The island of Curieuse, also known as the "Ile Rouge" due to its red soil, is located near Seychelles and is home to the Curieuse port. The island is off the northwestern coast of the island of Praslin and was named after a vessel called the "La Curieuse." This vessel was a part of the French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne's fleet.
Curieuse houses a tortoise project and is also an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles. Among other things, Curieuse boasts of an endemic vine and 8 different species of mangrove.
There is not much from a shopping point of view on Curieuse Island. There are no actual commercial buildings on the island. The only buildings belong to the National Marine Parks Board, and you should also know there are no refreshments sold or overnight bed and breakfasts or accommodations available.
You can find some small souvenir shops housed inside the reserve's official buildings. The buildings and the shop locations double as the collection site for tourist landing fees. The landing fees are charged in US Dollars or Euros. Credit cards are accepted. You can also choose which currency you would like them to charge to your card.
Things to See
The highlight of this island is the tortoise reserve that houses the Geochelone gigantean species. They are the largest remaining species of tortoise in the world. They average up to 120 centimeters in length and 250 kilograms in weight, and they can live to over 100 years of age.
Apart from the tortoises, the Curieuse Island is a paradise for the nature lover and explorer. If you are the nature type, you will love to go for a walk, watching rare species of birds nesting in the trees.
In 1771, the entire was island was destroyed when sailors set fire to it to harvest coco de mer nuts. Today signs of the great fire can still be noticed after almost 250 years.
If you have more time on your hands, you can go to the museum at Anse St. Jose. The Old Doctor's House on the island was converted to a museum and is a classic example of Creole architecture.
The walk around the island should take around 45 minutes to complete.
Restaurants and Bars
There are no separate bars or restaurants on the Curieuse island or near the Curieuse port of call, but it makes for the perfect picnic spot for the family.
You will find some small barbecue stands used by the tour guides and operators to organize a meal of rice and chili sauce with a succulent Seychelles style fish and fresh fruit and mango salad.
Although it seems like a quiet and peaceful island, the number of daytrips to this island keeps it teeming with visitors. You will find a lot of groups and parties crammed into a small space. The quality of the food is amazing, though.