Surrounded by moderate indigo waters, the Republic of Mauritius could rightly be called the melting pot of the southern Indian Ocean. Not only is this island nation an enchanting place to sail, it has a rich – and sometimes surprising – history.
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Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, where volcanic eruptions under the Indian Ocean created an archipelago millions of years ago. It is the home of the notable – but extinct – dodo bird, and the Champ de Mars racecourse in Port Louis. The archipelago is favored by sailors and divers because of its crystalline waters and opportunities for swimming, snorkeling and picnicking. Round Island and Ile aux Serpents further to the North are nature reserves under conservation management to protect native species of palms and reptiles.
Sailors will delight in the secluded coves and bright green lagoons of eastern Mauritius, and appreciate the slow pace of life. Captivating villages dot the landscape between the mountains and the sea. Remember: bartering is how business is done here!
An entirely different landscape unfolds in the South. Beaches give way to dramatically high cliffs. The protective coral reef disappears and the Indian Ocean rolls ceaselessly against the shoreline. Ebony forests and rare orchids creep in, and endangered birds and reptiles, and pink pigeons come out to play.
The West side of the island features a rum distillery – what sailor could resist a taste?
Passports are required however visas are not required: American, English, French, German, and Italian.
Currency: Mauritian Rupee
Credit Cards: Visa & MC accepted
ATMs: Widely available
Traveler Checks: Ok in US Dollars
Banking Hours: 9:15am – 3:15pm M.-Fri.
No vaccinations are mandatory however, cases of Dengue Fever and Chikungunya virus (especially Oct.-May) are found; use caution.
Food and Drink: Bottled water recommended.
The climate of Mauritius is tropical; ideal from May through October when humidity is lowest. The country has two seasons: a warm humid summer extending from November to April and a relatively cool dry winter from June to September.
The month of October and May are commonly known as the transition months. The temperature difference between the seasons is only 4.3 degrees Celsius.
The warmest months are January and February with average day maximum temperature reaching 29.2 degrees Celsius and the coolest months are July and August.
Winds from the Southeast (Southeast Trades). The breeze is stronger in the south side of the island,