Our Vacation in Bermuda

For Christmas 2018, my boyfriend, Jacob, and I decided to forgo exchanging gifts and instead save up for a trip abroad. We wanted an experience; a place to make memories that would last us a lifetime. After researching destinations, we agreed on the beautiful pink sandy beaches and aquamarine water of the island of Bermuda.

After vacationing in Bermuda, here are several highlights from our time on the island:

Crystal & Fantasy Caves Are Epic

Before we left for Bermuda, we had a rough idea of the activities we wanted to partake in once on the island. Jacob and I had researched must-see sites while in Bermuda, and Crystal & Fantasy Caves were on the top of most lists.

We were directed to go down Fantasy Cave first, which ended up being the steeper of the two. Fantasy Cave was 120 feet underground and the staircase we walked down was extremely steep. I was not expecting the drop to be so dramatic, and had to take my time walking down each step so as not to slip. We were warned by the tour guide that the steps were narrow and the railings were quite slippery, due to the high humidity inside the caves.

The view in Fantasy Cave was incredible. The height of the caverns was astounding and the geology was very interesting to see. We were surprised by how blue the water was inside, crystal clear even though it was seawater that had filtered in from the ocean.

Crystal Cave was equally beautiful, but much less steep. Roughly 80 feet underground, Crystal Cave had much more pronounced stalagmites and stalactites. Crystal Cave was my favorite of the two because once inside, the platforms were much longer and we were able to walk deeper into the cave.

I found it interesting how the water could play tricks on your eyes! Our tour guide educated us that when rain falls outside, it takes months for freshwater to filter in through the soil and travel into the caves. The freshwater eventually drips off of the stalactites from the ceiling, trickling into the seawater inside. The mixture of freshwater and saltwater creates an optical illusion. The stalagmites were much deeper than they appeared to be, due to this skewed perception of depth. We learned a lot!

Mopeds Are Awkward & Bermudians Drive Fast!

When we first arrived at our Airbnb, we were surprised to see how far we actually were from downtown Hamilton Parish. We walked to the nearest bus station only to discover that most of the bus stations don’t have benches and are, in fact, basically in the road. It was a bit dangerous and not the most convenient method of transportation. We quickly learned that Bermudians move at a slower pace and the buses did not always honor their posted schedule.

As an alternative, Jacob talked me into renting a moped for the rest of our trip. Standard vehicles were too expensive, so renting a moped seemed like the best way to go to stick to our budget. It ended up costing us $190 for 4 full days, plus we only paid $4 to fill our tank the entire time we used it! It was economical, but a bit scary to drive.

Bermudians drive on the left side of the road, which we knew, but it was difficult to break the habit of driving on the right. Jacob drove and I sat on the back, gently reminding him which way to turn each time we crossed traffic to make sure we were on the left side of the road.

Bermudians also drive extremely fast. Most of main roads are quite windy with sharp turns, and many blind driveways. It was a quick lesson for us to learn how mindful we had to be while driving along on the moped. Ultimately, though, without the moped we would not have been able to travel as far as we did and see as much of Bermuda as possible. It ended up being the best decision we made while on the island!

Swimming, Snorkeling, & Exploring

In late December, the temps in Bermuda fluctuate from mid-60s to low-70s. Coming from Maine where we live in snow boots and winter jackets this time of year, we were all too eager to put on swimsuits and jump in the ocean in Bermuda. One of our favorite spots ended up being John Smith’s Beach. The water was not toasty by any means, but it was warm enough that we swam for a solid 45 minutes.

Jacob and I took turns using the snorkel and mask we brought from home, each getting time to swim around and see the fish up close. The water was so clear that we could see the coral, different colorful fish, and sand around a nearby reef. I had never been snorkeling before, so it was especially enjoyable for me to experience this firsthand.

Bermuda Is Paradise

We drove 34 miles round-trip on a moped in the pouring rain to get our hands on pink Bermuda sand. We kayaked with parrotfish, snorkeled in aquamarine water, and shopped in Hamilton for souvenirs. We saw countless feral chickens because in Bermuda they have no natural predators. We walked around the Bermuda zoo where we visited peacocks, otters, and turtles. We studied the geological wonders of Crystal & Fantasy Caves, drank Rum Swizzle, and toured an exhibit about the Bermuda Triangle. We experienced so many wonderful things while in Bermuda. My only complaint is that the trip went by too fast!

Our vacation exceeded any expectations we could have possibly had before arriving. It was absolutely one of the best trips of my life so far. We could not have picked a better place to spend our time. Bermuda is paradise and I cannot wait to fly back someday.

Rachael Tulipano