Mauritius is known for its sun-filled days, pristine shoreline and exquisite resorts. Yet, as Carrier’s Amanda Bailey found out on her recent visit, there is so much more to explore on the island outside of the resorts themselves. Here she picks out her top four experiences, all found on the doorstep of The St. Regis Mauritius Resort.
Nestled in a fertile valley influenced by its own micro-climate 300 meters above the coast of South West Mauritius lies the Rhumerie de Chamarel – a rum distillery surrounded by vast sugarcane plantations. Here, an experienced guide gave us a thorough tour of the distillation process, revealing how the sugar cane is cut down, selected and then fermented to produce the highest quality rum. At the end of the tour we were presented with the rum tasting table, where the opportunity to try the large selection of agricultural rums was too enticing to pass up; aged rums included VSOP, XO and single barrel, premium rums included spiced vanilla and exotic spiced rum, while coffee, mandarin, vanilla and coconut rum liquors were offered in cocktails at the end. My advice - time your trip to coincide with a visit to L’Alchimiste – their restaurant which only opens for lunch, or allow Carrier’s Concierge service to arrange private usage of the restaurant for an exclusive dinner.
Stay in Chamarel and you’ll also find Mauritius’s greatest natural attraction, the Seven Coloured Earth. Famous for being a geological anomaly, the small site of multi-coloured sand dunes continues to awe and inspire visitors’ year on year. If you’re keen to make the viewing of the coloured earth even more memorable, try visiting at sunrise. From the upper deck viewpoint located here at the Chamarel Seven Colored Earth reserve, you can also see the magnificent Cascade Chamarel – a waterfall with an (approximate) 83m single drop – the exact depth is highly contested!
This was, without a doubt, one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable experiences of my trip. Unique to Mauritius, Sea Karting is a water sport experience that looks - and feels - like a combination of riding a jet ski, speed boat and bumper car all at the same time. With only a throttle to get you going, and a complete inability to flip over, you are free to explore the coast of Mauritius under the supervision of a security boat nearby. Each Sea Kart can accommodate two adults and one child, making it the perfect adrenaline-fueled adventure for families and couples alike. When we eventually paused to admire the views all around us, it was blissful.
Although leaving the dock at 7.30am meant having to endure a very early alarm, it was completely worth it to be the first boat in the bay. I have never seen such large quantities of dolphin pods all in one space. The best part of the trip, without a doubt, was having the unique opportunity to swim with the dolphins in their natural environment; encountering them in the open sea, knowing that they were there of their own free will, was incredible. After having plenty of time to swim alongside them, we returned to the boat for a champagne breakfast, which felt like the ideal celebration after such an exhilarating experience.