Mauritius is a small island country in Africa, created over 8 million years ago by volcanic activity in the Indian Ocean. Along with the other Mascarene Islands, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, many of which are only found on the island, which was also home to the now-extinct dodo bird.
Whether it’s the adventure of discovering iconic landmarks or the thrill of a world-class theme park Shangri-La’s curated experiences of attractions get you out of your comfort zone and into the realm of unforgettable travel memories.
Port Louis is the capital city and main port of Mauritius, established in 1735. The city is surrounded by the Port Louis Moka mountain range, and features a number of charming, historical buildings.The main tourist attractions in Port Louis include the Caudan Waterfront, the Post Office, Port Louis Bazaar, the Police Barracks, Mauritian Chinatown and the old Port Louis theatre.
There are three museums in the capital: the Blue Penny Museum, the Mauritius Natural History Museum, and the Mauritius Stamp Museum.
Crocodile & Giant Tortoises Park
The Crocodile & Giant Tortoises Park is home to various species of animals and plants. The park is set in a beautiful rainforest valley, with natural freshwater springs teeming with fish.
Experience a unique, first-hand encounter with the giant tortoises, and enjoy a rare opportunity to feed, pet, and play with them. At the mini zoo of Mauritian fauna, you will find mammals and reptiles including skinks, geckos, turtles, bats, deer, mongooses and monkeys, as well as domestic livestock such as pigs, goats, fat-tailed sheep and donkeys. Don’t miss the park’s rare collection of butterflies and other brightly-colored insects (23,000 species in total!), which is a fascinating collection even for the collectors.
The Jungle Adventure Playground offers fun activities for children, while the Hungry Crocodile Restaurant offers a selection of snacks, local Mauritian and international dishes – and a chance to taste crocodile meat!
This nature and adventure park is located by Rempart Mountain in the southwest of the island, and offers magnificent views of the Mauritian countryside. The park includes four themed ‘kingdoms’ – Safari, Nature, Mountain and Water – as well as a hub for discovery and learning. A visit to the park will take around three hours.
From a simple walk in the park to exploring dramatic natural scenery, we’ve got nature-lovers covered. Escape to a private island, ride a horse at golden hour, kayak beneath towering cliffs, or simply soak it all up on one of our sandy beaches. Nature never felt so good.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
Commonly known as Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, this is a popular tourist attractions in Mauritius, located near Port Louis. Built by Pierre Poivre in 1767, it is an old botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere and covers some 37 hectares. The attraction is famous for its giant water lilies, spice garden, and a unique collection of 85 different kinds of palm from Central America, Asia, Africa, and the islands of the Indian Ocean.
The “seven-coloured earth” of Chamarel is a geological curiosity, and a major tourist attraction of Mauritius. Chamarel is the only place in world where visitors can find clay earth of seven colours in one place. The nearby Waterfall of Chamarel is another attraction, with three distinct streams plunging 100 metres down into the gorge.
Trou aux Cerfs
This 605 metre-high dormant volcano is located in Curepipe, Mauritius. The crater is about 300 metres in diameter, and 85 metres deep, with a small lake at the centre. Trou aux Cerfs is considered the main attraction of Curepipe. From the crater, visitors enjoy a spectacular view of Mauritius Island. The volcano was active until 600,000 to 700,000 years ago.
Vallée de Ferney
This reserve protects a 400 year-old forest, which is the natural habitat of the endangered Mauritius kestrel: one of the world's at-risk raptors. A well-marked three-kilometre walking trail winds through part of the forest, with a number of lookout points along the way. We recommend taking the guided tour to fully enjoy your visit. The trail begins and ends at a thatch-roofed restaurant where locally-sourced venison dishes are a specialty. Four-wheel drive expeditions into the reserve are also available.
Domaine de L’Etoile
This popular forest reserve spreads over 2,000 hectares of unspoilt terrain, and can be explored on foot, on horseback, or by quad bike. Mountain biking, guided hikes and archery are also on offer, and there is a restaurant on site. If you're lucky, you'll spot Javanese stags hiding in the forest – there are over 1,000 living in the reserve.
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation / Ile aux Aigrettes
The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation manages the island’s many reserves and also conducts tours of Ile aux Aigrettes, with proceeds going towards local conservation efforts. The tours take between 1.5 and two hours, starting from Pointe Jérome, around 250 metres southeast of Le Preskîl hotel. Longer tours of two to 2.5 hours are also available, allowing visitors time to meet members of the scientific teams working on Ile aux Aigrettes. Day tours and volunteering opportunities are also available. Bookings should be made in advance by phone, via email or in person. The tour involves a good deal of walking: Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen and water. At the end of the tour, there is a small museum and shop.
Le Souffleur is a hidden attraction known only to locals, near the village of L'Escalier. On the coast between Souillac and Blue Bay, this geological anomaly is a half-formed grotto on the side of a cliff, which spouts a geyser of water up to 20 metres in the air when seas are rough. We strongly recommend hiring a local guide to reach Le Souffleur.
Whether it’s wandering some of the world’s greatest museums, exploring cutting-edge galleries and traditional artisan houses, or watching the latest blockbuster at a film festival, we have our finger on the pulse of all the hottest cultural happenings.
Grand Bassin, also known as Ganga Talao, is a small mountain lake about 600 metres above sea level, in the district of Savanne. It is a holy lake for Hindu Mauritians, who believe that it communicates with the waters of the sacred River Ganges in India.
By the lake there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other Hindu gods including Hanuman and Lakshmi. The Hindu community performs a pilgrimage to the lake every year during the festival of Maha Shivaratri. Overlooking the lake is a 33-metre figure of Mangal Mahadev, the tallest statue in Mauritius.
Eureka Creole House
This is one of the largest Creole houses in Mauritius, with 109 doors and windows, set in a magnificent garden surrounded by waterfalls. Originally built in 1830, the Eureka House was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1986. It displays music, art, antique maps, Chinese and Indian homewares, and other curios, such as a colonial-era shower.
Sugar Cane Museum & Factory
Once as valuable as gold, sugar has a profound legacy in Mauritius. A tour of the old Beau Plan sugar mill, now a museum, lasts about 1.5 hours, at the end of which visitors can enjoy sugar and rum tastings.
Following the trail of L’Aventure du Sucre (the Sugar Adventure), you can trace 250 years of rich Mauritian history, through old machines and films evoking the island’s early years. (The factory was in use until the 1970s.) The Sugar Adventure is suitable for all ages, and of interest to both locals and tourists.
Rhumerie de Chamarel
In southwest Mauritius, the Rhumerie de Chamarel lies in a valley surrounded by sugarcane plantations. Marvel at the rum distillery’s unique design, which blends wood, stone and water features to promote a sense of harmony with nature.
National History Museum
The colonial mansion that houses this museum once belonged to the Robillard family, and played an important part in the island's history. In 1810, injured commanders of the French and English fleets were brought here for treatment after the Battle of Vieux Grand Port.
The story of the French victory is detailed in the museum, showcasing artefacts, from cannons to wine bottles, that were salvaged from the British frigate Magicienne, which sank in battle. The museum also displays early maps of the island, a shipwrecked cache of Spanish coins, as well as paintings (and bones!) of Mauritius' indigenous fauna, including the famous dodo. One highlight is an engraving of Dutch gentlemen riding in pairs on the backs of giant tortoises.
Recent additions to the museum’s collection include a retrofitted train carriage and a replica of Napoleon's boat used in the infamous battle against the English.
If your holiday isn’t complete without a little retail therapy, Shangri-La has you covered. We’ve scoured Mauritius to find the best shopping experiences, from high-end boutiques to the high street, hidden gems at one-of-one shoppes, private ateliers and bustling markets.
Port Louis Shopping
In Port Louis, visitors will find many small shops, including those selling typical Chinese herbs, products and clothing. The Port Louis Bazaar is a treat, with exotic spices and vegetables, colourful saris, baskets, traditional handicrafts, local jewellery and souvenirs on sale at very low prices.
The Caudan Waterfront shopping mall features luxury shops, a craft market, food court, and several restaurants under one roof. At Happy World House, shoppers can find branded clothing, jewellery, perfumes, and mobile phone accessories.
Bagatelle is one of Mauritius’ leading shopping malls, with 130 shops offering comprehensive retail and lifestyle options, which attract diverse shoppers from all over the island. Bagatelle offers the widest selection of speciality shops in Mauritius, as well as a variety of restaurants, cafés and other dining options.
Flacq is the main village In eastern Mauritius, where visitors will find many stalls and boutiques selling Indian clothing. The Flacq Coeur de Ville features several shops and a spacious food court.