Tucked into the highlands, right on the edge of the Black River Gorges National Park, Chamarel looks out over the beautiful landscape. The area was named after a French army captain who farmed vanilla, pepper and coffee here in the 18th century. You can still see how the French and this type of agriculture had an impact on this area.
The main draw to Chamarel is the Seven Coloured Earth. In a way, the hype might be a little too much, but if you get the chance, do visit this natural attraction. It’s a lovely and unusual thing to experience. The tall sand dunes display many different colours; you’ll spot hues of red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. The dunes settle in surreal formations, making every visit unique.
Thanks to its elevated position, Chamarel has fantastic views of Ile aux Benitiers and Le Morne Beach. You can get down there in about 15 minutes, so make sure you check out both beaches while you’re there. Chamarel is now the only place on the island of Mauritius to produce coffee. Visit the plantations and try the local beans. You’ll be amazed at how good coffee can taste when you’re in the warm sun where it’s grown.
For something a little stronger, visit the Rhumerie de Chamarel. Mauritius is going through an artisanal rum phase as the ban on using sugar cane to produce alcohol was lifted in 2006. Chamarel’s rum distillery produces the highest-altitude rum and you can watch the whole process during your stay.
Those interested in Mauritius’s troubled past might like to walk La Route des Marrons. It follows the journey of runaway slaves – whose descendants still live here. The route starts in the Coteau Raffin village and traces their path to safety through the Chamarel mountains. This walk is an amazing experience, and something that is unique to this part of Mauritius.
Chamarel has a fantastic secretive vibe that makes staying here feel special. Explore as much as you can during your stay; who knows what you might find?
Plan your trip to Chamarel today.