Pictures from the Chamarel colored earths and waterfall, in the Southwest of Mauritius.
The seven colored earths at Chamarel, in the west side of Mauritius.
With the Pamplemousses botanical garden and Cap Malheureux in the North of the country, the seven colored earths at Chamarel in the Southwest of the island are probably the main non-aquatic attractions of Mauritius. The colored earths of Chamarel are a geological curiosity made up of small dunes in different colors: red, brown, pink, orange, violet, purple, yellow, and more. In fact, they are volcanic ashes that have been made bare by erosion. Then the mineral oxides produce the chromatic variations.
Strangely, even when ashes with different colors were mixed, they would eventually return to their original state after a few hours. To preserve the site, however, it is forbidden to take samples. Souvenir shops sell limited samples.
The seven colored earths are located in a glade at a place called Chamarel, just a few kilometers away from the southwest coast of the island. The dunes are protected by a wooden fence. Observation terraces provide a broader view over the site.
Since the dunes are situated in a private estate, an admission fee is charged for both the colored earths and the nearby waterfall. Parking spaces are available at each of those attractions. Many people visit the colored earths, without excessive congestion.
Chamarel Waterfall, Mauritius.
The about 100 m. high Chamarel waterfall is situated 1.5 km away from the seven colored earths in the same estate.
The region has other beautiful waterfalls. The Alexandra waterfall (sometimes mistakenly called Cécile waterfall) is located near the road from Chamarel to Le Petrin (an entry to Black River Gorges National Park), about 3 km. from a magnificent viewpoint on the Park.
The Tamarin waterfall, in fact a series of several falls, may be found further to the North, between Petrin and Vacoas.
The Seven Colored Earths at Chamarel in the west side of Mauritius.
The Parc Aventure de Chamarel (in English, Chamarel Adventure Park) opened not far from the colored earths. It is a 12 ha amusement park that offers outdoor activities such as ziplines and tyroleans.
The visit to the Chamarel colored earths and the nearby waterfall is usually part of a day excursion that includes the discovery of some of the many other attractions available in the region. The tours are made by car, taxi or minibus.
In the region, you find indeed
-- an attractive panoramic viewpoint on Black River Gorges National Park, approximately 6 km away from the colored earths,
-- the Alexandra waterfall 4 km further,
-- still further, Le Petrin which is one of the entries (with parking spaces) to Black River Gorge National Park,
-- the sacred lake, the Hindu temples, and the giant statue of Shiva at Grand Bassin (an important religious festival takes places in Grand Bassin in February-March),
-- the tea plantations and factory of the Bois Chéri
-- the Chamarel rum producer ("Rhumerie Chamarel),
-- several panoramic viewpoint on the west coast, including Le Morne Brabant and Ile aux Bénitiers.
On the coast, you may see the salt marshes at Tamarin, go to the main entry to Black River Gorges National Park at Black River, or, further to the South, visit the peninsula of Le Morne Brabant.
To the North, in the hinterland, you find the Tamarin waterfall and Mare aux Vacoas (the largest lake of the island).