Are you looking for the best places to visit in Rodrigues Island? This Rodrigues travel guide will help you take your pick on the best places to visit and top things to do!
Located about 600 km east of Mauritius, Rodrigues is a small volcanic island famous for its relaxed vibe and slow pace of life.
Whether you’re planning on spending a weekend in Rodrigues or even up to 2 weeks, you’ll definitely find plenty to do there!
From hiking to secluded beaches and viewpoints, exploring cave formations and road-tripping along scenic routes to shopping at the craft market, sampling authentic local dishes, exploring small islets, and relaxing on the beaches, there are so many things to do in Rodrigues!
Discover 20 best places to visit in Rodrigues Island, how to get around, the best place to stay on a budget, and tips to help you plan your trip!
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Top Places to visit in Rodrigues
I traveled to Rodrigues for the first time when I was about 12 years old and never thought about going back until recently. I’ve always heard that it was too small and that there wasn’t much to do there.
After doing a bit of research, I found out that there are actually a lot of places to visit and things to do in Rodrigues Island. So, here’s a list of 20 best places to visit in Rodrigues!
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Rodrigues is, without a doubt, Trou D’Argent. This pristine white sand beach is flanked by tall jagged cliffs and only accessible on foot by hiking from St Francois or Gravier beach.
As you get to the far right side of St Francois beach, you’ll need to climb over the rocky outcrop and follow the purple and white markings on the stones and trees.
After a few minutes, you’ll reach Baie de L’Est. Although similar to Trou D’Argent, the beach is less beautiful and not swimmable due to the huge amount of stones.
From there, you’ll be walking along a path canopied by tall pine trees until you reach a set of wooden stairs. Keep walking until you reach another beach with wooden railings along the top edge. This one is called Anse Philibert and sometimes mistaken for Trou D’Argent.
After a further 5-10 minutes’ walk, you’ll finally reach Trou D’Argent. If you keep going, you’ll find two other beaches – Grande Anse and Anse Bouteille. In total, it takes about 3-4 hours to visit all the beaches but you could easily spend the whole day there.
Hiking to Trou D’Argent is definitely one of the best things to do in Rodrigues, so make sure to not miss it during your trip!
Mont Limon Viewpoint
Standing at 398 meters above sea level, Mont Limon viewpoint offers a 360-degree view of the whole island and is one of the most popular places to visit in Rodrigues. Due to the hilly landscape of Rodrigues, it literally takes less than 5 minutes to reach the summit!
If you’re coming from St Francois, you’ll find a staircase along a curve on your left. There’s no parking lot but you can leave your car on the other side of the road. The path is well-marked and easy to follow thanks to the orange and purple markings.
Most people only visit the main viewpoint but once you get to the summit, take the path on your right and you’ll find other scenic lookout points.
François Leguat Reserve
The island of Rodrigues used to have an abundance of giant tortoises but unfortunately, they were hunted down by human settlers which eventually led to their extinction in the 1700s.
The François Leguat Reserve has worked a lot to reintroduce several species of tortoises such as the Radiated, Aldabra, and Ploughshare tortoises. They also planted over 300,000 plants in order to recreate the fauna and flora of Rodrigues as described by the French explorer and naturalist, François Leguat.
Located in Anse Quitor, François Leguat Reserve offers guided tours every day at 9.30 a.m, 10.30 a.m, 1.30 p.m, and 2.30 pm.
During the visit, you’ll get to see different species of endemic plants, walk with tortoises, and even take a selfie with them! You’ll then visit the “Grande Caverne” where your guide will point out the weirdly-shaped stalactites and stalagmites. The cave is well-equipped with lights, handrails, and walkways.
Towards the end of the cave tour, you’ll also get to see the spot where the bones of the extinct Solitaire bird was dug.
As one of the best places to visit in Rodrigues, you’ll also find a museum, restaurant, and souvenir shop onsite.
With 37 caves systems scattered around Rodrigues, only two of them can be visited – Grande Caverne and Caverne Patate. The latter is located in the village of Petite Butte and is the most popular cave in Rodrigues. You can only explore the cave if you’re accompanied by a guide and the last visit is at 3 p.m.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to visit during my recent trip but I heard that it’s quite similar to Grande Caverne at François Leguat Reserve. The only difference is that it isn’t equipped with lights and handrails.
Montagne Malgache (Zipline with Tyrodrig)
During recent years, ziplining has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rodrigues. One particular place in Rodrigues where you can partake in this activity is Montagne Malgache through a company called RodrigAdventure (commonly known as Tyrodrig).
Spectacular views over the southeast coast coupled with a rush of adrenaline makes ziplining one of the best things to do in Rodrigues Island!
It might seem daunting at first but as soon as you cruise across the mountain, every ounce of fear will melt away as you take in the view! You’ll first start with the longest zipline which is about 400 meters long followed by two shorter ones at 180 and 110 meters respectively.
For the adrenaline junkies out there, you can also include other activities such as walking along a suspension bridge (at Cascade Pistache), bungee jumping (at Cascade Pistache) and Via Ferrata (at Montagne Tonnerre) to your list of things to do in Rodrigues.
Cost per activity: Rs 1,000 (US$ 25) for tourists and Rs 600 (US$ 15) for Mauritians, except for the suspension bridge which costs Rs 100 (US$ 2.50).
Ile aux Cocos
Located about 4 km west of Rodrigues, Ile aux Cocos is an islet home to several species of seabirds including the lesser noddy, noddy, sooty tern, and fairy tern.
The islet is gorgeous with soft white sand and clear water and is a haven for both bird watchers and travelers looking for a piece of paradise.
Since Ile aux Cocos was declared a nature reserve in 1986, the authorities control the number of people visiting at a time. This means that you won’t have to fight with hundreds of tourists for a strip of sand!
Do note that it’s strictly forbidden to touch the eggs or hatchlings and you’re only allowed a maximum of 4 hours on the island so as to not disturb the birds’ natural habitat.
Tours usually depart from Pointe du Diable and the boat trip lasts for about 1 hour. Depending on the tour company, a visit to Ile aux Cocos will cost between Rs 950 and 1,500 (US$ 23.75-37.50) and includes the boat trip, lunch, and guided visit of the island.
I visited Ile aux Cocos with 360 Degrees Tours which cost Rs 1,200 (US$ 30) but Echo Link offers a cheaper and similar tour for about Rs 950 (US$ 23.75).
Ile aux Sables
Ile aux Sables is another islet located beside Ile aux Cocos and is also a nature reserve. Unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to visit but during your tour of Ile aux Cocos, the boat will stop briefly near the islet and you can spend some time walking along the sandbar only.
Grande Montagne Nature Reserve
For those who seek a complete immersion in nature with one of the best vantage points in Rodrigues, a visit to Grande Montagne Nature Reserve shouldn’t be missed.
After years of restoration work by both the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and local citizens, Grande Montagne Nature Reserve was finally opened to the public in 2016.
It’s no doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in Rodrigues! Spanning 20 hectares, the nature reserve is home to several endemic plants and birds. One section also serves as a little tortoise park where you’ll get to see five tortoises roaming about freely.
You can only visit as part of a guided tour, which is absolutely worth it by the way. Tours are conducted at 9.30 a.m and 1.15 p.m from Monday to Friday and at 9.30 a.m on Saturday.
The visit lasts for about two hours where your guide will teach you all about the fauna and flora of Rodrigues. I even got the chance to spot two endemic birds, the Rodrigues Fody and Warbler, several times during my visit!
But the highlight was definitely the viewpoint at about ¾ of the trail where you’ll get one of the best panoramic views of the southeast coast.
At the end of your visit, you can spend some time at the education center to view a display of the Solitaire bird and giant tortoise skeletons.
Cost: Rs 300 (US$ 7.50) for tourists; Rs 150 (US$3.75) for Mauritians; Rs 50 (US$ 1.25) for locals (children pay half price)
Petite Butte is a small rugged beach located in the southwest of Rodrigues Island, not too far from Caverne Patate. If you’re looking for a beach without any crowd at all, this is the place for you!
There isn’t a whole lot to do here apart from walking along the beach to explore the surroundings.
Tip: It’s best to wear closed-toe shoes when walking on the beach due to the sharp corals.
Port Mathurin Market
Port Mathurin Market is definitely one of the most popular places to visit in Rodrigues Island. The market is most lively on Saturdays and attracts locals and tourists looking for deals on a wide selection of fresh produce, souvenirs, local handicrafts, and food.
If you want to buy fruits and vegetables, it’s best to go early as almost everything will be gone by 10 a.m.
The tourist/craft market, on the other hand, stays open until 1-2 p.m. This is the most visited part of the market where you can buy all sorts of local products including dried octopus and fish, pickles, chili sauce, tourtes (a Rodriguan pie filled with papaya, pineapple, and coconut), rattan baskets, handbags, etc.
The market is located beside the bus terminal and can be accessed directly through a pedestrian bridge. If you’re coming by car, you’ll find a big parking lot behind the market.
Pointe Canon Viewpoint (Mary, Queen of Rodrigues Monument)
Pointe Canon is located in Port Mathurin and was used as a watch area during the British ruling. Nowadays, it serves as both a panoramic viewpoint and religious site.
In the early 1950s, money was raised to buy a statue of the Virgin Mary from England to create a monument similar to Marie Reine de la Paix in Mauritius. The statue was then inaugurated in 1954.
In addition to being a place of worship for Catholics, it’s one of the best viewpoints in Port Mathurin. It offers a panoramic view of the whole capital – the market, bus terminal, harbor and neighboring villages.
You can get there by walking from the bus terminal but this would require walking over hundreds of steps. If you’re coming by car, you can stop at the little parking area next to the hairpin bend beside Pointe Canon Meteorological station.
St Francois Beach
Arguably one of the best beaches in Rodrigues, and also the longest, St Francois Beach is located off the east coast of Rodrigues Island.
Stretching over 700 meters of soft white sand and peaceful waters, the beach is empty most of the time and visited only by a handful of people mainly on Sundays.
St Francois beach is also one of the main starting points for hiking to Trou D’Argent.
With a couple of restaurants serving delicious local dishes, a few budget guesthouses, and a 4-star resort close by, St Francois is the ultimate beach destination in Rodrigues!
Pointe Cotton Beach
By far the most popular beach in Rodrigues, Pointe Cotton is also located on the east coast. There are a few restaurants along the main road and the left side of the beach is home to Cotton Bay Resort & Spa.
While it’s one of the most visited beaches, it’s not my favorite due to the huge amount of sharp corals in the water. So, I recommend wearing water shoes for a more enjoyable swim.
You can also take a walk along the right side of the beach to explore the large coral outcrop. The landscape there is completely different with strong wind and huge waves crashing against the cliffs. It’s definitely a must-see when visiting Rodrigues Island!
Rodrigues 52 Contours
If you’re looking for the best viewpoints in Rodrigues, driving along the “52 contours” route will reward you with some of the most scenic views. This road is made up of 52 adrenaline-inducing hairpin bends that connect Mont Lubin to Port Sud-Est.
Luckily the road is well-paved and deserted most of the time, so driving along should be somewhat easy…
Here you’ll find colorful houses clinging to the hills, little islets dotting the turquoise ocean, and cattle and sheep roaming about freely and occasionally crossing the road. The landscape is truly beautiful!
About halfway through, you’ll find a big stone monument on your left. You can pull over here to take some photos and enjoy a bird’s eye view of Anse Mourouk, Hermitage Island, Ile aux Chats (Pierrot Island), and Ile Gombrani.
Cathedral St Gabriel
Another great place to visit in Rodrigues is Cathedral St Gabriel. The stone church was built in the 1930s by a group of volunteers and is the biggest Catholic church on the island.
Roche Bon Dieu Viewpoint
Although this attraction in Rodrigues is unknown to most tourists, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t worth visiting. Located in the village of Roche Bon Dieu, the viewpoint offers a panoramic view of small colorful houses dotting the hills with a beautiful ocean backdrop.
But what makes this spot particularly famous are the two huge boulders. While local legend says that the boulders were dropped here by God, others argue that they come from a meteorite.
If you’re coming from St Francois, drive towards the village of Roche Bon Dieu until you see a bus station. The viewpoint is located down a little track road on your left, beside the bus station (click here for the approximate GPS pin location).
The remote feeling is emphasized by the vast expanse of white sand that stretches all the way to Fumier beach.
It’s a great place to visit in Rodrigues for a peaceful morning stroll. There are no restaurants nearby, but only a local vendor selling some snacks at the entrance. Settle on the benches to enjoy the scenery, take a stroll along the beach or go in for a swim.
Another place to visit in Rodrigues is the white sand beach of Anse Mourouk, located in Mourouk village.
The ocean is mostly shallow and flat making it one of the best kitesurfing spots on the island. This is also where the Rodrigues International Kite Surf Festival is held annually.
Anse aux Anglais
Anse aux Anglais is a small beach located about a 15 minutes’ walk from Port Mathurin. Despite not being one of the best beaches in Rodrigues for swimming, it’s the perfect place to visit during sunset. You can also find a few restaurants in the area.
Jardins des Cinq Sens
Jardins des Cinq Sens is a small botanical garden that provides interactive tours using all five senses. During your visit, you’ll discover several endemic plants, flowers, aromatic and medicinal plants by using all your senses and then finish off with a free tasting.
Tours are conducted daily at 9 a.m, 10 a.m, 11 a.m, 1 p.m, 2 p.m and 3 p.m.
Cost: Rs 250 (US$ 6.25) for adults and Rs 125 (US$ 3.10) for children
Where to Stay in Rodrigues Island?
Auberge St Francois
Auberge St Francois is a budget guesthouse located right across St Francois Beach. Some rooms can accommodate up to 6 people and are equipped with a private bathroom, kettle, and mini-fridge. Cheaper rooms have a fan while others have air-conditioning and a private balcony.
The location is ideal if you’re planning on hiking to Trou D’Argent (about 30-45 minutes’ walk) plus you can walk to the beach in less than 1 minute! There are only two restaurants nearby but you can order breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the guesthouse.
How to get to Rodrigues Island?
If you’re on a budget, you can travel to Rodrigues by sea. The journey is quite long though, taking between 36 and 48 hours. You can check this website for more information.
Traveling by air is slightly more expensive but it takes only about 1.5 hours to get from Mauritius to Rodrigues. Air Mauritius is the only airline that offers flights from Mauritius to Rodrigues Island several times per week.
You can also travel to Rodrigues from Reunion Island with Air Austral but tickets are mainly available during the weekend.
How to get around Rodrigues Island?
The cheapest way to get around Rodrigues is by taking the bus. Bus tickets cost between Rs 12 (US$ 0.30) and Rs 30 (US$ 0.75) depending on the distance. Unfortunately, they are notorious for being slow and unreliable, especially on Sundays. If you’re only traveling short distances, I highly recommend walking instead.
If you’re traveling to Rodrigues for the first time and want the freedom to explore at your own pace, renting a car is the way to go. I rented a car through Echo Link and paid Rs 1,000 (US$ 25) per day and used only about Rs 400 (US$ 10) worth of gas for 2 days.
Best time to visit Rodrigues Island
The weather in Rodrigues is similar to that of Mauritius with only two seasons – summer (November to April) and winter (May to October). The average temperature is about 27-31 degrees Celsius in summer and 18-25 degrees Celsius in winter.
You can visit Rodrigues at any time of the year although you might want to steer clear of the cyclone season which is mainly between December and March. So, make sure to check the weather forecast before visiting.
When I visited Rodrigues in October, I found it to be slightly hotter than Mauritius. The weather was great for the most part of my trip and it only rained on one day and luckily, it didn’t last for too long.
I really hope you found this guide to the best places to visit in Rodrigues helpful. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments below.
Check out these guides if you want to explore more of Mauritius:
- 37 amazing things to do and places to visit in Mauritius
- 20 epic hikes to do in Mauritius
- Most beautiful beaches in Mauritius Island
- Travel guide to Port Louis Mauritius
- The best street food in Mauritius