Bel Ombre is a charming small town hidden away on the island’s more rugged southern coast, with a handful of upscale hotels dotted along the best of the resort’s golden sand beaches. The area is steeped in colonial history from the days of Irish naturalist Charles Telfair who was granted permission to farm the land by the first British governor in the early 19th century. His vision led to a revolution in the techniques in agriculture, respect for the natural environment and views on slavery. Following Telfair’s passing the concession became a sugar plantation and mill in the early 20th century, and only more recently a heritage-style resort and golf course. Unlike other resorts this stretch of the island’s coastline has developed at a slow and considered pace, helping to preserve the area’s peaceful and more natural atmosphere. One of the main draws to Bel Ombre is the Frederica Nature Reserve, which protects 2500 acres of forested hills and grassy plains dotted with rivers and waterfalls. The reserve can be explored by quad bike or in a 4x4 vehicle, and is home to deer, monkeys, wild boar and a number of bird species including the Mauritian Kestrel. Bel Ombre is a great option for those looking to hole up in a tranquil beach resort with easy access to nature.