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It doesn’t get more exotic than Mauritius. The Indian Ocean island off the coast of Madagascar is home to more than just dazzling beaches. Beyond the glistening water’s edge Mauritius is brimming with a diverse mix of cultures and boasts one of Africa’s wealthiest cities.

The sun in Mauritius shines brightly all year round making for ideal vacation conditions. From November to April the summer sun rises at 5 in the morning and shines brightly until 7 at night. Temperatures can measure up to 91 degrees in summer. During this period the weather is humid and rain is common. The humidity and the heat peaks during January and February, which can be quite unbearable. Winter takes place between May and October with the temperature dropping to 65 degrees and humidity easing.

Most travelers escape the northern hemisphere’s winter to vacation in Mauritius over the Christmas break. This period brings about a peak in accommodation prices. The French school vacations in August also results in an influx of tourists, and though weather conditions may be ideal, demand and prices increase. Your safest bet is to travel to Mauritius around June and July when the weather is at its best and there are fewer tourists.

The island’s diverse mix of cultures means that there are a range of religious and cultural events that take place. Each year Mauritius plays host to Chinese New Year, Ramadan and numerous Hindu festivals. One event that Mauritians of all background take part in is Father Laval Day in September. Locals visit the tomb of Father Laval, a French missionary and doctor who sort to protect slaves and has since become a symbol of compassion.