The multi hued natural sand dunes of Chamarel is a marvel and a major tourist attraction of Mauritius. The sand dunes is comprised of seven distinct colours (approximately red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow). Yes you read it right, in Mauritius you can see earth of different colors, isn’t it amazing? The different colors of earth always settle in different layers and it is visible as stripes of different colors. If one takes a handful of sands of different colours and mixes them together, as they’ll eventually separate into a layered spectrum. Also it has been noted that the soil never erodes even in torrential rains and a beautiful carved patterns have been formed on the hillside.
An entrance fee is required to visit the Chamarel seven coloured earth, it is easily accessible and there is a free parking available. The time of the day, the climate & temperature has a direct effect on the color of the sand dunes and the sight is absolutely amazing on a sunny day, best is at sunrise.
This natural phenomenon happened at Chamarel due to decomposed basalt gullies. The hot and humid climate helps in the decomposition of the basalt into clay. As a result of chemical breakdown of minerals by water, the soluble elements are washed leaving large composition of iron and aluminium which constitute a ferralitic soil. The iron have a red colour whereas the aluminium have a blue or purplish colour.
The place has become one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions since the 1960s and in the initial years visitors were able to walk on the sand dunes however nowadays, the dunes are protected by a wooden fence and visitors are not allowed to climb on them, although they can look at the scenery from observation outposts placed along the fence. Curio shops in the area sell small test-tubes filled up with the coloured earths.
There is also a small cafe, a children playground and some giant tortoises in an enclosure. There is also a lush greenery around the Chamarel seven coloured earth sand dunes. You may use your personal camera to shoot nice photos of Chamarel as a memory of your visit to this natural marvel.