What would you like to see on mother earth? A rainbow? Or a variegation? Or both?
Well, Mauritius has both!
Seven-Coloured Earths at Chamarel
One is Seven-Coloured Earth at Chamarel and the other is 23 colored earth at La Vallée des Couleurs. It is indeed a natural wonder and one which poses a question in our minds “How did this happen?”.
The seven-coloured earth is a rare natural phenomenon that deserves a visit. Contrary to my belief that the nature park is called Chamarel, it is actually a village in Mauritius named after its French owner!
This geological formation is said to have occurred as a result of decomposed basalt gullies. This decomposition was aided by the island’s hot and humid climate. The basalt was further affected by the tropical weather. The soluble elements were washed away and left were remains of iron and aluminum which contributed to the colours but repel each other and do not mix. It is said that if you mix these coloured sands together, they’ll settle into separate layers in the end. Unfortunately, we can’t test that ourselves as we are not allowed to touch the sand. But the souvenir shop here sells little test tubes curios for you to try this out.
Red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow…. I was fascinated by the colors.
Just the amazing sight of this colourful sand was breathtaking. The barren sand dunes is spread over a small area of 7,500sqm and are protected by a wooden fence. There are two viewing posts for tourists. What is most interesting is that the colours haven’t faded in these many years in spite of the torrential rainfall that Mauritius receives.
La Vallée des Couleurs
This is admittedly one of the more touristy spots in Mauritius. The main attraction is the fascinating 23-coloured earth whose origin dates back to millions of years following the eruption of the Bassin Blanc volcano. The ashes thus formed, are witness to that affair.
The unique 23 colors that can be seen here are the result of the chemical composition of basalt. It was exposed to surface conditions… temperature, water and oxygen. The weathering process that followed produced these different colors of the earth that we can now admire. I do not want to go in details as what is a weathering process.
La Vallée des Couleurs was discovered on the 4th of July 1998. Fairly new I would say. And that is one of the reasons it’s been developed into a nature park and now has become one of the most famous and unique attractions of the island, which fascinates Mauritians as well as foreigners.
Nature lovers and adventure lovers would definitely like this place. The indigenous fauna and flora, natural landscapes of mountains, valleys, craters and crater-lakes including a waterfall are waiting to welcome you.
First, there is an exhibition room which clearly shows what awaits you in the park.
There are other activities such as zip-lining, nature walk, quad biking, step jet, Fern garden, animal farm, medicinal plants, Orchard, nursery etc. I absolutely loved the longest zip-lining in the world and quad biking.
When we were there, I saw some construction going on. Apparently, they are also coming up with a resort so that people can stay in the lap of nature.
In my opinion, you must keep a day for La Vallée des Couleurs and one for Chamarel, if you want to participate in all the activities.
Note: Mauritius Attractions offers a special discounted Adventure Package at the Vallée des Couleurs.
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