Updated on the 10th of February 2012, Price update Dec 2016
From the village of Case Noyale, a winding road brings you up to Chamarel, going up to Curepipe if you carry on. Various view points on that road offers a magnificent view of the west of the island.
A little after the restaurant “Le Chamarel”, just before the entry to ‘La Vieille Cheminée”, on the right is the turn off to Chamarel’s coloured earth and waterfall.
Stop at the entrance gate and grab your ticket for the Coloured Earths. Some people might go straight through, not paying the entry fee, they are probably going to the Parc Aventure as the entrance is the same one. Keep your ticket as you’ll need it to enter the coloured earths. Once you’re past the gate, follow the road to the waterfalls. If you’d like to see them, stop on the way there as the road is a circuit and you won’t be able to stop on your way back.
The waterfall has most water between December and April, when there is more rain. It is about 100m high.
There are two view points to see the waterfall. The first one is just off the parking. The second one is a little bit higher, where you see the waterfall from a different angle. There was a lot of wind on the day of our visit and you could see the water shifting to the left under the wind gusts.
After the Chamarel waterfalls, hop back in the car and follow the road to the Coloured Earths.
This is a visit I’ve done many times in my life. When I was a child we stopped there a couple of times on our way to picnics. At the time there was less structure to the visit and we could run and play on the coloured earth. This is not possible anymore unfortunately because with the years and the amount of visits, the site would obviously deteriorate quickly. But there is a runway all around and you can still have a close look at the different colours.
The different colours of the earth are caused by decomposed basalt gullies, turned into clay. The colours are created by the chemical content present in the soil. It is said that if you mix the colours together, they will separate on their own.
I must say that with my children’s eyes, the place seemed gigantic! The first time I saw it with ‘grown up’ eyes, I was a little bit disappointed as I remembered them as huge hills!
On the side of the coloured earth is a nice garden planted with different kind of trees. Endemic trees of Mauritius are named with a sign.
There is also a little path leading to some tortoises to finish the tour. I must say that at the time of our visit the tortoise water pool made me think of a Mauritian tale my mum used to tell us when we were little: ‘The hare, the tortoise and the king’s pond’.
In my opinion, this visit is not the most exciting thing to do in Mauritius, but it is still interesting and worth it if you are in the neighborhood or visiting the area as it is easy to add to your itinerary.
Address: Plaine Champagne Road, Chamarel
Prices (valid Dec 2016): Rs 75 for children, Rs 125 for adults Mauritian residents, Rs 225 for non-residents