For an island in the middle of nowhere, Mauritius (east of Madagascar) is a remarkably cosmopolitan place.

Since outsiders first settled there some 400 years ago, it has accumulated a diverse collection of people from India, Europe, Africa and China, and could serve as a poster for multicultural harmony. As a result, Mauritius is a great getaway for travelers.

Along with sun, sand and seawater comes a fascinating blend of cultures. You can alternate visits to temples, museums and markets with swimming, fishing or diving and treks through nature preserves. Mauritius also features shell hunting, mountains and volcanoes. A relaxed atmosphere permeates the island.

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