7 Things To Do In Mauritius On A Budget – Our Top Picks

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Mauritius is a spectacular little island nation lying off the eastern coast of Africa, beyond Madagascar. Lush green natural surroundings, ocean water in myriad shades of blue melting into the azure sky at the horizon, and the powdery white stretches of sandy beaches – for an ocean-lover, Mauritius is the creme de la creme of beach destinations.

But if you have forever dismissed Mauritius as a luxury travelers’ paradise, you’re missing out on all that this island has to offer. In this article, I’m going to let you in on all the things to do in Mauritius even if you have a restricted budget.

Things to do in Mauritius
Glittering emerald water – Mauritius is a slice of heaven!
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For as far as I can recall, Mauritius has been labeled as a destination for those seeking its signature luxury resort life. It typically does not appear in the bucket list of people like us who keep a tab on their budgets after every spend. But that’s not entirely true! There’s a lot you can do in Mauritius without burning a crater in your wallet. This list should act as a good starting point if you have never given a thought about what to do in Mauritius. Who knows, this may even inspire you to finally plan a trip to one of the most exotic islands in the world!

1Camp on the beach

Mont Choisy beach – perfect for camping

Did you know that camping on beaches in FREE and LEGAL on all public beaches in Mauritius (with the exception of Pereybere)? Most beaches are equipped with toilets and some have shower facilities too. However, they are only open from 7 am until 7 pm. So if you can work around that, and happen to have a tent on you, accommodation is literally free of cost! But even if you have your accommodation sorted elsewhere, I would still suggest you spend a day/night camping on one of Mauritius’s stunning beaches. This truly is one of the most fun things to do in Mauritius without putting a strain on your wallet. Having said that, if you do plan to camp, keep an eye on your personal belongings and beware of petty thefts.

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2Eat and drink like a local

A typical Mauritian meal complete with rice, curry and pickles

Whether you’re on a tight budget or not, eating and drinking the local way not only saves a ton of money but also gives you an insight into the local culture. In Mauritius, you will find an abundance of reasonably priced Indian, Chinese and French food, which also reflects the local population mix.

Local restaurants and small roadside shops serve a variety of delicious food items ranging from Chinese fried noodles to Indian-style curries. Seafood is also found in plenty and can be eaten grilled, fried or even curried. A plate of food at a local inexpensive restaurant will cost you around USD 4-5. Mauritius also has an abundance of fresh fruits. Visit a local market and stock up on fresh fruits to take care of sudden hunger pangs. This keeps both your health and budget in check.

Things to do in Mauritius
A cozy little restaurant by the beach, perfect for a laid back lunch

Another cost center for many of us is the drinks. What is beach-life without a few drinks, right? But we have something for budget travellers to rejoice! Think local and drink up fresh coconut water which is easily available on the beaches or even on the roadside. But for those of you who cannot think of a beach holiday without a few pints of beer, Mauritius’s locally brewed Phoenix beer will come to your rescue. Buy them from local supermarkets instead of fancy pubs to get them at a cheaper rate. Balmy afternoons on the beach, with a beer for company, are probably the best kind of afternoons!

3Hike up Le Morne

Le Morne mountain

Le Morne is a UNESCO world heritage site located at the southwestern tip of the island. This beautiful site also has a bit of history to it. Le Morne is the mountain where many Mauritian slaves had taken refuge to escape slavery in the 19th century. After slavery was banned on the island, the British troops who took over from the French, approached the mountain to break the news to them. But as fate would have it, thinking that the troops were coming to capture them, the slaves jumped off the cliff to end their life of slavery.

But since the past few years, the Mauritian government has opened up this site for hiking. Le Morne offers some of the most gorgeous views of the entire island once you climb up the 3.6 Km trail. On your way up, you’ll also come across several wild species of plants and animals. It takes about 4-5 hours both ways and might get a little difficult towards the end, but don’t let that discourage you. The views at the end are worth all the sweat. As a bonus, the hike up Le Morne can be done absolutely free of cost if you don’t hire a guide! 

4Put your feet up & relax by the beach

Picturesque beaches are a trademark of Mauritius!

I don’t think this needs to be said, but when in Mauritius, it is mandatory to spend a day or two by its pristine beaches! You can either snorkel and swim in the water or choose to enjoy a laid back afternoon while sipping fresh coconut water. Though hard to rank and even choose, these are some of my most favourite beaches: Trou aux Biches, Pereybere, and Mont Choisy. The water here is still and calm and is perfect for a dip. The beaches too are well maintained and are among those places where you wouldn’t mind losing track of time. Needless to say, being a beach-bum costs nothing and is one of my most favourite things to do in Mauritius!

5Dig into history at Le Caudan Waterfront

Sunset at the Le Caudan waterfront

Located in the capital town of Port Louis, Le Caudan Waterfront is technically Mauritius’s first shopping mall. It has a lovely Crafts Market that sells local jewellery, handicrafts and clothes. But hold on before you before you disregard it as just another swanky mall! The Le Caudan compound not only has a shopping arcade, but various parts of it are reminiscent of Mauritius’s history. For example, what is now the food court, originally used to be the first meteorological observatory of the Indian Ocean. The picturesque water-front originally started out as a harbour for incoming and outgoing ships carrying bags of sugar, one of the biggest exports of Mauritius. It is easy to spend an afternoon here strolling the cobbled walkways and picking up local goodies. Or you could just watch the glorious sunset and let it enamour you. It is here that city life slows down a bit and mingles with stories from the past – a welcome change from the beach shenanigans, if you ask me!

6 Sail away to Ile Aux Cerfs on a Catamaran

The beautiful lagoon at Ile aux Cerfs

This is probably the most expensive activity on this list but there are still ways to minimize your expenses if you plan well. The Ile Aux Cerfs is one of Mauritius’s most beautiful islands located on its east coast. Soft, sandy white beaches and a beautiful lagoon makes this one of the most coveted tourist attractions of Mauritius. This is truly the stuff of dreams! You can easily spend a few hours walking around the island or swimming in the emerald waters. 

However, the only way to get here is by a speedboat or a Catamaran from the mainland. Personally, I would recommend you go for a Catamaran if your budget permits.The slower pace gives you a much better experience of sailing on the Indian Ocean. The water looks absolutely breathtaking and is a delight to snorkel in. Alternately, you can also grab a beer and let the ocean breeze blow in your face while you soak in the vastness of your surroundings. While you’re at it, don’t miss the rocky hills in the background contrasting the soft waves of the sea!

Things to do in Mauritius
Ride for the day!

 

Things to do in Mauritius
A view to kill for!

Once you land in Mauritius, you will see no dearth of tour companies offering various packages to visit the Ile Aux Cerfs, sometimes coupled with other activities. Make sure to check at a few places to compare services vs price, before zeroing in on a tour operator. No matter how much you end up spending on this trip, the arresting views on the way and on the island itself, make it worth every penny!

7Drive around and explore the island

Who wouldn’t fall in love with a drive like this?

You’re on one of the most beautiful islands on earth, so you are probably going to stay close to the coast, right? But if you do want to explore the other parts of Mauritius, the most convenient way to commute will be to either rent a bike or a car for the duration of your stay. This gives you the much-needed flexibility to move around at your own pace and reach places which may not be connected via public transport. And the icing on the cake is the absolutely stunning roads of Mauritius! Highways meandering past grass patches with an imposing backdrop of the mountains  – you will wish the drive never ended! Given that it’s a fairly small island, it is also not difficult to cover most of it by driving. The longest highway on the island connects Grand Baie in the North to Mahebourg (and the International Airport) towards the South and passes through Port Louis. For those of you who love the steering wheel, this may be one of the best drives you will experience on an island!

Look out for local car rental companies since they tend to be cheaper than their international counterparts. If you book in advance, they will even keep the car ready for you at the airport when you land, and you can drop off the car at the airport before departure. Depending on which car model and what benefits you choose, car rental can cost you from USD 30 per day. 

 

Ending Notes

If you have never really thought about planning a trip because you couldn’t figure out what to do in Mauritius, this is a good place to start! Yes, this island is exotic, to say the least, and hence may seem expensive. But don’t let that stop you! There are tons of things to do in Mauritius if you think beyond the conventional itineraries, to fit any budget type. Give this African beauty a chance and let it surprise you in more ways than one!

Top 7 Things in Mauritius

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27 COMMENTS

  1. My favorite two things in Mauritius were hiking Le Morne and eating on the beach shacks. The street food there is really good and relatively cheap. Le Morne had an impressive view of pretty much all Mauritius. Oh, and I’d add taking the helicopter ride to see the Underwater Waterfall. It was impressive!

  2. I never thought of visiting Mauritius before, but I certainly want to now! That beach looks so lovely I think I would just park myself in the sand and call it good! I love the idea of camping on the beach, but I would probably be worried about the thieves you mentioned.

  3. What a beautiful island! We just got back from the Cook Islands and this reminds me of it. Hard to find budget things there too, but you definitely can if you try hard enough. Driving around islands and exploring is one of my favorite things to do. Looks like an awesome place to visit!

  4. Mauritius looks so beautiful – what an awesome destination! I had no idea you could camp on the beach. It sounds like an incredible idea and what a way to spend the night!

  5. I would love to visit Le Caudan Waterfront and Ile Aux Cerfs in Mauritius. Great tips for traveling on a budget. I’m traveling to Maldives soon on a budget. Hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to my budget.

  6. One thinks of Mauritius as a beautiful beach resort destination. But I didn’t know that Mauritius had a UNESCO world heritage site which was once a refuge for slaves. Does it have any leftovers of homes from the 19th century too?

  7. Always love a good budget friendly list!! I’d totally be down for hiking Le Morne; I bet the views from the top are stunning! Riding the catamaran sounds really fun too!

  8. You had me at camp on the beach for free! I think I could do an entire week of that! So nice that there are some with showers and toilets. And then eating local dishes (like we did in Thailand) and amazing fruit will leave us totally satisfied! This helps make the place more “doable” for all of us on a budget!

  9. Mauritius is in my to do list for a long and planning to visit it very soon. Your this lovely article will be a great help for me on my Mauritius trip. Your all suggestions look very interesting and must to do. Especially I will love to hike up Le Morne and a road trip on island.

  10. Mauritius looks like a beautiful place from your pictures! Would love to hike up Le Morne and relax on the beach. Camping on the beach sounds fun – and so nice they actually open it up for people to do that for free.

  11. Awww that looks so perfect! You seem to have had great weather 🙂 That camping is legal at the beach is so rare and I would love to do that! Absolutely my type of trip! I also like sailing but that is mostly expensive. Anyways a great tip to do!

  12. I would never have imagined Mauritius to be a budget travel destination but all your points are so relevant!! Awesome to know since Mauritius is just a stones throw away from South Africa and a pretty popular travel destination.

  13. Great suggestions! Hiking up Le Morne looks like a lot of fun, as does exploring by catamaran. And your photos are stunning! The sunset looks amazing.

  14. Camping on the beach and hiking Le Morne would be my first two favourites I think. I’ve camped a lot before but never on a beach. It must be nice to fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing. And the local food looks delicious!

  15. I am not really into camping all that much, but I would most definitely make an exception to camp on the beach! What a fun experience that would be! I love to drive, so I’d be in my element driving around the island and cruising! And of course sampling the local cuisine is a MUST!

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