The water that surrounds the nooks and crannies of the 138 pieces of rock that form the fishhook-shaped island of Bermuda is the crystal home to a spectrum of sea life. The colors that spread within its busy ocean are shades of baby and sapphire blues, pinks and crimsons, lavenders and golds. While visitors may feel overwhelmed at the number of options where they can view the inner workings of this hidden world, we found the best spots for every member of the family to safely appreciate it.
Before you head off, a quick visit to the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo will give you a cross section view of what you can expect to see underwater, why it’s there and how it’s changed.
If you’re a little unsure of how comfortable you are in the water, you have your folks with you or you like your snorkeling a bit more on the social side, Snorkel Park Beach, part of the Royal Navy Dockyard complex on the West End, is the place for you. Full gear is available to rent for this beach entry snorkel area, plus, when you’re done, you can listen to live music and grab a bite to eat.
Another area to hang out in between your mellow snorkel adventure is Tobacco Bay, set on the East End and the site where locals once helped American revolutionaries steal gunpowder from the British. Today, it’s a beach club with lounge chairs and a protected lagoon surrounded by inviting rock formations home to a vast array of sea life.
Named after Pocahontas’s special friend, credited for drawing the first map of Bermuda, this pink-sand South Shore beach is about 15 minutes from Hamilton. This is the place to interact with locals who are also appreciating the magical land beneath the water. Rumor has it, if you go right (facing the sea) you’ll find a large community of fish congregating around the rocks. There’s a parking lot and during summers food carts make their way around the sand.
It’s nine beaches on 17 coastal acres, two of which are public, on the Western tip of the island. This may be the best kept secret for prime snorkeling. The waters are extremely calm and shallow, making it the perfect spot to explore with young kids. During WWII, the Canadians used the area as an army base so barracks could still be spotted by young pioneers. During the summer, vendors will provide chairs and gear to rent but, otherwise, bring your own.
The Western Blue Cut
If your kids are a little older or you’re a more adventurous type family, Bermuda is surrounded by shipwrecks which met their fate on the rocky, shallow reefs and are the perfect spots to explore snorkeling. The Western Blue Cut is about an hour’s boat ride from the Royal Navy Dockyard. The spot is a break in the reef that is within swimming distance of several wrecks. The two most popular are the Constellation and the Montana, shallow reef spots and only about 20 feet from perfect views of the two submerged vessels.