Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation, is known for its beaches, lagoons and reefs. The mountainous interior includes Black River Gorges National Park, with rainforests, waterfalls, hiking trails and wildlife like the flying fox. Capital Port Louis has sites such as the Champs de Mars horse track, Eureka plantation house and 18th-century Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens. Mark Twain once wrote that ‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius’. For the most part, it’s true:
Mauritius is rightly famed for its sapphire waters, powder-white beaches and luxury resorts. But there’s so much more attraction to Mauritius than the beach, and it's the kind of place that rewards even the smallest attempts at exploration. There’s hiking in the forested and mountainous interior and world-class diving and snorkelling offshore. There are boat trips to near-perfect islets and excursions to botanical gardens and colonial plantation houses. Mauritius is a fabulous culinary destination with great wildlife watching thrown in. And the real Mauritius away from the beach resorts – a hot curry of different cultures and quiet fishing villages – is never far away.