Seven Coloured Earth
Seven Coloured Earth © llee_wu
Promoted as Mauritius' first attraction back in the 1960s and located on the Mauritian island of Chamarel, the Seven Coloured Earth is a magical sight and still quite a mysterious phenomenon. The Seven Coloured Earth is a geological formation of sand dunes comprised of seven distinct colours which give the rolling dunes a fantastical, psychedelic look. The colours are usually defined as red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. These warm colours are all the more striking in contrast to the bright green of the surrounding forest. The dunes are also interesting in that they never seem to erode, despite the tropical storms which lash the region. The sands have formed from the decomposition of volcanic rock and the colours can be traced back to certain mineral deposits and varying stages of decomposition, but the phenomenon that keeps the vivid colours so resolutely separate is still not completely understood. Visitors can no longer climb on the dunes, which are now protected by a wooden fence and ringed by a wooden boardwalk. The estate which houses the sands is full of lovely lush vegetation and there are some dramatic waterfalls to check out nearby. You can buy test tubes of the colourful sand at a number of gift shops and stalls in the area. Visitors should note that the weather and time of day plays a role in how dramatic the colours look - they often look best at sunrise.