Country: Mauritius
Currency: Rupee (MUR)
Peak Season: December-January
Shoulder Season: October-November
Median Temperature: 23.70 C / 74.66 F
Main Languages: English, French
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, taxi, car rental
Recommended Duration of Stay: 6 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $120.00/day
Tourist Passes: n/a
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The much-talked about honeymooner island of Mauritius is visited not only for its pristine beaches and luxurious hotels, but also for its confluence of ethnicities and cultures. You’ll be surprised how Christians, Muslims, and Hindus arrive in perfect harmony via their observation of religious holidays, sharing of cosmopolitan recipes, and the dedication they put into weaving colorful textiles and Indian sarees. The simple way of life in Mauritius, as emanated through the family-run stalls and shops, will give you a hint of how relatively inexpensive the whole island country is, even in its capital of Port Louis. Do-it-yourselfers will have a lot of time figuring out what French dish to cook with the vast selection of produce available in Central Market. Most tourists, before proceeding to their hotels, try to grab flavorful tropical rum the island is famous for. Mauritius is, for a fact, is a sporadic shopper’s dream come true, and it just goes to show that the island isn’t a monotonic resort destination.

Mauritius lovely beaches are silhouetted with romantic French names. The outlying island, Ile aux Cerfs, located off the eastern coast, is one of the most popular (and most luxurious destinations); if money is no issue, you and your lover will definitely have a great time playing in the calm sands or engaging in a series of water sports like snorkeling and parasailing. Other lovely (or otherwise intriguing)islands include: Ile aux Serpents and Ile Ronde, both famous for their reptilian population; Ile Plate, having lovely beaches, but is lacking of resorts due to its cemetery; Ilot Gabriel, having lovely shores and is a great snorkeling spot. The island itself is also teeming with people-packed coastal beaches, including Trou aux Biches, Mont Choisy and Grand Bay. With so many choices for leisure, Mauritius won’t be going the way of the dodo anytime soon.

Packing List

  • Casual clothing, snappy evening apparel, and bikinis that will turn heads—in Mauritius, you have to dress to impress; a durable pair of walking shoes and sandals are ideal for exhaustive in-city explorations
  • Snorkeling gear, surf, and parasailing equipment—of course, heavier gear will cost you dearly in cargo charges; luckily, there are surf shacks in coastal villages like Tamarin, and rentals aren’t too expensive
  • Essential medication and toiletries—mosquitoes and other swarms insects are encroaching annoyances, especially in reptilian islands; bring sunscreen, sun tan and sunglasses, as the usual case in beaches
  • A decent (waterproof) camera, plenty of film and batteries; underwater videography/photography are popular with tourists, but don’t be bold to venture far into the deep ocean if you don’t want sharks
  • An extra duffel bag for textile purchases; credit cards are accepted, but not widely honored, so it’s good to bring extra cash for contingencies—most items sold are handmade, making them worth the money

Things to Do

  • Visiting the lush Botanical Garden of Pamplemousses, dedicated to the colonial liberator of the country; inside, you’ll find thickets and beautiful cultivations of tropical plants and trees endemic to the island
  • Visiting the village of Chamarel, famous for its waterfalls and colored earths; the falls crash down to about 300 feet, while the colored earths seem almost lifelike with their fine texture and reddish tone
  • Upscale shopping and dining at the Cauden Waterfront Complex; it doesn’t brag the usual clamor and haggling as with Central Market, but it offers the convenience of finding a restaurant next to a boutique
  • Recapturing French colonialism at 300-acre Domaine Les Pailles; be toured around the estate by a horse-drawn carriage or explore it by foot to view astounding replicas of 18th century mills and mansions
  • Soaking in the sun at Pereybere—just one of the many sandy beaches Mauritius has; it’s an ideal location for those who demand convenience, it has restaurants, hotels and groceries at the beachfront

DON'T

  • Venture too far off into the center of islands without prior knowledge of the place; Mauritius has not had any known cases of rabid/venomous/poisonous attacks, but it’s better to not be the first statistic
  • Walk around town wearing bathing suits or visit religious sites wearing tasteless clothes; nude and topless sunbathing are disavowed, while wearing bikinis past sunset is not tolerated by most hotels
  • Start a fight with anyone or make jokes about bombs or explosives—the latter is considered a crime; if staying in budget accommodations, remember to safeguard your travel documents and jewelry
  • Talk to shady individuals, much less “sample” whatever they offer you; reports tell of drug imports from South East Asia—there are very low levels of corruption in Mauritius, so better report to authorities
  • Pass on the opportunity of getting married here—the government of Mauritius is very accommodating to these requests; you’ll have to stay at least seven days before you can file for a civil wedding, though