Mauritius is an island located in the Indian Ocean about 2,000 kilometres off the south-east coast of the African continent. There are many small islets scattered around the coast of Mauritius, which can be great destination for a day boat trip.
At the North , about an hour and a half by the catamaran you can find Gabriel and Flat islands separated by just 750 meters of water.
Half way to these islets you'll pass scenic coasts of Gunner’s Quoin Island , lagoons around it are good places for snorkelling.
At the East , even closer to the coast , there is very popular Deer Island, take a speed boat from Trou d'Eau Douce village and in 20 minutes you'll arrive at shallow strip of water separating Deer Island from it's neighbour - private Mangenie Island. Even in a high tide the channel separating islands can be easily crossed as it is just about a meter deep.
As an alternative to spending a day on the beach , take a car or taxi and go to the South West part of the Mauritius where the Black River Gorges National Park is located and protects most of the island's remaining rainforest. Make few stops along the road to take pictures of Chamarel waterfalls,
and head further to see natural phenomenon and another popular tourist attraction - Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth. Like the rest of the island these hills are of volcanic origin. The colours evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals. Due to the tropical weather conditions all water-soluble elements e.g. silicon dioxide have been washed out. What remains are the reddish-black iron- and aluminium oxides which create shades in blue, cyan and purple.
Few giant tortoises can be seen in a enclosure nearby , but a better place to see them is Casela Nature and Leisure Park located not far from that area.
If, like me, you'll be staying at the North East coast, you can combine the trip to this park with a visit to the oldest botanical gardens in the Southern Hemisphere - Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, which is located at North West part of Mauritius. Ignore attempts to sell you a guided tour at the entrance and explore the varieties of palm trees on your own but don't miss giant water lilies and lotus ponds.
Alternatively just head directly back to the coast and explore one of rocky beaches nearby