Mauritius has nearly a million visitors yearly. To put that into context, our population is just over a million and the size of the island is about the same as Luxemburg.
We Mauritians love sharing our paradise with travelers- whether you’re doing a destination wedding, having your honeymoon or just stopping by. To help you out with your trip, we’ve come up with some practical tips and inside scoop for those of you visiting Mauritius for the 1st time:
The Practical Tidbits for Tourists in Mauritius
Traveling to Mauritius is easy, but there are a few things you should be aware of once you arrive:
- Visa or no visa? Most tourists need a valid passport (valid for the next six months beyond arrival time) and are given a free visa for 2-3 months on entering the country. Tourist extensions are also free. For anything involving staying and working, you’ll have to chat with the Mauritius Immigration Office.
- The exchange rates are better in Mauritius. For exchanging your money, you’ll get a better rate and save on fees if you do it locally in Mauritius.
- Costs on Mauritius can be higher than you expect. Food is mainly imported, which means that prices might be higher than you expect in the shops. Wine and drinks can be quite expensive. Gasoline is also costly: 29% and 15% higher than the average world price of regular and diesel, respectively.
The cost comparison between India and Mauritius might also be surprising. You can find some great deals at local stalls and markets so don’t worry too much.
- Beware of special ‘tourist prices.’ Mauritius is no different from any other beautiful tourist destination- you have to be careful of being charged too much. Package deals, individual tours and taxi fares can all be exaggerated for the tourist market. Ask around before you buy.
- Mauritians don’t have a hectic 24-7 lifestyle. Another surprise for tourists that visit Mauritius is our relaxed lifestyle. Shops might open late and close early.
The Fun Tidbits for Tourists in Mauritius
We are very proud of how varied our culture and our island is, with good reason. Exotic, tasty or unusual Mauritius is full of fascinating finds:
- Visit a temple devoted to Shiva. In the mountains next to the Grand Bassin Lake you can visit Mauritius’ most sacred Hindu site, with a temple and a statue of Shiva. It’s gorgeous scenery for such a spiritual place.
- Try atypical activities. We have a lot of the expected sports: golf (such as the famed Bernard Langer course), cave diving by Tamarin, parasailing, kayaking and snorkeling. But we also have: quad biking, submarine and sub-scooter rides and the chance to go undersea walking.
- Sample local treats for your taste buds. You’ve got to try our famous dish, ‘Dholl Puri.’ It’s a flat bread made of yellow split peas and stuffed with a variety of things, typically lima bean curry, achard and pickles. Street vendors sell it all over the island.
Or try another favorite: octopus curry. We came across this great post on Getaway Blog, if you’d like more tips: 25 of the Best Things to Eat and Drink in Mauritius.
- See amazing animals. La Vanille Park doesn’t just house crocodiles, but also monkeys, turtles and giant bats. Or take a stroll with cheetahs and lions at the Casela Nature & Leisure Park. Go dolphin watching off of the Tamarin Islands. Spot giant tortoises as you discover the ‘Seven Colored Earth(s)’ sand dunes, close to the Chamarel Waterfall.
Of course, there are many other sites to enjoy- the ‘Gris Gris’ panoramic view or the ‘Crying Rock’ ravine are must-sees.
We hope these tips have been helpful for your either to plan your trip or navigate your stay in Mauritius. Have any questions? Ask us below, and we’ll be happy to answer. Until then, ~Ido Productions