You’re bound to fall in love with Mauritius after visiting. It is an island full of surprises and the largest in the archipelago of the same name. It’s a place that has a strong sense of self and one that can easily adapt to whatever you choose to make of it. When we think of Mauritius, we often imagine heavenly beaches on the Ile des Deux Cocos or Blue Bay, ready to welcome in tourists with their snorkelling friendly coral reefs or their sunbathing facilities, making it the perfect place to relax under an umbrella.
But Mauritius also welcomes many visitors to its cities, such as the gorgeous Port Louis, which combines its modernity as a trade capital with its past as a colonial city. What’s more, Mauritius also offers visitors the opportunity to learn about enchanting legends linked to numerous amazing places, such as Cap Malheureux or Grand Bassin.
The island is also home to a number of volcanoes. Here, you can embark on hikes to a number of craters, such as the Trou aux Cerfs or the mind-blowing Seven-Coloured Earth, which offers a truly unique experience to immerse yourself in the pristine nature of this African paradise. While you’re here, why not also make the most of going on a run through the tropical forests, or playing golf next to the Indian Ocean. If you love animals, Casela World of Adventures is guaranteed to offer you a unique experience walking with savannah lions, meeting rhinos or feeding giraffes, while at La Vanille Nature Reserve, you can meet the crocodiles and beautiful giant tortoises.
In short, travelling to Mauritius on a Costa cruise offers endless possibilities for truly exciting experiences on an island that will win you over in a heartbeat with its exquisite scents and colours. Already in love? On this island, you’ll also find several places to get married in truly breathtaking settings. So, what are the most beautiful places in Mauritius? Here's our selection.
The Most Beautiful Places in Mauritius
- Port Louis
- Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
- Cap Malheureux
- La Vanille Nature Reserve
- Chamarel Waterfall and Seven-Coloured Earth
- Grand Bassin Lake
- Île des Deux Cocos
- Trou aux Cerfs
- Casela World of Adventures
- Belle Mare
- Flic en Flac
- The Brabant Mornes
- Blue Bay
Docking in at Port Louis on a Costa cruise ship means arriving in the beating heart of Mauritius, and the capital city of this small island nation. Port Louis is the country's main port and plays a major trade role, to the point of being long considered Africa's second-largest financial hub, preceded only by Johannesburg. Founded in 1753 by Mahé de La Bourdonnais, who transformed the small settlement into a real city with an active port, Port Louis has rebuilt and renovated itself several times, with some colonial-era buildings still intact to this day, including Fort Adelaide, with its Arab-inspired architecture and spectacular views over the city. That being said, the island is also home to more modern buildings and skyscrapers, such as the Bank of Mauritius.
There’s also no shortage of religious buildings here, such as Jummah Mosque, the most important mosque in Mauritius, and the Catholic Cathédrale Saint-Louis. And if you like museums, you can take a trip to the Mauritius Stamp and Blue Penny museums, or even the Mauritius Institute, which houses a number of flora and fauna specimens local to the island.
If you’re looking to get to know Port Louis a little better, it's always a good idea to visit the bazar, where you can find local spices and teas in addition to fruit and vegetables.
Pampelmousses Botanical Garden
In the north of Mauritius you’ll find Pampelmousses Botanical Garden, recently renamed Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, in tribute to the father of the nation’s independence, to whom a funeral monument is also dedicated. Designed in 1770 by Pierre Poivre, the French administrator intendant of the colony at the time (Mauritius was known as the Île de France back then), it was the first tropical botanical garden of its kind in the world, and still welcomes visitors to admire its 37 hectares of lush splendour.
If you choose to visit, perhaps on an organised Costa excursion, you can admire a number of exotic plants growing along with local and giant water lilies that sit on the aptly named Water Lily Pond. In the northern part of the gardens you’ll also find the Chateau de Mon Plaisir, a historic mid-nineteenth century building erected by the British. Pampelmousses Botanical Garden is also home to 80 different species of palm trees, which are well worth a visit.
The island’s climate is well suited to a range of different plant species and has fostered the growth of a number of plants gifted by illustrious visitors from distant countries, which has subsequently increased the variety of vegetation on show. You’ll find numerous gazebos scattered within Pampelmousses Botanical Garden to allow visitors to rest for a moment between explorations, before embarking on a fun expedition to locate the designer's statue in the middle of the shrubbery, or stopping to admire the giant tortoises walking undisturbed.
It's called Cap Malheureux and it means the ‘Cape of Bad Luck,’ but there is nothing scary about this small town in north Mauritius, which you can also explore on a Costa excursion. The name’s origin has nothing to do with any sort of ghost story, but that being said, people have come up with a few different theories. The most famous dates back to France’s rule over the island and its rivalry with the English. The latter, unable to gain access to the island from Port Louis, headed north and ultimately managed to defeat the French, catching them off-guard and conquering the island. The ‘bad luck,’ therefore, belongs to the French, who were defeated.
The small town of Cap Malheureux is famous for its red church dedicated to Notre Dame Auxiliatrice. It is a Roman Catholic church that stands out against the turquoise sea and blue sky thanks to its striking red roof. Founded in 1938 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it is located at the northernmost point of Mauritius.
Cap Malheureux has a beautiful beach and is also a great place for a spot of fishing. A little further on from the village, you can visit a Hindu temple. But the main attraction is definitely the red church, where many couples come to get married. If you want to treat yourself to an emotional day, why not tie the knot in Mauritius, before setting sail aboard a Costa cruise ship waiting for you at the port.
La Vanille Nature Reserve
Want to see crocodiles and giant turtles up close? In Mauritius, you can spend a day at La Vanille Crocodile Park, a truly amazing wildlife reserve!
The park is located in the south of Mauritius and takes its name from a former vanilla plantation that you can still smell in the air today. Three and a half hectares of lush vegetation were originally planted by Australian zoologist Owen Griffiths, who created a nature reserve back in 1985 to treat and protect numerous animal species, some of which were at risk of extinction. What’s more, inside La Vanille Nature Reserve, you’ll find a fossil collection belonging to Griffiths himself, which he brought over from Madagascar.
When spending a day at La Vanille Nature Reserve, which is also a featured Costa excursion, you get to admire crocodiles up close, which have been carefully catalogued depending on their species and age. You can also meet giant tortoises, deer, iguanas and rabbits, attempt to count some of the 23,000 insect species housed at the reserve and marvel at the colourful butterflies.
This expansive park also has a very fascinating history: it’s home to a diesel engine Ruston Hornsby Locomotive, &which was originally used to transport sugarcane. When the railway service closed in 1981, the locomotive was left in the fields near La Barrak, before being moved to La Vanille in 1986, where it’s now a tourist attraction.
Chamarel Waterfall and Seven-Coloured Earth
Mauritius is a place for continuous discovery, and the area of Chamarel is definitely worth a visit. Located in the west of the island, Chamarel sits 283 metres above sea level and can be reached through a tropical forest, which you can also explore by way of a Costa excursion. The result is an experience with a real wow factor.
You’ll be blown away by the Tamarind Waterfalls, which were formed by the meeting of the St. Denis and Viande Salee rivers. These waters plunge from a height higher than the Statue of Liberty.
And after enjoying this breathtaking view, prepare to marvel at the Seven-Coloured Earth: a world-famous attraction and the result of a geological volcanic phenomenon that saw earth of seven different colours intermingle to create a truly unique colour effect. It’s not magic, but a concentration of metals in the soil that reacted and turned different colours following a lava leak during the cooling of the earth's surface. The result is truly unique in the world. Seven-Coloured Earth is a relatively small area but you can have plenty of fun photographing the changing landscape.
Grand Bassin Lake
Human traditions are always fascinating. On the island of Mauritius, in the district of Savanne, you’ll find an amazing volcanic lake called Grand Bassin, or Ganga Talo in Hindi.
Located 550 metres above sea level, this lake was declared sacred in 1998 and is a pilgrimage destination for Hindus. Legend has it that the god Shiva flew over the earth with his wife Parvati and was dazzled by the island. Shiva, who was carrying the Ganges on his head to save the world from the floods, was astonished by what he saw and accidentally spilled a few drops into the volcanic crater, thus creating a lake. Upon seeing its precious water in an uninhabited place, the Ganges was sad, but Shiva promised that people from all over the world would come to visit every year and that the island would have its own local inhabitants one day. Today, it welcomes many tourists, along with a number of enthusiastic visitors on Costa excursions.
By the lake you’ll also find a temple dedicated to Shiva. In 1972, a few drops of water from the Ganges were poured into the lake to celebrate the union of the waters. During the Maha Shivaratri festival dedicated to the god Shiva, pilgrims walk to the lake. Upon visiting the lake, visitors are also greeted by a community of friendly inhabitants’: monkeys living in the forest.
Île des Deux Cocos
Fancy some serious luxury? The Île des Deux Cocos in Mauritius is the place for you. This piece of paradise is located a short distance from the southeast coast of Mauritius and is a private, deserted island that you can choose to visit on a Costa excursion.
It’s a truly unforgettable experience. On the south side of the Île des Deux Cocos you can watch as the waves break on the cliffs, while in the north you can enjoy white beaches, perfect for a few hours of relaxation spent sipping cocktails. The area’s proximity to the Blue Bay Marine Reserve guarantees amazing coral and tropical fish for snorkelers. A fantastic sight that can also be enjoyed by those who aren’t as skilled at diving via a glass-bottom boat specially designed for tourists.
On the island, you’ll also find a villa built in 1929 by the English governor of Mauritius, Sir Hesketh Bell. It has since been completely renovated but its eccentric style remains intact, with its mix of European and Moorish architecture. The villa’s interiors are inspired by a more Mauritian style and its garden is overflowing with blossoming flowers.
Trou aux Cerfs
Mauritius is full of natural tourist attractions. Not only does it have a lot of lush vegetation, and amazing island life, it’s also home to a number of volcanoes that never fail to fascinate and attract visitors. One of the most famous is the Trou aux Cerfs, which is a dormant volcano. Located about a kilometre from the city of Curepipe - the second largest after Port Louis - the volcano is located in the heart of the island, and you can also explore it on a Costa excursion.
Measuring 350 metres in diameter and 100 metres deep, the crater sits 605 metres above sea level. Scholars say that the Trou aux Cerfs has erupted only once before and has remained dormant for the past 700,000 years.
Upon visiting Trou aux Cerfs, you can walk along its perimeter for a peek into the crater or embark on a trek through the surrounding forest. Indigenous plants and giant pine trees coexist here in perfect harmony, and the view of Curepipe and Mount Rempart is definitely worth the climb. The Trou aux Cerfs area is also popular with sports enthusiasts who enjoy jogging in the local area. But you’ve been warned, bring a jumper if you plan on visiting. The temperature drops during the climb!
Casela World of Adventures
Casela World of Adventures is one of Mauritius' top tourist attractions. Located to the west of the island, with Mount Rempart standing proudly behind it, the park is located amid sugarcane crops, and we offer a brilliant Costa day trip to the park.
Unlike many other nature parks that you might visit to marvel at the animals, Casela also offers a number of very adventurous activities. You can choose to join an African safari, where you’ll encounter monkeys, giraffes, rhinos, zebras, roe deer and ostriches, or you can add extra activities such as a go on the zip wire for a trip through the void, the canyon swing, which is similar to bungee jumping and allows you to fly out over the canyon between the birds and bats, or alternatively, a climb up the park’s numerous mountains.
The park also offers a range of animal-focused activities, such as walking with lions, interacting with rhinos, camel and horse rides, and the chance to feed the giraffes or turtles. Whatever you choose to do, Casela World of Adventures guarantees maximum safety for an amazing day in which you get to be the star of a magical adventure in the midst of nature.
Belle Mare is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius and is located at the easternmost point of the island, a few kilometres north of the village of Trou d'Eau Douce, in the district of Flacq. Clear waters lap at the shore of this fine, white, sandy beach and offer enough depth to moor small boats. The luscious surrounding vegetation, deep blue sea and white, sandy beach come together to create a truly dreamy atmosphere for visitors, who come to sunbathe and enjoy a day of total relaxation.
While in this heavenly part of the world you can also have fun diving. ‘Le passe de Belle Mare’ is one of the most popular places to scuba dive, with lots of fish, including some quite large species, and enchanting gorgonia sea vegetation.
But Belle Mare has much, much more to offer its visitors. First and foremost, it’s home to Mauritius’ best golf course, which is perfectly equipped to meet all golf player needs. And if you prefer fishing, you can enjoy the unique opportunity to try your hand at catching tuna, mako and marlin sharks. Belle Mare also offers numerous hiking trips to the surrounding hills.
Flic en Flac
On the west coast of Mauritius you’ll find Flic en Flac. It is located in the Black River district and is a seaside village, which takes its original name from an old Dutch saying, ‘Fried Landt Flaak,’ which means ‘free, flat land.’
Its white, sandy beach is the main attraction for tourists and visitors and it is a fairly long stretch of land. It has an extraordinary reef that serves to protect the lagoon and a stunning view of the Indian Ocean. A dive underwater will reveal rich marine wildlife, and if you are trained, you can even visit a rock complex 27 metres underwater that’s home to squirrelfish, catfish and lobsters. And then, of course, after a busy day, you can sit back and relax or take a dip in waters that are also safe for the little ones.
With its contrasts and aromas, this entire area is a great place to visit. Flic en Flac is also home to sugarcane, and you can enjoy tasting local culinary delicacies for sale near the beach. Slightly further south is an area that’s brilliant for surfers after becoming well known in the 1970s. It was originally a fishermen’s village and remains true to its origins. Flic en Flac attracts tourists from all over the world who come to try their hand at fishing for tuna, bream and sharks.
The Brabant Mornes
An island such as Mauritius manages to fascinate just about everyone, and The Brabant Mornes peninsula was even able to convince UNESCO, which officially included it on its list of World Heritage Sites back in 2008.
Located at the southwestern end of the island, this peninsula is famous for its 556-metre-high block of rock that dominates the landscape and withstands Mauritius’ strongest winds. That’s perhaps why the Brabant Mornes Peninsula has earned appreciation as a great place to go kitesurfing and windsurfing.
It’s also a fantastic place to go diving and snorkelling. Thanks to its coral reef, the Brabant Mornes are also home to several species of fish that live in waters lapping at the shore of white, sandy beaches. The headland overlooking the sea offers lots of potential hiking routes, and those brave enough to face the heights can admire a view of caves and plant species that are difficult to spot from other areas of Mauritius.
Blue Bay is one of the most fascinating places in Mauritius. It is located to the southeast of the island, not far from the entrance to the Île de Deux Cocos, and has recently become one of the most popular areas for tourists around the world.
Its crystal clear waters and unspoiled nature are the key to its charm. In this cove at the far end of the island, you’ll find families and couples spending a wonderful day at the seaside. Blue Bay is also particularly popular with water or outdoor sports enthusiasts. A dive into the waters of Blue Bay provides the opportunity to marvel at a seabed home to countless species of fish, with some of the most beautiful reefs on the island.
In Blue Bay, you can also try your hand at jet skiing, canoeing, surfing, kayaking and other aquatic sports for a day full of challenges. The bay also caters for people who love to play tennis, ping-pong or volleyball, as well as those who fancy a spot of fishing. In Blue Bay you’re really spoilt for choice: you can dive underwater or explore the local area of La Cambuse, which is still home to many wild species.
Visit Mauritius Islands with Costa Cruises
A trip to Mauritius is the perfect opportunity to get to know an island that will seduce you with its beaches and colourful seabed, but it’s also a great place to have fun, thanks to its endless sporting and adventure options, and marvel at the local history. Arriving here on a Costa cruise is an incredible thrill, and seeing Mauritius approach in the Indian Ocean makes it that bit more fascinating. You'll love this island the moment you set eyes on it.