Mauritius attracts nearly one million visitors yearly, wooing many with its pristine beaches and cobalt blue seas.
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A diverse island —
About 80% of the populace are descendants from the tiny island country's early settlers.
Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority
A slave refuge —
Under the Dutch and French rule, slaves brought over from other African nations drove a large part of the economy. Many of the island's remote regions -- particularly Le Morne Mountain (pictured) -- became refuges for escaped slaves.
Asia in Africa —
Though slavery on the island was abolished in 1835, the British introduced indentured laborers from India onto the island to work in the sugar industry. Around 450,000 were brought to live on the island. Many of their descendants still live there today, lending Asian influences to the African nation.
Courtesy Starwood Hotels and Resorts
A multicultural cuisine —
Nothing illustrates the melting pot-nature of Mauritius quite as succinctly as the cuisine. At the Central Market, thousands of people come daily to search out a global array of produce, from cassava to soy sauce, and dahl to roti.
The island's traditional music —
Originally created as slave music, sega music was frowned upon by some for years. Today, it is the traditional music of the island.
A taste of reggae —
Sega has recently given way to a whole new style that borrows heavily from reggae. The result? Seggae.