National park scenery and the Seven Coloured Earths
The little village of Chamarel is tucked away in Mauritius’ south-west corner, on the fringes of the Black River Gorges National Park. The scenery in this part of the island is lush and green, with a patchwork of coffee, sugarcane and pineapple plantations, as well as the waterfall-studded woodland of the national park (don’t miss Chamarel Falls, one of the prettiest cascades).
Chamarel’s biggest draw is the Seven Coloured Earths. These rolling sand dunes are rich in minerals, which gives them their distinctive hues – set against the backdrop of the green forest and cornflower-blue sky, the stripy sands are incredibly striking.
The coast is just a 10-minute drive away. From here, boats glide out to the white-sand beaches and warm lagoons of Ile aux Benitiers, as well as heading south on scenic cruises to Le Morne Brabant.
Flight time from the UK to Mauritius is 11 hours 50 minutes.
Chamarel is just under an hour's drive from Mauritius Airport.
Mauritius is a year-round destination, with summer and winter months offering something different. The summer months, from October through to April, are perfect for beach lovers - days are long and temperatures are in the high 20s. There is the odd chance of a cyclone in the south of the island, though. The winter months (during the UK summer) are a little cooler, in the early 20s, so are ideal for hiking and exploring. If you’re planning on diving, the summer months are your best bet – the waters are warmer and (usually) calmer, and there’s more sea life around.
Visas are not required for Mauritius. You will receive a stamp in your passport valid for 60 days.
Tipping in Mauritius is appreciated, but not expected. In restaurants you can leave the small change or round the bill up if you received excellent service. Ensure you give your tip directly to the person whom you wish to receive it.
The official language of Mauritius is English.