Mauritius in general is a costly destination. Some of the activities like SCUBA diving, Snorkelling, Dolphin Watching; and attractions like zoo, aquariums etc cost much more than at other tourist locations.
But there are a few attractions on this island that cost you nothing and are very unique. We visited Mauritius for a week in Dec’15 and my list is not exhaustive given the limited time we had.
Model Ship Factories, Mauritius
There are few of these in Mauritius. We visited the “Pride of the Island” model ship factory in Curepipe (http://www.mauritiushandmadeshipmodels.com/). There are other more famous ones like Historic Marine in Goodlands (north Mauritius) and Bobato Ship Models Factory (Curepipe). We chanced upon Pride of the Island while looking for Bobato Ship Models Factory and went there. These factories make scale models of various ships and put them up for sale. Its an interesting place to buy souvenirs.
Ganga Talao, Grand Bassin
This one really depends on your preference. If you are the religious kinds, this one is not to be missed. It has a 108 ft statue of Lord Shiva there, which is known to be the tallest statue in Mauritius. Right next to this statue, there is another 108ft tall statue of Goddess Durga being constructed. There temple is dedicated to other gods too; like Hanumanji, Lakhsmi, Sai Baba etc. Its spread over a huge area and the lake in between was created by a crater.
You can enter the temple from many sides of the lake. There is a small temple at the top too, which can be reached by climbing around 120 steps. The view from the top is quite good.
Trou Aux Cerfs, Curepipe
This is a dormant volcano with a 80m (~260 feet) deep crater. It can be seen from top which is about 200ft high. Experts say the volcano can become active anytime in the next 1000 yrs. We visited it on the day we visited the Model Ship factory. Reaching here is a steep climb, but you can go almost to the top. Google Maps was helpful in locating the place.
As if looking at a dormant volcano in itself is not a treat to the eyes, the view of Mauritius is amazingly beautiful.
Apravasi Ghat, Port Louis
Apravasi Ghat in Port Louis used to be the immigration point for indentured Indian labourers in Mauritius between 1834 to 1924. These labourers came to work in the various sugar estates in the country. Given that around 65% of current Mauritian population has Indian ancestry, this place has become historically very significant.
It is located very close to Port Louis Waterfront and has its own parking lot. We were actually looking for parking when we went to waterfront and this was the only available parking. We didn’t plan to go to Apravasi Ghat, but am glad we did. They had tools, crockery, pottery etc of the times when those labourers lived. To interest young kids, they also had small video game installed which took them through the history. Our 5 yr old enjoyed the visit.