Situated on the northwest coast of the island, Port Louis Mauritius is the capital as well as the largest city. A popular destination for shopping and for sampling a great variety of Mauritian food, Port Louis also has an interesting history and several colonial buildings where tourists can learn about the history of Mauritius. Staying at a hotel in Port Louis gives travelers a good base from which to explore the culture and history of the town, as well as tour the Moka Mountain Range nearby.
One of the highlights of Port Louis travel is the Aapravasi Ghat, or the Immigration Depot, a historic building complex that is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building stands today as a monument to Mauritius' spotted colonial past. When slavery was abolished in the European colonies in 1834, it caused the British government to look for alternative sources of cheap labor to work the sugar plantations and do other low-cost agricultural work. As a result, between 1849 and 1923, thousands of indentured workers passed through the Immigration Depot at Port Louis Mauritius to be transported to other destinations in Europe and the colonies, where they would work for low wages and in deplorable living conditions. Most of these workers came from the Indian subcontinent, and many of them stayed in Mauritius, forever changing the island's cultural landscape. Today, descendants of these laborers form a large section of Mauritius' population.
Other interesting attractions that can be seen on Port Louis holidays include La Citadelle, the 1835 British fortification that crowns the city and from which tourists can view a panoramic of Port Louis. The Port Louis Theatre is also an interesting colonial building which has seen several additions and renovations in the early 1900s. Racing enthusiasts may want to visit one of the thoroughbred horse races that take place throughout the year at the Champ de Mars Racetrack, the oldest racetrack in the Southern Hemisphere. A visit to the Port Louis market yields an authentic local experience as hawkers sell tropical fruit and local food. Finally, one major attraction of Port Louis travel includes the Caudan waterfront, which faces the Port Louis harbor. At the waterfront an extensive leisure and shopping area provides entertainment for die-hard shoppers, and there are also restaurants, bars, and a five-star hotel in Port Louis Mauritius, Le Labourdonnais.
One popular attraction near the city is hiking in the Moka Mountains near Port Louis. This range of mountains surrounds the city, and its shelter was one of the reasons the French first chose Port Louis as the location for their main city and port, prior to being ousted by the British. A popular thing to do during Port Louis travel is to hike on one of its two famous mountains, Le Pouce or Pieter Both. It is also possible to explore the Moka Mountain Range by quad bike, horse, or four-wheel drive vehicles at the nature park of Domaine Les Pailles. The park also includes four restaurants and a historic sugar mill and rum distillery.
There are several choices for a hotel in Port Louis, though keep in mind that Port Louis is not a resort town and therefore many hotels are geared more towards the business traveler. The five-star Le Labourdonnais at the Caudan waterfront and the Le Suffren Hotel by the Marina are both clean and spacious, and the high standard of accommodations ensures a pleasant stay in Mauritius, whatever the reason for your visit.