, Mauritius is a diver’s paradise, with well over 200 dive sites to choose from! The ecosystems are healthy and teeming with wildlife, so it’s not unusual to see some larger sea creatures. Some dive sites like Shark Cathedral at Round Island are famous for (we’ll give you three guesses…) reef sharks, so if you’re looking to see these magnificent creatures in the wild, you know the place to go! There’s dive sites for beginner to expert divers and the amazing visibility makes it a great place for learning too.
Mauritius is considered as one of the top spots in the entire world for windsurfing with a load of great spots all over the island. There are plenty of good schools to choose from too, so if you wanna learn in one of the best places in the world, then have at it! If you’d rather try a different kind of water sport, there’s plenty more to choose from! The island has some great surfing year-round, but the best time to go for regular swells is during the summer. There are loads of breaks to choose from ranging from beginner to advanced waves, so if you’re new to surfing, you could definitely give it a go. You can also go water skiing, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, ride an underwater scooter, or ride a sea hover!
It won’t break the bank
Your mind might jump to expensive resorts when you think of Mauritius, but the island has plenty of affordable options too. For example, a quick search on Booking.com for properties during the high season (December to January) shows several properties under 25 USD a night and an even larger selection under 50 USD!
If you play your cards right and do some careful planning, you could also travel to Mauritius on a budget! A great way to save some money, aside from choosing cheap accommodation, is to eat local street food. You can find delicious snacks for as little as 50 cents and a full meal for 2.75 USD. Choosing to drink local beer is another good way to bring costs down, Phoenix Beer can be as cheap as 1 USD for a half-pint draught.
To experience its vibrant culture
Mauritius is a melting pot of cultures. Its Indian Ocean location has led to a unique blend of African, Indian, Chinese, and European cultures. This mix is a large part of the island’s charm and can be seen and heard in the country’s temples, music, and food! The locals are extremely friendly, and their acceptance of one another’s traditions, cultures, and heritage is something we could all learn from.
There are lots of wonderful and vibrant festivals and celebrations throughout the year. You can even witness the largest Hindu pilgrimage outside of India during Maha Shivarait. Roughly 500,000 people make the pilgrimage to Grand Bassin (a lake with a giant statue of Lord Shiva ) on foot every February. Some other beautiful celebrations that Mauritius is worth visiting are the Hindu festival of light, Diwali, and Chinese New Year.
If you get the chance, try to attend a sega performance, a traditional dance also performed in Madagascar and mainland Africa. In Mauritius, they sing the sega in their native language, Creole. It’s an incredible tradition that shouldn’t be missed!
For the delicious Mauritian food
What can we say, Mauritian food is to die for! Due to the incredible mix of people on the island, its local cuisine has transformed into a delicious blend of traditional African flavors, mixed in with just the right amount of Indian, Chinese, and French. Unlike some of the world’s most popular cuisines (Italian, Japanese, Mexican), Mauritian food isn’t easily found around the globe. That’s why trying the local food is one of the TOP reasons Mauritius is worth visiting – you probably can’t find it anywhere else!
Street food plays a big part in Mauritian food culture and you’ll find vendors selling all sorts of tasty meals everywhere on the island! Not only does the food taste amazing, but it’s also incredibly cheap! We recommend scouting out the vendors with a long line of locals as these will definitely have the best food.
A few dishes you CANNOT miss while you’re there are Bol Renversé (which translates to “upside-down bowl”), this is a comforting rice dish made up of a base layer of rice, topped with vegetables, usually chicken or shrimp, and finished with a fried egg. It is normally served with a chop suey-like sauce. YUM! Mauritian dim sum or boulettes are also a must-try, These steamed dumplings can be found in most places on the island, but the absolute best boulettes are found in Grand Bay.