Chamarel: Behold the illusions in Mauritius
By Veidehi Gite
When you hear Mauritius, the first thing that comes to mind are the azure seascapes filled with countless yachts and restaurants serving creole seafood. However, a different shade of Chamarel adds an authentic African touch to Mauritius.
Chamarel is a magical trail in Mauritius that leads to all things good. The turquoise seascapes recede in the background as you enter this neighborhood, revealing a new zone of exciting activities.
This peninsula, located towards the south-western extremity of the Indian Ocean, is home to notable sites such as Le Morne, Chamarel Rhumerie, Chamarel Waterfall, multicolored Earth and Curious Corner, a one-of-a-kind illusion museum.
Enchanting visual magnificence leads the way from one spot to the next, bringing varied hues and tints of Mauritius to life.
The Curious Corner, Mauritius
Begin your day at the Curious Corner, a museum of illusions that will transport you back to your childhood. The Curious Corner is the place to go if you’ve got your fill of sunbathing on Mauritius’ stunning white sand beaches and want to give your brain a fascinating workout.
I had a great time posing in many rooms, each with its illusion, but you will need a guide or the staff to describe the stage. You’re not going to obtain it on your own. To take the best images, you must first learn the proper angles.
The Curious Corner is the place to go if you have an inquisitive mind. It is a mansion filled with a range of spectacular deluded fancies, fronting the 7-colored earth entrance in Chamarel hamlet, with a sequester façade, on a bending vertical road. With little under 40 exhibits spread over 5,000 square meters, Curious Corner is likely to surprise you in every possible way.
My brain was pounded by the ruses designed to disrupt ordinary thinking. It was an engrossing and convivial excursion into the interesting world of optical illusions, and when I saw the photos on my phone, I couldn’t believe my eyes!
The upside-down room, the Ames room, and the mirror maze were among the activities that made my head spin. The illusion of living in an upside-down world is created by the upside-down room. Come here to defy gravity and then brag about it to your buddies.
Similarly, in the Ames room, a cubic area allowed me to take some fascinating images of myself and a friend who were standing in the same room but appeared much larger or smaller than the other.
Create infinite reflections, unimaginable pathways, and mind-bending light effects by enclosing your routes in mirrors in the Curious Corner Mirror Mazes. Because of the 200 mirrors, finding your way in and out of the maze will be challenging!
To see all of the exhibits takes around an hour and a half and costs 11 euros. You can appreciate the adventure between 9 am to 5.30 pm.
Chamarel Multicolored Earth
Wait till you see the multicolored Earth of Chamarel across the road if you believe the Curious Corner has left you perplexed. On Earth, this piece of land is a full-circle rainbow.
Since the 1960s, Seven Colored Earth, a descriptive appellation, has become one of Mauritius’ most famous tourist sites.
The Seven Coloured Earths, also known as Chamarel Seven Coloured Earths and Terres des Sept Couleurs in French, are a geological feature in Rivière Noire district, in the Chamarel plateau.
There are seven different colors of sand in this stunted stretch of dunes: red, blue, green, brown, yellow, violet, and purple. Due to the varied colored sands unexpectedly settling in different levels, the dunes take on a surrealistic, striped aspect.
Since the land was initially exposed, rains have etched exquisite patterns into the slope, giving it an earthy meringue appearance.
The two primary constituents in the resulting soil, iron and aluminum, are responsible for the red and purplish colors. Sands created by the degradation of volcanic rock gullies into clay are then turned into ferritic soil by hydrolysis.
The different shades of color are assumed to be the consequence of molten volcanic lava cooling at different temperatures, but their ongoing spontaneous separation remains unknown.
Tourists are not authorized to climb the dunes, now surrounded by a wooden fence, although they can admire the landscape from observation spots around the barrier. The local curiosity shop sells small vials of colored earth.
Grab lunch at Le Chamarel Restaurant
The Chamarel multicolored earth is only a few minute’s drive from Le Chamarel Restaurant on La Crête main road in Chamarel.
If you’re in the Chamarel area, grabbing a bite to eat here is a must. One, the ocean views from here are breathtaking, and two, the tropical Mauritian cuisine is a fantastic way to sample the island’s cuisine.
The set menu at Le Chamarel Restaurant, which is known for delivering excellent Creole cuisine in Mauritius, impressed me with its coleslaw salad with smoked Marlin fish, Dorado grilled fish for the main course, and Tapioca caramelized papaya with ice cream.
Rum tasting at Chamarel Rhumerie
Mauritius has a rich history of rum manufacturing, and there’s no better way to round out your visit to the Chamarel neighborhood than a thorough rum tasting at the Chamarel Rhumerie.
A variety of rum manufacturers call the exotic island home, and they have mastered the art of distilling, aging, and blending premium rums.
However, the uncontested winner is Rhumerie de Chamarel, located in the southwest corner of Mauritius, in the middle of a prosperous valley with its unique microclimate.
The road leading to the Rhumerie is bordered by large sugar cane estates that grow alongside pineapples and other tropical fruits.
My recent trip to Mauritius piqued my interest in the island’s rum-making heritage. And it was then that I came across Rhumerie De Chamarel, nestled in the rough rolling valleys. Being a rum distillery is no easy undertaking, so I went expecting to find a utilitarian layout with distilling equipment.
However, to my surprise, Rhumerie Du Chamarel resembles a wellness resort. On an eco-friendly estate, it includes a distillery, and an agricultural plantation and asserts to provide guests with a full tourism experience.
Maurice Giraud, a Mauritian architect, developed this Chateau-like facility that blends effortlessly with its breathtaking surroundings, bringing the distillery closer to nature through wood, natural stone, and water.
While visiting the distillery, acquainted experts will take you behind the scenes for a detailed explanation of the rum-making process. I took my time with the rum tasting as there’s nothing like enjoying a wide range of quality rum in a peaceful setting.
Their rum had a distinct aroma of sugarcane juice, which was a trait that set it apart. After tasting four exquisite flavors: spice, gold, coffee, and coconut, I was left wanting more and I did take a few bottles home with me.
My vacation to Chamarel, a distinct side of Mauritius, ended on a high note with creole rum drums. If you ever chance upon the island, this is one neighborhood you simply can’t miss. Thank me afterward!
Where to stay: Veranda Tamarin
Veranda Tamarin Hotel & Spa, located 25 minutes from Chamarel, is an ocean-facing island boutique hotel enticing guests seeking a snug tropical retreat.
You’re welcomed with a beach hat, a handwritten note, and sustainable flouring all over the place. Rooms start at INR 8500 and include a beach basket in every room.
The views are spectacular, and the hotel completes its premium circuit with an infinity rooftop pool and another one on the ground level. The restaurant’s food is excellent, and the service is very courteous.
The founder of KrazyButterfly, Veidehi Gite, toys with everything that’s travel, luxury, food, fashion, and fitness. Veidehi is an India-based author, travel journalist, and content creator, and has been awarded as one of India’s best luxury travel and lifestyle influencers. She has a sweet spot for everything nourishing.