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.
Like Chamarel, this phenomenon is also unique, arising from volcanic activity and mineral deposits. During the volcanic eruption, the lava cooled and solidified.
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.
If you want to travel places with us, I suggest you to join us on my Facebook travel page.
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This is amazing. Never seen such vibrant colored sands.
Thanks for sharing this.
Thank you. I enjoyed it a lot.
Seven-Coloured Earths at Chamarel- I have visited this place and I can relate to your article so much. It truly is one of the spectacular places I have ever visited. The phenomenon that caused this is so interesting.
Raksha, isn’t it amazing? I love to explore such places. 🙂
I have never even heard of this place and that sand looks so funky. I would defo make the trip to Chamarel if I am in the area just to see this.
Yes pls. If you are heading to Mauritius, do include this in your itinerary.
This reminds me of Yellowstone here in the US. The Earth can produce an amazing kaleidoscope of color.
Wow, the seven-coloured earth is incredible! I think I’ve seen photos of this before but thought it was photoshopped because it was too spectacular and surely nothing that beautiful actually exists! I guess I’ll have to add Mauritius to the list!
Ha Ha now you know it’s not photoshopped or a myth. 😀
Please plan a visit to Mauritius. Would love to see it thru your lens.
Great post. Loved the fact that the colored sands will auto-separate. Would be fun to try. Did you pick that up as a curio ?
Yes, I also heard so and I believe it. No, I didn’t have time to experiment it.
Wow–the landscape at Seven-Coloured Earth looks so amazing! I love all the different colors and its interesting how it is thought to have formed. The zip lining and quad biking look like a blast too–would love to visit and explore this area!
Trust me, these two places are worth a visit and you can spend a day each in both places.
Wait for my post on what all you can do here.
Adding this one to my bucket list. Wonderful place thanks for sharing.
I am glad that I could help you in adding this place to your bucket list. 🙂
The similar landscape we have seen in Argentina and Peru. What is more surprising… the greenery around.
Great to know that. Which region of Peru & Argentina are you referring to?
Our beautiful planet never cease to amaze us! This colors are just amazing!!
Yes indeed ! 😀 Have you been to Mauritius?
Nature has such unique ways of showing us that there are miracles all around. The pictures look surreal. Love the blend of all the colours and the folds of earth! 🙂
And yes, awesome pic of you on the quad bike 🙂
Yes, I too love the folds very much. 😀
Thank you. 🙂
Wow…. it’s amazing. Thanks for sharing such an interesting post with details.
Wow! We were in Mauritius last year and had no idea this existed! What incredible colors and geology!
It is no amazing to see nature’s work of art in the form of these colors. I’m even more surprised that the area is still preserved despite being so old. Such an interesting phenomena behind the formation – loved this place!
Would love to go Mauritius, heard its amazing. The weird and wonderful thing that nature produces never cease to amaze me! Think that if you like this should definitely head to the Valley of 14 Colours in Northern Argentina. Like this but on an epic scale!
Wow, nice to know this natural wonder. It’s quite intriguing to see this beautiful Geological formations.
The earth is like nature’s canvas, where it has artfully painted in unbelievable hues and colours. We have seen so many variations of landscapes, yet with phenomena such as this, nature never ceases to amaze. I had no idea about this place, so thank you for the post.. It made me learn something new today. Have a great day!
World is definitely a colorful place and it is so stunning to witness such vibrant beauty with so many colors in one place… Its no surprise that one it one of the most visited place in Mauritius! 🙂
Wonderful picture and great information. Thank you for sharing.