Mauritius has been on my travel bucket list for years. How can it now be with such high praise from Mark Twain who said Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius.
The island nation is famous for its beaches and coral reefs. It lies 2000 km (1200 miles) SE of the African continent, further east and 1134 km (700 miles) east from Madagascar. Its isolation in the Indian Ocean is part of what makes it so special and so attractive for outdoor lovers like myself.
At the top of my list for adventures in Mauritius is diving.
It’s renown for its diving and offers something for divers of all levels. You’ll find crystal clear calm waters inside the coral reef which are perfect for spotting turtles, parrot fish or angel fish and honing your diving skills.
Experienced divers will want to head outside the reef. Fortunately, most dive sites are ideally located less than a 20-minute boat ride away. Here you’ll find caves, corals, shipwrecks, huge schools of colourful fish, dolphins, whales and even sharks. Seriously where do I sign up? That’s a ton of variety. I think I could quite happily spend all my time in Mauritius just diving.
But then I’d be missing out on hiking in Black River Gorges National Park.
This is the largest national park in Mauritius and it’s a hiker’s paradise. Its Central Highlands location also means it’s cooler than the rest of the island. While the vistas are breathtakingly beautiful, you’ll also want to be on the lookout for the 311 species of native and endemic (not found anywhere else on the planet) flowering plants.
Remember to look up though as there are also nine endemic birds found here including Pink pigeons and the Mauritian kestrel.
Besides spotting wildlife and keeping a keen eye out for the long-tailed macaques since I love primates, I’d also hike Le Pouce Mountain. Your efforts are rewarded with a breathtaking view of Port Louis; Le Morne, one of the nation’s two UNESCO World Heritage sites. The rewards far outweigh your efforts.
I love hiking in places like this where there’s so much to discover and so many new (to me) species to spot for the first time.
Canyoning in Black River Gorges.
I have a feeling that Black River Gorges is a place I’d want to spend as much time as possible. That’s why I’d also love to experience its more adventurous side with canyoning. It’s becoming more popular in Mauritius. With views like this, it’s easy to see why.
Time to Hit the Water
One of my favourite things about travel is that I’m very open to trying new activities. I’m more relaxed and getting away from the daily grind rewires your brain differently. As such, I’d love to try windsurfing . I can’t think of a more gorgeous place to try it than in Mauritius.
I’ve observed windsurfers before and have been hesitant to try. It looks really hard. You not only have to balance, but you have to have the strength to keep your sail up. Still, travel is all about growing. My favourite adventures are pushing myself to try something new. Something that’s slightly outside my comfort zone. I’m always glad I did afterwards and windsurfing fits the bill.
After windsurfing, it’s time for some stand-up paddle-boarding.
I tried this for the first time earlier this year in Okinawa, Japan. It was love at first sight. It’s like a moving meditation. The only problem I foresee with doing it in Mauritius is getting distracted. The crystal clear waters make it’s easy to spot turtles and fish. At least if I fall in, the water is warm.
Sail Away Sail Away
While I have been on a sailboat before, I don’t think my captain skills are quite up to par to hire a private sailboat. Instead, I’d hire a captain and sail to one of the islands in the north. That way, I can focus on spotting dolphins. Besides, living in landlocked Germany, being on the water is always a treat. Nothing makes me feel like I’m on vacation faster than being on a boat.
I’d end each day with a romantic sunset horseback ride on the beach.
While I grew up in Cowboy Country in Canada, I haven’t ridden a horse in years. There’s something so peaceful about connecting with horses. They sense your every movement. They seem to intuitively know how you’re feeling, even before you do. As it’s not something I do very often, it would be a great way to bond with my husband. We’d explore the 330 km of coastline that Mauritius has to offer and ride into the sunset.
Mauritius is well known as a favourite honeymoon destination. What could be a more romantic way to end a day filled with adventures?
Check out Visit Mauritius to plan your own outdoor adventures.
Note: Thank you to Visit Mauritius for making this post possible. As always, all opinions are my own.