Welcome to Curepipe, a captivating city located within the beautiful country of Mauritius. Nestled amidst panoramic landscapes and adorned with a colonial charm, Curepipe offers an array of experiences that are bound to enthrall intrepid travellers. Known as the “City of Light,” it serves as a melting pot of diverse cultures, tantalizing gastronomy and numerous activities that promise to ignite your sense of adventure. Let’s embark on a virtual tour of this enchanting city, immersing ourselves in its rich heritage and vibrant atmosphere.
1. When to Go:
Curepipe, blessed with a subtropical climate, is a sought-after destination year-round. The months from May to November are especially accommodating, offering cooler temperatures, ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), making it a perfect time for outdoor activities and sightseeing. And if you want to witness the city’s colourful traditional festivals and celebrations, schedule your visit between December to April.
2. How to Get There:
Reaching Curepipe is a breeze, with Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport serving as a major gateway to Mauritius. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or rent a car to Curepipe, which is approximately a 40-minute drive. Alternatively, public bus services are a viable and economical option for budget-conscious travellers.
3. Where to Stay:
The city of Curepipe caters to every traveller’s taste with its wide range of accommodation options. You can choose from colonial-style guesthouses that exude an old-world charm, boutique hotels equipped with modern amenities, or luxury resorts with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Some popular choices include Le Bamboo Guest House, La Corbeille Eco-tourism Resort, and Le Suffren Hotel & Marina.
4. What to Do:
4.1 Cultural Delights
Curepipe is steeped in history and boasts of a rich cultural heritage. Start your exploration with the enchanting Trou aux Cerfs, an extinct volcano offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Move on to the Domaine des Aubineaux, a colonial mansion transformed into a museum, to delve deeper into the city’s colonial past. Moreover, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the captivating architecture of St. Therese Church and immerse yourself in its spiritual ambiance.
4.2 Gastronomic Adventures
Indulge in Curepipe’s diverse culinary scene. Start your day with a traditional Mauritian breakfast at one of the local street food stalls, savoring warm gato pima (buttery coconut cakes) and freshly brewed tea. For lunch, make your way to a local restaurant to enjoy mouthwatering dishes like the famous dholl puri (lentil pancake served with various curries) or the flavourful biryani. As evening falls, explore the vibrant food markets where you can sample local delicacies and street food.
4.3 Adventure and Outdoor Activities
For a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle, uncover the natural wonders that surround Curepipe. Lace up your hiking shoes and set off on an exhilarating trek to the Black River Gorges National Park, home to endemic species and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Thrill-seekers can visit the Casela Nature Park for a dose of high-adrenaline activities like ziplining, quad biking, and even walking with lions. The nearby beaches offer a plethora of water sports such as snorkelling, diving, and paddleboarding.
5. Where to Eat:
Curepipe is a food lover’s paradise with dining options that’ll leave you spoilt for choice. If you fancy upscale dining, Le Domaine Saint Aubin offers a fusion of French and Mauritian cuisine in the stunning setting of a colonial mansion. Seafood lovers must try The Old Mill, which serves freshly caught fish accompanied by mesmerising views of the river. For an authentic street food experience, visit the bustling food market on Royal Road and sample local delights like samosas and gateaux piments.
6. Sights and Tours:
For a full immersion in the vibrant sights of Curepipe, visit the iconic Curepipe Botanical Garden, renowned for its vast array of exotic flora and tranquil ambiance. Venture into the nearby town of Quatre Bornes, famous for its bustling market filled with handicrafts, textiles, and an assortment of vibrant textiles. Be sure to visit the famous Trou aux Cerfs crater for awe-inspiring views of the island. Lastly, a scenic drive to the charming village of Grand Bassin will lead you to the sacred Grand Bassin Lake and the beautifully adorned Mangal Mahadev Temple.
- Respect the local customs and traditions, particularly when visiting religious sites.
- Due to the city’s subtropical climate, always carry sun protection essentials such as sunscreen and a hat.
- Always stay hydrated, especially during outdoor activities. Carry a water bottle with you at all times.
- Embrace the spirit of exploration and remain open to new experiences and interactions with the locals.
8. Money and Nightlife:
The currency in Mauritius is Mauritian Rupee (MUR). Most hotels, restaurants, and tour agencies accept major credit cards, but it’s always advisable to carry cash for small, local transactions. Curepipe lives up to its nickname as the “City of Light” with its vibrant nightlife scene. Enjoy live music, sip on locally brewed Phoenix beer, or dance the night away to the lively beats of Sega, Mauritius’ traditional music genre.
9. Transport and Shopping:
Getting around in Curepipe is convenient thanks to a reliable network of taxis and buses.
Taxis can be hailed from the streets or booked through hotels. Buses, meanwhile, offer a cost-effective mode of transportation for exploring nearby towns and attractions. Shopaholics will indulge in Curepipe’s bustling marketplaces. Explore the local shops and boutiques on Royal Road for handicrafts, textiles, souvenirs, locally produced tea and spices.
Curepipe is a city that encapsulates the true essence of adventure, discovery, and cultural immersion. Its fascinating history, delectable cuisine, and awe-inspiring landscapes promise an unforgettable experience. Whether you prefer exploring cultural sites, sampling gastronomic delights, or embarking on thrilling outdoor adventures, Curepipe has something in store for every traveller. So, pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and let Curepipe capture your heart with its infectious charm.