Now if our cricket ball falls down a hole in the ground, the last thing we are going to do is go underground to retrieve it. A simple visit to the shop and purchase of a replacement would suffice. However, we are the products of a throwaway society, something that Carl Gibbons and Edgar Hollis were blissfully unaware of. In 1905, when their ball disappeared, they delved into the ground and discovered what is now known as the Crystal Caves.
The Crystal Caves are the most famous of many caves in Bermuda and are named after the crystal clear water that fills the caves. The clarity is so perfect that it is possible to see the cave floor, which at one point lies 55 feet below the water’s surface. Visitors will be relieved to know they enter the cave via a passageway carved into the rock (the guide will point out the hole the boys used). From here, visitors take a tour of the cave walking on a wooden pontoon constructed over the water.
The guide provides a running commentary on the history and geology of the cave. Visitors are shown formations that resemble the Manhattan Skyline, the face of Bob Marley and other familiar images. The cave is full of illuminated stalagmites and stalactites that have taken millions of years to form. Sometimes they join to form a single column from floor to ceiling.
In 2001, the Fantasy Cave was re-opened. It was discovered and opened to the public around the same time as the Crystal Cave but closed by the owners in the 1940’s. Each cave is uniquely beautiful and well worth visiting.
Facilities, Admission Prices, and Opening Times
Café Ole, located at the caves, serves light meals, snacks and drinks. The attraction also has a gift shop and pleasant grounds.
Admission tickets for each cave cost $22 for adults and $10 for children (aged 12 and under). Children under 5 enjoy free entry. Combination tickets, allowing entry to both caves, cost $30 for adults and $12 for children.
The caves are open every day of the week. Opening times are 9 am to 5 pm. Guided tours leave every 20 minutes with the last tour starting at 4.30 pm.
The caves are situated on Wilkinson Avenue in Hamilton Parish. Visitors travelling on public transport should take bus number 1 (Hamilton to St George), or bus number 3 (Hamilton to St George). Both services stop outside the main entrance.
There is plenty of free parking for those travelling by scooter. All taxi drivers in Bermuda will know how to find the caves.
The caves are part of a larger system found in this area of Bermuda. Others can be seen at Grotto Bay and Blue Hole Park.
Passengers can save a great deal of money by organising the excursion themselves. Just buy a public transport pass and pay the entrance fee at the door.