Rodrigues Island Travel Guide
Discover a piece of heaven untouched by the tourism boom.
Are you a wild-nature lover? Welcome to volcanic Rodrigues Island - the "cinderella of the mascarenes", a dream destination where you will surely find charm, authenticity and tranquility. Lost in the heart of the Indian Ocean, the island, completely surrounded by coral reefs, is located some 650 km north-east of Mauritius, stretching over a surface area of more than 109 sq km and is considered to be the tenth district of the Republic of Mauritius. Rodrigues Island, named after the Portuguese explorer Diogo Rodriguez, is famous for 14 satellite small islands all around, splendid untouched natural beauty, miles of marvelous sandy beaches, rich flora and fauna, world-class diving and snorkeling experiences. Hiking is another popular activity, especially in My Limon and Mt Malartic.
The population is over 38,000 inhabitants, the vast majority (nearly 90%) being Creoles, who experience calm and harmonious lifestyle. English is the official and dominating language of the island, though people also speak French, Creole and Indian.
Port Mathurin is the administrative, commercial and industrial capital, as well as the only harbor of the island boasting several good cheap restaurants, relaxing hotels and guest houses, some interesting shopping centers and welcoming friendly atmosphere.
Compared to Mauritius, Rodrigues experiences pleasant, warmer and drier climate and is characterized by two seasons: summer (November to April) and winter (May to October). In summer the average temperature hovers between 28C-34C while in winter the temperature varies from 17C to 29C. On the whole we can say that Rodrigues awaits you almost in any time of the year.
The cuisine in Rodrigues offers exclusive dining experiences, as the local cuisine is itself a blend of different cuisines. Feel free to taste the vast selection of fresh seafood, unique vegetation and the following "must eat" specialties: the octopus curry, cono-cono salad, corn-fed chicken salad with ginger and many others. What concerns to dessert, you can try sweet potato cakes, a maize pudding, as well as papaya and coconut pies usually flavored with cinnamon. Keep in mind that the secret of Rodrigues cuisine is in the freshness of the ingredients.
In this tiny slice of tropical paradise you will find a wide selection of tourist attractions, places of interest and multitude of activities to do, which will make your holidays unique and unforgettable. Hiking, horse-riding, bird watching, golf and underwater experiences would certainly complete your amazing stay on the island.
The eastern coast of the island is home to nearly 20 beaches, among which Pointe Coton is considered the finest beach, housing Cotton Bay (meaning "Haven of Peace") - the well-known three star hotel of the island, offering luxury and comforts of the modern world. Other gorgeous beaches include Trou d'Argent, Petit Gravier and St Franccois.
The southwestern corner of the island is home to some interesting stalagmite and stalactite caves where permits are required and guided tours are available. The largest cave is, however, 1,040 meters long Caverne Patate, situated 18 meters below sea level. There are special guided tours down into the cave at set times, each lasting approximately 45 minutes. Nearby you can find Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve where you can admire the Aldabra species giant tortoises and baby tortoises born and raised here.
Rodrigues Island is a wonderful holiday destination for those who like underwater sports, including diving, scuba diving, different kinds of surfing, sailing, fishing and snorkeling. Here you will find some of the world's most untouched coral reefs and unique tropical fauna of the Indian Ocean. Pointe colon and Pointe Roche Noire provide the best options for diving, the best period perhaps being in summer, from October to April.
Rodrigues is a real escape to a world where life is pristine and relaxed and there are a variety of activities to enhance your holiday. Whatever your interests and requirements are, Rodrigues Island has all the ingredients to take care of your needs. Indulge and have fun!
Rodrigues Island has a rich cuisine made with local products available naturally in abundance. Over the time, it has been enriched through the contribution of Chinese influences, Indian and European. Of exceptional meals with fish, octopus, pork and chicken, among others, can be eaten at the table Rodrigues. The cuisine consists of simple but tasty dishes, letting them express the natural taste of the products. A typical meal of Rodrigues is served with rice or corn and beans. Chilli or chutneys to enhance the flavors.
Climate - Meteorology
The rain is very rare in Rodrigues.
From November to April summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, temperatures range between 28 ° C and 32 ° C under a hot and humid weather but it is also the period when the risks of cyclones are most important (particularly in January and February).
From May to October, winter brings a little prevailing wind southeast and temperatures between 16 ° C and 27 ° C.
The sea is warm all year with a slight refresh in winter (23 ° C in winter to 27 ° C in summer)
The current is 220 volts AC.
Entry Requirements - Visas
For your entry, you will be asked for your passport valid for 6 months after the date of return and your plane ticket round trip.
Obtaining a VISA is not required for citizens of the European Union, Canada and Switzerland for visits of less than 3 months.
Those aged over 16 have the right to make 250g of tobacco (including cigars and cigarettes), 1L and 2L of spirits of wine or beer.
The official language is English. The French and Creole are also spoken by the population.
Currency - Payment
Currency: Mauritian rupee (MUR)
1 Dollars = approximately 30 MUR
Holidays - Festivals
Given the religious diversity of the island, there are 13 public holidays. Some depend on the lunar calendar.
- 1 and 2 January: New Year.
- February 1: Abolition of slavery.
- March 12: Independence Day (declared in 1968).
- May 1: Labor Day.
- August 15: Assumption.
- 1st November: All Saints.
- December 25: Christmas.
The Feast of Banana is one of the largest of the island, during which its population celebrates the New Year with family. Creole dishes and typical sacrifice of a pig to be eaten in the form of barbecue, sausage, gratons ...
Day of Independence is celebrated on October 12 of each year as organizing concerts, festivals of villages or of invention contest.
The Creole Festival held in early December, during which cities and villages organize competitive sega (traditional dance), craft exhibitions, tasting regional dishes ... a concert of music from the Indian Ocean closes the festival.
The Catholic religion is largely predominant in Rodrigues with a small number of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists.
Religion, respect for tradition and family are the pillars of life Rodrigues. It emphasizes the harmonious lifestyle of its inhabitants whose traits are marked by kindness, simplicity and discretion.
The island is inhabited by a population of about 38,000 inhabitants.
- Nudity is not allowed on public beaches of the island, like the monokini and the strings should be avoided. Topless on beaches will be allowed only on direct hotels.
- Compliance with temples, churches and mosques: do not forget to remove your shoes, avoid shorts and miniskirts when you walk into a religious place.
Health - Vaccines
Tap water is drinkable but it is advisable to drink bottled water.
No vaccinations are required. Nevertheless, equip yourself with a good sunscreen and insect repellent.
Getting around the island
The easiest thing to do is the car rental option to remain free.
You can also take the bus which is a rewarding experience to mingle with the life of Rodrigues. What to do at least once during your stay.
You can use taxis available at the airport and you can ask for one from your hotel.
All medical facilities are concentrated in Mauritius.
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