Attractions Nearby Port Louis, Day Trips and Excursions
(Port Louis, Mauritius)
Port Louis is a great place to base yourself for all its wining, dining and shopping options. Virtually every corner of Mauritius
is easily accessible by road from the capital, allowing for an endless selection of day trips to outlying attractions.
A car is the best way to get out and about, allowing you to explore the other towns and natural sites on the island. Many of the attractions are natural, including strange geological features, dramatic coastline views and lush tropical jungles. Within comfortable reach of Port Louis are destinations such as Chamarel, Curepipe, Eureka, Floreal, Moka
, Phoenix, Quarte Bornes, Rose Hill, Souillac and Vacoas. The Black River Gorges National Park and La Vanille Reserve des Mascareigne also warrant an excursion, as does the Ile aux Cerfs island.
Located on the lofty Central Plateau region of inland Mauritius, the town of Curepipe makes an excellent day trip if you want to escape to cooler climes. It is only 20 km / 12 miles from Port Louis, but it feels like another world. The extinct volcano Trou aux Cerfs is the main attraction here - you can drive right to the rim for spectacular views. Also in the area is the Black River Gorges National Park and a lovely botanical garden.
La Vanille Reserve des Mascareigne
Address: Riviere des Anguilles, Mauritius, MU
Tel: +230 626 2503
For a dose of wildlife on Mauritius, one of the best places to visit is this nature reserve and its thousands of crocodiles and giant tortoises. La Vanille Reserve des Mascareigne is part of a program that is reintroducing creatures to the neighbouring island of Rodrigues. Children will particularly like this park, as they can sit atop the giant tortoises and watch the feeding of the crocodiles.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 17:00
Black River Gorges National Park
Address: Curepipe, Mauritius, MU
On the south-west corner of the island is this popular park known for its scenic drives, hiking trails and picnic spots. This is a lovely sanctuary for native wildlife, especially exotic birds like the green echo parakeet and Mauritius cuckoo shrike. Rugged canyons, mountains and thick forests of pine create a wonderful environment for a hike. Visit the island's highest waterfall at Chamarel or soak in the amazing views at the Black River Gorges Viewpoint and Alexandria Falls.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:00 (Visitor Centre)
Ile aux Cerfs
This small island off the eastern coast of Mauritius is the most popular destination for a quick boat getaway. The posh Touessrok Hotel manages the island, but it is open to the public. Splendid beaches and clear waters complement the lush tropical environment of the interior. Many water sports are available on the Ile aux Cerfs, and there's even a newly-opened 18-hole golf course. You can stay on the island at the hotel, or simply catch a boat for the day from the fishing village of Trou d'Eau Douce.
Another cool natural destination in the south-west corner of the island is Chamarel. The route is amongst the best drives on Mauritius and follows a twisting road from the village of Case Noyal to the Seven Coloured Earth. This geological attraction is a massive rolling mound of sand / earth, with swirls of purple, yellow, green, blue and red earth mixed in. It was created by the weathering of volcanic rocks and really is quite amazing. A nearby waterfall and lush jungle add to the atmosphere.
One of the more dramatic seaside sites on the island is the small coastal resort town of Souillac. The rugged coast of the southern Savanne region creates scenery that is punctuated by towering cliffs dropping straight down into the ocean. This is quite a contrast from the sweeping curves of the northern coast. The area makes a great day trip from Port Louis. There are two excellent spots to visit and marvel at the views - the Gris-Gris Viewpoint and Rochester Falls.