Very often backpackers and world-travelers go on spontaneous trips without doing much research about the destination they are about to explore. And yes, I have done that quite a few times and absolutely love it, a real adventure! Sometimes not everything will go as planned (be ready for that!), that's why it's better to have a plan B or no plans at all, just go with the flow!
Here are the top 3 recommendations specially designed for backpackers and spontaneous travelers visiting Mauritius.
1. Rent a car
Believe it or not, renting a car in Mauritius is going for an absolute freedom vacation! A lot of tourists might be thinking... Driving on the left side of the road can be tricky, bla bla bla... but it takes only a couple of hours to get used to it and you will see it is as easy as driving on the right - practice makes it easier than you would ever imagine!
Renting a car is surely the best way to explore Mauritius as it is a small island and you are not going to spend more than 2 hours driving from one destination to another. Try avoiding the rush-hours (7 AM - 9:30 AM, 4 PM - 6:30 PM) though!
Renting a car gives you the freedom and flexibility to move around without worrying of always looking for transportation. Booking a taxi every time you feel like going out can be super expensive, and public transportation (which is cheaper than any other method of transportation) cannot be always reliable - especially if you are living in a remote area - it may take ages to get onto a bus, and there are quite a few regions where buses are not available at all - for example: Grand Bassin, Black River Gorges, and private areas like the "morcellements''). Unlike other countries, Uber is not available in Mauritius.
If you are staying in a resort or hotel, the best option to move around is to rent a car and you can go out whenever you want... Most of the resorts and hotels have a private parking area so no need to buy parking tickets. One very important thing is to always make sure that your fuel tank is almost full and drive with peace of mind.
2. Change accommodation
As a local I can feel that each part of the island is unique and has a different vibe. Depending on the length of your vacation in Mauritius it is advisable to spend a couple of days in one region then move to another one - for example: 2 days in the west, 1 day in the north, 3 days in the south, etc. Another option would be getting an accommodation in the centre and it will be more convenient to move to any region around Mauritius without driving for more than 1 hour. However the centre part of Mauritius is not very common for tourists and can be more considered as a "local" community. If you want to experience the "Mauritian life" then you might opt to stay in the centre. I would recommend staying in the centre (Plaine Wilhems district) if you are more like a "backpacker" or an "explorer" who is always on the move. 3. Try an authentic Mauritian experience
Mauritius, such a small island full of history and culture. I have been asked countless times about the best things to do, the best food to try in Mauritius... and obviously, as a local mountain guide it is always a pleasure to share and would always recommend places far away from the cities and crowded areas to visit. I have made a small and personal list of the top 10 places not to miss during your vacation in Mauritius. To get those top 10 places revealed get in touch with me! I have also gathered some local experiences that you may try in Mauritius. Some of them are:
Go on a guided mountain hike
By gaining elevation you will have different perspectives and be able to see different regions of Mauritius. At the top of Le Pouce, being the 3rd highest, and one of the easiest mountain hikes in Mauritius, you will have a panoramic view of the whole island.
Try Mauritian cuisine
The Mauritian cuisine consists of a beautiful mix of flavors, textures, colors, and cultures. Some of them are: Roti, Boulettes soup, Dholl Puri, Gateau Piment (chilly bites), Briyani, Alouda, and so on.
A road-trip with a local hits different! I have had this experience before when I was in South Africa - surely stories I would love to share with you and it was definitely a day to remember! Back in Mauritius, I was ready to design an authentic trip including food and culture, and that's the reason why I have introduced The Road-Trip.
Experience a "sega night"
A "sega" or "creole" night is super popular in some of the resorts in Mauritius. You may as well go to some of the popular beaches like Flic-en-Flac for example and specially during weekends, you might come across small groups of Mauritians like a family get-together or friends enjoying a vibrant sega night amongst themselves.
Travel by bus
Another authentic experience would be to travel by bus. If you have some free-time, a short-distance trip by bus would be nice to see around.
Stay in a BnB
Again recommended for "explorers" and "backpackers", staying in a BnB will save you money and give you more freedom to prepare your own meals... It is just like staying in your own house or apartment. It will be useless staying in a resort if you spend most of your time exploring the island. Otherwise if you wish to experience our outstanding Mauritian hospitality then it would be better to stay in a resort.
Watch sunset by the beach
There is no better ending to a beautiful day by the beach with your friends or loved ones just by watching and contemplating a soothing Mauritian sunset.
Those are the best recommendations for any backpacker looking forward to exploring Mauritius. Obviously more ideas will pop-out and will keep updating this blog. Stay updated by following @horazis on Instagram and if you feel this is helpful to you or might be helpful to other travelers feel free to share! Till then... keep traveling and keep exploring!