History and Overview of Chamarel
Having one of the lowest populations (approximatively 700) in Mauritius, Chamarel is a village in Mauritius located in the Rivière Noire District. It is named after the Frenchman Charles Antoine de Chazal de Chamarel, who lived in the village around 1800 and owned the entire area of the village at that time.
Today it is primarily known for its breathtaking scenic locations and natural attractions in its neighborhood- among them are the Seven Colored Earths, the Chamarel Falls and Ebony Forest Reserve. The village and its surrounding areas are also known for its plantations of sugarcane & pineapples, as well as locally grown coffee. Arabica coffee plants and palm trees can be seen on the way to the Chamarel waterfall.
The village also has lots of activities that attract tourists and locals every day.
Activities and Things to Do in Chamarel
Chamarel 7-Coloured Earths
The Seven Coloured Earth is a natural phenomenon and an inevitable tourist attraction.
It is a relatively small area of sand dunes comprising of seven distinct colours. These colours evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals. The various colours developed due to the different compositions. The colours, red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow never erode in spite of torrential downpours and adverse climatic conditions.
The Coloured Earth of Chamarel has become one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions since the 1960s. Nowadays, the dunes are protected by a wooden fence and visitors are not allowed to climb on them, although they can look at the scenery from observation outposts placed along the fence. You may also buy some small test-tubes filled up with the coloured earths as a souvenir of this rare natural phenomenon. The site also has a park with giant tortoises and a children’s playground.
The Chamarel Waterfall is nested near the 7-coloured earth. At a height of over 80 meters, this is the highest waterfall in Mauritius. Being one of the most breathtaking spots on the island, this immaculate waterfall offers a truly magnificent view where the cascading waters hit the pool below from grand heights. While visiting the 7-couloured earth, you can admire this cascade from the view point.
For adventure-lovers, enjoy the breathtaking surrounding views from the falls above or have a swim in the pool. You will be amazed by the sights and sounds of this forest and its myriad of plant & animal species that continue to thrive as a result of laborious work done by locals to protect the fauna and flora.
Curious Corner of Chamarel
The Curious Corner of Chamarel is a house of illusion and mystery- one that will surely awaken your curiosity! This attraction is located opposite the Seven Coloured Earths, and is the first gallery of its kind in Mauritius- with interactive illusions and art. It comprises of several rooms all equally weird but at the same time exciting and fascinating. Whether you are visiting as a family with kids or in a group of adults, the Curious Corner of Chamarel is fun for all- as an adult, you may even be taken back to your childhood.
Some of the Curious Corner of Chamarel Attractions and Illusions:
Challenge your body and mind with the Mirror Maze. Impossible corridors, infinite reflections and mind-bending light effects, this maze of 200 mirrors will definitely leave you feeling lost and confused as you try and find our way out.
The Ames Room
The Ames rooms is a distorted, cubic room that creates an optical illusion of relative sizes. People or objects will appear to grow or shrink when moving about the room. This room should make for some pretty interesting and bizarre pictures.
The Upside-down Room
Have you ever wondered what the world would look like upside down? This room will make you defy the laws of gravity and see things from a different view. Be sure to take many photos as proof of you standing upside down.
Rhumerie de Chamarel
Located on the south-west part of the island, about 300 meters above the coast and near the 7-Coulored Earth, is The Rhumerie de Chamarel. This tourist attraction lies amidst sugarcane plantations along with pineapples and other tropical fruits on an eco-friendly estate comprising of a distillery, plantation fields and a restaurant.
The Rhumerie de Chamarel offers visitors an all-rounded experience of the distillery, from guided tours and rum tasting to a delicious meal at the on-site ‘a la carte’ restaurant, L’Alchimiste. This upscale restaurant prepares unique dishes using ingredients sourced from the estate itself.
A guided tour of the Rhumerie de Chamarel will allow you to discover the rum-making process, using sugarcane that has been grown and harvested in the estate. One of the highlights of the guided tour is definitely the Rum tasting, where you can sample a selection of rums including exotic flavoured and aged rums.
Ebony Forest of Chamarel
Ebony Forest Chamarel gets its name from the ebony trees which were once abundant on Mauritius in the 18th century. Due to a high levels of deforestation, only a small area of native forest remains. The goal at Ebony Forest is to restore and recreate a 50 hectare conservation area for Mauritian endemic species with a rehabilitated indigenous forest.
You can choose to explore the forest at your own pace or with a guide, as you discover the native fauna of Mauritius. The mid-canopy walkways offer you a surreal experience through the forest. For a breathtaking view of Le Morne Brabant, head to the Sublime Point.
There is also a museum where you can learn of the islands history and the animals and plants that once inhabited this island. Le Takamaka restaurant offers light lunches and local specialties such as deer and salted fish.
Le Chamarel Panoramic Restaurant
If you want to enjoy a true taste of local, Creole foods in Chamarel then be sure to visit Le Chamarel Panoramic Restaurant. The restaurant opens onto a beautiful and imposing wooden terrace, giving a panoramic view of Le Morne, Benitiers Island and Tamarin Bay. The least we can say is that this place caters for all tastes! The varied menu offers various typical Creole-Mauritian dishes such as wild boar stew or venison curry, making it more authentic.