While Mauritius may draw visitors with talcum-white, gently sloping beaches, this full-day guided tour takes you inland to some of the island’s other natural highlights. You’ll explore with a private driver-guide, stopping to see key features including the Chamarel Waterfall and Seven Coloured Earth. There’s also the chance to learn more about the island’s sugarcane, rum and tea production.
After being collected from your hotel, you’ll start with a visit to Chamarel, a sleepy village set within the thick forest of Black River Gorges National Park. The village is surrounded by agricultural land used to grow sugar cane and fruits, with the Black River mountain range looming on the horizon.
You’ll stop near the village for views of Chamarel Waterfall, a streak of water that falls 100 m (330 ft) from an overhanging cliff into a forest-shrouded pool below. Downstream is the Seven Coloured Earth, a football-pitch-sized plain streaked with volcanic rocks that cooled at different temperatures, creating striking, striped dunes surrounded by greenery.
There’s a wooden platform where you can stand to admire the formation before driving onward to Chamarel Rum Distillery. Surrounded by bright green sugarcane fields, it’s one of the few distilleries to cultivate its own sugarcane (which has to be harvested manually thanks to the region’s steep slopes).
At the distillery you’ll learn more about the distillation process and see some of the machinery involved. Then there’s the chance to taste some of the varieties from oak-aged white to golden spiced vanilla rum. They also make a series of premium liquors from local ingredients including coffee, coconut and mandarin.
From here you’ll drive through Black Gorges National Park. With steep, forest-covered ravines and more than 300 species of flowering plant, it’s one of Mauritius’ most dramatic landscapes. The destination is Bois Cheri, the island’s oldest tea plantation. Here you can visit the tea factory (although tea production isn’t daily) and museum, with time to wander through the neat rows of tea bushes if you wish.
Your final stop of the day is Le Domaine des Aubineaux, a 19th-century French-colonial home. It’s now a museum of the history of Mauritian tea, and also has a rare collection of photographs preserving the memory of colonial buildings across the island. After exploring the house and grounds, your tour will vanish with a chance to sample some brews before being driven back to your hotel.