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Chamarel: colours, scents and happiness

27 Apr 2018
The chamarel waterfall

The Chamarel Waterfall

Charming village located in a cirque at 283 metres above sea level and overlooking the south and west coasts of Mauritius, Chamarel is an atypical and exotic place. Between colours and scents, visitors experience the joy of a total change of scenery along a winding path between sugar cane fields and tropical fruits in a refreshing atmosphere.

 

The village of Chamarel, named so since 1786, owes its name to Charles Antoine de Chazal de Chamarel, captain of the infantry of the ‘Compagnie des Indes’. In this enchanting setting, what you should not miss is the Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel, a unique place in the world located in a private domain (payable access).

 

Seven Coloured Earth

Seven Coloured Earth

The Chamarel waterfall

To access the Seven Coloured Earth, if you come from the west, take the road next to the church of Case Noyale or, if you arrive from the centre of the island, take the road to La Marie-Grand Bassin. You will then have to go towards the Sainte-Anne church, built in 1876, and take a secondary road not far from this church. From there, you will pass many family restaurants offering Chinese, Indian or Creole dishes and above all you will be able to admire an impressive waterfall: the Chamarel waterfall. It is fed by two rivers and is about 100 meters high. It is possible to go down and swim there.

After this short stop, go 1 km further to reach the Seven Coloured Earth. And there, in a clearing, facing you, will present a land with 7 colour variations between ochre, brown, red and purplish. A breathtaking view! This phenomenon is due to the presence of volcanic ash containing mineral oxides of different colours laid bare by erosion for centuries. The peculiarity of this soil is that once mixed the colours always end up separating!

 

Cherry guavas

Cherry guavas

Pineapples, rum and cherry guavas

Barely recovering from your emotions, you can either head to the south coast or go back to Plaine Champagne, where between plantations of vegetables and pineapples, you will find the rum distillery of Chamarel. It offers lovers of this liquor, distilled farm rums on site, and a scalable and refined à la carte restaurant. This winding road, which climbs as fast as the thermometer goes down, offers a breathtaking panorama of the southwest of Mauritius and also the opportunity to enjoy a free and delicious dessert: red and yellow cherry guavas (goyaves de Chine in French) which can be seen on the slopes of the mountains. The ideal period for this picking is at the end of the summer, around April-May.

In this fertile valley where the plantations benefit from an exceptional terroir and a unique micro-climate, you can also go hiking, especially on a path at the back of the Sainte-Anne church, which will lead you to the highest peak in Mauritius, the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire. In short, Chamarel will bring you lots of emotions and at the end of the day you will desire only one thing:  come back!