A First-Timer’s Guide to The Top 6 Excursions in Mauritius

If you’re thinking of venturing out to the island for the first time, these are the excursions in Mauritius you NEED to have in your holiday itinerary.

We believe we have uncovered the holy sextuplet of excursions in Mauritius.

This might just be our opinion, but we feel like we’ve logged enough hours on the island now to talk with authority about what days out or attractions you should definitely be checking out. 

Whether you’re a first-timer to Mauritius or it’s your fave place in the world. You can’t say you’ve truly “done” the island until you’ve ticked off these spots. 

The best excursions in Mauritius happen on land or sea.
What are the best excursions in Mauritius? We’ll tell you everything! Photo by Xavier Coiffic on Unsplash

6 Excursions In Mauritius You Simply Can’t Miss

Now that you’ve decided that you’d rather do Mauritius over The Maldives. Let’s take a look at those 6 top activities you’ve won in the process. 

  1. Île aux Cerfs
  2. Tamarin Bay
  3. Black River Gorges National Park
  4. Chamarel
  5. Grand Bassin Road
  6. Le Morne Brabant

What Makes These 6 Mauritius Activities So Good?

Before we get into each trip in more detail, we should probably tell you what pulled us towards these ones in particular. 

These 6 excursions demonstrate a wealth of opportunities to see almost every district in Mauritius. When you stay in your four or five-star resort, you may never get to see normal island life or experience some of the incredible natural wonders here.

On these trips, you’ll get a nice sense of everything from amazing beaches through to awesome wildlife and natural wonders

In addition, it’s possible to find tours which take in all these sites in one action-packed day, if you prefer. This means you can experience all kinds of holiday. From adventure days to days when you don’t feel like leaving your lounger. On the other hand, each trip could easily be stretched over a morning or afternoon or even a whole day, if you feel like spreading out the exploration. 

Now you know the why, we should probably tell you more about the what. 

1. Île aux Cerfs

Our first top excursion in Mauritius is the stunning destination of Île aux Cerfs. Spread over 87 hectares of untouched land just off the east coast of Mauritius, Île aux Cerfs is an island paradise. But there’s more going on here than just white-sand beaches and swaying palms. 

Tours of Île aux Cerfs will show you the incredible beaches. But they’ll also allow you to head out snorkelling in the bath-warm cerulean ocean waters. From there you can enjoy BBQs on the beach and take a wander into the lush inlands. 

However, if you’re seeking a more authentic experience, take a boat over the Île aux Cerfs lagoon from the Flacq District. Head out and explore the island in your own time. Laid-back but beautiful restaurants are perfect for a midday snack. Sports enthusiasts will also love a visit to the stunning 18-hole Championship course at Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Club

2. Tamarin Bay

Tamarin Bay is one of the most popular excursions in Mauritius. The main reason for this is the incredible aquatic activities. 

Here you can have the unforgettable experience of going swimming with wild dolphins in their natural environment. On a tour or Tamarin Bay, your guides will get you on a boat and take you into the water at the best place to meet up with the submarine stunners. 

When you’ve finished frolicking with the dolphins you can make your way over to the aquarium. But forget any visions of Sea World, in this aquarium you’ll be out in the shallows of the Indian Ocean actually swimming with brightly coloured tropical fish. In essence, you’ll become part of the aquarium. 

3. Black River Gorges National Park

One of the best things to do in Mauritius in general is to get out and see a wealth of natural beauty at Black River Gorges National Park. 

The park is an incredible hub of nature due to the microcosms of conditions in one place. Across its 6,754 hectares, the park delivers staggering flora and fauna, as well as breathtaking waterfalls. This is your chance to revel in unfettered nature. 

However, one of the best activities in the park has to be going out on a hike. With several trails offering varying degrees of difficulty, you can stomp your way through the green, while gushing rivers and playful birdsong accompany the sound of your boot steps.

If you’re thinking of splitting up your excursions, Black River Gorges is definitely worth a day trip. Rather than stuffing it in as part of a wider tour, take the whole day to explore sights. 

Chamarel waterfall
The Black River Gorges National Park is a verdant wonderland like this.

4. Chamarel – 7 Coloured Earth

Unlike Black River, Chamarel probably works better as part of a day trip to other sites. However, that’s not taking away from how incredible the place is. In fact, even the dirt is interesting at Chamarel.

Because the rest of these excursions are all in the bottom half of the island, you might want to check out one of the hotels in south Mauritius and do both sites over a couple of days. 

But, wherever you stay, you need to take the chance to grab an excursion which stops off at Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth Geopark. Here you’ll find multi-coloured soil lines the ground. 

While at the Geopark, you can marvel at the 600 million-year-old natural phenomenon under your feet. But you can also visit a tortoise park and check out some pretty impressive waterfalls. Plus, stop for a coffee in the charming cafe and try a hot mug of Café de Chamarel, the coffee cultivated on-site. 

5. Grand Bassin

Grand Bassin or Ganga Talao is a large crater lake set in the centre of Mauritius. The beautifully still, tranquil waters are a sacred place for Hindus. In fact, the site is actually the location of a pilgrimage every year during the festival of Mahashivaratree

While at the lake you can wander the lush landscape watching monkeys and other wildlife playing in the forest. But one element of the area which dominates the landscape is the huge Shiva statue affixed to the Grand Bassin temple. 

On a tour of Grand Bassin, you can learn more about the local area, wildlife and Hinduism as you take in the sights and sounds of the area. 

Huge Shiva statue in Grand Bassin, Mauritius
Visit Grand Bassin and see why it’s so revered by Hindus everywhere. Photo by Ritish Panchgolam on Unsplash

6. Le Morne Brabant

The final stop on our beginner’s tour of the best excursions in Mauritius brings us to the southwestern tip of the island and one of its highest peaks, Le Morne Brabant. 

Le Morne is a town in south-west Mauritius and Le Morne Brabant is the peak which overlooks it – while gazing longingly out across the ocean. But this peak hold more than just pretty viewpoints as it also formed a seminal part of the island’s history. 

Back in the times of slavery, Mauritius was a common stopover for ships involved in the eastern slave trade. However, it quickly became known as “Maroon Republic” as many slaves managed to escape here, using Le Morne Mountain as a makeshift home. 

Nowadays the mountain is a UNESCO-protected site, after being reopened to the public in 2016. The hike to the summit will take you past numerous caves which acted as refuges for the escaped slaves all those years ago. 

Mauritius is one of the best holiday destinations in October
Aerial view of Morne Brabant in Mauritius

Ready To Start Exploring?

As a first-time visitor to the island, you’re going to want to make sure your experience is as amazing as possible. These activities will certainly make sure of that. But where’s best to stay for getting to them all?

Click the button below and we’ll show you a list of luxurious resorts in Mauritius – as rated by you guys over on TripAdvisor. So you know they’re incredible!

Prev Post

Beach Villa Or Water Villa? Which Should You Choose?

October 16, 2023

Next Post

14 Unforgettable Things To Do On 1 Luxurious Guided Tour Of India

October 19, 2023