Tucked away in the deep cobalt waters of the Caribbean Sea lies a secret gem of an island – Cayman Brac. The Brac may be small in size, but is huge when it comes to adventure, relaxation, nature, and culture. Brac is the Gaelic word for bluff – a fitting name for an island dominated by a cliff that rises with sheer vertical walls to nearly 150 feet. It lies about 90 miles to the northeast of Grand Cayman and is often grouped with the adjacent Little Cayman as the Sister Isles. With regular cheap flights from Grand Cayman (30 minutes) and Miami (1 hour), it is easy to get to, but you will feel miles away from every day life. There are less than 1500 people that live in this paradise so the setting is peaceful, but the adventure is unlimited. This is a truly unforgettable place that will transport you to a different world and allow you to experience the true spirit of adventure.
Cayman Brac is the most adventurous island in the Cayman Islands and the towering 150 foot bluff is home to most of the action.
The rock climbing in Cayman Brac is world-renowned for its beautiful limestone and safe reputation. There are over 110 routes on the island with a wide variety of grades for all skill levels. Whether you have never rock climbed before or are pushing 5.13s, Cayman Brac has amazing routes to offer. This makes the Brac the perfect place to learn to climb or take your climbing abilities to the next level. Not only is the rock beautiful, but you will be greeted by breathtaking panoramas of the azure ocean when you reach the top of your route. For the more adventurous and skilled climbers, there are routes where you can climb directly over the ocean with the waves roaring below. The Brac is a truly exotic climbing destination that cannot be missed!
Rappelling (abseiling) is another thrilling way to see the beauty of the bluff and test your vertical limits. Walk down the ancient limestone cliff faces and take in the breathtaking views from a different angle. The views of the ocean are stunning and there is even a place where you can rappel directly into a cave!
There are countless limestone caves on the island with many more yet to be discovered. Most are pretty easy to access, but there are some that you have to crawl through to access more hidden chambers. Many of these caves feature beautiful cave formations like stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstones. Several of the caves are home to a number of bat species – Cayman’s only native mammals. The caves are also of great historical importance to the locals, as they served as hurricane shelters in yesteryears.
The Brac is one of the most laid-back places you will ever visit with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Time just seems to tick by a little slower here which makes it the perfect getaway from the modern world. All the conveniences of the modern world are still here though with high-speed broadband, well-paved roads, and an international airport. The safety of the island also makes it a unique destination in the Caribbean. You will never be hassled and never be worried about your security. The most hassled you will feel is listening to long stories about the old days by a friendly Brac family.
The hours that aren’t spent adventuring on the rocks or the ocean are usually spent curled up in a hammock with a cold drink in hand. Cayman Brac isn’t famous for its beaches, but there are plenty of beautiful white sand beaches to soak up some sun. The best part is that it is never crowded and will more than likely have the whole beach to yourself!
There is plenty of beautiful and affordable accommodation available around the island. Dive your heart out in a dive resort or bask in the privacy of a vacation rental house. No matter what you choose, you will be wanting to come back for more every year. Check out our accommodations page for some of our favourite places.
Yoga sessions are regularly held on a brand new yoga platform on the tranquil southeastern side of the island. Yoga compliments climbing and diving perfectly and will help ease your muscles after a long day of adventuring.
Cayman Brac is a nature lover’s paradise with miles of unspoiled forests and otherworldly terrain. There are several nature trails that allow you to explore the wild interior of the island.
The critically endangered Rock Iguana is endemic to the Sister Isles and can sometimes be seen on the nature trails or on the side of the road. They particularly enjoy basking on the hot tarmac so make sure to take care while driving. This large iguana is endemic to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman which means that these 2 islands are the only place in the world that it is found.
Bird-watching is a popular activity with nearly 200 species that can be spotted on island. The island is a hot spot for migratory birds searching for warmer weather during the winter. This includes the elegant white-tailed tropicbird that nests in caves high up on the bluff during the winter months. Brown boobies nest high up on the bluff and their adorable fluffy white chicks are a common sight during nesting season. Their aerial acrobatics are a sight to behold when they are engaged in a battle with frigatebirds over the deep blue ocean. If you are lucky, you might even spot a rare and beautiful Cayman Brac Parrot.
Diving in the Brac is truly world class with an incredible variety of breathtaking walls, unspoiled tropical reefs, and spectacular wrecks teeming with life. This is one of the few places in the world where you can dive incredible walls in the morning and climb incredible walls in the afternoon. Check out our diving page for more information on this amazing destination.
The 3 islands of Cayman share much of the same culture revolving around the sea, but each island is unique due to their remoteness. Cayman Brac still retains much of its proud heritage and the Brackers love to share it with anyone who visits.
The Cayman Brac Museum is a great place to learn more about Cayman’s seafaring past. The Heritage House is another great place to learn about the Brackers’ traditional lifestyle and there is some amazing rock climbing right behind the grounds.
Take a drive along the north side of the island and you will encounter several restaurants that serve traditional Cayman and Caribbean food. Star Island is one of our favourite’s with a large menu of local and international that will suit everyone’s tastes.
There are several bars around the island where you can quench your thirst and experience a little nightlife. Most have a pretty laid-back atmosphere, but on the weekends a few bars like to turn up the music and let loose Caribbean-style.
Check out some of these sites for more information on Cayman Brac:
Cayman Brac – yours to explore