Plan your visit

Getting around Mauritius

Mauritius is big enough for holiday adventures and small enough that everything is within easy reach. Nothing is ruled out by long travelling distances, so come and explore! There are multiple ways to get around Mauritius, from organised excursions to car rentals and public transport. Take a look at the options below and ask your hotel reception or concierge desk for the best local advice.

How big is Mauritius?

The east to the west coast spans approximately 45 km and takes around 1 hour 15 minutes to drive across. The north to the south of the island is approximately 61 km and takes around 1 hour 20 minutes to drive. The island covers 2030 sq km and is home to beaches, mountains, national parks, fishing villages and the capital city of Port Louis.


How to travel around Mauritius on your holiday

Organised excursions

There are plenty of local tourist operators who offer organised excursions across the island and boat trips to the islets surrounding Mauritius. These can often be booked through hotels and itineraries include both half-day and full-day tours. You can expect to travel in minibuses for group excursions, depending on the size of the group. For those wanting more flexibility without driving, it’s possible to arrange a private tour guide. An experienced local driver will pick you up and take you on a bespoke tour of the island at your own pace. Always book organised excursions and private tours with reputable companies with an official licence to ensure compliance with security standards and measures. The licences issued by the tourism authority include:

Tourist Accommodation Certificate
Tourist Enterprise Licence
Pleasure Craft Licence
Skipper’s Licence

Find out more about tourism licences.



Taxis are often used by local people in the evening when the bus service has stopped running for the day. You can find them outside hotels and shopping malls, but it’s a good idea to arrange them through the place you are staying, as they know the best companies to use.

Make sure you negotiate the fare before you start your journey. There isn’t Uber in Mauritius but similar apps like Yougo allow you to book a taxi and pay a fixed price for your trip.


Boat trips

To reach offshore islands, you can hire water taxis or arrange private and group boating excursions. Many boat tour operators include fishing, snorkelling and barbecue lunches as part of their trip itinerary with a range of budget options available. If you are travelling to Ile aux Cerfs, there is a regular boat shuttle. Find out more about getting to Ile aux Cerfs.

Speedboat and catamaran tours depart from all over Mauritius and some focus on particular areas, such as a snorkelling tour of Blue Bay Marine Park or snorkelling around  Coin de Mire island. Some hotels on the island have their own yacht or catamaran, exclusively for guests.

If you are taking a boat trip, ensure it has a registration number beginning with PC, which is assigned to those operating for commercial purposes. Follow the instructions of the skipper and staff and wear the lifejacket provided. Do not sit on the bow of motorboats and respect the rules when it comes to dolphins and whale watching.

Always book organised excursions and private tours with reputable companies with an official licence to ensure compliance with security standards and measures. The licences issued by the tourism authority include:

Pleasure Craft Licence
Skipper’s Licence

Find out more about tourism licences


Immerse yourself in Mauritian life by getting around the island by bus. Unlike the metro, bus networks cross the whole island. They are inexpensive and you have a chance to interact with friendly local people. There are two types of buses in Mauritius, standard and express. If you can, always aim for an express bus, as they are much faster and have air-conditioning onboard.

In town, buses operate from 5.30am to 8pm and 6.30am to 6.30pm in rural areas. There’s also a late service between Port Louis and Curepipe, which runs until 11pm. You can expect buses to turn up every 15 minutes or so, although express buses are less frequent. Before going out, check the bus timetable with your host or hotel reception just to be safe.



The Metro Express in Mauritius is a light rail public transport system, which currently runs from Port Louis to Curepipe. To ride the Metro Express, you will need an MECard, a prepaid smart card which can be topped up. There are five types of MECards: Adult, Child, Student, Senior, and Priority. All tickets and MECards can be bought at the electronic ticket machines in the stations. You can find out more on the MECard website.


Car rentals

If you want to explore Mauritius at your own pace, you can hire a car. It gives you the most freedom and flexibility, as you’re not bound by timetables. Hiring a car in Mauritius is easy and affordable. Some car rental companies offer delivery to your hotel or you can find well-known international car rental companies at the airport. Remember to bring a valid driver’s license and a map or GPS with you if you plan to drive in Mauritius. Keep in mind that driving is on the left-hand side and those coming from the right are given priority.


Bikes and e-bikes

Bikes and e-bikes are the most eco-friendly forms of transport on wheels and they can reach places a car cannot. Many hotels across the island offer bicycle rentals or they can point you in the direction of local companies with affordable rates.

If you would prefer not to travel alone, some companies on the island run mountain biking tours across Mauritius. Make sure you get the right bike for you. A push bike is best for exploring casual routes close to where you’re staying, while an e-bike is ideal for touring the island as it gives you more stamina on challenging roads.


Limousine and helicopter

Travelling by limousine or helicopter is ideal for special holidays and honeymoons. You can hire either for airport transfers, sightseeing and events. Full-day chauffeurs and VIP luxury airport transfers are also available.

Air Mauritius and Corail Helicopteres offer private helicopter transfers, provided that your hotel or resort has a helipad. They also run sightseeing trips, which give you an exclusive view of Mauritius from above. Tours last from 15 minutes to an hour and itineraries can be fully tailored to you. Popular themed excursions include a heli-lunch, which combines an aerial tour with lunch at a restaurant; or heli-golf, a golf course hopping tour by air.


Traditional pirogue

If you have the chance, a traditional pirogue is a fun way to see Mauritius and its surrounding islands by sailboat. Fishermen originally used these Mauritian boats and, while they are still popular for fishing, they are also used for marine outings and races. If you want to sail in a pirogue, there are local companies running sailing tours in Mahebourg. Some hotels also offer experiences where you can go out with the fishermen at dawn on these traditional pirogues.


Walking and hiking

Why not slow down and explore the area on foot? Mauritius is a hiker’s paradise thanks to its diverse natural landscapes. Tropical forests lead to hidden waterfalls, mountain peaks reveal panoramic views and vast plains are peppered by ancient lava boulders.

There are hiking trails for all fitness levels, from challenging treks to easy strolls. Ask your hotel or host about the best walking trails near where you’re staying or try some well-marked trails including Le Morne Brabant and Black River Gorges National Park. Sunscreen and appropriate walking shoes are essential. Bring plenty of water with you and always let someone know where you’re going. A local, certified guide is always recommended.

If you’re staying in Port Louis, the city centre is very walkable, too. Le Caudan Waterfront, Central Market, Aapravasi Ghat and Chinatown are all within walking distance from each other.