Answers from Our Experts (1)
Although impossible to see in one day, if you are crunched for time to see the top sights in Mauritius, your best bet according to our Forbes Travel Guide editors is to hire a taxi. You can rent a car yourself, but the combination of left-hand driving, congested roads, confusing signage and erratic motorists make the experience maddening at best. A cab is preferable.
Taxi drivers charge by the destination and not by length of time engaged, so make sure to confirm your rate before you set off. If you’re staying out past sunset, the charge will be slightly higher. You should expect to pay $50-$80 to hire a taxi for the entire day. Be prepared for your driver to emphatically hawk boat trips, restaurants and other activities. Politely decline and be firm about your intended destinations or you may find yourself roped into a rip-off.
Departing Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, head west along the coast toward the striking vista of Le Morne peninsula. Its eponymous rock formation, Le Morne Brabant was so named after a group of slaves were said to have flung themselves off the cliff-face and to their deaths, not knowing that slavery had been abolished since their flight.
Continue on toward Black River Gorges National Park. If you’re lucky, you may be able to spot macaque monkeys, or even a rare Mauritian pink pigeon in the foliage. Call ahead to book a ranger from the visitor’s center for a guided hike on foot, or snag a map from the Petrin Information Center to tackle a portion of the 37 miles of trail on your own.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hop back on board to view the Chamarel Coloured Earths, a curious collection of varied sand formations from previous volcanic activity. For lunch, insist on Creole classics while enjoying the stunning view at Varangue sur Morne (reservations recommended). A former hunting lodge, the restaurant has sweeping views over the national park. Try the hearts of palm “millionaire’s” salad and the braised wild boar.
Depending on your mood, reward yourself with a lazy afternoon at the beach at Flic en Flac or press on to Port Louis for souvenir shopping at Le Caudan Waterfront and a glance at the world’s most complete dodo skeleton. End your evening in Grand Baie with a taste of the superb local seafood at Le Capitaine, fresh lobster on your plate while you watch the sunset over the bay.