Explore The Seven Coloured Earth Of Chamarel, Mauritius
We’ve all heard the saying, “Getting there is half the fun”. But where exactly is “there”? Our Explore Series tells you where to go, how to get there, and what to do when you arrive. Happy travelling!
The Seven Coloured Earth Of Chamarel, Mauritius
Tucked away on the Western coast of Mauritius, the mystical village of Chamarel holds secrets that can take you very close to nature’s bounty. The Terres de 7 Couleurs (or the Seven Coloured Earth) and the nearby waterfalls are the prominent attractions that lure tourists to this village.
What To See
The Seven Coloured Earth
The seven colored earth is a small area of dunes that comprise of seven distinct colours of sand – red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. This site is 4 km southwest of Chamarel. A treat to the eyes, it is a natural phenomenon caused by high chemical content present in the soil, namely, decomposed basalt gullies that have turned into clay. The lava formations are estimated to be of 3.5 to 7 million years in age.
The beauty of this colourful exuberance is that even if you mix the colours together, they separate on their own. The dunes have been massively popular since the 1960s, when you could actually play in the sand. Now they are protected by a wooden fence. You can still go very close to the site and admire the opulence for yourself from the observation outposts. A garden on the premises is very well-maintained, and you can also say hello to giant tortoises there.
On your way out, don’t forget to stop by at the souvenir shops and pick up small test-tubes filled with the coloured earth to keep a piece of Chamarel with you for life.
Even before you’ve had your tryst with Chamarel’s multi-coloured wonder, you will be spellbound by the journey towards it. En route you’ll come across lush green mountain ranges, slopes, plantations and a pretty waterfall that makes the entire trip even more amazing.
Black River Gorges National Park
The largest rainforest of Mauritius, the Black River Gorges National Park, lies in the neighbourhood of Chamarel. The park is home to various endangered species like the Mauritius kestrel, the pink pigeon as well as the newly introduced species such as Macaques, Red Deer, Roe Deer, Wild Boar, various butterflies and flying foxes. The main activity for tourists and adventure enthusiasts is hiking, with over 60 km long trails.
Rhumerie de Chamarel: The Distillery
Located in the hills of Chamarel, Rhumerie de Chamarel is a rare distillery that cultivates its own sugarcane. An on-ground museum gives visitors an insight on their eco-friendly manufacturing process of rum. After a tour of the beautiful property, you also get to taste rum and unique dishes crafted out of ingredients grown in the estate.
How To Get There
Visitors can fly to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Port Louis, Mauritius. From the capital city, Chamarel is approximately 50 km away and takes a little over an hour to reach to. Private taxis are the preferred option of travel cause they are faster. Buses also ply between the two towns.
Best Time To Visit
Sunrise is the best time to see the Coloured Earth, when its fresh rays and the dew in the air mingle to bring out the best of the hues. When it rains, the colours aren’t visible very clearly. Mauritius has a fairly tropical climate and makes for an ideal holiday destination any time of the year, but try and avoid the wet months of January to March.
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