It's no wonder that Bermuda is considered to be one of the best places to snorkel and scuba dive in the world. Between the crystal clear water of the Atlantic Ocean, stunning coral reefs and hundreds of centuries' old shipwrecks, there's plenty of sights to see underwater on Bermuda vacations. Whether you prefer snorkeling or scuba diving, you will want to put these spots on your list for your adventure trip to Bermuda.
Best Places to Snorkel Close to Shore
If you're new to snorkeling, you may want to start your adventure travel excursion close to the shore. For the best snorkeling just off Bermuda's white sand beaches, you will want to check out these easy to reach locations.
Church Bay – With incredible reefs located just a short distance from the sand, this South Shore location is perfect for viewing Bermuda's collection of fascinating sea life without venturing too far. Keep an eye out for blue angelfish, parrotfish and a variety of coral.
Elbow Beach – Starting about 200 feet offshore, this reef runs parallel to the South Shore's pink-sand beach and is a great spot to see the underwater sights of Bermuda.
Tobacco Bay – On the East End of the island, you'll find one of the best places to snorkel in Bermuda. Combine shallow water with rocky coves and you have the ideal setting for snorkeling active adventures.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Among Bermuda's Shipwrecks
While the coral reefs that surround Bermuda make a beautiful home for the island's plentiful sea life, they have also spelled doom for more than 300 ships over the years. In fact, Bermuda is considered to be the Shipwreck Capital of the Atlantic, which means that there's plenty of history to explore in its shallow waters. Here are a few of the top shipwreck sites for scuba diving and snorkeling on your Bermuda vacation.
Mary Celestia – Dating back to the American Civil War, the Mary Celestia was a 225-foot paddlewheel steamer used by the Confederate Army to smuggle goods to the soldiers. It sank in 1864 after hitting a reef and rests 55 feet below the surface near the South Shore with the paddlewheels still visible. The ship made the news in 2011, nearly 150 years after it sank, when five bottles of wine were found intact in the bow compartment.
Cristobal Colon – At 499 feet long, this Spanish cruise liner is the largest of the shipwrecks to be found in Bermuda. After crashing into the coral reefs near the North Shore in 1936, it remained on the reef until it was officially sunk during World War II when it was used for bombing practice and now rests in pieces on both sides of the reef with depths ranging from 15 to 60 feet. You can explore 100,000 square feet of wreckage that is now home to a variety of marine life.
The North Carolina – This English iron hull sank on New Year's Day in 1880 shortly after setting sail for England from Bermuda. Although the mid-section of the 250-foot ship has collapsed over the years, the bow and stern remain nearly intact and upright, making for an impressive dive site in the West End.
The Hermes – Located one mile offshore at Horseshoe Bay, the Hermes is fully intact and one of the most popular dive sites for Bermuda vacations. After experiencing engine trouble near Bermuda, the U.S. Navy ship was abandoned by its crew as repairs would have cost more than the ship was worth and acquired by the Bermuda Diver's Association, who sunk it in 1985 to make an artificial reef.
The King George – As the largest of the fully intact shipwrecks off Bermuda's shores, the King George was purposefully sunk five miles from North Rock after serving the harbor as a dredger for nearly two decades. Located less than 60 feet below the water, the upright ship is a must for those seeking active adventures.
Don't Miss The Cathedral
Not all of the best scuba diving sites in Bermuda focus on shipwrecks. The coral reefs are also worth planning an adventure trip to the island, particularly the Cathedral. This underwater dome located off the East End is an impressive site filled with tunnels, archways and holes that allow sunlight to filter through the water to create a dreamy underwater world. Keep watch for schools of parrot fish and snappers. You can also see the huge tarpons, a fish that grows to five feet.
Keep this list of best places to snorkel and scuba dive, along with these travel accessories, handy for the next time you're planning Bermuda vacations.
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