If your picture of Mauritius includes picturesque beaches, pristine waters and scenic lagoons, then you're right, but not totally. There's more to Mauritius than just the sea. Mauritius is actually home to a rich blend of culture, which has evolved over the years as people from different origins contributed to it. Port Louis, the island's capital, is a tourist attraction in itself. In fact, this is where you're most likely to have your first peek of the country’s cosmopolitan nature. Anglican and Catholic churches exist side by side Hindu temples and Muslim mosques. Port Louis is also a fusion of the old and the new. Historical buildings such as the Supreme Court and the Government House are situated here. On the other hand, trendy establishments like shops, restaurants, cinemas and a casino have risen on the new Caudan Waterfront, the city's main tourist attraction.
Another popular attraction in Port Louis is the Central Market, where both tourists and locals can haggle for souvenir items, luscious tropical fruits and spices of every kind imaginable. But perhaps the most color attraction in the city is the Chinatown, with its characteristic red gates and restaurants that diffuse a certain Oriental charm. Oriental goods as well as spices can also be found here.
A short bus ride from Port Louis can transport one from the urbanized capital to the Garden of Eden. Officially named Seewosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden but is quite well-known as "Pamplemousses" garden, this attraction houses a diverse collection of exotic flora, including the talipot palm, which flowers only once in sixty years just before it dies.
Still on the northern part of the island lies another attraction, the Balaclava Ruins. Just a few meters away from the Baie aux Tortues, the ruins of the old Balaclava estate are remnants of Mauritius' interesting history.
Going south from Port Louis, one will again be fascinated by the natural wonder offered by Domaine Les Pailles, a nature park at the bottom of a valley where numerous wild animals are able to roam the 3000-acres wide park in peace. Both natural and man-made components coexist harmoniously in this tourist attraction as restaurants, a swimming pool, mini-golf and a casino can also be enjoyed by visitors.
Eureka, found on the Central Plateau is a memento of Mauritius' colonial era. A Creole house built in 1830 it has been preserved in a splendid garden surrounded by the waterfalls of the Moka River.
The 6,754-hectare natural park, Black River Gorge, protects much of Mauritius' remaining wildlife. The scenery here is magnificent, and one will be able to come into contact with endemic plants and birdlife.
To the east of the island, there lies Flacq, the biggest and one of the most important villages in Mauritius.
This attraction boasts of a lively and colorful market – the largest open air market in the country.
The western part of the country also possesses its own share of attractions. Among these is the Casela Nature and Leisure Park, located near Flic en Flac, and is a 14-hectare park housing over 1500 birds. Different variety of pigeons, lovebirds and parrots, as well as other birds from around the world can be observed here.
On the southwest, the colored earth of Chamarel is another wonder that visitors shouldn't miss. This attraction is created over the years
by volcanic rocks that cooled at different temperatures. The
result? A wonderful attraction of earth that form different colors on the