It’s been over a week since we came back from our island hopping day trip and the excitement of it still hasn’t worn off! What a day it was!
We started our drive from the North at 7:45am and got to the meeting point in the South East at around 9am, leaving us 15 minutes to grab a quick breakfast! Luckily there was a guy selling fresh hot rotis right by the water, so we enjoyed this typical Mauritian treat while soaking in the beauty and calm of the South East coast.
Soon, it was time to hop onto the hot-pink and white speedboat and meet our skipper, Charles and the other clients (Hi Mona and Gerard if you’re reading)! With some nice reggae music and the sun shining down on us, we headed off to start the day with some snorkelling at Blue Bay Marine Park. On the way, we passed by an old shipwreck near the coral reef. It was an amazing sight, watching the reef tame the strong waves from the open sea, giving us the beautiful, calm lagoon that we just can’t get enough of.
Once we got to the marine park, the skipper helped us with our masks and fins and off we went for about 30 minutes of discovery and total awe. It was as if we had been dropped into an aquarium! We were surrounded with fish, of all colours and sizes. My favourite was the trumpet fish, so strange looking and so still in the water the entire time. We move around the bay and saw the most amazing coral formations and curious little marine creatures.
Then we headed off discover the four islands of the south east! We started by viewing the Ile de la Passe and its old ruins and defenses. The skipper was very knowledgeable about the area and the islands. We really enjoyed learning about the famous Naval Battle of Grand Port that took place between the British and the French right in the waters where we were! The little rocky islet of Ile de la Passe and the break in the coral reef right at that spot had so much historical significance for Mauritius.
We then went to visit the second island on our itinerary: Ile aux Fouquets, also known as Ile du Phare (after the lighthouse on the island). We had 15 minutes to explore the small island, and we did just that. We strolled along the rocky shores, watched the powerful waves crash against the cliffs, took photos of the lighthouse and the many small lizards and birds that call this place home.
We continued our trip by visiting the Grand River South East Waterfall. As we were approaching the waterfalls, we noticed a number of monkeys in the big tropical trees along the bank of the river. We also saw a tree with lots of Mauritian fruit bats, and we even saw one spread its wings and fly, right in the middle of the day! While we were viewing the waterfall, Charles offered us some of the amazing home-made coconut punch and some snacks, which was very welcome since we had worked up quite an appetite after the snorkelling and exploration.
Luckily, the next stop was lunch on the wild side of Ile aux Cerfs! As we got there, we saw the beautifully decorated tents and tables that were waiting for us. The friendly lunch crew offered us a drink and so we indulged in some more rum drinks while waiting for the barbecue. It was smelling so divine that I just had to go and check out the “kitchen”! The guys manning the barbecue were pros! It was such a pleasure watching them grill the chicken, gambas, fish to perfection. The best was watching them flame the bananas! Lunch was absolutely delicious. Even the guys who were staying at 5-star+ hotels agreed that this was one of the best lunches they had had in Mauritius.
Then we went to the more “touristy” side of Ile aux Cerfs, touristy because it has the restaurants, bumper boats, souvenir market, etc. and most tourists like to stay there but just a five minute walk from that spot, and you have yourself your own private little beach, with nobody around. We found ourselves a quiet little spot and spent 45 minutes relaxing on the beautiful white sand. Not bad for one of the most popular places to visit in Mauritius!
We ended the day by going for a quick dip near Ile aux Aigrettes, a beautiful protected island off the coast. We only stayed on the beach, enjoying a refreshing swim and the wonderful afternoon sun. It wasn’t possible to visit the island because there wasn’t enough time and you need special permission (and an entrance fee) to walk around the island but it’s definitely something on our to-do list!
It was a jam packed day, but we still had a lot of time to relax and enjoy ourselves in the company of some great new friends we made on the trip! The verdict? This has been of our favourite Mauritius activities (OK we admit we have a lot of favourite things to do in Mauritius but can you blame us?)! We highly recommend this excursion; it is the ultimate day out in paradise, filled with adventure, relaxation and discovery! And you can now book it on our website!