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The Wonders of Mauritius

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Many think of Mauritius as just another gorgeous beach island. And it certainly has its fair share of perfect, sandy coastline for guests to enjoy. But the island's real draw is the culture. The island's mix of Indian, African, French, Chinese and English heritage has given Mauritius an incredible creole vibe--one that has influenced the language, the food and the people in ways that will constantly surprise (and delight) you.
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Pamplemousses, Mauritius
They say Victoria amazonica, or giant water lilies, are robust enough to hold up a small child without sinking into the water. But while the specimens at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolan Botanical Park are more than large enough to tempt you to test that...
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Bois Cheri, Mauritius
Nearly 200 years ago, Scottish botanist Robert Fortune pulled off a huge feat of corporate espionage: He smuggled precious tea plants out of China for the East India Company. His transplantation of those plants to India—and then on to Mauritius—...
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Cascavelle, Mauritius
Have you ever wondered what a lion's fur feels like? Is it soft and silky like your average house cat? Or is it made of rougher stuff? You can sate that particular curiosity at the Casela Nature and Leisure Park. The park's trained staff host...
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Cap Malheureux, Mauritius
Notre Dama Aurilliatrice Chapel marks a historic spot: This most northerly point of Mauritius is where the British first landed before laying claim to the island in 1810. Many come to the affectionately nicknamed "Red Roof Chapel" to check out the...
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Chamarel, Mauritius
Many will tell you not to bother going to Chamarel's "seven-colored earth"—that it's not worth the hype. But they probably haven't bothered to check out this geological anomaly when day breaks. Prepare to be astounded when first light hits the...
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Coastal Road (Near Le Pascatore B36, Trou-aux-Biches, Mauritius
I'm a scuba diver. Or rather, I once was—it's not easy to find the time or money to get wet once you have kids. And if you can manage to put together the required time and money, you then have to explain your absence—which can be even more...
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St Georges St, Port Louis, Mauritius
It's easy to feel overwhelmed once you look at the beer list. Despite Lambic's laid-back, homey atmosphere, there are almost too many beers to choose from. Do you stick with something familiar from home? Or branch out and try something new—perhaps...
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Coastal Road, Pointe-aux-Piments, B38, Pointe aux Piments, Mauritius
The kids want to spend all day at the beach or pool. You want to use Mauritius' impeccable weather to roam the island. But rain does and will happen. And a rainy morning is a great excuse to visit the small yet lovely Mauritius Aquarium. The...
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Avenue Dolphins 6, Pointe aux Sables 11102, Mauritius
There's something different about Mauritian rum. It's not made from molasses, like so many of the Caribbean varieties. Instead, it's distilled from pure sugarcane juice. It has a singular taste, specific to the island. And it's a taste you don't...
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Grand Bassin, Mauritius
Grand Bassin, a large volcanic crater lake, is situated high in the hills near Black River Gorges. While the lake itself is a draw for nature lovers, this scenic spot is also home to Ganga Talao, the most sacred Hindu spot on the island. Take your...
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Trou-aux-Biches, Mauritius
Avid scuba divers have been making pilgrimages to Mauritius for years. And for good reason, too. The calm, clear waters near Trou-aux-Biches make it an idyllic spot to get wet. And more advanced divers can push their limits with the Cathedral, a...
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Port Louis, Mauritius
It's no wonder you're feeling lucky. The smiles, the weather, the whole funky creole vibe of Mauritius may make you feel like you can't go wrong. So if you're up for a little gamble, why not try your luck at Le Grand Casino du Domaine Les Pailles?...
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Marina Quay, Caudan, Port Louis, Mauritius
Spend a few days on the island and you'll learn that the now-extinct dodo holds a special place in Mauritian hearts. You no longer think of it as just a dumb bird or a symbol of careless extinction. Instead, the many colorful dodo crafts make you...
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The 10-minute climb up to Fort Adelaide, a former British stronghold topping the crown of Port Louis, can get a bit steep and will raise your heart rate. Once you get there, catch your breath while appreciating the history of this military...
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Balaclava, Turtle Bay, Mauritius
Mauritius beaches boast miles and miles of pristine white sand and the most transparent water. It's the perfect place to walk—and search for sea creatures. Meander along the waterline when the tide runs low so you can find your own piece of...
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Eureka Lane, Montagne Ory, Moka, Mauritius
To go back in time and see how the Mauritian colonials lived, visit the so-called "House of 109 Doors." Maison Eureka preserves the past, with its impeccable collection of antique furniture and architecture. Yet no visit is complete with a stroll...
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Gunner's Quoin, Mauritius
Mauritius is surrounded by dozens of tiny islets—and there's no better way to explore them than by sailboat. Experienced sailors can rent their own boat near Trou-aux-Biches (and novices can jump on the nearest catamaran booze cruise) and...
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9 Corderie St, Port Louis, Mauritius
Port Louis isn't very big. It's the perfect size for a good walk. And if you find you need sustenance on that journey—but don't want to stop exploring—you can't go wrong with picking up a bite from a street vendor. Mauritian street vendors have a...
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Route Royale, Grand Baie, Mauritius
You've planned your evening. You want to warm up with a quiet drink around a friendly bar, maybe with a little live acoustic music. Then, once you've got your bearings, you want to dance all those extra calories off. You can do both at Mauritius'...
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B13, Grand Baie, Mauritius
You may think finding a decent cup of coffee on Mauritius is damn near impossible. With its creole blend of British, Indian, and Chinese, the majority of islanders are staunch tea drinkers. You can usually find a decent cup at your hotel—but it...
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53A Sir John Pope Hennessy Street Curepipe/Daruty de Grandpre Avenue, Curepipe 74245, Mauritius
Mauritius has long been known as the place to pick up detailed, custom-made ship models. If you are in the market for your very own model of the Cutty Sark, there's no better place to find it. There are many model ship makers on the island. But...
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Rue du Bazaar, Mahebourg, Mauritius
You wandered the stalls at Port Louis Grand Bazaar and found yourself a little disappointed by the touristy vibe. For a more traditional Mauritian marketing experience, head to the weekly Mahebourg Market on Mondays. Spices, textiles, crafts and...
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B18 Pamplemousses MU 21001, B18, Pamplemousses, Mauritius
Some might say that rum is Mauritius' lifeblood. But where does rum come from? Sugar. And sugar manufacturing is a huge part of Mauritian history and culture. Despite the somewhat cheesy name, L'Aventure du Sucre offers a lot more than just a...
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B9 Coastal Road, Bel Ombre, Mauritius
As soon as you strap on your goggles and helmet, you wonder what you're in for. The rolling hills of Frederica Nature Reserve offer plenty of room to sate your need for speed (and perhaps a few jumps)—not to mention your desire to beat your...
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B103 - Plaine Champagne Road, Mauritius
It's easy enough to get lost in the scenic beauty of Black River Gorges. This hilly, wooded park boasts plenty of hiking trails—not to mention some gorgeous waterfalls. But while you are wandering, make sure to stop and look up at the trees once...
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Pamplemousses, Mauritius
You've always wanted to try it: windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, or parasailing. That new water sport you've never tried before. And the serene waters of Trou-aux-Biches offer you the perfect opportunity to do just that. Grab that windsurfer...
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Immeuble Caudan Water Front, Port Louis, Mauritius
You have your photos. You have your memories. But you're a bibliophile. You want a book: A book that you can pull out to help explain the wonder of Mauritius. To find such a book, there's only one place to go: Mauritius' signature book store,...
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Tamarind Falls Reservoir, Mauritius
Tamarind Falls are a breathtaking series of waterfalls set among pristine, lush rain forest. It's quite a hike up the gorge to get there, but you're rewarded by sparkling cascades of water, clear pools, and a wealth of bird life. Named for the...
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Angle Route Royale & Rue Corderie Corderie St, Port Louis, Mauritius
There's something in a name. Here the "first" is fairly literal—it denotes the fact that this particular restaurant was one of the first opened by Chinese immigrants in Port Louis. With some of the flashier restaurants in Chinatown, it might be...
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Port Louis Water Front, Port Louis, Mauritius
You've been told that there's only one place to eat masala dosa—a rice/lentil pancake filled with potatoes, spices and chilies—on the island. Mystic Masala doesn't look like much from the outside. But the smells quickly beckon you in. You eat your...
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Balaclava/Turtle Bay, Terre Rouge, Mauritius
You've spent your time on the island staying busy—you've hiked, you've snorkeled, and you've explored. Now, you want to take your time with a romantic evening. So you head to Chateau Mon Desir. Look out over the Balaclava ruins as the sun sets....
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Moka, Mauritius
After seeing the Mauritian women glide through the streets of Port Louis in their bright, dancing saris, you've decided it's high time you had your own. Jetha Tulsidas, with shops both in Port Louis and the high-end Bagatelle Shopping Center, has...
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Walk into Le Chateau de Bel Ombre and you know the use of the word "chateau" isn't just for kicks. The restaurant is housed in a historic mansion, the heart of which was once a thriving sugar plantation. But while you might find yourself charmed...
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Chemin-Grenier, B10 Chemin Grenier Road, Chemin Grenier, Mauritius
The Mauritian equivalent of the pub is the "rum shed." It's a place for the locals to congregate to taste some fine rums, root for their favorite rugby teams, or just to laugh with friends. And while the Rum Shed, Shanti Maurice's new take on this...
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Bourbon St, Port Louis, Mauritius
Your kids have already gone out of their comfort zone a little with Mauritian cuisine. They've tried new curries, dim sum, and other items from street vendors. But when you tell them it's time to try a true Mauritian delicacy, caca pigeon—or...
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Route Royale, Le Maha, Trou Deau Douc, Mahebourg, Grand Port e, B59, Trou d'Eau Douce, Mauritius
I must confess: I'm a little afraid of langouste. They remind me of alien spiders—and though I know the meat is tender and delicious, it takes a lot of work to remove it from the shell. But Chez Tino offers langouste—and, in fact, all local...