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» 01 Dec 2010

From La Marie, a scenic road leads up to The Chamarel Trail. Your starting point is on the higher grounds of the island, close to Trou-aux-cerfs - a dormant volcano, and the trail finishes off on the coast which is closer to sea level. Some of the best viewpoints on the island are unravelled along the way and we strongly recommend you to have your camera ready for picture perfect sceneries of Mauritius. If you are in Mauritius in winter, you can enjoy the Chinese guavas which grow in profusion around this area and which are at arms reach on both sides of the road at certain points. In December with our sunny weather, the sea looks at its best with the reflections of the sun rays on the water. Along the trail be sure to take notice of the different sign posts as little alleys branching off from the Chamarel Trail actually lead to waterfalls, valleys and gorges, nature treks, restaurants and lodges along with domaines (kind of ranch - offering lodges, activities and restaurants). Enjoy your exploring expedition, the trail is an experience on its own…

Mare aux vacoas
As you start your journey, you will see a large expanse of water on the left hand side. It is Mare aux Vacoas, the largest fresh water lake and reservoir of the island, with hydroelectric power. The hardwood and pine forest surrounding the reservoir acts as a catchment area and its annual yield is about 33 Mm.  The calm waters look undisturbed and peaceful as the lake is locked away from human activity and the busy urban life.

Domaine des 7 Vallées

2 minutes away from the reservoir to your left, you will see the signpost to the Domaine des 7 Vallées which is a unique concept in Eco tourism with more than 4000 hectares of pristine wilderness awaiting your exploration. Enjoy hunting facilities, stay the night or simply discover forests, valleys, streams and waterfalls all teaming with wildlife. For the more adventurous, quad biking, horse riding, cycling and more activities await you!

Domaine de l’arbre du voyageur

As you go down the trail, you can make a detour to your right and join the dirt road that will take you to the Domaine de l’arbre du voyageur which is hidden away in the wilderness. The domaine provides outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, hunting, quad biking and horse riding and if you want to spend the night, you can book a lodge and have a refreshing meal from the domaine’s restaurant.

Plaine Champagne
South of Le Petrin en route to Chamarel, the road passes through Plaine Champagne, named after the creamy white flowers of the privet which resemble the white froth on a glass of champagne. The privet, like the Chinese guava from Brazil grow in abundance there and have invaded areas previously occupied by native forest. Plaine Champagne attracts a lot of people who in season love picking Chinese guavas.

Black River Gorges

From Plaine Champagne, there is a breathtaking view of the Black River Gorges and the sea lining the horizon. The Black River Gorges is a 6,574 hectare park proclaimed natural reserve in 1994. It protects much of the remaining indigenous forests of Mauritius and provides an excellent opportunity to appreciate some of the unique endemic plants and birdlife of Mauritius (such as the Kestrel and the Pink Pigeon).

Varangue sur Morne

The trail now goes downhill and in the left corner lies Varangue sur Morne. Originally a rustic gamekeeper’s lodge, it is now a restaurant which has been conceived as a large verandah, with a balcony view over the whole of the mountainous area, sweeping down to Baie du Cap, Le Morne and beyond. After lunch make your way through the Trochetia nature trail an attempt at ‘reforestation’ of the area and featuring our National flower, the Trochetia Boutoniana.

Touche du Bois

Touche du Bois is an eco-museum which restates the value and importance of timber in the various spheres of human life. You will be able to make good appreciation of woodcrafts such as marquetry and carving. The theme of the Museum, ‘Timber down the ages’, is oriented towards woodcraft, artisans’ tools and lore, the cultural and ecologic heritage… and the Museum itself, is a very humble way to pay tribute to the expertise of the Mauritian artisan. Enquire at Varangue sur Morne for a visit of the museum.

Rhumerie de Chamarel

The road leading to the Rhumerie of Chamarel is lined with vast plantations of sugar cane growing side by side with pineapples and other tropical fruits. Exuding an inimitable sense of warmth and authenticity, the Rhumerie offers visits of the distillery, rum tasting and a tasty meal at L’Alchimiste, its own stylish and creative restaurant. The building harmoniously blends with the surroundings and is majestic and appealing as you drive closer to it.

Chamarel – 7 coloured earth

Finally the highlight of your journey will unfold if you take the left turn at the end of the road. You are about to explore unusual mounds of undulating land stretching in contrasting rainbow coloured layers – The seven coloured earths. Believed to be of volcanic origin and the result of weathering, this gift of nature is not to be missed. The chamarel waterfall will greet you when you are making your way towards the seven coloured earths.

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