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Posted by Cayla Capri
Mauritius Queen Of The Indies
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Aerial views regarded, Mauritius is a golden beacon of sand, demoting the Indian Ocean to scrim status, nothing but a blue backdrop for a bright little gem of an island. But from an earthly perspective, Mauritius is more than just another pretty face, it’s a pocket-sized four corners of the world, a compact cultural potpourri and historic watering hole, containing more geographic diversity in its pinky than most countries boast in their entirety. Travel to Mauritius for the eye candy, stay, one more long weekend, for the depth.
the romance
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Mauritius is pure Harlequin cover art inspiration, making yearnings of the romantic sort totally unavoidable. Spend a few days lazing about a beach, hammock, pop novel, and lychee-dominated picnic lunch in tow. Paint your toenails a camouflaging cobalt on a Belle Mare beach rock, play underwater clambake at Pereybere cove, out-surf hubby on Blue Bay and stroke his bruised ego, among other things, beneath a Casuarina tree’s canopy of ripe fruit at Flic en Flac beach.
Once you’ve tired from all the lounging and sun soaking, give yourselves a jolt at Grand Bay, pit-stopping for a spicy Creole Curry before souvenir shopping (dodo paraphernalia and wooden boats abound) for mum and dad. Nightfall calls for voyeurism of a tropical nature, as the island invites you to take in a traditional, moonlit Sega dance, not one to shy from undulating drum beats, splashy outfits, and playful hip shaking.
the scenery
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When we’re told to close our eyes and picture a balmy tropical paradise, giving blood or just winter-blues whining, Mauritius is often conjured, however unknowingly. Luscious, sun-colored coconut pendants sagging palm tree branches, exotic, post-Amazonian gardens hosting lily pads of monstrous proportions, and pristine sandy shores, not a grain gone astray are the island’s claim to fame.
Saunter through Technicolor valleys, sundress grazing budding sugar canes, up to the peak of mountain Le Pouce, or ‘The Thumb.’ The two-hour hike’s payoff goes beyond taut hamstrings, gifting you a panoramic view of Port Louis, Africa’s most affluent city. Get guided to Tamarin falls, a string of seven waterfalls tucked away amongst mountains for a tranquil, fountain of youth-like dip. Turn your attention to the left, and see how many dolphins you can spot wading on the west coast.
the adventure
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Doggy-paddle’s kind of limiting adventure-wise, and scuba-diving just isn’t for everyone. The underwater scooter, on the other hand, cannot be denied title of coolest, most irresistible mode of subterranean transportation. Take a brief lesson in aquatic piloting, then hop aboard a marine motorcycle and plunge to a depth of four meters to cruise that ocean floor. No oxygen tanks necessary; heads sheltered from all waterway dangers, you and your man can discuss the aesthetic nature of coral and tropical fish, or make faux revving sounds with your lips and role-play merman/maid versions of James Dean and Natalie Wood.
the secrets
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Head to the island’s southwest corner and visit Chamarel village, home of natural phenomena extraordinaire. Firstly, there’s the Colored Earths, a truly unusual landscape of rainbow shaded, eroded volcanic rock. Nearby is real-life stunner number two, also known as Chamarel Falls, Mauritius’ tallest and arguably most lush chute: just a cascade of water making its way down a heart-stopping cliff.
the attractions
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For an excursion of cultural profit, visit Triolet, a Pamplemousses village housing the island’s largest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath. While you’re still gallivanting around Pamplemousses (and who could turn their back on a district named after a tangy, juicy ‘French’ fruit?), pop your nose in the famous SSR Botanical Garden for water-lilies bigger than hubby’s head and an enviable collection of outlandish plants.
A visit to the Casela Nature Park will bring you face-to-face, literally, with lions and cheetahs. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill safari: only your courage stands between you and a little wild feline romp.
before you go
What to Expect
Spring: March through May are warm and wet months(27-30°C/80-86°F)
Summer: June through August has the best weather for surfing, and prices tend to be best during these months.
Fall: September through November are warm months, with some rain (23-26°C/73-78°F)
Winter: Hot and humid: heavy rain is common, and February tends to be the warmest month (30-33°C/86-91°F)
Dress light and casual
Mauritius Rupee
The Lingo
English, French, Creole
A valid passport
Local Delicacies
Gateaux piments (Chilli cakes): A spicy, fried snack made out of split peas and chilis
Rougaille: A tomato and onion-based dish, usually containing meat or fish
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