If Port Louis is part of your cruise itinerary, then you can look forward to an unforgettable day! This article will highlight the most interesting sights in Port Louis, and our cruise experts will share their tips and tricks.
Arrival in Port Louis
Port Louis Is the capital and largest city of Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean. Port Louis has the Christian Decotter cruise terminal, as well as the Quay D cruise pier. Christian Decotter is considered the main terminal and therefore, most likely, this is where your acquaintance with the island begins. Due to the convenient location of the port (not far from the city center), you can immediately set off towards the city. If your route starts or ends in Port Louis, it will be useful to know that you can get to the airport in about an hour.
Expert Advice: after arriving in Port Louis, take a taxi and head to the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. It is quite a popular place among tourists and locals alike, where it is very pleasant to spend time.
Stop 1: Pamplemousse Botanical Garden
Start your sightseeing tour of Port Louis at the Pamplemousse Botanical Gardens, 11 km from the seaport. In 1988, the garden was named after Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the independence fighter of Mauritius and its first prime minister. Pamplemousse is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the southern hemisphere… Walking along the alleys of the garden, it is as if you are immersed in the colorful world of sometimes bizarre trees, exotic plants and unusual smells. On an area of more than 25 hectares, more than 500 plant species… At the entrance you will see a magnificent wrought-iron gate decorated with coats of arms and figures of a unicorn and a lion. Many trees were planted personally by the leaders of different countries: Indira Gandhi, Francois Mitterrand, Robert Mugabe. Palm trees are considered the special pride of the garden, of which there are about 80 species, as well as a large lake with water lilies, lilies and lotuses… By the way, an exact copy of the first sugar cane processing factory was built on the territory of the botanical garden.
Expert Advice: Since the Pamplemousse Botanical Garden is one of the most popular attractions in Port Louis, there are always a lot of people here. To avoid long lines, we recommend visiting the garden in the morning. The Botanical Garden is open from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. And get your cameras ready: you can take many beautiful shots here!
Stop 2: Natural History Museum & Chinatown
The Natural History Museum is a 20-minute taxi ride from the Botanical Gardens. Those interested in history should visit this museum because it houses a large number of exhibits that illustrate the history, nature and culture of the island. The museum was opened in 1842 in the building of the Institute of Mauritius. The museum has several sections, of which the sections of marine life, giant turtles and the “Dodo World” are of particular interest. Dodo, or the Mauritian dodo, an extinct flightless bird, first discovered in the late 1500s on an island that later became its home. Despite the fact that the Dodo bird became extinct more than 300 years ago, it is considered the symbol of Mauritius. In the museum, you can see the reconstruction of the Dodo skeleton and learn more about these amazing birds. Visiting the museum is free. After the museum, continue towards Chinatown where you can admire colorful frescoes or old wooden houses.
Bonus: photography lovers can appreciate the nearby Natural History Museum photography museum… Here you can find retro copies of cameras and a large collection of photographs from the 19th century to the present day.
Expert Advice: moving along Royal Street from Chinatown, pay attention to Jammah Mosque (Jummah Masjid). It was built in the 1850s and is the oldest mosque on the island. She attracts not only with her history, but also with her appearance. Marvel at this magnificent white building with all its decorations and arcades.
Stop 3: Bazaar
The central market, or the so-called bazaar, is less than a 5-minute walk from the Jammah Mosque. The bazaar is a large market hall on two floors and a favorite city spot for many travelers to Port Louis. Taste local food and discover new exotic fruits and vegetables you’ve never seen before. They also sell souvenirs, clothes and various little things.
Expert Advice: the central market is worth visiting if only to feel the atmosphere of Port Louis. National cuisine collected a plexus of Indian, European and Chinese recipes. Try different traditional dishes for a true gastronomic journey! Rice, seafood and curry dishes are popular. The bazaar is located at 9 Corderie Street and is less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Caudan Promenade.
Stop 4: Caudan Waterfront
Bright colorful umbrellas on the waterfront Caudans often fall into camera lenses and create an upbeat mood. From here you can not only enjoy great views of the harbor, but also go shopping. The shopping gallery has up to 170 stores of major brands and small boutiques and offers a wide selection of cashmere and natural fabrics for every taste. There are also many restaurants and cafes where you can relax.
Expert Advice: nDespite the fact that many people lose track of time shopping, try not to stay here too long. Since the average stop on the shore is about 9 hours, you need to spend time as productively as possible! If you are not a fan of shops, you can take a look at Museum of Blue Mauritius (in English it is known as the Blue Penny Museum). The museum is also located on the waterfront and houses a collection of postage stamps, nautical charts and valuable coins. The pearls of the collection are the Blue Mauritius and Pink Mauritius brands – first stamps of Mauritius 1847, however, their copies are on display, and the originals are kept under special conditions.
Stop 5: Crafts Market
The Crafts Market is also in close proximity to the Blue Mauritius Museum. Here you can buy local artisan products from beautiful souvenirs, jewelry, coffee, tea to a variety of spices. Vanilla sticks and curry spices are very popular.
Expert Advice: when in Port Louis, be sure to try the local rum. The island produces the famous white rum, as well as gold and dark rum. One of the best is the rum produced by La Rhumerie de Chamarel. Also popular are the brands L’Aventure du Sucre, St. Aubin, Bougainville and Labourdonnais. The local coffee is also worth trying; a particularly interesting combination is obtained from coffee with rum and cream.
Finally, take a taxi to the cruise terminal from Caudan Waterfront. By the way, a water taxi ride is also a good alternative. Many stop right on the waterfront and for about 2 euros you can get on the ship. Take a look at the panorama of the city and go ahead, towards new adventures!