The mystical 7-coloured earth of Chamarel, Mauritius . . .
The seven colored earth is a natural phenomenon, a prominent and attractive tourist attraction. The colours had evolved when the changeover from basaltic lava to clay minerals occurred many years ago.
It’s a comparably small area consisting of sand dunes containing sand of seven rather cool colours – they are red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow.
Due to our tropical weather conditions, all water-soluble elements like silicon dioxide have been washed away. What remains is a reddish-black iron and also aluminum oxides which create different shades of blue, cyan and purple. The various colors formed from their unique compositions.
What’s even more fascinating is that if you mix the colored earth together, they’ll eventually settle into separate layers due to their weights. And you will also be mystified as the colors play tricks on you as they sometimes appear as shadows.
From the beginning of time when the earth was first exposed, rains had carved beautiful patterns into the hillside, creating an unusually spectacular effect unique only to Mauritius. At first glance you notice shadows on the hills, creating the illusion that there are different colours – soon you realise that the colours are real and the shadows were the illusion – what a truly magical place to visit!
Sunrise is the best time to see the Coloured Earths. Geologists are still and I guess always will be intrigued by the rolling dunes of multi-coloured lunar-like landscape. The colours, red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow never erode despite our tropical downpours and adverse climatic conditions.
The Colored Earth of Chamarel has become one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions since the 1960s. Nowadays, the dunes are protected by a wooden fence preventing guests from climbing on them – although there are observation posts placed along the fence. Curio shops in the area sell small test tubes filled with the coloured earths – a little memento of this truly spectacular and unique place on earth!
On the grounds, you will also find a children’s playground and some giant tortoises they can ride and feed!
Welcome to our Chamarel (7 coloured earth) page – we hope you enjoyed the read!