Mauritius, the Star and Key of the Indian Ocean
Mauritius is an island nation located east of Madagascar in Africa. It is a resort destination where you can see such a beautiful view that Mark Twain, the famous author of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” praised so highly saying, “Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.” Peace Boat often calls at Mauritius during its southbound cruises that depart in winter. In this article, we will introduce seven must-see tourist spots in Mauritius.
Ile aux Cerfs Island
Of all the natural beauties of Mauritius, the clarity of the sea is exceptional. At low tide, a beach formed by the accumulation of white sand appears between the uninhabited island of Ile aux Cerfs, which means “island of the deer” in French, and the neighboring Ile de l’Est. It is a beautiful spot to enjoy the resort atmosphere with its clear blue sea and white sand. You can spend a whole day here, watching the beach change its shape.
The Underwater Waterfall
There are many waterfalls in the world, but have you ever seen a waterfall in the ocean?Looking at the photo, it looks like a waterfall flowing at the bottom of the ocean. However, there is no actual waterfall in the sea. The coral reefs surrounding the island and the flow of sand make it look like a waterfall. It is truly a trick art created by nature!This spot, called the Underwater Waterfall, only looks like a waterfall when looked at from above, so please don’t forget to book a helicopter when you visit!
Chamarel Seven Coloured Earths
Mauritius also has plenty of natural attractions in its mountains and forests. The most famous of these are the sand dunes known as the Seven Coloured Earths of Chamarel. The iron and magnesium in the lava-derived sand oxidize, making the sand appear in seven different colors. Depending on the time of day and how the light hits the dunes, the colors magically change from red, brown, yellow, violet, blue, green, and purple. It is especially beautiful in the early morning hours.Nearby is the powerful Chamarel Waterfall, which boasts a drop of more than 80 meters. Please be sure to visit the waterfall too when you visit!
Central Market, Port Louis
Port Louis, where the ship docks, is the capital of Mauritius. The Central Market is indispensable for residents, with areas lined with meat, fish, vegetables, spices, and souvenirs. This is a must-go place for anyone who wants to feel the local atmosphere. You may want to try bargaining with shopkeepers for souvenirs or buy tropical fruits like mangoes and pineapples for a snack.
Caudan Waterfront is a modern shopping mall along the shore of Port Louis. If you are lucky, you will find the streets decorated with colorful umbrellas, as shown in the photo. Caudan Waterfront is a traveler-friendly place. It houses various facilities, such as restaurants, souvenir stores, currency exchange stores, and a casino. Anyone can relax and enjoy.
Blue Penny Museum
The Blue Penny Museum is located inside the Caudan Waterfront. The centerpiece of the museum is the Blue Mauritius, known as one of the most valuable stamps in the world. Only 27 of these stamps exist in the world and only two of them are open to the public. And the Blue Penny Museum hosts both that are open to the public! Hence, this museum is a mecca for stamp fans.The museum building was once the headquarters of a shipping company. In addition to the stamps, there are many items related to nautical history from the 16th to 19th centuries. Being built in 1914, the building itself is valuable and worth visiting.
Le Morne, a World Heritage
Le Morne is a peninsula at the southwestern tip of Mauritius. The name also indicates the basalt mountain that rises there. The area was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008 as a symbol of the slaves’ struggle for freedom. Since the Western world first recognized Mauritius in the 16th century, the Dutch, French, and British have ruled the place. When slavery existed under British rule from 1810, runaway slaves lived in Le Morne in hiding. When slavery was abolished in 1835, a policeman went to Le Morne to tell them about it, but the slaves suspected the policeman was trying to deceive them and reportedly jumped off a cliff and died.
Mauritius is a resort destination famous for its beautiful nature, but it is also a place that bears a history of colonial rule and slavery. Learning the history before visiting Mauritius will make your trip more meaningful.
PHOTO:PEACEBOAT, Okuhira Keita, Matsuda Sakika, Katsuta Airi, shutterstock.com