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It's relatively easy to explore Bermuda on your own. But, if you prefer help from island-born and -bred residents, it's available.

Insider Tours

Visitors to Bermuda have the opportunity to gain an even deeper understanding of local attractions through the Bermuda Explorers Program, a series of tours and cultural programs. The island's cultural leaders, business owners, and other local residents are creating opportunities to present travelers with an in-depth and unique look at Bermuda. Arrangements for tours can be made through the Visitors Information Centres. Most tours charge admission fees that range from $10 to $35. The following is a list of tours currently available through the Bermuda Explorers Program:

Aart & Architecture Walk -- A pre-opening-hours tour starts at the Bermuda National Gallery with a museum curator, then continues into the town of Hamilton. Guests receive a map of art in public places and local galleries and can meet with the gallery owners or artists on their own.

Gumba Trail -- A historic journey through time via a cultural nature walk, the trail describes the background of the Caribbean Junkanoo dancers and their connection to the Gombeys of Bermuda, along with commentary on the island's plant life and its uses.

Verdmont Historic House Museum -- A historian from the National Trust accompanies visitors on a private tour of Verdmont. Built in 1710, the house contains Bermuda's most notable collection of antique cedar-wood furniture, portraits, and toys.

Environmental Tours

The not-for-profit Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences has collected the world's most comprehensive data on the oceanographic absorption of human-released carbon dioxide. It has tracked carbon dioxide levels for more than 40 years over a 21km (13-mile) area southeast of Bermuda. The National Science Foundation awarded the station a $500,000 grant to study climate change, the greenhouse effect, and the carbon cycle. The station has also compiled an extensive record on acid rain in the North American atmosphere.

You can learn firsthand what the station's scientists are studying by taking a free guided tour of the grounds and laboratory in St. George. Guides explain what scientific studies are being conducted in Bermuda and how they relate to the overall world environment. They also discuss the island's natural areas, including the coral reefs, which are protected by strict conservation laws, and how humans have produced changes in the fragile ecological environment.

Trained volunteers and scientists who are carrying out studies conduct the educational tours, offered at 10am on Wednesday. Visitors should assemble before 10am in the Biological Station's Hanson Hall. For more information, contact the Bermuda Biological Station for Research, 17 Biological Lane, Ferry Reach, St. George (tel. 441/297-1880; www.bios.edu). The tour lasts 1 hour.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.