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Mauritius - Activities

Mauritius Activities

Risotto, a cross-cultural mix

Many hotels provide windsurfing and kayaking equipment for their guests, and for those who prefer less strenuous communing, there's usually a glass-bottom boat to be found. For Jules Verne fans, lead-booted, bubble-headed 'undersea walks' can be arranged near Grand Baie reef, as can a ride on La Nessee, a semi-submersible boat - sort of like a submarine - that allows a close-up tour of the reefs without the nuisance of getting wet.

Surfing was big on the island in the 1970s, until the rising costs of airfare and accommodation drove surfers to seek bluer pastures. Now, with vacation costs back to bearable, the crowds are picking up again. The area around Tamarin is said to be the best spot to drop in, and the season lasts from around June to August. Diving around the island is not especially interesting, save for off the outer isle of Cargados Carajos, but there are no dive operators there. On Mauritius, the best dive sites are around Flic en Flac on the west coast. Snorkelling is a better proposition, with over-the-side boat trips running from most major hotels and from Grand Baie beach. The best swimming beaches are all at the northern end of the island.

Serious anglers will love the superb deep-sea fishing in the waters off Mauritius, where there are healthy populations of blue and black marlin, bonita and yellowfin tuna, several species of shark and spectacular sailfish to hook into. Overall, October through April is the best time to sink a line, though there are fish to be caught year round and the wahoo don't start biting until September.

Though Mauritius is promoted primarily as a 'beach' destination, the attractions of hiking and trekking through the interior are legion. For lowland walking, take into account the heat and humidity. For highland treks, come prepared for rain at any time of year, especially from October to March. The Réserve Forrestière Macchabée and Black River Gorges National Park provide the bulk of the wild walks on the island, though there are some fantastic short-but-strenuous hikes in the hills around Moka Town. Curepipe, atop the plateau, is the best place for trekkers to stock up before a trip. Caving aficionados will want to visit Caverne Patate on Rodrigue

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