Refreshing dip: One of the activities on the seven-hour tour is cave swimming. *Photos supplied
Refreshing dip: One of the activities on the seven-hour tour is cave swimming. *Photos supplied
<
1
2
3
>

“Repelling down into caves in the blackness and listening to the inner silence of Bermuda was magical and exciting.”

That’s how one tour user on TripAdvisor described their experience with Bermuda’s Hidden Gems: Island Eco Tours.

Owned by Ashley Harris, the company is not even six months old and has won over tourists and locals alike with its eco-friendly, intimate tours.

Ms Harris takes small groups of people — not more than 10 in any tour — off the beaten path of the usual must-do Bermuda attractions to reveal the secluded beauty of the island.  

Ms Harris said: “With my father being a horticulturalist , and always dealing wit plants growing up, it’s always been within me to be one with nature.”

The former teacher said she yearned to be back outdoors and share her love of Bermuda with others.

“I thought long and hard for two years about how to get this business up and going and present it to the Ministry of Tourism to see if they would bite at it.”

She started off by selecting places, like Tom Moore’s Jungle, that tourists rarely get to see.

“I had some really great venues, that I knew were very exclusive where people wouldn’t see anyone else along the way.

“I then combined the few that I thought were the most worthwhile showing — places that were the least explored. I learned all I could about these places historically, geographically, geologically and culturally. I learned about the flora and fauna at these locations.”

Invigorating

At Tom Moore’s Jungle, tour goers can do cave swimming as well as cave explorations. At Blue Hole National Park, the brave can try cliff jumping. 

“It’s a real invigorating experience.

“In the summertime we also do Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve, where we also do a bit of snorkelling around the preserved coral reef system they have there. It’s fantastic. The fish are very friendly and inquisitive — they swim right up to you so it’s a real exciting experience for everyone.

“We do St David’s Lighthouse in the summertime to give it a bit more exposure… and we also do St David’s Battery at Greathead National Park. I just show everyone around the property and the expansive views of St George’s and the harbour.

“We’re trying to expose places on the island that lack exposure. We are trying to bring out Bermuda’s hidden gems. Our name signifies exactly what we’re trying to do — trying to expose places that don’t get the kind of credibility they deserve.”

Ms Harris said Hidden Gems tries to provide an exclusive experience where tourgoers are not among a throng of people. 

She said: “It’s just you and the tour guide and nature at its best.”