Take a street food tour
Mauritius loves its food. There’s an incredible mix of cultures here – Creole, French, Chinese, Indian – and that gives the island a real culinary buzz. To get a taste of all these diverse flavours, book a street food tour in the quirky capital of Port Louis and discover where the locals eat. Snack on gateaux piments (deep-fried chilli poppers) and wash them down with a refreshing cup of alouda (milkshake). For lunch, try roti (flatbread) topped with butter bean curry, and later finish it off with a chilli-salted pineapple for dessert. As you wander from the market to the street-side vendors, peer up from your tempting bowl of boulettes (dumplings) and gaze at the beautiful old buildings that give this city its historic charm.
Swim in Chamarel Waterfall
You might be surprised to learn that there’s more to honeymoons in Mauritius than simply beaches. A must-see on the island is the enchanting Chamarel Waterfall, framed by ancient volcanic rock. Not a hiker? Not a problem. You can get an amazing view of the twin waterfalls crashing over the cliff by car. Just take the access road to the Seven Coloured Earth Geopark. If you’re up for the challenge of a three-hour trek to the bottom, reward yourself with a dip in the natural pool when you get there. Feeling the cool spray of this mighty waterfall on your skin makes the walk well worth it. Visit between December and April to see the fall at its best.
Snorkel in Blue Bay Marine Park
This little bay became a national marine park in 1997 and is famed for its magnificent coral garden. It’s one of the best snorkelling spots on the island, and easily reached by bus or taxi from Mahébourg. Snorkel from the shore or head out on a glass-bottom boat tour for the chance to see stunning species of coral and marine life such as parrotfish, clownfish and, if you’re lucky, sea turtles.
Walk through Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens
Step into an oasis of calm at Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. This romantic natural wonderland is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere, founded almost 300 years ago by a French botanist. Walk through the regal wrought iron gates and you’ll discover giant water lilies balancing on tranquil ponds, 85 different varieties of palms, fascinating indigenous plants, and a spice garden full of fragrant cinnamon and clove trees. Keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife, too, like giant tortoises and Java deer.
Fly in a helicopter to see an ‘underwater waterfall’
Mauritius’s ‘underwater waterfall’ is one of the world’s coolest optical illusions. The island sits on what’s known as a submarine plateau or ocean shelf, so it might look like these cascading waters are plunging deep into an Indian Ocean gorge, but it’s all just a trick of the eye. What’s actually happening is the sand from the island’s beaches is being nudged off the edge by the current. It’s a real spectacle, and honeymoons in Mauritius are all about once-in-a-lifetime experiences, so soar over it in a helicopter for the most dramatic views.
Go island hopping
Every one of Mauritius’s offshore islands has its own distinct character. If you’re after lazy days on glistening white sands, go for Ilot Gabriel off the north coast. It’s paradise. Nature buff? Hop over to the small islet of Île aux Aigrettes off the southeast coast, where you can take a tour of its rare plants and seek out wildlife such as Mauritius’s pink pigeon. If golf is your thing, Île aux Cerfs off the east coast has a 19-hole course designed by Masters legend, Bernhard Langer. You can challenge each other to a round or two, then kick back on one of the island’s world-class beaches.