- Tour Plan
- Day 1
- Day 3
- Day 5
- Day 7
Catamarans & Yacht Cruises
A catamaran day trip is one of the most popular activities in Mauritius and the excursions on offer get better with each passing year. Hundreds of tourists each day board boats to cruise around the azure lagoon and wavy seas or stop at offshore islets and shallow reefs. Many such excursions include barbecue lunches and/or time for snorkelling.
The most romantic option is the sunset cruise offered by most operators. If you're looking for something a bit more traditional, you'll find myriad fishers in Mahébourg and the surrounding beaches who have transformed their vessels into mini leisure crafts. Most operators include small buffet lunches, alcohol and snorkelling. Make sure to shop around before choosing your cruise – some catamarans are not licensed to land on any islands. Most cruises can be booked through tour agents and hotels.
The fisheries around Mauritius support large maritime predators such as marlin, wahoo and tuna, luring big-game anglers from around the world. Annual fishing competitions are held in Black River in November and February.
Game fishing has far less environmental impact than commercial fishing, but fish weights and the number of fish caught have shown a marked decline since game fishing's heyday in the 1970s. It's now rare to catch anything over 400kg. Practising 'tag and release' is an option for those who want the thrill without depriving the ocean of these magnificent creatures.
So, you want variety? Abundant marine life, dramatic seascapes, atmospheric wrecks – Mauritius has it all, not to mention well-established, high-quality dive operators. Mauritius is almost entirely surrounded by a barrier reef, within which turquoise lagoons provide great possibilities for snorkellers, swimmers and novice divers. And then there's the pièce de résistance: Rodrigues, which has virgin sites and outstanding fish life.
For those interested in more than the usual beach activities, Mauritius offers some attractive hikes, with the best selection in the west and the Central Plateau. As a general rule, when hiking you should pay attention to 'Entrée Interdit' (Entry Prohibited) signs – they may mean you're entering a hunting reserve. 'Chemin Privée' (Private Rd) signs are generally there for the benefit of motorists; most landowners won't object to the odd pedestrian. It's best to ask if you're unsure about where you should and shouldn't walk.