Things to do in Mauritius

Gerald Ami, co-founder of our partner Mauritius Conscious, grew up in Mauritius. He remembers, even as a young boy, being startled by the disconnect between the tourist points of interest and what he considered to be the best things to do there.

“There was a botanical garden next to my school, so every single day I would meet tourists on the bus,” says Gerald. “They were telling me their experiences and I was sharing with them. They would ask me what there is to do in Mauritius and I would give them tips. I was a 10-year-old boy, so I’d recommend really nice beaches, and if I went picnicking somewhere with my parents, I would say that you can go to that place – it’s cool.”
Growing up, I really felt that people were not experiencing the best Mauritius had to offer.
He soon learned that the top things on TripAdvisor weren’t often the places he wanted people to see. “It’s not the visitors’ fault. They don’t know it, because the brochure doesn’t say it… Growing up, I really felt that people were not experiencing the best my country had to offer.”
It was one of the reasons why he co-founded Mauritius Conscious with his partner Romina. Their vacations check off what they consider to be the real best activities in Mauritius, from exploring Port Louis through its street food and camping in the mountains to sailing in a traditional pirogue or sea kayaking to Amber Island. Keep reading to find out what they recommend…

Hike Le Morne Brabant peninsula

The climb towards the summit of Le Morne Brabant is just tricky enough to put off most people. It takes around three hours to hike 3.5km, but the views are worth it – panoramas over the forested peninsula and bright blue lagoon.

Hiking with a guide, however, removes most of the challenge. They’ll support you on the rocky bits, point out the near-invisible streambed paths, and tell you about the history of the basalt monolith. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Le Morne’s caves, forests and peak became a fortress and refuge for enslaved Africans (“maroons”), who organised and defended settlements in the hostile terrain. It’s become a stark symbol for enslaved peoples’ fight for freedom – as well as a reminder of the slave trade brought by the Dutch, French and British to Mauritius.

Gerald describes one of his favourite walking guides, who’s become a good friend: “He’s a local like me and showed me a lot of paths and hikes that I didn’t imagine… Something that is a leisure for him, a hidden treasure that he knew, now provides him a livelihood. Every one of our guides has something to show you.”

Go canyoning in Seven Cascades

Also known as Tamarind Falls, the Seven Cascades is a waterfall with – you guessed it – seven falls between 45m and 10m high. After a mix of canyoning and hiking through wild forest and along the riverbank, you’ll get to reward yourself with a dive into the final plunge pool for a swim. You’ll need a guide to introduce you to the twisted terrain here.

Snack on street food & sip lychee wine

Food tours of the capital city Port Louis introduce you to the stalls and markets where you can graze on gato pima (deep fried chilli cakes) and steamed dumplings. “Definitely try the street food,” says Gerald. “There’s Asian, African and European influence… Sometimes you will need to be courageous because it is very flavourful.”

Guides share their favourite places the way they would if you were old friends – neighbourhood cafés they don’t want you to miss and the best roti in town. “Like this little address that us Mauritians know, as we grew up eating there,” says Gerald. “It’s totally normal, this delicious food… it’s cooked by a Mauritian maman there. But we’re like, ‘Why don’t people go there?’”
It’s totally normal, this delicious food… it’s cooked by a Mauritian maman there. But we’re like, “Why don’t people go there?”
Outside the city, you can visit a permaculture forest by the beach or join a cooking lesson with one of the “Mauritian mamans” – after she shows you how to pick the best produce in the market. You’ll share the meal and get a recipe to take home with you; the best kind of souvenir.
You won’t find Mauritian wine at your local – there’s only one vineyard in Mauritius, and it swaps grapes for organically grown lychees. It’s practically artisanal: each lychee is peeled by hand before fermentation. White and pink lychee wines range from dry to sweet, and include a candied dessert wine.

Snooze in a river lodge, mountain camp or Creole guest house

Beach resorts should be your last resort when it comes to accommodation in Mauritius – especially when the alternatives are so interesting. You could stay in a hotel with a well-loved organic café near Le Morne, a beach guest house on Rodrigues Island, a family-run Creole auberge, or a forest ecolodge.
The infinity of the Indian Ocean and the colours are amazing.
Most vacations to Mauritius are tailor made, so you can even choose to camp on the mountain for the night. “You hike the mountain, you camp on it, and you watch the sunrise,” says Gerald. “You see the first rays of sunrise lighting up the whole horizon. The infinity of the Indian Ocean and the colours are amazing.”
You don’t have to set aside a whole day for transferring between hotels, either. Mauritius is petite, so you can drive from the northern to the southern tip in around an hour.

Our top Mauritius Vacation

Mauritius and Rodrigues island vacation

Mauritius and Rodrigues island vacation

Paradise island hopping in the Indian Ocean

From 4794 to5451 13 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Mauritius or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.

Paddle to Amber Island

Amber Island is a short kayak paddle off the south-east coast of Mauritius. Thanks to its ragged edges, you’ll find tiny coves, a turquoise lagoon formed by an ancient volcanic crater, and mangrove forests that were the last known haunt of the dodo. It’s very biodiverse for a tiny island, with forests of endemic species like candle and reindeer wood, as well as frangipani and banyans. Just beware the trou lou lou land crab: it has a habit of pocketing glittering things and burying flip flops left on its beach. Signs of the French colonial occupation can be found hidden behind forests, including ruined shooting ranges left over from 1750.

Follow the leader around Port Louis

As tempting as it is to retreat to the beaches and forests, you’ll get to know Mauritius better by spending time in the capital, Port Louis, too. About a sixth of the population live in this little city squashed between the green Moka Mountains and a sheltered bay.
The best tours place the local people front and center. Guides can introduce you to the people who still make shoes, steam dumplings, print books and create jewellery by hand in the shadow of the skyscraping financial district.
You’ll see colonial-era buildings like the Penny Museum and Aapravasi Ghat, and learn about the enslaved people and indentured servants who built them under Dutch, French and British rule. The variety of holy places gives you an idea of the mix of religions here, too: marbled Jummah Masjid Mosque, St Louis Cathedral, Kwan Tee Pagoda and the Tamil temple, Sockalingum Meenatchee Ammen Kovil.
If you’ve got kids in tow, they’ll help out with guiding – the tour will transform into a treasure hunt. “The adults will be captivated by the story and everything behind the story of a building or an area of the city,” says Gerald, “and at the same time the kids will be learning fun facts around the story of Mauritius.”

Island-hop to Rodrigues

Rodrigues is an autonomous island about a 90-minute flight from Mauritius. With fewer visitors, its beaches are mostly wild, sandy and sunlounger-free. Guides here are more like friends leading you along trails exploring Mount Limone, the fishing villages of the Riviere Coco, and the bright, undisturbed coral reefs of Riviere Banane Marine Reserve. Basket-weaving and painting workshops are about as organised as activities get on chilled-out Rodrigues.

From Rodrigues, you can set sail in a traditional dugout pirogue helmed by a captain who knows their way to the secret snorkelling spots. As you’re using sails, fish and birds won’t skedaddle at the sound of your motor. You could see parrot, unicorn and butterfly fish, as well as psychedelic nudibranchs on the coral.
Photo credits: [Page banner: Kirikk Umrikhin] [Intro: brando] [Seven cascades: Z.thomas] [Food: Benoit Prieur] [Port Louis: eutrophication&hypoxia]