- Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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The 48-acre Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve earned UNESCO World Heritage status for its roughly 6,000 coco-de-mer trees. These beautiful trees — once believed to have sprouted from the ocean floor — haven't evolved much since prehistoric times. In fact, Vallée de Mai is so beautiful that it was once rumored to be the site of the Garden of Eden. Today, you can follow the nature reserve's path through the expansive forest to admire the coco-de-mers and the abundance of wildlife (including chameleons and black parrots) they shelter.
Botanists and bird-lovers could spend hours exploring Vallée de Mai, but recent visitors say that the average traveler won't need more than a couple of hours. "[T]here isn't much to see if you are walking around without a guide," one TripAdvisor user attested. "It would be good to do some reading about everything before you get there so that you can appreciate it more."
The Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve sits in the heart of Praslin and can be reached by bus or car from Baie Ste. Anne (the island's main port town located about 2 miles east). You can visit every day from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission costs 320 SCR (roughly $26 USD) per person, though children younger than 12 can enter for free; the money is used to help fund preservation efforts. To learn more, visit UNESCO's Vallée de Mai page.
- Thing to Do