Chamarel is a quaint village located in the mountains some 5 km east of the sleepy seaside towns of La Gaulette and Case Noyale.
The area sports a popular rhumerie (Rhumerie de Chamarel), the famous seven coloured earth, the Black River Gorges waterfalls and an abundance of lush, tropical flora and fauna.
Most visitors to Chamarel arrive by car from the west coast town of La Gaulette, but a far more interesting and scenic route is to arrive from the south.
Here’s an idea for a day trip: Depart Flic en Flac or La Preneuse in the morning, cruise down the coastal road all the way down to Le Morne for some delicious Mauritian snack food breakfast on the beach. Relax, take a swim and enjoy the serenity of the 5 km Le Morne beaches.
Cross the Le Morne Brabant peninsula down to the south coast and continue all the way to Baie du Cap. En route you will literally drive next to the roaring coastal waters of the south Indian Ocean and there are plenty of scenic views along the way. Small villages with quiet local life, deserted beaches, and spectacular views across the Indian Ocean.
Take a sharp left at Baie du Cap and follow signs to Chamarel. You will drive through the rain forests of the south west bordering on the Black River Gorges national park. Stop by the majestic Black River Gorges waterfalls and the famous seven coloured earth, both in the same area.
Finish off with a tasty late lunch at Le Chamarel Restaurant for some classic Mauritian cuisine and marvel at one of the most spectacular views of the Black River coast line. Make sure to book a table in advance, and make sure to book one with a view! The restaurant is only open for lunch and closes promptly at 3pm.
Continue down the head spinning mountains and you will soon end up in La Gaulette before 4pm, and continue back to La Preneuse, Tamarin or Flic en Flac and you still have time for a relaxing swim before dinner.
Now you may ask what on earth the point is of all this long text, apart from the actual day trip tip?
Good question, and this is the answer: Many visitors to Mauritius constantly seem to overestimate what can actually be seen and done in one day. The above trip through a small part of the south west is all you will be able to comfortably manage in one day. Speed limits vary from 40 to 80 km/h (25 – 50 mph) on the main stretches but the mountaineous regions and roads are rarely fit (or safe) for those speeds.
Oh, and one more thing. Fill up on petrol! There are no gas stations to be found anywhere after leaving Tamarin/La Preneuse going south. You can thank us later.