Mauritius is famous for stunning beaches, warm perfect water and some of the best resorts anywhere in the world. And while this island paradise is the perfect place to spend your days lounging by the pool, soaking up the sun and drinking piña coladas by the dozen on the beach, there’s lots to keep you busy outside of your resort too. In fact, I highly recommend getting out and about to see what there is to do in Mauritius outside of your resort!
For travellers who like to balance the luxurious resort life with some sightseeing, adventure activities and cultural exploration, there’s more than enough to keep you busy until you find yourself longing for those lazy hours by the pool. I’ve stayed with Attitude Hotels twice now and one of my favourite things about the way they do things is their commitment to showing guests the authentic Mauritius – the people, the back streets and the cultures that make it so much more than just a resort island. Here are 5 things to do outside of your resort in Mauritius.
1 Street Food and Walking Tour of Port Louis
Attitude Hotels have created a really helpful mobile app (look for OTENTIK Discovery on iTunes and the Google Play store) that introduces you to the markets, street food and culture of the capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis. It takes you off the beaten tourist track down the side streets and into the heart of the city. The Port Louis tour guides you to some of the island’s most authentic and delicious street foods, like traditional Mauritian Alouda (a cold drink made from milk, sweetened condensed milk, basil seeds, rose or strawberry syrup and agar agar), the most delicious dhal rotis, steaming Chinese dumplings and lots more! The self-guided walking tour takes 2 hours to complete using the app on your phone and includes 28 stops in the colourful capital. There are a few other tours on the app too, which you can do on foot, by car, or by ATV.
2 A Day at the Races at Champ de Mars
Grab your hat and place your bets – there’s nothing like a day at the races in Mauritius! Horse racing has been a big part of Mauritian culture since the late 1800’s and during the racing season (March to December) the energy is incredible as thousands of locals flock to the Champ de Mars racecourse to cheer on their favourites. Attitude Hotels have their own private box at the course, and offer a full day out, including chauffeur service, cold towels upon arrival, delicious snacks, drinks and the chance to place your own bets as an activity for guests. While you may be the kind of person who wants to save money when gambling, it is worth spending on events like this. It’s a really fun day out!
3 Dine with Locals in Their Home
I don’t think there’s a better way to learn about the history, lifestyle and culture of a new destination than by cooking and eating with the people who live there. Attitude Hotel offers the completely unique experience to meet and dine with locals in their home, where you’ll get the chance to learn how to cook something traditional (and delicious) and find out more about life on the island. It’s one of my favourite experiences from my time in Mauritius and I would highly recommend this very special evening! There’s always more than enough food, laughter and of course rum to go around, so by the time you’re encouraged to learn the traditional Sega dance, you’re not too shy to try!
4 Learn to Scuba Dive in Perfect Water
If you’ve never scuba dived before, you couldn’t pick a more perfect place for your first experience. The warm, clear waters and calm seas make for the ideal environment to take your first discovery dive under the surface. I was so nervous to dive down to 12m with no scuba diving experience, but the team at Dodo Divers (located right next door to Zilwa Attitude Hotel) did an amazing job of making me feel educated, prepared and comfortable on my first experience. The discovery dive starts with a pool session, where you learn how to use your gear, what everything is, and how to breathe through your equipment. Then you’re off to explore unda da sea at Coin de Mire Island, where your expert dive master is with you at all times. It opened up a whole new world for me and I absolutely loved my dive. In fact, I loved it so much, I’m already planning on going back to the island for my PADI Open Water certification.
5 Spend the day Island Hopping
Mauritius is surrounded by smaller islands, where you can swim, suntan and enjoy a bbq lunch with your feet in the sand. At Grand Zil island (just off Zilwa Attitude), you can grab a sun lounger or hang out in a hammock, cold beer in hand, on a Robinson Crusoe-style deserted island. At Ile aux Cerfs, you can sign up for a few different watersports activities or just hang out between the water and one of the island’s restaurants. Water babies can choose to take a catamaran to Gabriel Island, where the water is postcard-perfect, or spend the day swimming, diving, bbq’ing and living the island life.
Otentik Mauritius with Attitude Hotels
I discovered all these activities through staying with Attitude Hotels. Guests have the option to book any of a huge variety of Otentik Attitude experiences, which have been hand-curated by their team of local experts. If, like me, you’re the kind of traveller who likes to get under the skin of a destination, meet local people, taste local food and understand what makes a place special, you’ll love the Attitude experience.
*My recent trip to Mauritius was hosted by Attitude Hotels, as part of a group of travel bloggers from around the world. As always, my opinions are entirely my own.