Mauritius is a relatively small volcanic island located in the Indian Ocean that has garnered itself a great reputation for being one of the best holiday destinations around. It is a place of practically endless soft and sandy beaches with wonderfully waters in various nuances of blue and incredible wildlife. When you throw in a rather curious and interesting mix of cultures, you have yourself a tropical paradise like those you read or dream about.
You may not think of this looking at the place now but the island has only been inhabited since the end of the16th century when it was settled by the Dutch. Unfortunately this change in its political status lead to widespread environmental destruction since the Dutch cut down large areas of forest in order to plant sugarcane. Fast forward a couple of hundred years, some changes of ownership and add in some African and Indian peoples to the mix and you now have modern day Mauritius.
Modern Mauritius still features the huge sugarcane plantations which caused the initial problems but now the island’s ecosystem has reached a different balance, one which implies a rather large number of birds – such as the rare pink pigeons or the echo parakeet – and over a third of its nine hundred plant species being endemic such as the giant banyans and the red-flowering flamboyants.
Once you reach the island get ready to experience a wide variety of activities, sights and sounds. Besides the aforementioned sun, sea and sand that the island offers it also features a great mountain range so whether you’re interested in deep sea fishing, sun bathing or mountain biking the place has it for you, has that and more.
Do you happen to fancy horse racing? Not a problem in Mauritius, the local horse racing club has been founded in 1812 and horse racing is the most popular sport on the island. Experiencing the eclectic horse races in Mauritius is something that should be done at least once by all visitors to the island not only those who are into the races.
Despite the adverse effect that colonization has had on the above water ecosystem the island’s marine life has made it relatively unscathed and it has many things to offer such as dolphins, turtles, corals, sharks and several species of whale.
Mauritius is a wonderful place to visit, as long as you are ok with glorious beaches and the heat of the tropical sun will have no problems finding something to do while you’re there.