Travel to Mauritius – Part 2 - Arrival
Typical Airport Pick up / Sightseeing Van
Mauritius Airport on the south coast is the only Airport there is and therefore the only point of arrival. Nearest port is 900 kms away (Madagascar). The Airport is smaller and reminiscent of airports in early 1980s. A glimpse around the airport from one of the lounges and you can see endless greenery and the ocean beyond.
Typically for most nationalities Visas are upon arrival. Confirmed prior hotel reservations is a must to avail the Visa. It does not take much time to stamp the passports, unless off course you are one of the last ones in the queue.
There are no Airport hotels in Mauritius. There are no obvious cars or taxi services waiting to tap guests upon arrival. So it’s important for guests to book some sort of pickup service. Hotels off course all provide them.
Getting a currency exchange is a good idea to start with at the Airport. First impression out of Airport is that there aren't any old and dodgy vehicles around. Also everything around is fresh, green and spotless even as there is a bit of 80s feel about everything (except the cars). Hotels are away from Mahebourg, so guests will have to travel anywhere from 40-70 kms to reach the Hotel which can take upto 1 to 1 hour 45 minutes.
The promos, images of spectacular views and driveways give way to a serene and spotless drive. Sugarcane plantations are all over except towards the South West which is a little hilly and have a village feel with a most unique combination of tea plantation highlands overlooking the ocean !!
Arrival at the Hotel especially with Mauritius (with so little of the original photos displayed on the net for Mauritius) will always be greeted with a combination of anxiety and anticipation. Almost every hotel we passed seem to be pleasing to the eye in terms of backdrop, location and are well-geared to cater to guests. Check in times are generally 2 PM and so guests with early arrivals will have to wait in the lobby till the rooms are ready.
Its important to consider optional extras such as Submarine ride upon arrival and booked to avoid disappointment later (if not booked in advance). These have limited capacity and are much in demand. One can also check on complimentary watersports (which most beachside hotels have) and plan ahead accordingly.