Rodrigues Islandis a place that is yet to be discovered by visitors who will be amazed by the picturesque beautyon offer. Rodrigues is part of Mauritius even though it is located 550 km away from it and just like Mauritius visitors will have a lot of things to see and do when they visit the island. Unlike other tourist attractions, Rodrigues will allow for a change in the pace of life you are used to at home as the locals have a laid back attitude and take their time to enjoy everything life has to present.
If you are looking for a place to relax as well as discover the hidden treasures it has on offer then Rodrigues is the place for you!
The Rodrigues Destination Guide below gives some information on the things to see and do in Rodrigues. If you wish to go on the discovery of one of these lovely places,have a look at the Rodrigues tour page where you can book a tour to start your journey on the island. To help you plan your holiday in Rodrigues, visit our Rodrigues Country Guide which provides some useful travel information.
Rodrigues offers a variety of activities and attractions that you can indulge in at a your own pace or a slower pace. Being such a small island you would think that everything can be seen in 5 days or less but if you want to discover the true beauty of the island and also take time to appreciate the locals then it would be best to spend a lot longer than 5 days. While on this island you can either relax on the white beaches with the picturesque turquoise water in front of you or embark on either a diving experience or even hiking or mountain biking.
Below are some links that will provide you with some general information about the activities and tourist attractions in Rodrigues.
Located in the north of the island is the capital of Rodrigues, Port Mathurin which is its judicial, commercial and administrative centre. Port Mathurin is also the main harbour on the island where the two main boats that are there at least five times a month are the Mauritius Pride and the Mauritius Trochetia. The capital of Rodrigues is a place rich in history and one of those is that it used to be where the office for the Britain to Australia undersea cable was located in 1901.
The first attraction to visit while in town is the Port Mathurin View Point. There you will find the canons that were used to protect the harbour from enemies and it is a historic spot that offers a beautiful view of the sea. Another attraction that is a must see is the Port Mathurin market which is a shopping heaven with various local products on sale such as handicraft or jars of pickled chillies. The Port Mathurin market opens pretty early and therefore we recommend that you are there early if you are after fresh food supplies during your stay in the island.
Coco Island also known locally as Ile aux Cocos, is one of the 18 islets that are close to the shores of Rodrigues. Located a mere 4km away from the mainland Coco Island is a nature reserve which has four rare species of birds amongst the thousand of birds on the island.
This island is fast becoming a major tourist attraction in Rodrigues and the trip to the island is usually done in a little boat called a ‘pirogue'. If the tide is low while you are going to the island, the trip in itself turns into an adventure where the pirogue has to avoid sandbanks and even corals and rocks that are at the surface of the water. The boat usually takes visitors as close as possible to the island and this often means that during low tide visitors end up walking in the shallow waters for the last leg of the trip which is approximately a 1km walk. While on the island take the time to enjoy all its natural beauty and the wildlife and relax after the long walk by either going for a swim in the turquoise waters of the lagoon or by sun baking on the beach.
The north of the island has a lot to offer in its different villages. First of all Port Mathurin is one of the places you will be visiting when driving around the northern part of Rodrigues. The fans of colonial architecture will be happy to see the buildings in this town and those that are not into this can go shopping for local souvenirs such as baskets made with ‘vacoas' leaves.
Another attractive village that can be visited while exploring this area is Anse aux Anglais which is French for ‘English Bay'. This coastal village was named after the first British settlers who landed on the island around 1809 during the battle between the British and the French. Most tourist accommodation facilities are found in this village that is 2km away from Port Mathurin.
The village of Baie aux Huitres is a small fishermen village that has two different stories about the origin of its name. The first one is that it was so named because the bay's shape looks like an oyster. The other story is that it was so named because their once were numerous amount of oysters available in between the rocks of this bay. Whatever the story is, you will enjoy a trip to this village where you can find a chapel, a few shops that sell handicrafts and also some accommodation places. The locals also reckon that this is the place where the best looking girls on the island live.
For those looking for the sea, sand and sun as well as a place to rest then Baladirou is the place for you. Baladirou is known as one of the places where you can relax on a beautiful beach with a peaceful atmosphere of tranquillity.
Some interesting things to visit in the south of the island are firstly the village of Saint Gabriel where you can admire the largest church in the Indian Ocean. For those avid fans of architecture you will be amazed at the height of this stone edifice and the architecture which is quite surprising for such a small island.
Driving on the south coast of the island is quite fun as you will be able to enjoy the beautiful islets of Chat, Combrani and Hermitage amongst the others that are located in the turquoise waters of Rodrigues as well as La Grande Passe which is a channel that lies in those waters.
A stop at Port Sud Est will take you back into the naval history of the island and you can even relax and enjoy the local dish of this region made with the renowned octopus found in the area.
In the southwest of the island you will come across the famous Caverne Patate. The tour into the cave is led by local guides who take you on a 600m walk in this underground tunnel where you get to see the stalactites and stalagmites at the light of a torch. The guides will even show you some formations in this cave that looks like the dodo, a cat, the map of Rodrigues and even Buckingham Palace amongst others. It is highly recommended to wear shoes with good grip when heading on a tour of the cave as during wet weather it is very slippery.
The eastern part of the island will be heaven for the beach lovers. Here you can stop at the village of Saint Francois which the longest beach of the island or even at Trou D'argent which is a stunning beach that lies in between creeks. Legend has it that there are hidden treasures at Trou D'argent and therefore while relaxing and enjoying the beauty of this beach, keep an eye out for those treasures.
When heading further inland a visit to Cascade Victoire and Mont Limon will allow you to get closer to nature in the valleys and forest of Rodrigues. Mont Limon is the highest point of the island and a view from the top will leave you breathless.
The François Leguat Giant Tortoise Reserve is located in the southern part of Rodrigues. The reserve is a conservation project that was started by Owen Griffiths a zoologist whose dream was to recreate the fauna and flora as it was when the first settlers arrived in Rodrigues. The reserve is located in Anse Quitor which is situated at a couple of 100m from the airport in Plaine Corail.
So as to re-create the fauna more than 110,000 endemic and native plants have been planted in the reserve up to now. The giant tortoises that were exploited for their meat and oil by the sailors and thus became extinct have also been re-introduced to the reserve and they can now be seen on your visit there.
If looking at the fauna and flora is not that appealing to you, then you are certainly going to enjoy a tour in the Grande Caverne which is a cave that has been fitted with the latest eco-friendly cave lights for you to enjoy its beauty. A visit to this reserve will not disappoint as after all his is the place where the local school children go to learn about history and geology as well as the importance of environment protection in Rodrigues.