Known in its early days as the "Island of Devils" because of its treacherous reefs, Bermuda has been both an island haven and, for sailors, a place of danger, since man first began exploring this corner of the globe. In 1503, Spaniard Juan de Bermúdez stopped by this uninhabited 21-square-mile island outpost, left his name and continued onward. It wasn’t until 1609 — when a group of English settlers aboard a ship called the Sea Venture were heading to the New World when, quite appropriately, they were shipwrecked on Bermuda’s reefs by a hurricane — that anyone decided to stay permanently. A few of the storm-stalled settlers took one look at the soft, pink-sand beaches, crystal-clear blue water, idyllic bays and perfect climate, and decided that this was the place for them. The island nation’s famous culture of genteel British civility took root at that moment.
Wreck Capital of the World
While those same superlatives draw travelers to Bermuda to this day, it's the island's reputation as a shipwreck Mecca that lures divers to this beautiful stretch of the Atlantic. Thanks to the world's northernmost coral reefs, Bermuda is ringed by more than 300 shipwrecks and boasts more than five centuries of nautical history below its turquoise waters. You'll find everything from paddle-wheel steamers, blockade busters and ferryboats to ships from the U.S. Civil War, World War I and World War II, as well as modern ships, and more famously, treasure ships. In fact, it's been said that to truly experience Bermuda's entire human history, all you need to do is look to the ships that have wrecked on its natural defensive coral. You'll discover stories of treachery, heroism, treason, Spanish gold and mystery — the wonderful tales that add human drama to each and every dive.
Pristine Conditions, Easy Access
But Bermuda diving is about more than just wrecks. In fact, if you can tear yourself away from the mysterious and intriguing drama of the islands’ famous shipwrecks, you’ll find reefs, caverns and swim-throughs of singular and unique beauty. Bermuda's reefs have been ranked among the most pristine in the region, which is due largely to the foresight of Bermuda's early leaders to establish the reef system as a protected marine park. You’ll see mini-walls thick with sea fans and sea rods and seemingly a big grouper under each and every ledge. One of the best aspects of Bermuda’s diving, both wrecks and reef, is that most are found in less than 60 feet of water, allowing for long, leisurely explorations.
While many people mistakenly associate Bermuda with the Caribbean, the island actually rests hundreds of miles north of the Bahamas in a beautiful stretch of Atlantic Ocean, a mere 650 miles east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. So although Bermuda isn't a Caribbean island, it's just as convenient. In fact, flights from New York reach Bermuda in less than two hours while flights from London arrive in about seven hours.
Take The Next Step
With so much history, natural and cultural heritage, a lifetime’s worth of undersea discovery, as well as the close proximity to the East Coast, Bermuda is the perfect dive and travel escape. In this guide, you'll find everything you need to plan your dream Bermuda adventure. Explore Bermuda's top dive sites and underwater experiences as well as the island's top dive operators, resorts and topside diversions. Finally, use the Plan Your Trip to learn more, find deals or book your perfect trip to this island paradise.