Mauritius is located in the Indian Ocean, north of the Tropic of Capricorn. It is around 890 KMs away from the east coast of Madagascar. Formed approximately ten million years ago by a volcanic eruption under the sea, Mauritius, Rodrigues and Reunion are island that have been formed by the eruption and collectively form the group of Mascarene Islands. This collective title is derived from the Portuguese navigator Pedro Mascarenhas, who first visited them in the early sixteenth century. The islands share a common geologic origin in the volcanism of the Réunion hotspot beneath the Mascarene Plateau and form a distinct eco region with a unique flora and fauna.
Mauritius is quite a mountainous island but not with exceptionally high mountains. The highest peak is at the southwest of the Island, the mountain of Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 meters (2,717 ft), second is the Pieter Both at 823 meters and Le Pouce is the third highest mountain on the island at 812 meters.
Mauritius has several rivers and streams, many of them are formed in the crevices between land created by new and old lava flows. The island has two natural lakes both are crater lakes and one man-made reservoir. Mauritius' capital and largest city is Port Louis which is situated at the northwest. Other important towns are Rose-Hill and Beau-Bassin, Curepipe, Vacoas, Phoenix, Quatre Bornes. The two biggest harbors are Port Louis and Mahebourg.