Mauritius Travel Guide
May 29 2019
May 29 2019
Gorgeous, tropical weather throughout the year, exceptional luxury hotels boasting four- and five-stars, immaculate beaches that fade into glittering, temperate azure waters and lush, jungle-like interiors, home to dazzling wildlife and tropical flora - Mauritius is quite literally the definition of paradise.
The uninhibited beauty of this charming Indian Ocean nation reaches far deeper than it’s sublime volcanic cliffs and exotic surrounds; it is blessed with a rich culture, awe-inspiring sites, both natural and manmade, and is largely a product of an amalgamation of influences, a beautiful result of a chequered past. This wonderous destination has so many exceptional facets and provides the ultimate holiday destination for any kind of traveller.
To ensure that you get the most from your trip to this unbelievable slice of paradise, it’s well worth understanding it as a whole. To give you a sneak peek into the magic of this country, here’s a succinct version of our Mauritius travel guide:
The general visa requirements
Most travellers don’t actually need a visa to visit Mauritius for a short period (up to 60 days), and those that do, are usually eligible for one on arrival, all that is needed is your passport and some important information such as your hotel booking confirmation and return ticket. Take a look at our article on visas to better determine whether or not you will need one for your trip to paradise.
One thing to keep in mind is that passports need to be valid for at least six months after travelling to the destination in order to travel to Mauritius.
The local currency
The preferred currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR). Occasionally, American Dollars and British Pounds are accepted, but there is no guaranteeing a good exchange rate in these instances and any change will be given in rupees.
Exchanging money in Mauritius is fairly easy - you can do so at the airport or at banks or exchange bureaus in the major cities and towns. Hotels often will allow money exchanges but the exchange rate might not be as favourable as it is elsewhere. You might also get a better exchange rate if you exchange a large sum of money at one time. Alternatively, most hotels and formal establishments accept credit cards or you could withdraw money from an ATM, but keep in mind that daily limits might vary from one ATM to the next. It’s best to check the possible fees related to these transactions with your credit card company before you arrive in Mauritius.
Health precautions and safety
While there are no mandatory vaccinations for Mauritius (certain travellers may need a Yellow Fever vaccine - check this before you leave), there are a few that are recommended as precautionary measures. These are Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Yellow Fever. To be on the safe side while travelling, avoid tap water and interactions with animals. To ensure that you have easy access to the best emergency and medical care, it’s recommended to take out comprehensive health insurance.
In terms of crime and safety, Mauritius is a relatively safe destination. As is the case with any country, however, a fair bit of common sense and vigilance is necessary, as petty theft and some crime does exist. Steer clear of walking alone at night or in badly lit areas, avoid buying from the beach vendors and hawkers, be vigilant when drawing money from ATMs and ensure your hotel door is always locked, with valuables stored safely in the room safe.
Where to stay
The glorious island of Mauritius has no shortage of incredible places to stay. The inner parts of the island are known for the tropical wonders, but it’s the famous Mauritian coast that really makes a trip to this paradise so special - if you love both types of holidays (beach and jungle) you could combine them or embrace a few day trips to see the island’s interior.
Each area in Mauritius tends to offer something quite specific, so it’s a good idea to get a better understanding of what can be found where to better tailor your trip. The north and south of the country are hugely popular and very busy, with Grand Baie, in particular, being known for its nightlife. The east coast, Belle Mare as an example, is wild and beautiful while the best sunsets can be seen on the west, along the dreamlike beaches of Flic-en-Flac. No matter where you decide to stay, however, you are bound to have a sensational time.
Things to do
Whether you would like to spend your island holiday on the beaches or exploring the surrounds, there are some phenomenal activities and experiences to enjoy. From visiting the capital city, discovering religious sites and making the most of the golden beaches to enjoying epic shopping sprees, thrilling water sports, dolphin safaris, boat day trips and much more, there’s no lack of things to do in Mauritius. Always ensure that any tour companies you engage with have legit licenses and valid permits for the activities.
When to visit
The best time to visit Mauritius will change from person to person - it’s highly dependant on your needs and wants. With the benefit of having fairly mild, warm temperatures throughout the year, Mauritius is always a popular destination, with each season offering its own unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Are you looking for epic deals on some of the best hotels and flights? Then winter might be the time for you. But if you are looking to go diving, then summer might be best - it’s all totally up to you.
How to get around
Thankfully, getting around the fairly small island is unbelievably easy. From motorbike, car and bicycle rentals (always keep in mind that they drive on the left side of the road in Mauritius and road conditions can be precarious) to buses, taxis, helicopters and more, the choice is yours!
Language, culture, religion
The multicultural landscape of Mauritius is one of the country’s most exceptional elements. Thanks to the fascinating history of the country, the Mauritian people are actually descendants from India, Europe, Africa and Asia, who observe a variety of religions that stem from Hinduism to Buddism. While there is no ‘official’ language in Mauritius, English, French and Mauritian Creole are widely spoken.
What to bring
Packing for your trip doesn’t need to be stressful! To help you with this process, here are some of the must-have items:
- Light clothing for during the day and light sweaters for the evenings
- A rain jacket
- Cameras and cables
- Insect repellant
- Flip flops
- Shoes for exploring wilder terrains