Joya del Atlántico

Iyna Bort Caruso

Bermuda is a destination of the elite. Quiet, traditional and unassuming. An island that passes on the flash. Life in the fast lane is filled with scooters and bicycles, not limousines.

With one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, Bermudians have an enviable standard of living with no income, capital gains or sales taxes. Its culture is a fusion of African and British colonial history, evidence of the latter can be seen on powdered-wigged judges and traffic-directing bobbies.

This jewel of the Atlantic is a two-hour flight from most major East Coast cities. The island is small--just 21 square miles--but its celebrated pink sand coastline stretches 75 miles.

Bermuda’s architecture has evolved over four centuries yet remains distinct for its low-slung buildings, pastel-painted stone walls, whitewashed stepped roofs and wooden shutters. Some claim this architectural style is the island’s one true indigenous art form. Even modern estates manage to pay tribute to the native design.

Americans, Canadians and British make up the majority of the expat community. Those who own real estate typically have business or family ties, although purchasing a home is no simple matter. The government imposes restrictions on international buyers, dividing the market into properties that can only be purchased by Bermudians or permanent residents and properties available to overseas investors, which are generally top-tier homes of the highest value. 

Bermuda is divided into nine parishes. The capital of Hamilton is a harbor city and the epicenter of the business and finance community. Restaurants, shops and art galleries line Front Street, Hamilton’s main thoroughfare. The South Shore is an area of limestone bluffs with some of the island’s most popular beaches. St. George’s, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the oldest continuously occupied town of English origin in the New World with architecture dating back to the 17th century. An exclusive peninsula in the parish is called Tucker’s Town. Locals, however, know it better as Billionaires’ Row.