Cayman Brac sits approximately 5 miles East of its sister islands, Little Cayman and 90 miles Northeast of Grand Cayman. Over all length of the island is 12 miles and averages about 1 mile in width. The first settlers were boat builders and fishermen who started arriving from Grand Cayman around 1830’s. Electricity didn’t make it to the island until 1960’s – that’s when the first tourists started to turn up too.
Cayman Brac is mainly dominated by the limestone “bluff”, which makes up most of the island. “Brac” is a Gaelic name for Bluff. The Brac rises from the flat lands in the west, along the length of the island, before reaching a dramatic drop off toward the Eastend, at a height of approximately 43 meters.
This may be a small island, but there are still plenty of things to see and do during your visit. Walking and Hiking tails have been opened up by the Nature Tourism Program, these specially selected routes allow visitors to explore the islands dense Karst forestation and observe the unique flora and fauna that thrive here.
There are many caves to be found on Cayman Brac, offering spectacular delicate underground formations. One cave, Rebecca’s Cave, even contains the grave of a young girl who lost the fight against the great ’32 Hurricane. This is now a Cayman National Heritage Site.
The island is also a world-class rock-climbing destination, but you do need to be somewhat experienced as the terrain is steep and sometimes even over-vertical.
And diving is at its best here, with little diving traffic, you will get to see the best of what the Caribbean has to offer.
The Koni II class frigate was purchased and sunk by the Cayman Islands government in September 1996. The frigate was rechristened the M/V Captain Keith Tibbetts, after a well-known Cayman Brac politician. She is one of only a few Soviet Naval Vessels to be sunk in the Western Hemisphere and easily dived.
Other interesting dive sites are Radar Reef, Cemetery Wall, and the Wilderness Wall, all well covered in corals and with a wide diversity of marine life.
The Teignmouth Electron, once used by Donald Crowhurst, in an attempt to sail single handedly around the world in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, sits quietly decaying on the South Coast.
Getting here is very easy as you can take an island hopper from Grand Cayman or sail…
(By Mandy Newton)