A volcanic island 18km (11mi) long and 8km (5mi) wide, Rodrigues is in many way a miniature Mauritius. It s surrounded by coral reefs, covered with similar vegetation and landscapes, and blessed with an equally tropical climate. Rodrigues isn t quite as lush as Mauritius, but neither is it thick with tourists. The pace of life is more relaxed and the people prone to stop and chat. On the down side, it s more likely to be hit by the cyclones that plague the region. The last big one, Cyclone Bella, swung through in early 1991, bringing with it winds in excess of 200km/h (125mph).
The island is relatively small and perfect for rambling around at leisure. Hiking is good around Mt Limon and Mt Malartic, the island s two highest points at more than 390m (1280ft). The best coastal hiking leads from Port Mathurin around the eastern coastline to Port Sud-Est. Point Coton on the eastern coast has the best beach on the island, but there are other good ones at St François, Trou d Argent and Petit Gravier. Caverne Patate in the south-west boasts some worthwhile spelunking opportunities. Diving is the big attraction of the waters around Rodrigues - you can arrange a trip through one of the big hotels. Several of the tiny islands just off Rodrigues, such as Île Cocos and Île aux Sables, are nature reserves and require permits to visit; others, such as Île aux Crabes and Île Hermitage, are just as beautiful and are open to the public.
Rodrigues lies about 560km (350mi) northeast of Mauritius. The two islands are connected daily by air and several times per month by sea. Keep in mind there s a minimum stay of 5 days and a maximum of 30
Full country name: Rodrigues
Time: GTM+4 hours
Seasons: summer / wet (November to April) winter/ dry (may to October)
Telephone: country code 258; international code 00
Area: 109 Km2
Capital: Port Mathurin
Languages: English, French, and Creole
Religion: Catholic, Hindus, and Muslims
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.
Attractions - Port Mathurin
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.