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  • A traveler’s guide to Mauritius island

    photo by Selene Weijenberg on Flickr

    Despite being only a tiny dot on the map, Mauritius really knows how to pack a punch. This minuscule island just east of Madagascar has avoided being overshadowed completely by its larger and much more famous neighbor, thanks to its lavish luxury resorts.

    But go deeper into the island, and you’ll find more than blindingly white beaches and azure water (not that these aren’t reason enough to visit). Mauritius is more multicultural than one could imagine (the Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, French and British have all left their mark on it), and loaded with unassuming but nonetheless interesting historical sights.

    And in the middle of all these tourist attractions it is still possible to forge your own path on the island and see the more authentic side of life on Mauritius. Consider this island for your next trip to a tropical paradise 0 here’s a traveler’s guide to Mauritius island to tell you what’s in store!

    Beaches

    photo by janebelindasmith on Flickr

    The beaches are the main reason travelers flock to Mauritius, especially if you want to laze on the beach with all the details taken care of by a resort. Luxury hotels abound on Mauritius and all of them have very nice beaches, but there are more than enough strips of white sand for independent travelers as well.

    Pereybere is a public beach with dozens of shops and restaurants, Tamarin beach has incredible sand and great waves for surfing, as well as some resident dolphins, and Trou aux Biches is excellent for swimming and sailing.

    Nature

    The lovely beaches are only a small part of Mauritius’s natural attractions, and if you venture inland you will discover rich vegetation and wildlife. For wildlife watching head to La Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes nature park in the southern area of the island, or the Black River Gorges National Park in south-western Mauritius.

    There are several interesting waterfalls on the island as well: Tamarind Falls are seven scenic cataracts on River Tamarin, and Chamarel Waterfalls are located in a very interesting area.

    Things to do

    photo by Ashwin CM on Flickr

    There is no end to the activities that Mauritius has to offer, especially if you like water sports. Swimming and sailing are some of the tamest beach activities you can get up to, and for more adventurous types there is always surfing, scuba diving or safari bike trips, hikes and treks.

    Real adrenaline junkies can indulge in skydiving and parasailing, or maybe seeing up close some of the more dangerous denizens of the island: lions and cheetahs.

    Other attractions

    If you want to go shopping, to a nice restaurant, or have a night out, the touristy city of Grand Bay will have everything you need. If you want to learn a bit about the the culture and history of Mauritius, there are several fascinating sites to visit.

    The Aventure du Sucre is a former sugar factory turned into a museum detailing the history of sugar industry on the island, which is quite an important part of Mauritius’s past. The Port-Louis market has a bazaar-like atmosphere, and it’s the place to go for souvenirs and various local goods. For a taste of local culture, visit the villages of Flacq and Triolet, which have several attractions of their own.

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