Visit Mauritius, a true dream destination! What attracted you to this post? The word ‘Paradise Island’, something that you are desiring heavily at the moment? Or are you looking for a real cultural experience for your next trip? Welcome to Mauritius! The island of your dreams has way more to offer than just the tropical vibes. Dream away on the beaches, with culinary experiences or during adventurous activities on land or a beautiful underwater world!
We will cover the following topics to make sure you do not miss out on anything:
- General information for when you visit Mauritius
- Best time to go to Mauritius
- Visit Mauritius for culture & diversity
- 5 tips for what to do in Mauritius
Stay tuned for more blogs coming up in the near future. We will spoil you with more insiders information more and more!
Having the best beaches listed for you in Best beaches in Mauritius that are jaw-droppingly beautiful
General information for when you visit Mauritius
Visit Mauritius rather soon than later! A small country in the Indian Ocean where you can fully enjoy the island vibes all around. I’ve experienced often that people love the sound of the name (it definitely has a tropical ring to it) but are struggling to find the island on the map. Yes, it is not the biggest country, but no…. you will not find it in the Caribbean. To do take a reference point, on the right of Madagascar would be best.
Population & economy
The country has a population of around 1.36 million people who speak generally 3 different languages: Creole, French and English. Mauritius is considered the wealthiest country in Africa and has a very fast-growing wealth market even being in the position of being the 2nd worldwide after China.
The currency is the Mauritian Rupee which is very easy to get on the island itself. No matter how hard the guys at the airport are yelling to exchange your money just after arrival, let’s save yourself some money for the exchange. Mauritius has in many places well functioning ATM’s that accept many international cards. We never had any issues paying with my debit Maestro card, Mastercard and AMEX.
Public transport is not most favourable as the network does not offer the easiest connections and it can be time-consuming. A recent development is a new metro line (above ground) but does not pass the main tourist areas. Travelling by car is an absolute must for us for its efficiency. It will not take long to travel around – with a car you can cross the island in 2/3 hours (do keep in mind the busy roads during rush hours). But hey, make sure you will not take the roundabouts from the wrong side; in Mauritius, you will need to drive on the left side.
However, the bus could be a unique experience and will open your eyes definitely. Many different transport operators make sure that the locals can move around on the island. During my internship period in Mauritius, I traveled regularly with the ‘Luna bus’ from Flic en Flac to Cascavelle. A timetable? Never saw it. Estimated time of arrival? You don’t know. Sometimes the bus drives quick, sometimes we were in full relaxation mode. And it would not be the first time the bus driver went out of the bus to get a coke from the supermarket, or to chitchat with his friend on the side of the road. It was great!
Is Mauritius safe?
Safety? The usual we would recommend for every country…. do not leave your belongings unattended, watch out for pickpockets and even though many Mauritians absolutely have the best intentions – not every stranger is your new best friend.
For the ladies, we do suggest taking some more precautions. In Mauritius, I had some of the best moments of my life, but I also did encounter some moments that I was happy to not be alone on the streets during the dark and early hours. You might also notice that locals will keep an eye out for you. Like when I took the bus to the capital city Port Louis (during the day) and some locals on the bus told me that I should not be going alone. In the end, I had a great experience in the city on my own, but it did warn me to be careful.
Looking for a great place to stay? Check our blogposts for resorts in Maurtius: 10 Great resorts in Mauritius for high and lower budget
Best time to go to Mauritius
Last but not least, when can you catch the prettiest sun rays for your golden tan? Warm weather is all year round but it can get very stormy with cyclones around January to March. From April on the weather will get better but for a nicer temperature, we mostly recommended travelling between April and June and September to December. Not just for the sun, but also for the fresh seafood, yummmmy! The temperatures can still differ much in those months from 20 degrees upwards. Generally, you will see it will get more hot, but also more humid, the closer you get to December. Do keep in mind as well that different seasons might be more attractive to specific activities like diving or (kite) surfing.
Visit Mauritius for culture & diversity
When you start reading into Mauritius you might come across the saying that it is a “rainbow country”. The country has a great mixture of all kinds of cultures, traditions and religions. I was prepared before my first arrival but was still very surprised to see it all with my own eyes. I might even have had a culture shock, a pleasant one!
Due to several historical reasons (slaves, settlers, labourers and immigrants), Mauritius is a multi-ethnic society. Inhabitants descended from India, Africa, China and Europe. Talking about Mixing Cultures! I found it fascinating to work within a team that had such a mixture in basically everything; the way they look, dress, act and live together with such different traditions. If you want to have a worldwide experience in one, Mauritius is the winner!
Many different cultures bring different religions. The major religion is Hinduism, introduced by the Indian population. Following two other main religions, Islam and Christianity. In this democratic country, all religions and cultures thankfully embrace each other’s practices. Generally, all over the island you will see that the religions are practised with many temples, shrines, mosque and churches around you.
I was much intrigued by the fact that one day we would hear all stories from an Indian (Hindu) Wedding to get to know the traditions of a Muslim wedding shortly after. And as welcoming Mauritians are, I was even invited to a Hindu wedding of people I did not know. They loved to share this experience with me as a European lady with no Hindu relations back home. It was a very refreshing and enjoyable evening. Not sure if that would be something usual for Dutch weddings.
Landscape and scenery
We cannot forget about the great diversity of the landscape and scenery on the island which is very green and flowers are colourful. Mauritius is actually built on a “volcano rock” and that is still visible on the island with several mountain ranges which are lovely to hike for viewpoints. From there you can admire the white beaches and coral reefs in beautiful turquoise waters. Of course, Mauritius deserved a place in our top 5 prettiest beaches worldwide, your bucketlist would love to tick off!
Maybe the best of all for us foodies? A FOOD HEAVEN YOU WISH TO HAVE EVERY DAY! Chinese dishes, Indian curries, samosas, seafood, roti… I could make an endless list but that would make you way too hungry. I opened up to many unknown dishes during my first half a year in Mauritius. Tried many street food stands & restaurants and I just couldn’t believe how to live without it anymore. The food is so satisfying! Now imagine the big extra suitcase we always bring back to Europe stuffed with food only.
5x what to do when you visit Mauritius
It sounds obvious but you need to go out and explore! Below a few must do’s to make sure you bring home a packed and sweet memory box.
Explore the underwater world
Surely, the coral reefs and turquoise waters are THE unique selling points of the island. You will meet some of the most impressive animals like dolphins, manta rays or many tropical fishes. Firstly Scuba diving and snorkelling are what we recommend to you the most. Secondly, another fun activity is the underwater walk where you wear a “helmet” that provides oxygen or the scooter cruiser where you can sit and explore on a motorised scuba bike. There are plenty of ways that do not always require you to swim or get wet. If this is what you prefer, there are options for a glass-bottom boat or submarine tour.
Try local food
Don’t be afraid to take street food. We never had any sicknesses and are a big fan of fried rice or a lovely roti from particularly a food stand. Overall, the only thing you might want to remind them of is to not make it too spicy – I used to say “European spicy please”, haha! Some dishes we undoubtedly recommend: bol renverse (Jorinde’s favourite!), Samosas, Dholl Puri, Mine Frites and Mauritian Hakien. Now I wonder why I only mentioned ‘Jorinde’s favourite’ in the beginning, I love them all!
Get out of your resort & go local
It might be very tempting to stay in your luxurious resort but this will only give you a nice tan, but you won’t have the complete experience. Not just because you will not enjoy different beaches, areas or restaurants… Seeing the local way of life will be a real eye-opener. When you visit Mauritius you can visit many unique locations, for example, the sacred Hindu place ‘Grand Bassin’ with statues and shrines, a mosque in Port Louis, be overwhelmed by the hectic central market in Port Louis or just local shops or clubs.
The island is not all fancy and ‘resort glamorous’. Something a bit disturbing is that next to a luxurious resort there are some small communities living in poverty – comparable to the cardboard/plastic/metal houses you would see in slums. This is a part many tourists have no clue of as they will only see the fancy side of the island. Getting to know the island in a different way will not harm your holiday experience in any way, it will rather enrich your experience.
Do a road trip
Whenever you visit Mauritius, do not forget to do a road trip. The island is perfect to go around with a rental car. You can cover a lot of ground in a short time frame. This will give you a great opportunity to see the diversity of the island and you might even discover more things to your liking. Forget your completely scheduled route… drive and see where you end up! “Blessed are the curious, for they shall have adventures”
Visit Mauritius by land, sea and air
If you would like to you can take ‘air’ literally and book a helicopter flight or skydive. Another way is to go out on a hike one of the mountains. There are a few different hiking trails varying in levels of intensity and heights. Some will offer more than incredible viewing points like a visit to a waterfall.
You can go out on a hike on your own or go with a guide. We do not like to go in groups but do go with a local who knows the trail, especially when doing it the first time. For us nothing can beat the hike on “Le Morne” as the view on the top is ridiculously pretty. It is not the highest or heaviest hike but it does get a bit challenging in the end as the last part is more rock climbing than hiking. More about this later in another blog!
Also ensure to check out the official Mauritius tourism website for more information before you visit Mauritius: https://www.mymauritius.travel/
Is this it? Oh no! Stay tuned for more to come soon!
Please get in touch or leave a comment below if you have any questions.