The island of Mauritius is mountainous with breathtaking scenery stretching from the rivers and forests out to the coastal beaches and fringing reefs.
This volcanic island offers many outdoor and adventure experiences including breathtaking summits and valleys to explore on foot, underwater adventures with wildlife and spectacular rivers and waterfalls to conquer.
Here are some of the best outdoor and adventure experiences to be had in Mauritius.
Hiking and trekking
Mauritius offers many hiking and trekking options across its national parks and reserves, around the basaltic mountains, and in many other beautiful locations. These peaks offer unique panoramic views of the island. Trekking in Mauritius is most popular in the National Parks, including Black River Gorges National Park, Yemen – Safari and Bird Park, Domaine des Chasseurs and Gerald Durrell Endemic Wildlife Sanctuary. Not only are the views from the top incredible, but the hike itself will serve up some breathtaking nature with its beautiful wildlife, birds and flora.
There are many hidden waterfalls around Mauritius, tucked away amongst the mountains and peaks. The Tamarind waterfalls are the highest in Mauritius with a “fall” of almost 300 meters. To access the best of these falls, the trek starts with a walk down in this impressive canyon, discovering progressively each waterfall with its natural basin. Sometimes the trek shall progress in the forest, sometimes in an open area on the basalt rock nearby the water. One can feel free to have a swim in the water or enjoy a natural massage when standing under the cascade. The path is steep sometimes; one should be rather fit in order to explore this trek.
Diving and snorkelling
With 330 kilometres of coastline encircled by a coral barrier reef that protects the turquoise lagoons of the island, Mauritius offers exclusive diving experiences to its visitors all year round. What is unique to diving in Mauritius is the proximity to shore. Although most of the more challenging dive sites are found outside of the barrier reef, they are still invariably reached with just a 20-minute boat ride. Located off Flic en Flac on the west coast of the island is the dive site called the Cathedral, one of the most popular dives in Mauritius. Other popular spots include Gunner’s Coin where you can see large parrotfish at each dive; Whale Rock (26 to 38 meters deep) where the lucky ones can come face to face with a hammerhead shark; and Holt’s Rocks (16 to 25 meters deep) whose name suggests the formation of huge rocks under the sea.
Swim with wild dolphins
When staying at LUX* Le Morne, you can head out on a Wild Dolphin Experience for a truly wild encounter with the local wildlife. Take a boat out and strap on those fins, snorkel and mask before jumping into the warm waters of Mauritius where you can meet spinner and bottlenose dolphins as they congregate in large numbers in the bay. These dolphins are not enticed by food, nor contained. They are completely free, so swimming with them can be a challenge if you are not a good swimmer. Even if you do not get in the water with them, watching them from the boat is just as exciting. Sperm and humpback whales also migrate along the west coast of the island and can be spotted if you’re lucky.
The best spot for kitesurf in Mauritius is at Le Morne off our South West coast. It is here you find ‘kite lagoon’, one of the safest and most picturesque location in the world for kitesurfing. The wide lagoon and shallow flat water at Le Morne are ideal for beginners and advanced riders, all with the added protection of the reef. For those experienced kitesurfers wanting some more action, find the waves a mere 600 m away. The famous Manawa and One Eye wave are not for the faint-hearted. Enjoy free riding and wake style to your heart content, plus lots of downwind glides in the steady South easterly winds.
For more on Mauritius visit www.tourism-mauritius.mu
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