Chamarel Coloured Earths have become one of the sights on the island's usual tourist circuit. Some travellers (and we're among them) find them quite underwhelming but the queues to enter continue. If you temper your expectations, there's a greater chance of enjoying the variations of colourful sand – a result of the uneven cooling of molten rock. The site is 2km southwest of Chamarel. On your way through the reserve, stop at Chamarel Waterfall.
Tortoises are kept in an enclosure just below the coloured earths, which lie 3km inside the Terres de 7 Couleurs area.
The entire property was once the private estate of Charles de Chazal de Chamarel, who hosted Matthew Flinders during Flinders' captivity in Mauritius during the Napoleonic Wars.