While Bermuda is famous for many things – its beautiful pink sand beaches, abundant land and marine life, a thriving arts and craft culture and fantastic luxury Bermuda accommodation – there's something else I think everybody should experience. It does require you to go underground, however - but don't worry, it won't hurt a bit and it will be well worth your while. |
In fact, the Crystal Caves are one of the top tourist attractions, so wherever your Bermuda accommodation sees you based, I highly recommend a visit to explore this fascinating natural phenomenon.
The Subterranean Caves
The island has many subterranean caves, but these particular ones, at Bailey's Bay in Hamilton Parish, are the largest and most impressive. (Some of the best Bermuda accommodation can be found in Hamilton Parish so you may not have to travel far.)
Discovered by chance only a century ago, the caves are estimated to be at least 30 million years old, and this eerie, otherworldly environment is a time capsule of geological and historical (?) treasures. The complex comprises the Crystal Cave and the Fantasy Cave.
The Crystal Cave is located around 36 metres below the ground and is the largest underground cavern on the island. To descend into the cave by the walkway is to be transported to another world, where stalagmites and stalactites adorn the limestone walls, roof and through the crystal clear waters on the floor of the cave. The sight is nothing short of arresting, and it's an awesome experience to stand amongst the scene and consider the scale and scope of its history.
Within the cave, Lake Cahow keeps a cache of secrets within the depths of her 17-metre waters, but you can get a closer look via the pontoon bridge that allows you to cross from one side of the cave to the other. The clarity of the water is astounding, with vision all the way to the bottom; the effect is quite disconcerting at times, considering the lake’s vast depth and the sheer number of stalagmites.
The Fantasy Cave is within the same complex but offers another unique experience, quite different from its neighbour. Exquisitely illuminated by a state-of-the-art lighting system, the cave is an extraordinary work of Nature's art. Every inch of the walls is covered with varying formations of calcite mineral deposits, sculpted by time and water into an intricate display. This is a place where it feels time really has stood still, with the delicately placed abstract formations resembling myriad frozen waterfalls reflecting back into the pools. Through the water you're able to catch a glimpse of countless passageways that lead through the underground network and out to the ocean.
Getting to the Fantasy Cave requires a little more effort, as the walk down is quite steep – and we all know that whenever you go down, you have to come back up again! It's not too taxing, though, and if you're of reasonable fitness you won't have any problems.
Allow about an hour and a half to explore both caves on a guided tour.
Top Tip: By the way, these caves are located right beside the famous Swizzle Inn, so once you've emerged back into the daylight, dare I suggest it might just be Rum Swizzle o'clock?
John Dixon is an experienced world traveller and the Managing Director of Prestige Holidays. For over 30 years, he has been providing luxury Bermuda accommodation, as well as holidays to Croatia, Sicily and many other destinations around the globe. John tries to visit each of the destinations regularly in order to ensure the quality of his properties, and stays up-to-date about the latest local news and events. He has a taste for the finer things in life and has an interest in the arts, history and culture.
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