BAMZ - Flatts Village, Bermuda
On the first day in Bermuda on our most recent visit in April, 2013, I convinced my husband to take the bus from Hamilton to Flatts Village to visit the Bermuda Aquarium & Zoo; this jaunt took the better part of a 1/2 hour.
At the entrance you walk immediately into the aquarium section which is quite nice as it features local fish and underwater life, such as the "sea puddings," many of which we saw during our glass bottom boat excursion. I was able to get one nice photo of a small shark. Other inside exhibits which showed native birds and animals in their local habitat were interesting and one excellent feature made them all even better --- when near any particular "teaching" exhibit, you usually came to stand under a clear, plexi-glass dome and this motion triggered recorded sounds made by those particular animals or birds plus environmental sounds such as the sea waves, wind blowing, sea grass rustling, etc.
I was a little disappointed in the number of furry zoo inhabitants we were seeing until one thing happened .... the pictured little Golden Lion Tamarin monkey ran up to us!!! He lived in the one or two sections which had aviary-type enclosures keeping animals in but giving them natural habitats --- natural light, vegetation, fresh air and trees for climbing and sleeping in. You can't imagine how badly I wished I had a piece of fruit to feed him/her even though signs everywhere veritably screamed, "Don't feed the animals!" He climbed on top of the sign and waited patiently until he realized no food would be forthcoming and subsequently went off to hunt for his meal on the shaded ground. Another little Golden Lion Tamarin was sleeping in the trees just beyond. This was nearly worth the trip alone. But as we were visiting just around noon, we found a lot of the animals were sleeping or had been removed from their exhibit ... too bad for us.
We went on to see an enormous crocodile, scarlet ibis, huge tortoises, a few seals, but not too much more. What really "vexed" me were the children who were allowed to run loose who screamed at and taunted the animals!! I'd had enough!! Still the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo which was founded in 1926 is worthwhile and its mission of inspiring appreciation and care of island environments is a worthy one. I didn't mind spending the money to visit which helps to keep an institution like this one running.
2013 Admission prices: $10 for adults; $5 for senior (65+) & children 5-15 yrs. old
Children under 5 - FREE.
The Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas Day. Last admission is 4 p.m.
There is a nice gift shop and small cafe.
Established in 1926, the Bermuda Aquarium is the island's premier natural attraction. Now teamed with the Bermuda Zoo and the Bermuda National History Museum, this Hamilton Parish/Flatts Village area stop gives you three things to enjoy on one $10 adult/$5 child ticket. Referred to in some corners by the BAMZ acronym (Bermuda Aquarium Museum Zoo), it's well-run and internationally recognized. Allow yourself 2-3 hours to enjoy the whole shebang.
As you might expect, the Aquarium is really the major attraction of the three. And ITS centerpiece is the 150,000 gallon "North Rock" tank, a slice of a living reef on full view for aquarium visitors. You'll see all sorts of tropical fish, sharks, eels, crabs, spiny lobsters and other inhabitants of the Bermuda deep.
The zoo is small, when compared to many of the world's more famous establishments. However, they've done a nice job of setting up very natural environs for their animal exhibits. One warning... the little snack bar, "Peacocks Cafe" leaves a lot to be desired. However, if you're lucky, you'll get a visit from a Peacock while you're having tea or some ice water.
The Natural History museum is the least visited, at least by the younger BAMZ patrons. However, don't sell it short... there are interesting exhibits on life in Bermuda, from the recent to very distant past. Bermuda is truly a unique geological and ecological place on this earth, and the museum does a nice job of giving you a peek.
The museum is open daily from 9 am - 5 pm.
We debated between doing the aquarium or a glass-bottom boat ride, but were happy we'd chosen the aquarium (esp. after seeing the rough water that day). Our daughter loved looking at all the fish, and the North Rock tank is especially impressive (see if you can find the plexi that separates the tropical fish from the sharks and barracuda!). The zoo wasn't as big a hit for Kate. We just missed the seal feeding, and most of the other animals were curled up asleep as it was midday, but we did see lion tamarins and a roseate spoonbill up close and personal in the Caribbean exhibit. The Galapagos tortoises were also easy to see, but not exciting for a one-year-old. However, she did especially enjoy the Discovery Cove play area and the Discovery Room inside the Local Tails area.
For us adults, we liked the Islands of the Caribbean - I'm not sure why they trust visitors to walk among the animals like the lion tamarins, but it was a wonderful experience. The Natural History Museum was interesting - esp. the presentation inside the theater about Bermuda's history, and the room on the side with the "natural sounds" corresponding with each ecosystem. Outside, don't miss the green turtles off to the left as you exit (on the way to the bus stop).
Admission is $10 for adults. There is a snack shop on-site (Peacock Pantry). Limited choices at 2 pm (we got the last pizza and turkey sandwich). Also a nice gift shop as you exit the aquarium.
Great place to visit. Flatts is charming and the Aquarium itself has tonnes of wonderful creatures! The bus will drop you off right in front of the building, or there's parking across the street. One of my favourits exhibits is the Aviary where they house the birds....its a huge net, so the birds can fly free amidst the trees and people walking below. The seals (and feeding time) are a hit with children.
I went to the aquarium the first time I came to Bermuda, and we went back in 1995. This is one good way to see native animals and sea life. The aquarium is right on multiple bus routes (either the 10 or 11 from Hamilton) and after you visit, you can continue on to St. George.
Open daily, except Christmas Day, 9 am to 5 pm. Last admission is 4 pm because you’ll need an hour to see the exhibits.
$10 for adults
$5 for seniors (age 65+)
$5 for children 5-12. Children under 5 admitted free.
Admission includes BAMZ Tours conducted by knowledgeable guides at 1:10 pm daily, April to September (Saturdays and Sundays only from October to March). On the tour, you’ll interact with a diver in the North Rock Tank and learn about many of BAMZ’s Zoo animals.
Beside the native fishes, reptiles, pink flamingos, also inlude "north Rock" a 140,000 galon replica of a local living coral reef