A beautiful resort town on popular Mauritius, Grand Baie (or Grand Bay) is located in the Pamplemousses District in the upper northwest part of the island and is the most densely populated area on the island. Grand Baie has seen, over the years, a massive development and self-improvement from lowly and impoverished area, to the jewel of Mauritius, a bright spot in the Indian Ocean. Very well known, Grand Baie is lively day and night, caters to the visitors who come for the beautiful, warm jade waters of the beaches, and offers a great deal in the way of water sport enjoyment and fun attractions.
Many come for the safe swimming to be had here, the waterskiing, the sailing and the wind surfing, and the fact that Grand Baie is a jump-off point for helicopter rides and boat trips to the islands up to the north of Mauritius, such as Gunners' Quoin, Serpent Island, Round Island and Flat Island. A multitude of conveniences await you here, and shopping seems to be a national pastime, or so a visitor would think from all the boutiques and stores to be browsed through, but the entire island is a playground and supplies a lot more than just great swimming and interesting shops.
Black River Gorges National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and covers nearly 68 square kilometers of land, offering a good mix of sultry upland forest, marshy heathland and the drier lowland forests. Foreign plant species in some areas have been eradicated to preserve the native species with many animals and birds being protected here, such as the Mauritian flying fox and all of the island's endemic birds: Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon, Mauritius grey white-eye, Mauritius parakeet, Mauritius cuckoo-shrike, Mauritius olive white-eye, Mauritius bulbul and Mauritius fody. There are picnic areas available and 60 kilometers of hiking trails to keep visitors happy.
If you are a stamp enthusiast, then the Blue Penny Museum may excite you. Opened in 2001 by the Mauritius Commercial Bank, this is the country’s first philatelic museum and has on display several exceedingly rare and very precious stamps comprised of several collections that are world-renowned.
The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, more commonly called the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, is the oldest garden in the Southern Hemisphere. First established by Pierre Poivre in 1770, it is most famous for its giant water lilies, but also boasts an impressive collection of ebonies, spices, sugar canes and over 85 species of palms from around the world. World leaders and royalty have planted trees here as a tradition, such as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and Indira Gandhi. Beautiful and exotic, this is a locale not to be missed when visiting.
Grand Baie is a magical little town that is closer to a small city in design and feel, and is not as removed and quiet as some of the other locations available to the visitor on this island, but it is the most convenient, with a vast array of restaurants, foods represented, activities and worthwhile nightlife. Accommodations run the gamut from 5-star resort to budget cabins, depending on your needs, but it makes an excellent home base for all activities and travels, and has a great deal to offer. For memories that last a lifetime, consider Grand Baie as your doorway to the delights of heavenly Mauritius.