Mauritius is welcoming international travellers from July 15 provided they are fully vaccinated.
There is good news for all of us travel junkies who have been itching to step out post the country’s lockdown. Mauritius is welcoming international travellers from July 15th. The island is opening up in phases and in phase one from July 15th to September 30th, fully-vaccinated travellers (18 years and above) can enjoy a resort holiday on the island if they stay for less than two weeks. Those who are there for more than two weeks can then explore the island, post a negative RTPCR test at the resort.
From October 1 onwards, travellers will be allowed without any restrictions, provided they are fully vaccinated and present a negative RTPCR test taken within 72 hours before departure.
Unvaccinated travellers will be subject to 14 days in-room quarantine for both Phases 1 and 2 until further notice.
Though currently Air Mauritius is not flying into India, Indians can travel to Mauritius via Dubai. Air Mauritius flights are likely to be reinstated in the next 2-3 months.
For Indian travellers, Mauritius offers a free visa on arrival for a stay of up to 60 days. It also offers a long-term visa for visitors to work remotely from Mauritius and get that work-life balance just right. The Premium Visa allows you to stay on the island for up to a year, with the chance to renew. It is open to tourists, retirees or professionals who can work remotely from the island.
So, if you are looking at packing your bags and travelling to Mauritius, here’s our list of things to do:
The 7-Coloured Earth in Chamarel
With its 600 million years of history, Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth is one spectacular Geo Park destination! One of Mauritius’ most iconic attractions, the 8.5-hectare park is the destination to visit in Mauritius for an immersive experience blending geology, education and conservation. A relatively small area of sand dunes surrounded by dense vegetation on all sides comprises sand of seven distinct colours — red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. What’s more, if you were to take a handful of sand from each of the colours and mix it together, the sand would eventually separate into a colourful spectrum, with each dot of sand rejoining its respective colour group. At the geo-park you will also find a children’s playground and some giant tortoises.
Around three kilometres away from the geo-park is the Chamarel waterfall — the tallest single-drop waterfall in Mauritius at about 100m high, another must-visit spot.
L’Aventure du Sucre
The former sugar factory converted into a museum features a beautiful pedagogical tour on the history of cane sugar in Mauritius. It not only tells the history of sugar in great detail but also covers the history of rum trade and slavery in Mauritius. The museum has videos and interactive displays as well as quizzes for children. The adjacent shop will enchant you with all its sweet treats and other souvenirs to bring back in your luggage. Stop for a rum tasting, followed by a gourmet break at the museum’s restaurant before continuing your tour.
The Tea Route
The tea route in the southern part of the island will immerse you in the history of this delicious beverage through several sites. You will visit the tea plantations, the factory, and museums. It will take you back in time to the first days of Mauritius, with its rich colonial history offering you an insight on the importance of tea production in Mauritius. Tastings are also on the menu, and you can bring home various flavours of teas and unexpected by-products such as tea chutney!
Aapravasi Ghat is right in the centre of Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. It is the immigration depot that saw the landing of the first Indian indentured labourers in the 19th century, and forms parts of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list. Aapravasi Ghat represents the beginning of “the Great Experiment” by the British government after the abolition of slavery. Mauritius was the first colony to receive indentured labourers under this scheme. Most of the immigrants came from India, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and Eastern Africa. Entrance to the site is free, as is the guided tour.
Le Morne Mountain
Le Morne Cultural Landscape is a rugged mountain that juts into the Indian Ocean in the southwest of Mauritius and was used as a shelter by runaway slaves, maroons, through the 18th and early years of the 19th centuries. Protected by the mountain’s isolated, wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne. It is today on the UNESCO World Heritage list for its historical value from the time of slavery. A memorial site displaying art pieces has been set up at the foot of the mountain and is open to the public.