The islands in the Indian Ocean are all spectacular in their own way. If you’re thinking about booking a vacation to one of these exotic paradises, you might come to find it difficult to choose where to go. Mauritius, Comoros, and Seychelles are all popular tourist destinations, with their own pros and cons to be mindful of. I’ll show you each of these, in hopes of giving an idea of what to expect and maybe make a decision easier.
The Republic of Mauritius consists of multiple islands, with Mauritius being the most popular one for touristic activities. What makes it so much more spectacular, is the fact that beach hopping is not the main reason to visit. The cluster of islands is a green scenic paradise, with waterfalls, natural reserves, and lakes. The dormant volcano in Curepipe, and Ile aux Aigrettes, also known as the Coral Island, are both natural reservations that are sure to astonish every visitor.
Because the islands are so diverse, there are many types of leisure activities available, including water sports, wildlife safaris, underwater activities, fishing, hiking, boat trips, and much more. The crime level is very low, and accommodations tend to be cheaper than in other places.
However, just like every place, it has its own problems. The islands are surrounded by coral reefs that thrive in shallow waters, so swimming and bathing might turn into a painful experience. You have to time your vacation, as the weather can turn rainy and windy even in summer.
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Comoros is an island country in the Indian Ocean that is very different from the typical exotic destinations in the region. It uniquely blends in the African and Arabic culture, history and cuisine. Strangely, it’s the least popular option from the 3 locations on our list, and considered one of the hidden gems of the Indian Ocean.
Lower tourism helped protect the raw natural beauty of Comoros islands, giving you the chance to enjoy your vacation with fewer crowds, but it can be a bit more expensive in terms of accommodations and travel. The best months to visit are between May and October when it’s less rainy, but overall it can be visited at any time of the year because of the tropical climate.
Many beaches have the typical white sand of the many islands in the Indian Ocean, however, here you will find a contrast between it and the black volcanic rock. Mount Karthala is the active volcano responsible for it, and its crater can be visited whenever it’s safe. While hiking to the mountain you will discover virgin forests brimming with wildlife.
Because the country doesn’t see that much tourism, some beaches are not kept pristine, so you may find trash littered in some areas. Water can be scarce in some places, so keep that in mind when leaving your shower running in the hotel. Comoros is considered to be a remote country, so getting there might cost you more in both time and money.
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Seychelles is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean composed of 115 islands that can be visited at any time of the year. The best thing about it is the fact it’s family-oriented, so it’s a great destination even for those with small children. The sea is mostly calm, so out of our three destinations, this one is the best for swimming and beach activities.
Because of the high influx of visitors, the main island, Victoria, is a hot spot for events and parties. It’s also a great place to get authentic souvenirs, and indulge in the local cuisine with African and Indian influences.
Even though Seychelles are sought after mainly because of the outstanding beaches, the rich tropical forests and national parks are worthy of your time. You can escape the busy main island and travel by boat to a nearby smaller island, or choose one, such as Alphonse, that have resorts that are more remote. Island hopping in Seychelles gives you more opportunities for activities and discoveries.
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There are some cons to this destination as well. The water is drinkable but full of chlorine, so you might want to stick to bottled water. Being a popular tourist destination it can get quite crowded. Also, the prices for dining out and accommodations are not the cheapest.
Overall, the three countries have their own strong points and weaknesses, which means it’s up to you to decide which is a better tourist destination. If you want to visit a green tropical paradise and leave swimming in the second place, Mauritius is your destination. Seychelles is great for swimming, water sports, and island hopping if you’re on a bigger budget. If you want quiet and privacy, as well as unspoiled nature and rich local culture, give Comoros a try, and you might find your favorite destination.