Camping in Bermuda

 
 

What to expect

 
How about the idea of camping in the beautiful north Atlantic island of Bermuda? Pitch your tent on a lovely beach under the open sky, enjoy the sun and the sand, swim and snorkel during the day, and when night falls, marvel at the starry sky from your tent while sipping on a drink... you are carving out a time in heaven! 
 
But wait, if you are tourist, it may not be as easy to camp as you may think. Unfortunately camping in Bermuda is usually permitted for the residents of the island, and that includes citizens, permanent residency card holders and expatriates living on the island with work permits. 
 
 
 
But don't give up yet. There are some restricted ways for visitors as well. If you are a visitor or tourist, there are two options . 
 
OPTION-1: If you are coming through an organized school camping tour, the school will need to apply to the concerned authority in Bermuda for camp registration and get the permit well in advance. 
 
OPTION-2: Having arrived by flight, if you have taken up a commercial accommodation in the island (like a room in a hotel), or visiting on a cruise ship where all expenses are already paid up and now willing to camp at an additional cost, you can try to do so. By this the government ensures that it's not losing out on its tourism income through hotels or cruise ships. 
 

How to register for camping

 
You can not camp in Bermuda year round. The camping season begins on the first Saturday of May and remains open until the third Sunday in September. So, basically you can camp here during the summer time provided there is no adverse weather conditions like storms or hurricanes. All official campsites are managed by Department of Parks, Bermuda. 
 
Although camping is allowed during the summer time, the registration or booking for camping starts from early January. One needs to visit the office of The Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation for the booking, and the booking is given on a first-come first-serve basis. There are limited number of official camp sites and each site allows limited number of tents to be put up. And this automatically imposes a lot of limitations for tourists or visitors who are not available in the island when the booking commences, and camp booking can not be done online or over phone. 
 
So what can you do if you are a tourist? 
 
You can visit in early summer when the camping season has started and hope that there are still some rooms in one or more camp sites. This means, you need to ride your luck and can not expect with certainty to be camping in Bermuda during your visit. If you are visiting your resident friend or relative in Bermuda, you can of course join them if they have made the booking in advance. Well, that is how it is. In effect, camping in Bermuda is limited to the residents of the island. 
 
Campsite Registration Office and Contacts 
Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation 
Craig Appin House, 3rd Floor, 8 Wesley Street, Hamilton City. 
Open Hours: 8:45am to 4:30pm 
Phone: (441) 295-0855; (441) 297-7619; Email: [email protected] 
 
 
 

Campsites

 
The designated government managed camping sites in Bermuda are: 
  • Chaplin Bay Beach (in Warwick Parish) 
  • Coney Island (in St. George's Parish) 
  • Darrell’s Island (in St. George's Parish) 
  • Ferry Point Park (in St. George's Parish) 
  • Higgs and Horseshoe Islands (in St. George's Parish) 
  • On the grounds of Messina House (13 Kitchener Close, Boaz Island, Sandys Parish) 
  • Paget Island (in St. George's Parish) 
  • Ports Island (in Warwick Parish) 
  • White’s Island (in Hamilton Harbor) 
  •  
    You need to visit Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation for booking any of the campsites above or contact them for any information (contact details already provided above). 
     
    There are plenty of other structured camp grounds offered by the private operators which come at additional fees. One of such nice camping facilities is in WindReach Bermuda, a recreational village located in Warwick parish. There are three cabins with bunks giving you a house like feel. You can also set up tents on the campground. The camp area can be rented during the day, overnight or for weekend camping. It has a total capacity of up to 30 visitors. Address: 57 Spice Hill Road, Warwick, Phone: 441/238-2469. Email: [email protected] 
     
    Other privately operated campgrounds include: 
  • Hen Island: Contact Miles Outerbridge at (441) 292-7373 or (441) 297-1312 
  • Burt Island: Contact George Moulder at (441) 293-1560 
  • The campsites at Paget Island, White’s Island, Darrell’s Island, Ports Island and Messina House (as mentioned under the official list) are also privately operated but their bookings are taken through the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation. 
  •  
    On certain national holidays like the Cup Match days, residents come out in large numbers and camp virtually everywhere in the island starting from the South Shore beaches, various parks and gardens across the island, and even on the roadsides. Government appears to be liberal on such days. 
     
     
     

    Camping Costs

     
    For the government managed campsites, there is a one-time refundable security deposit of $100 which you need to pay up in advance. This is taken to recover any damages to the park property that you might be responsible for. In addition, there is a camping fee of $14 per night. Maximum period of stay allowed in a camp site is 6 weeks. Privately managed campsites can have different fees. 
     

    Campground Norms

     
    Remember that there are usually close vigilance done both by the police and Department of Parks. You are required to follow certain strict guidelines, such as: 
  • Maximum of 3 tents of 180 sq. ft. (including awnings) allowed per site. 
  • Maximum of 8 persons are allowed per camp. 
  • You can not litter the area or damage any trees.  
  • All wastes to be put into garbage bins. 
  • Open wood fire is not allowed. Charcoal or cooking gas can be used. 
  • You can not cook inside the tents. 
  • Pets not allowed. 
  • Generators not allowed. 
  • Maximum camp stay on a site is limited to 6 weeks. 
  •  
    Hi, I love your website, its so full of great information! I was just wondering what your recommendation would be for the cheapest accommodation on the island. I am a single traveler hoping to visit in mid November and stay a few days. I would love to camp somewhere but I've read that's not allowed unless you are a citizen? thanks, 
     
    Chad (September 2010) 
     
     
    Hi, Camping in Bermuda is quite limited for the tourists. You can do it only if you are already staying in a hotel or a cruise ship. This way the government of Bermuda ensures that it does not lose out on its hefty tourism income. Well, that doesn't solve your problem of economizing the trip. For tourists, camping is only meant for an added pleasure and not an option to reduce spending. 
     
    Since you are planning to travel in November, it's difficult to say which would be the cheapest accommodation. This is because the low season in Bermuda starts in November, hotels and lodges offer huge discounts, sometimes to the tune of about 50 - 60% of their normal tariff. 
     
    As step-1, I suggest that you go to my web page: Bermuda Hotels Directory 
     
    Now scan through all the accommodations with a price tag of single $, those are the cheapest ones. Choose two or three that you like the most and write to them, and ask for the best price. My own favorites include Clairfont apartments and Watercolors
     
    Best of luck! 
     
    Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) September 2010 
     
     
    I want to do some camping on Bermuda at official campsites but have noticed camping privileges are restricted. I have two questions regarding this:  (1)  You mention camping is allowed for 'residents' of Bermuda, does this also mean that the Bermuda resident must also be a citizen of Bermuda?...and... (2) If the camping privileges are allowed/extended to an individual who has arrived by cruse ship or is staying in a motel/hotel in Bermuda, are their any timeframe reduction restrictions put toward the 6 week (max) stay at a campground, (would I be able to stay the whole 6 weeks)?  
     
    Gary. M (November 2019) 
     
     
    Although Bermuda Government hasn't elaborated on what they mean by 'Residents', the citizens, Permanent Residents and Expats on work permits would be able to apply. Maximum of 6 weeks campstay is applicable for anybody who is able to get a booking. 
     
    Raj (bermuda-attractions.com) November 2019