The town of Curepipe is the second biggest town in Mauritius after Port-Louis, with a population nearing 100,000 habitants. This beautiful town, nicknamed the city of lights, will conquer your hearts both during daytime and at night. From colonial relics to nice restaurants to beautiful gardens, Curepipe has much to offer visitors.
With cooler temperatures compared with coastal regions you will feel a lot more at ease in this part of the island. Due to its elevated position on the plateaus in the centre of the island, in Plaines-Wilhems, Curepipe offers some relief from the heat of the coastal areas and sunny beaches.
Curepipe’s Brief History
According to some authors the word Curepipe literally originates from the sentence curer sa pipe which means cleaning the pipe. The hypothesis quotes that travelers and soldiers in the 19th century journeying from Port-Louis and Grand-Port usually used to stop at this particular place to refill their pipes. However, many other historians do not share the same views. Some believe that the name was given after a late landowner in the 18th century, whose native village was found in France.
In 1858, the population of Curepipe was only about 200. During the outbreak of a malaria epidemic in the 1860’s, the persons living in Port-Louis principally had to flee and settle in Curepipe.
It is then that Curepipe experienced a rapid growth. Roads, shops and houses were being constructed everywhere where land was flat, and most of the population constituted of the whites and their workers.
Curepipe is located in the Plaine Wilhems district and lies in the western highlands region of the country. It’s about 30 km south of Port Louis and around 30mins by car. From the airport, it takes around half an hour to reach the town centre of Curepipe.
Climate in Curepipe
The climate of Curepipe is renowned for its humidity and gloomy weather though at times the sun does shine very brightly. In Curepipe, the wet season (December-April) is warm, oppressive, and partly cloudy; the dry season (April-November) is comfortable and mostly clear; and it is windy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 17 °C to 27 °C and is rarely below 14 °C or above 28 °C.
Hotels in Curepipe
In the town of Curepipe, you will find many guesthouses and apartments or rooms for rent.
Main hotels located near Curepipe:
La Vigie Hotel - La Vigie hotel welcomes you with a family atmosphere, in a pure Mauritian style located in the bustling town of Curepipe. For reasonable rates, the 2 star hotel provides basic amenities, with all of its rooms available completely furbished.
7 Cascades Restaurant & Lodges - Located in the small village of Henrietta, a short drive from Curepipe. This lodge is situated in the near vicinity of the waterfalls and is surrounded by lush greens and are designed to provide guests with a private and a quiet space
Domaine de L'Arbre du Voyageur - A guest house in Mare Longue located about 20 mins drive from Curepipe town is the ideal destination for couples or families looking to relax in a truly serene environment.
Places of interest in Curepipe
Town Hall of Curepipe and other Colonial buildings
Wandering around the centre of Curepipe, you can’t miss the Town Hall. An imposing and majestic building from the 19th century has kept all its magnificence in the very center of the town. You will also be charmed by the stunning Royal College as well as the charming Carnegie Library, home to many historical manuscripts. You will also come across the Basilica St-Helene and the St- Therese church, built in 1922 and 1869 respectively, are both preserved relics of the past you will have the chance to discover while visiting Curepipe.
Curepipe Botanical Garden
The Curepipe Botanic Garden is home to a wide variety of indigenous exotic plants, as well as other species that have been brought from different regions in and around Mauritius and cultivated here. There's no better way to spend a quiet afternoon than to take a walk through the lush green foliage of the gardens, letting nature's peace and tranquillity take over you.
The Volcano of Trou-aux-Cerfs
One kilometre outside of town, the Trou aux Cerfs is a 100-metre-deep dormant volcanic crater, one of the oldest on the island that makes for a great walking spot. Paths lead down into the forested crater and up the summit, which is easily reachable and offers fantastic views and from some points you can see the entire island and on clear days you can see as far as the neighbouring island of Reunion.
Domaine des Aubineaux
A colonial mansion built in 1872, where you can find out about colonial Mauritian family life in the 19th century and the history of tea on the island. Stroll in the lush garden, which is filled with camphor trees and indigenous exotic plants, and don’t forget to have tea and scones in the house’s old billiards room.
Tamarind falls is one of the island’s most spectacular waterfalls and is only a short drive out of Curepipe. Also known as the Seven Cascades, the seven waterfalls tumble down a lush forested canyon full of birds. It’s a wonderful hiking destination which takes half a day to hike up four of the waterfalls or a full day trip to hike to the top of the seventh waterfall, a challenging but rewarding walk. You can also go canyoning, jumping and abseiling down the cascading falls.
Curepipe is home to the oldest and one of the largest casinos in the country. Casino De Maurice in Curepipe has 150 slot machines along with Black Jacks, Poker Table, and Roulette.
Shopping in Curepipe
Curepipe remains one of the most famous towns for shopping. In the surroundings of Curepipe, you will come across many duty free shops specialized in different types of goods like Ship Models Shops, Adamas Jewellery and Cashmere & Pashmina clothing.
The town of Floreal situated next to Curepipe offers a selection of local handicrafts workshops and factory shops, such as the wool factory, a model boats workshop, a diamond cutting workshop and more. Many of the boutiques and factory shops in Floreal offer a vast range of products.
You will be able to purchase at competitive prices handmade crafts, watches, paintings, top designer garments and many more, all directly from the manufactures.