Best Snorkeling Bermuda
Another great hot spot to snorkel and dive and take a good rest on your cool beach chair. I will go over some of the best snorkeling in Bermuda, fish and coral reef. Some great Shipwrecks, snorkel beaches and where to stay in Bermuda. But of course it is always good to know a little bit about the country you are going to visit.
Map of Bermuda
Bermuda first of all is not the Bermuda Triangle, they are two very different places. Bermuda (the island) is situated about 650 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina and around 1000 miles north of San Juan Puerto Rico. So you have an idea or where it is roughly. The Bermuda Triangle is a triangle shape around that area of the southern point of Florida to Puerto Rico and north to Bermuda. This is an area where ships and aircrafts mysteriously disappear into nowhere.
Now that we have that sorted out, Bermuda has the most amazing white sandy beaches and crystal clear water that you will be able to see for a long time. Bermuda is a little expensive and most places it can cost a minimum $5.00 USD per hour to rent snorkel equipment and that is if you find the right place to rent gear. It is much easier to bring your own snorkel gear that way it is more hygienic and you can use it whenever you like and save a lot of money.
Fish of Bermuda
It depends on where you end up snorkeling but there are so many different kinds of fish all around the island it will amaze you. Make sure you have an underwater camera to catch all of the action. Here is a list of most of the fish and at certain beaches and parks I will point out maybe more rare fish that you will only see at that specific snorkel beach or park.
Bermuda Kill Fish
Sergeant Major FIsh
Black tip Shark
Spotted Eagle Ray
Caribbean Reef Shark
Four Eye Butterfly Fish
Bermuda Coral Reef
Bermuda’s Coral Reef is above and beyond most reefs I have seen (if you plan on visiting please make sure to use reef-safe sunscreen). It is comprised of three different reefs: Lagoon Reefs, Terrace Reefs and Rim Reefs. These three reefs surrounding Bermuda encompass around 625 square miles. For this coral to thrive the water temperature has to stay warm pretty much all year round in which is does however, it can get quite cold (relatively speaking to where you are from) to 60 degree fahrenheit between November to March so if you plan to head out in the water you may want a 3mm wetsuit and I recommend you bring your own because it is rather tough and expensive to find one on the island. During Summer months the water temperature gets to the mid 80’s which is perfect for snorkeling and diving and no need for a wetsuit.
Due to the Gulf stream that flows through the area of the Northern Atlantic it keeps the water warmer, thus preserving the coral and making it last for generations. Corals are actually marine invertebrates and live off of plankton and small fish but can also live off of algae.
The coral expels Calcium Carbonate which is a chemical that takes on the form of limestone and after years the coral builds up on top of dead coral forming a strong base and multiplies making the surface of the coral. This can be quite delicate so always be careful when you are snorkeling or diving and not to touch or damage what you are looking at.
This process is how the Bermuda coral reef and fishes have evolved over millions of years making it into the beautiful marine life it is today.
Rim Reefs are quite shallow, about 3-8 meters so for snorkeling you will get a really good view of these coral reefs. Because they are so shallow and closer to waves and currents they are comprised of Brain and Star Corals which are solid so they can withstand the action of the ocean.
Lagoon Reefs sit around 10 to 20 meters and form the shore water areas around Bermuda. You will find Soft Corals in these areas because there are not many currents and waves through these areas but that being said there is also quite a bit of sediment in the areas because there is not much current flowing through the area. Visibility can be limited through these areas but on a good day they are still spectacular.
Terrace Reefs have great visibility because they are located in the outermost surface of Bermuda so they are strong and have smaller currents that clean the area’s up nicely. They also protect the entire island from heavy waves. If you are checking out these reefs you will most likely be with a guide and they will be able to tell you about the currents and waves so you will be safe but always have a snorkel vest just in case!
Due to these massive reefs, not only beautiful have caused issues for early settlers trying to come into the island since the 1600’s over 300 shipwrecks have landed making it ideal for snorkelers and divers. This includes the Mary Celestia which is a side-paddle wheeler from the American Civil War. The Caraquet which is a 350 foot passenger steamer that struck a hard surface in 1923 and now lies in only 30 feet of water perfect for snorkelers.
A few great places and some of our favorites are: The North Rock, the Aquarium, Killa Puffa, and the Blue hole. These are just a couple and some of our favorites but there are so many more.
Now that we are the topic of Shipwrecks around Bermuda I mid as well talk about the rest of them. As mentioned above there are more shipwrecks per square mile than anywhere else in the world! So if you are looking for something new and exciting this is the place to go. There is nothing short of good dives or snorkeling excursion that will leave you speechless.
Most shipwrecks are easily accessible by boat tours and there are a lot of them. I will go over a few of our favorites later on but I will talk about more shipwrecks now. Depending on what you are looking for, if you want more older wartime ships you will want to head over to the west side of the island and for “newer” shipwrecks head to the east. If you are not sure just ask the tour operator before you book and they will be able to tell you where the best places are that you are looking for.
This for many reasons is very popular and beautiful as coral formations have adapted to the environment since the American Civil War. Only one person died on the ships crash and has great visibility for snorkelers or divers.
The King George
The King George is a dredger that was deliberately sunk in the 1930’s as it was no longer in use for the Bermudian Government. It is the largest intact ship that surrounds the Bermudian waters and is about 5 miles inside the North Rock.
The Cristobal Colon
One of the longest ships around the area at just under 500 feet had crashed in 1936. It was a Luxury Spanish ship and throughout time it has scattered across the ocean floor and can be seen from the snorkeling perspective but is best seen diving. That being said you can dive across the ocean floor around 55 feet and check out all the parts and pieces of the wreck and be an explorer yourself.
This German Ship spans over 300 feet long and now resides just off elbow beach. In World War 1 it struck coral having over 35 crew members and 350 tons of ammunition on it. From the shore it was witnessed by people from the Elbow Beach Hotel and were able to watch the rescue mission and it was only the captain that died alongside its ship.
As mentioned these are just some of the ships of the 300 but I feel it would be a little tedious to list them all so these are some of my favorites and if there is a specific ship you want to see, ask the boat tour operator and they will be able to accommodate you.
Snorkel Beach Bermuda
There is nothing short of spectacular beaches in Bermuda let alone great snorkeling off the beaches. Remember your snorkeling safety precautions and always stay within them. Always snorkel with someone, wear a snorkel vest, lather up with sunscreen (wear environmentally friendly sunscreen because you can damage coral reefs with bleached or improper lotion) and if you are even unsure ask someone or a couple people just to make sure it is safe to go in the water.
WarWick Long Bay
Located in the central south portion of the island is one of the nicest beaches and my personal favorite. The reason for this is that it is usually quieter and still offers amazing snorkeling. It is about half of a mile of amazing white sandy beach and has most of the amenities during the summer months, May to October. Bring your own snorkel gear, beach umbrella and anchor for it but a short walk you will be able to get food and access other amenities.
Due to the reefs location the water is calm and fantastic for snorkeling. The reefs go out as far as the break with is about half a mile and there are lots to see the whole way out. The depth can get up to 25 feet in certain areas so as always safety first and keep an eye on your snorkeling buddy! You will be able to see the white wash break at that half mile mark and you don’t want to pass that point for safety reasons.
As mentioned above it is located in line with Pollockshields wreck so you can swim over and check out what that shipwreck has to offer. Part of the beach is private so just obey all of the signs so you do not trespass.
The good news is there is all of the amenities you will need including a food vendors, washrooms and umbrellas if you have got to much sun already but the kids want to keep playing.
Located opposite bay of Port Royal in the Southampton this is a beautiful beach that offers great snorkeling and views.
Even though the beach is sandy and beautiful it can get rocky at areas so make sure you have your water shoes with you for protection and I recommend getting some good fins because the swim out can be a little longer than most just right off of the beach. If it is choppier waters maybe wait for a calmer day because it can get quite dangerous and not enjoyable if it is that bad. If you are unsure just ask!
The reefs run as deep as 30 feet give or take and can get quite shallow to standing in certain areas, just make sure you do not step on any of the coral so swim lightly back to shore.
There are amenities with food and facilities but bring your own snorkel gear just in case the store is closed.
Located in the west end in the Royal Naval Dock the name speaks for itself. That being said it can get really busy. There is a lot of traffic that runs through this area due to it being by the docking point where cruise ships enter and exit so it can turn up the water quite a bit. Check the docking schedule for cruise ships and try to avoid that time.
There is lots of coral and it is a beautiful beach to check out but if you are in a time crunch there are lots of other beaches mentioned above that will be worth visiting. If you have time definitely worth checking out but go early, avoid the rush and enjoy.
There are food vendors, facilities and rentals so you don’t need a thing if your hands are already full!
Where to stay in Bermuda
When you start looking at places to stay in Bermuda it seems easy but it all depends on prices. You can get great budget accommodations or you can go all the way to the top and stay in some of the nicest places in the world!
If you are looking for a cheap, inexpensive place to travel, Bermuda might not be for you. For a cheap hotel you are looking at around $150.00 USD a night. Then it can go up quite high from there depending if you want to be right on the beach or inland with no view so just know what you are getting into. Instead of hotels, you can always look at guesthouses or Inns and even property vacation rentals.
***Take note that there are a few taxes you need to be aware of to add onto your bill that you might not expect. Each room will have a 9.75% occupancy tax and a service charge of 10% (normally, sometimes higher) for gratuity.***
For the purpose of this article I will go with pricing (lowest to Highest) for each hotel and tell you where they are, the island is rather small so unless it is something specific it is easy to get around. I will offer a link because the prices range so much depending on time of the year and availability so it is just usually easier to check out pricing from the website first!
Windsong Guest Apartments
Closest to the city of Hamilton which is central Island and you can get to Hamilton city with a quick easy walk. It is a quiet area with great views of the city. Windsong is like you are in your own home on vacation.
Close to Spanish point and Admiralty house, walking distance to the beach to cool off and the bus route runs along St. Johns Road and the North Shore so you are accessible to the whole island. You can even rent a cab or bike to get around with ease.
This colonial style guesthouse offers great views and stylish attire when you are ready to retire back to your guesthouse from a great day on the golf course or beach and everything in between. This 3-star resort does not feel like a 3 star resort and is located just west of Windsong Guest apartments in Hamilton so again close to all the amenities and beaches!
Offering a balcony or terrace, AC, TV, wifi and everything you will need to live like you were at home. There is a complimentary light breakfast from 7:30am to 9:30 am and having your own kitchen can save lots making your vacation affordable and fun without the worry of overspending.
If your flight is late not to worry because they have late checkouts free of charge!
Clearview Suites and Cottages Hamilton
The cottages are actually located in the north, not to be confused with Edgehill or Windsong you get a lot of bang for your dollar here! Located 15 minutes from Hamilton by car and 7 minutes from the airport.
Oceanside Suites offer a magnificent view of the ocean and 2 infinity pools. You have access to tennis courts if you are ready to get active and an art gallery, playing field for the kids (if you decide to bring them) and a on site restaurant. You can even get an all inclusive package which I highly recommend if you are ready to just relax!
Newstead Belmont Hills Golf resort Spa
Located in central Bermuda just south of the bay from Edgehill Manor. If you are looking to treat yourself, love golf, swimming and fun this is the place for you! The rooms are spectacular with all of the amenities and services you will need to live like a king or queen.
With every stay you get a complimentary round of golf per day at the world class Belmont Hills Golf course, however you do need to pay for a cart which is not included.
There is a tennis court that you can play through the night if it is too hot during the day, the lights will keep you entertained for hours. They also have a club pro to book some one on one time to improve your game.
There is a fitness room if you need to sweat out the night before or just to stay with your daily routine. They have a full cardio room, with weights, balls and yoga mats.
They have a free private water taxi to take you around the bay and to Hamilton City.
There is nothing short of activities to do at this resort and if you have had enough fun and want to relax, just sit by the infinity pool and enjoy!
What else should I say about Fairmonts… They speak for themselves but if you are unsure this is what they have. Located in the south island you are close to lots of beaches and fun. If you are travelling with kids this is a great place to go with a poolside children’s service there is a 18 hole par 3 golf course. A 31,000 square foot spa and fitness center. They offer PADI diving with snorkeling and much more for water sports. You can play tennis and after all is said and done there are 9 on site restaurants that will leave your taste buds wanting more.