An underdeveloped island situated on the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is an exotic destination which often attracts millions of tourists every year. Although this tiny island is small, the cultural diversity that can be found here is quite astounding. But what is even more amazing is the variety of landscapes that you would find here.
Did you know that you can drive from a beach to the mountains in just 30 minutes here? Yes, that is right! Mauritius is a small island but it is divided into four major sections to make it easier for people to live and explore here. And out of these sections, South Mauritius tends to be slightly wilder and more traditional.
So, if you want to see a side of Mauritius which is not modernized or tamed then you have to take a Mauritius South Island tour. From Chamarel 7 colored earth to Black River Gorges Peak, there is a lot to explore in Southern Mauritius and taking a tour is the best way to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything.
In this article, we will describe a few places in detail that will be a part of your Mauritius south island tour.
Best Time to Visit Mauritius Island
Mauritius experiences a tropical climate and stays warm and pleasant throughout the year. So, you can plan a trip to this amazing island anytime you want. Although December – March is said to be the cyclone season, there hasn’t been any major incident in the past few years. So, if you want to enjoy a summer beach holiday then you can simply plan a vacation to Mauritius from October to March (Summer season).
But if you are looking for a cooler and more pleasant weather then winter season is a good time to visit here. The winter months, May – September, is also the offseason so you would find cheaper hotels and tour packages available. You might also be able to snag a reasonably priced Mauritius south island tour package to explore beautiful southern Mauritius.
Places Covered in Mauritius South Island Tour
Here are a few places which tend to be the highlights of the Mauritius south island tour.
Chamarel 7 Colored Earth
One of the top attractions in Mauritius, Chamarel 7 Colored Earth is a small enclosure in south-western Mauritius. Here, you will witness small sand dunes which are made up of seven distinctly colored sand layers: red, purple, yellow, violet, green, brown, and blue. This is a natural phenomenon caused due to the transformation of the basaltic lava to clay minerals.
You can also purchase jars of this sand as souvenirs and will notice that even if you shake the sand together, the sand separates into color layers which are extremely fascinating to observe.
Chamarel waterfall in Mauritius is another popular attraction that will be included in your tour. It is the highest waterfall in Mauritius and is just 5 minutes away from the Chamarel 7 Colored Earth. The best part about Chamarel waterfall is that you can see it from a viewpoint when entering the Chamarel enclosure and you can also hike to the base of this waterfall.
Once you reach the base of the Chamarel waterfall in Mauritius, you will come across a few volcanic rocks here which were formed some 8-10 million years back. And the hike to the waterfall base is quite amazing as you witness unique flora and fauna on the way.
Le Morne Brabant
Le Morne Brabant hiking is one of the top attractions in Mauritius as you can see the famed Underwater waterfall from the top of this peak. You have to be careful when you are hiking to the top of Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius because the route is rocky and slippery at places. It takes about 4 hours to complete the Le Morne Brabant hiking route but it is completely worth the effort.
If you love hiking and trekking then this is going to be your favorite activity in the Mauritius south island tour. And once you reach the peak, you will be able to enjoy the amazing southern coast of Mauritius and will also be able to see distance peak of Black River Gorges.
It is said that, in the 19th century, the slaves in Mauritius ran to this peak to hide from their masters. When slavery was abolished in 1835, a troop of policemen was sent to the base to inform the people that they were free now. However, the slaves misinterpreted their arrival and committed suicide to avoid slavery. It’s a tragic history which is commemorated every year here.
Le Morne Brabant Waterfall (Underwater Waterfall)
Apart from hiking to the Le Morne Brabant peak in Mauritius, you also have the mesmerizing Le Morne Brabant waterfall to witness which is likely to blow your mind. The illusion of the Le Morne Brabant waterfall, popularly known as the Underwater waterfall, can be observed near the Le Morne Brabant beach.
You can observe it from the top of Le Morne Brabant or you can take a helicopter tour to actually circle above the waterfall to see it clearly. But, getting a glimpse of this natural illusion is a must when you are exploring south Mauritius.
If you love quiet and secluded places then you will definitely love the Rochester falls, which is hidden amidst trees in the Savanne district of Mauritius. This one of the best places to visit in Mauritius in the south as you can enjoy a nice, quiet picnic here. You have a short hike to reach the waterfall and can explore both the base and the originating point of this waterfall.
It is a small, 10-m waterfall but it is quite picturesque and was actually named after Charlotte Bronte’s novel ‘Jane Eyre’. One can easily spend an hour or two here, relaxing in the waterfall or just exploring the jungle area which surrounds this scenic waterfall.
Black River Gorges National Park
Another one of the top places to visit in Mauritius south island tour is the Black River Gorges National Park which covers an area of 67.54 km square. This park has several amazing viewpoints and waterfalls which give you the most amazing and scenic views of the southern island.
You will cover the Gorges Viewpoint, Alexandra falls, Macchabee viewpoint, and so on. And if you wish then you can also hike the Black River Gorges peak which is the highest peak in Mauritius and offers an amazing view of the Le Morne Brabant Mountain and Trois Mammelles Mountain.
At the southernmost point of Mauritius, you have the Gris Gris beach which is situated a few km away from Souillac village which was established during the French colonial period. Gris Gris is particularly famous for its high cliffs and offers the tourists an amazing view of the Indian Ocean from the top. As there aren’t coral reefs in this part of the ocean, you find the waves crashing directly against the rocks and the flanks.
You can stand on the cliff here and enjoy in the small garden. Or you can reach the Gris Gris beach from the garden and relax here for a while. However, since the waves are strong on this side of the island, it is advised to not swim here else you might end up getting hurt. You also have a tree covered area near the garden which you can explore and reach the other viewpoint, Roche Qui Pleure a.k.a the Weeping Rock.
Bel Ombre Beach
For lovers of goldy sandy beaches, Bel Ombre beach in south-west Mauritius is the perfect place to explore. Also known as the St Martin Beach, Bel Ombre is the longest beach in south Mauritius where only 1.2 km is accessible to the public and the rest is sealed by the Telfair hotel.
But you can access the entire beach by entering through the public beach area and then walking further down the beach, crossing the beach forest on the way. Around a few hundred meters before the Telfair resort, you will find shallow water with a crystal clear view of the ocean. This is also a popular space for kite surfers as the wind and water current is strong here.
If you are interested in just relaxing and enjoying a short picnic then you can stay in the Bel Ombre public beach area or you can hike along the beach to explore it.
Mauritius South Island Tour Itinerary
If you plan to cover major attractions in south Mauritius and are also interested in doing hiking then a 4-day Mauritius south island tour would be ideal for you. Here is how you will be able to cover all the major attractions here:
Reach the Mauritius island and retire to your hotel.
You can spend the day as you feel, maybe by checking out the local markets or heading out to some cafe or restaurant to try the local cuisine.
Make sure you rest up well because your day 2 will start early with a hike to the Le Morne Brabant peak.
Start your day with a hike to the Le Morne Brabant peak. For this, you will need to start around 6-7 a.m. so that you can complete the hike by early afternoon. Learn about the history of the Le Morne Brabant peak which is also a UNESCO heritage site.
From here, you can also see a glimpse of the Underwater waterfall. Also, you can take helicopter tour of the South Mauritius which lasts 3-4 hours and covers places like Le Morne Brabant Mountain, Chamarel, Black River Gorges National Park and so on. With this tour, you will also get a closer look at the Underwater waterfalls and can actually see the illusion clearly.
Once you are done with the helicopter tour, you will be taken on a drive along the southern coast of Mauritius and you can choose to stop at one of the beaches here. On the Le Morne Brabant beach, you will find a lot of people doing windsurfing and kite surfing. You can also stop at the Bel Ombre beach which is the longest beach and offers the most pristine water for viewing.
Finally, after watching the sunset at one of these beaches, you will head back to your hotel and relax.
Next day, you cover the Chamarel waterfall and the Rochester falls which are both unique in their own ways.
On the way to Chamarel, you will stop at the Chamarel viewpoint from where you can see the south-western coast of Mauritius. You can also taste the caramelized coconut pieces here, which is a specialty.
After 15-20 minutes stop, you will make your way to Chamarel and get your entrance tickets for the waterfall and the seven colored earth.
In Chamarel, you will be first taken to the Chamarel waterfall which is a 2-2.5 hour hike in total. Here, you can spend some time admiring the highest waterfall and the volcanic rocks and caves.
Once you are back at the top of the waterfall, you make your way to the Chamarel 7 Colored earth. Here, you will spend around 1-1.5 hour and can enjoy snacks from the in-house café. You can also purchase the colored sand as a souvenir for your friends and family.
After lunch, you will be taken to the Rochester falls where you can relax in the calm and peaceful environment. There is a short hike involved to reach this place which is quite exciting and as the place is covered with trees, it will give you a forest trekking feel. You can dip your feet in the cool water here and spend 1-2 hours here.
In the evening, you will be escorted back to your hotel where you can relax or explore around, as you please.
On day 4, start early again around 6 a.m. and head to the Black River Gorges National Park. Here, you hike to the Black River Gorges peak which will take around 3-4 hours in total. From here, you can witness a mesmerizing view of the national park and the other mountains and beaches on the southern coastline.
Then, you can make your way to the Gris Gris viewpoint which is an offbeat place in South Mauritius and offers the most amazing cliff view. Here, you can spend your remaining evening and after sunset, you will be taken to the airport to catch your return flight.
Your Mauritius south island tour is now complete and you will have countless memories to take back home with you.