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Our Favorite Things to Do & See in Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac is a hidden gem that offers a unique and unforgettable experience for travelers seeking natural beauty, adventure, and tranquility. This small, unspoiled island, located just a short flight from Grand Cayman, is a true paradise for nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life.

We love this spot for it’s landscape, adventures, and laid-back atmosphere. In this guide, we’ll let you know all of our best travel tips and insider advice, as well as look at all the best things to do in Cayman Brac. 

Cayman Brac: What Makes It So Special

Its stunning and diverse landscape sets Cayman Brac apart, ranging from rugged cliffs and caves to pristine beaches and lush forests. The island's most iconic feature is the Bluff, a towering limestone ridge that runs the island's length and rises to a height of 140 feet above sea level. The Bluff is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna, including rare orchids, nesting seabirds, and the endangered Cayman Brac Parrot.

But Cayman Brac is more than just a natural wonderland. The island also boasts a rich history and cultural heritage that is deeply rooted in the sea. For centuries, Brackers (as the locals are known) have relied on fishing, shipbuilding, and seafaring for their livelihoods, and this maritime tradition is still very much alive today. Visitors can explore the island's many historical sites and museums, such as the Cayman Brac Museum and Captain Charlie Kirkconnell's House, to learn about the island's fascinating past and the hardy, resourceful people who have called it home.

Another aspect that makes Cayman Brac special is its incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities. The island is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and crystal-clear waters that are teeming with marine life, from colorful tropical fish to majestic sea turtles and rays. The Brac is also home to some of the Caribbean's most famous dive sites, such as the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Soviet-era frigate that was intentionally sunk in 1996 to create an artificial reef and dive attraction.

Where Is Cayman Brac?

Cayman Brac is one of the three islands that make up the Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory located in the western Caribbean Sea. The island is situated about 90 miles northeast of Grand Cayman, the largest and most populous of the Cayman Islands, and about 5 miles east of Little Cayman, the smallest of the three islands.

Geographically, Cayman Brac is located at latitude 19.7°N and longitude 79.8°W, approximately 150 miles south of Cuba and 180 miles northwest of Jamaica. The island is roughly 12 miles long and 1 mile wide, with a total land area of about 15 square miles.

The History of Cayman Brac

The history of Cayman Brac is a fascinating tale of resilience, resourcefulness, and adaptation that spans more than 500 years. From its earliest inhabitants to its modern-day residents, the people of Cayman Brac have always had a deep connection to the sea and a strong sense of community that has shaped the island's unique culture and way of life.

The first known inhabitants of Cayman Brac were the Carib Indians, who settled on the island sometime before the arrival of European explorers in the early 16th century. These indigenous people were skilled fishermen and farmers who lived off the land and the sea, and left behind a rich legacy of artifacts and cultural traditions that can still be seen on the island today.

The first European to visit Cayman Brac was Christopher Columbus, who is believed to have landed on the island during his fourth and final voyage to the New World in 1503. However, it wasn't until the 17th century that the island began to be settled by Europeans, primarily by British pirates and privateers who used the island as a base for raiding Spanish ships and settlements in the Caribbean.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Cayman Brac became an important center for the production of rope and other maritime supplies, thanks to its abundant supply of sisal plants and its strategic location on key shipping routes. The island also became known for its skilled shipbuilders and seafarers, who built and crewed some of the fastest and most durable ships in the Caribbean.

During this time, Cayman Brac also played a key role in the Caribbean's thriving turtle trade, with the island's shallow waters and sandy beaches providing an ideal habitat for the green sea turtle. Turtling became a major industry on the island, with Brackers hunting and exporting thousands of turtles each year to markets in Europe and the Americas.

In the 20th century, Cayman Brac began to develop as a tourist destination, thanks to its stunning natural beauty, warm climate, and easy accessibility from Grand Cayman and other Caribbean islands. The island's first hotel, the Buccaneer's Inn, opened in 1970, and was soon followed by a number of other small resorts and guesthouses catering to divers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Today, tourism is the main driver of Cayman Brac's economy, with thousands of visitors coming to the island each year to enjoy its pristine beaches, vibrant reefs, and unique cultural attractions. However, the island has also managed to maintain its authentic, laid-back character and its close-knit sense of community, thanks in large part to the efforts of its residents to preserve their heritage and way of life.

One of the most notable examples of this commitment to preservation is the Cayman Brac Museum, which was established in 1980 to showcase the island's rich history and cultural traditions. The museum is housed in a restored 19th-century building in Stake Bay, and features exhibits on everything from the island's maritime history and turtling industry to its unique geology and wildlife.

Another important institution on Cayman Brac is the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, which was established in 1987 to protect and preserve the islands' natural and cultural heritage. The Trust manages several protected areas and nature reserves on Cayman Brac, including the Brac Parrot Reserve and the National Trust Parrot Preserve, which are home to some of the island's most unique and endangered species.

As Cayman Brac continues to grow and develop in the 21st century, its residents remain committed to preserving their island's natural beauty, cultural heritage, and way of life. Whether they are working to protect the island's fragile ecosystems, restoring historic buildings and sites, or passing down traditional skills and knowledge to younger generations, Brackers are proud of their island and its unique place in the world. For visitors to Cayman Brac, this deep sense of history and community is one of the island's greatest treasures and a testament to the resilience and spirit of its people.

Visiting Cayman Brac Today

So, what exactly can you expect when you visit Cayman Brac today? Let’s take a look at all the info you need for a magical experience along with a glimpse at all the unique things to do in Cayman Brac. 

When to Visit Cayman Brac

Cayman Brac is a year-round destination that offers something for everyone, no matter what time of year you choose to visit. However, there are some seasonal variations and considerations to keep in mind when planning your trip to this Caribbean paradise.

High Season (December to April):

  • This is the busiest and most popular time to visit Cayman Brac, with warm, sunny weather and low humidity.
  • Average daytime temperatures range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-29°C), with slightly cooler temperatures at night.
  • This period coincides with the winter months in North America and Europe, making it a popular time for travelers seeking to escape the cold weather back home.
  • Many of the island's special events and festivals take place during this time, including the Agriculture Show in February and the Mardi Gras parade and celebration in March.
  • Keep in mind that prices for accommodations, flights, and activities may be higher during this peak season, so it's important to book well in advance.

Shoulder Season (May to July):

  • These months offer a nice balance of good weather, lower prices, and smaller crowds compared to the high season.
  • May to July is typically drier and less humid than the later months of the year, with occasional brief showers that provide a refreshing break from the heat.
  • This is a great time for outdoor activities like hiking, birdwatching, and exploring the island's many caves and nature reserves.
  • The island's famous red-footed booby birds are also nesting during this time, making it a prime time for wildlife enthusiasts.

Low Season (August to November):

  • This is the quietest and least expensive time to visit Cayman Brac, with fewer crowds and lower prices than the rest of the year.
  • August to November is the peak of the hurricane season in the Caribbean, with a higher chance of storms and heavy rainfall.
  • While the weather can be more unpredictable during this time, many visitors find that the lower prices and laid-back atmosphere more than make up for the occasional rain shower.
  • This is a great time for divers and snorkelers, as the water visibility is often at its best and the marine life is especially active.

Regardless of when you choose to visit Cayman Brac, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:

  • Pack plenty of sunscreens, hats, and lightweight clothing to protect yourself from the strong Caribbean sun, even on cloudy days.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, and take breaks in the shade or air conditioning when needed.
  • Be prepared for occasional rain showers, especially during the low season, by bringing a light rain jacket or umbrella.
  • Consider booking your accommodations and activities in advance, especially during the high season, to ensure availability and get the best rates.
  • Take advantage of the island's many indoor and outdoor activities, from museums and galleries to hiking trails and beaches, to make the most of your time on Cayman Brac.

What You'll See When You Arrive on Cayman Brac

As you step off the plane or boat onto the small, unspoiled island of Cayman Brac, you'll immediately be struck by the island's stunning natural beauty and laid-back, welcoming atmosphere. From the moment you arrive, you'll feel as though you've been transported to a world of adventure, relaxation, and authentic Caribbean charm.

One of the first things you'll notice is the island's rugged, dramatic landscape, dominated by the towering limestone cliffs of the Bluff. Rising to a height of 140 feet above sea level, the Bluff runs the length of the island and offers breathtaking views of the turquoise waters and lush forests below. As you make your way along the island's main road, you'll catch glimpses of the Bluff's sheer rock faces, punctuated by caves, sinkholes, and hidden valleys that are just waiting to be explored.

As you venture further inland, you'll discover the island's diverse and fascinating ecosystem, which includes everything from dense tropical forests to arid scrublands and mangrove swamps. The island is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life, including many species that are found nowhere else in the world, such as the endangered Cayman Brac Parrot and the Silver Thatch Palm.

One of the best places to experience Cayman Brac's natural wonders is the Brac Parrot Reserve, a 180-acre protected area that is home to the island's largest population of these colorful and charismatic birds. The reserve features a network of hiking trails that wind through the forest, offering glimpses of the parrots as well as other rare and endemic species like the Cayman Brac Racer snake and the Sister Islands Rock Iguana.

Another must-see attraction on Cayman Brac is the Cayman Brac Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the island's rich history and cultural heritage. Housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, the museum features exhibits on everything from the island's maritime traditions and turtling industry to its unique geology and wildlife. Visitors can see artifacts and photographs from the island's early days, as well as learn about the hardy and resourceful people who have called Cayman Brac home for generations.

Of course, no visit to Cayman Brac would be complete without experiencing the island's incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities. The island is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and crystal-clear waters that are teeming with marine life, from colorful tropical fish to majestic sea turtles and rays. One of the most famous dive sites on the island is the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Soviet-era frigate that was intentionally sunk in 1996 to create an artificial reef and dive attraction. Today, the wreck is home to a wide variety of marine life and offers a unique and challenging dive experience for advanced divers.

Staying Safe & Fitting in While on Cayman Brac

When visiting Cayman Brac, it's important to prioritize your safety and be mindful of local customs and etiquette to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and fit in during your time on the island:

Safety Tips:

  • Cayman Brac has a very low crime rate and is generally a safe destination for travelers. However, it's still a good idea to take basic precautions like locking your doors, keeping valuables secure, and being aware of your surroundings, especially at night.
  • When enjoying water activities like diving, snorkeling, or swimming, be sure to follow all safety guidelines and listen to the advice of local experts. Be mindful of currents, tides, and weather conditions, and never swim or dive alone.
  • If you're planning to hike or explore the island's caves and nature reserves, be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Stick to marked trails and avoid venturing off on your own, especially in remote areas.
  • In case of an emergency, know how to contact local authorities and have the contact information for your accommodations and any tour operators readily available.

Fitting In:

  • Cayman Brac is a small, close-knit community where everyone knows everyone else. Be friendly and respectful to locals, and don't be afraid to strike up a conversation or ask for advice or recommendations.
  • Dress modestly and appropriately for the occasion, especially when visiting churches, museums, or other cultural sites. Beachwear is fine for the beach, but cover up when walking through town or dining out.
  • Be mindful of the island's environment and wildlife, and avoid littering or disturbing natural habitats. Respect local fishing and hunting regulations, and don't take any shells, corals, or other natural souvenirs without permission.
  • When dining out or enjoying the local nightlife, be patient and go with the flow. Service may be slower than what you're used to, but that's all part of the laid-back island lifestyle.
  • If you're interested in learning more about the island's history and culture, consider visiting the Cayman Brac Museum or attending a local festival or event. Locals are often happy to share their knowledge and stories with visitors who show a genuine interest.

Other Tips:

  • Bring plenty of cash, as some local businesses may not accept credit cards or have limited ATM access. The local currency is the Cayman Islands dollar, but US dollars are widely accepted.
  • Be prepared for occasional power outages or water interruptions, especially during storms or peak season. Bring a flashlight and some bottled water just in case.
  • If you're renting a car, be aware that driving is on the left side of the road and some roads may be narrow or unpaved. Take it slow and be mindful of pedestrians and wildlife.
  • Don't forget to pack insect repellent and after-bite cream, as sand flies and mosquitoes can be prevalent on the island, especially at dawn and dusk.

Cayman Brac's Weather & Climate

Cayman Brac, like the rest of the Cayman Islands, enjoys a tropical marine climate with warm temperatures and relatively high humidity throughout the year. The island's weather is heavily influenced by the surrounding Caribbean Sea, which moderates temperatures and provides a steady flow of trade winds that help to keep the island cool and comfortable.


Average temperatures on Cayman Brac range from the mid-70s to the upper 80s Fahrenheit (24-31°C) throughout the year, with very little variation between seasons. The hottest months are typically July through September, with average highs around 89°F (32°C), while the coolest months are December through February, with average lows around 73°F (23°C). However, the humidity can make it feel several degrees warmer, especially during the summer months.


Cayman Brac experiences a distinct wet and dry season, with the majority of rainfall occurring between May and October. These months see frequent short, heavy showers, especially in the afternoons and evenings, which can sometimes disrupt outdoor activities. However, the rain is usually followed by clear skies and sunshine, and the island's lush vegetation and natural beauty are at their most vibrant during this time. The dry season runs from November to April, with very little rainfall and plenty of sunshine, making it a popular time for visitors.


Like all Caribbean islands, Cayman Brac is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms, particularly during the Atlantic hurricane season which runs from June to November. However, the island has a strong track record of preparedness and resilience, with strict building codes and a well-organized emergency response system. The last major hurricane to directly impact Cayman Brac was Hurricane Paloma in 2008, which caused significant damage but also brought the community together in a spirit of rebuilding and recovery.

Sea Temperature:

One of the biggest draws of Cayman Brac is its warm, crystal-clear waters, which are perfect for swimming, diving, and snorkeling year-round. Average sea temperatures range from the upper 70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (26-30°C), with very little variation between seasons. The water is generally calm and clear, with excellent visibility for spotting the island's vibrant marine life and coral reefs.

Getting To & Around Cayman Brac

Getting to Cayman Brac is relatively easy, once you get to the Cayman Islands, with several options available depending on your point of origin and preferred mode of transportation. Once you arrive on the island, getting around is also straightforward, with a variety of transportation options to suit your needs and preferences.

Getting to Cayman Brac:

  • By Air: The most common and convenient way to reach Cayman Brac is by flying into the Charles Kirkconnell International Airport (CYB), which is located on the western end of the island. The airport receives regular flights from Grand Cayman on Cayman Airways, as well as seasonal flights from Miami and other international destinations. The flight from Grand Cayman takes just 30-40 minutes, and provides stunning aerial views of the island and surrounding Caribbean Sea.
  • By Sea: If you're arriving by boat, Cayman Brac has a small port and marina located in Stake Bay, the island's main town and commercial center. The port can accommodate small to medium-sized boats and yachts, and provides easy access to the island's amenities and attractions. There are also regular ferry services between Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, the smallest of the Cayman Islands, which is located just 5 miles to the west.

Getting Around Cayman Brac:

  • By Car: The most popular and convenient way to explore Cayman Brac is by renting a car, which allows you to travel around the island at your own pace and visit all the top attractions and scenic spots. There are several car rental agencies located at the airport and in Stake Bay, with a range of vehicles to suit your needs and budget. Keep in mind that driving is on the left side of the road in the Cayman Islands, and some roads may be narrow or unpaved, so take extra caution and drive slowly.
  • By Taxi: If you prefer not to drive, taxis are readily available on Cayman Brac and can be a convenient way to get around, especially for short trips or airport transfers. Taxis are metered and rates are set by the government, so be sure to confirm the fare before getting in. You can hail a taxi on the street or ask your hotel or resort to call one for you.
  • By Bike: For shorter distances and a more eco-friendly way to explore the island, consider renting a bicycle or bringing your own. Cayman Brac has a few main roads that are relatively flat and easy to navigate by bike, and cycling is a great way to take in the island's natural beauty and fresh sea air. Just be sure to wear a helmet and bring plenty of water, as the heat and humidity can be intense.
  • On Foot: While Cayman Brac is a bit too large to explore entirely on foot, walking is a great way to experience some of the island's top attractions and scenic spots, especially in and around Stake Bay. Many of the island's best beaches, restaurants, and shops are located within easy walking distance of each other, and strolling along the waterfront or through the town's quaint streets is a lovely way to soak up the local atmosphere.

Tips for Getting To & Around:

  • If you're flying into Cayman Brac, be sure to book your flights well in advance, especially during peak season, as seats can fill up quickly on the small planes.
  • When renting a car, be sure to book ahead of time to ensure availability and get the best rates. Some rental agencies may offer discounts for longer rental periods or for booking online.
  • If you're planning to explore the island's more remote areas or nature reserves, consider hiring a local guide or tour operator who can provide transportation and expert knowledge about the island's history, culture, and ecology.
  • Be prepared for occasional delays or cancellations due to weather or mechanical issues, especially when flying or taking the ferry. Always have a backup plan and allow extra time in your schedule for unexpected changes.

Cayman Brac FAQs

Do I need a passport to visit Cayman Brac?

Yes, all visitors to the Cayman Islands, including Cayman Brac, must have a valid passport to enter the country. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay, and you may also be required to show proof of return or onward travel. Visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin, so be sure to check with the Cayman Islands Department of Immigration for the most up-to-date information.

What is the currency used on Cayman Brac?

The official currency of the Cayman Islands, including Cayman Brac, is the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD). The exchange rate is fixed at CI$1.00 to US$1.20, and US dollars are widely accepted throughout the island. However, it's always a good idea to have some local currency on hand for smaller purchases or for use in more remote areas. ATMs and currency exchange services are available in Stake Bay and at the airport.

Is it safe to travel to Cayman Brac?

Yes, Cayman Brac is generally a very safe destination for travelers, with a low crime rate and a friendly, welcoming local population. However, as with any travel destination, it's always a good idea to take basic safety precautions like locking your doors, keeping valuables secure, and being aware of your surroundings, especially at night. The island is also well-equipped to handle emergencies, with a modern hospital and fire department, as well as a dedicated police force.

What language is spoken on Cayman Brac?

The official language of the Cayman Islands, including Cayman Brac, is English. However, you may also hear some locals speaking Cayman Islands Creole, a dialect that combines elements of English, African, and Caribbean languages. Most locals are fluent in both English and Creole, and visitors will have no trouble communicating with islanders in English.

What should I pack for my trip to Cayman Brac?

When packing for your trip to Cayman Brac, be sure to bring plenty of lightweight, breathable clothing that is suitable for the warm, humid climate. Some essential items to include are:

  • Swimwear and beach cover-ups
  • Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes or sandals
  • Insect repellent and after-bite cream
  • Rain gear, such as a lightweight jacket or umbrella
  • Flashlight or headlamp for exploring caves or walking at night
  • Snorkeling or diving gear if you plan to explore the island's reefs and wrecks
  • Camera and extra batteries or charger
  • Any necessary medications or toiletries

Keep in mind that the dress code on Cayman Brac is generally casual, but it's always a good idea to pack a few nicer outfits for dining out or attending special events.

What are some of the top things to do and see on Cayman Brac?

Cayman Brac offers a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages and interests. Some of the top things to do and see include:

  • Exploring the island's many caves and nature reserves, such as the Brac Parrot Reserve and the National Trust Parrot Preserve
  • Snorkeling or diving on the island's vibrant coral reefs and famous wrecks, such as the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts
  • Hiking along the scenic Bluff Trail or walking the island's secluded beaches and coves
  • Visiting the Cayman Brac Museum and Heritage House to learn about the island's rich history and culture
  • Birdwatching for the island's many endemic and migratory species, such as the Cayman Brac Parrot and the red-footed booby
  • Enjoying fresh seafood and local cuisine at one of the island's many restaurants and bars
  • Shopping for handmade crafts, jewelry, and souvenirs at the Brac Arts & Crafts Shop or other local boutiques
  • Attending one of the island's many festivals and events, such as the Agriculture Show or the Mardi Gras Parade

No matter what your interests or travel style, Cayman Brac has something special to offer every visitor.

Are there any dangerous animals or insects on Cayman Brac?

While Cayman Brac is home to a diverse array of wildlife, there are very few animals or insects on the island that pose a serious threat to human health or safety. Some of the most common creatures you may encounter include:

  • Iguanas and lizards, which are harmless and often seen basking in the sun or scurrying across paths
  • Hermit crabs and land crabs, which are also harmless and can be found in many of the island's coastal areas and woodlands
  • Mosquitoes and sand flies, which can be a nuisance, especially at dawn and dusk, but can be easily avoided with insect repellent and protective clothing
  • Sharks and barracudas, which are occasionally spotted by divers and snorkelers, but are generally not aggressive towards humans unless provoked

The island does not have any venomous snakes, scorpions, or spiders, and incidents of bites or stings are very rare. However, it's always a good idea to exercise caution and common sense when exploring the island's natural areas, and to seek medical attention if you do experience any unusual symptoms or reactions.

What is the best time of year to visit Cayman Brac for diving and snorkeling?

Cayman Brac offers excellent diving and snorkeling year-round, thanks to its warm, clear waters and abundant marine life. However, the best time to visit for these activities depends on your preferences and priorities. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Water clarity: The water clarity on Cayman Brac is generally best from December to April, when rainfall is minimal and visibility can exceed 100 feet. However, the island's reefs and wrecks are still very accessible and impressive during the summer and fall months.
  • Water temperature: The water temperature on Cayman Brac is consistently warm throughout the year, ranging from the upper 70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (26-30°C). However, some divers and snorkelers may prefer the slightly cooler temperatures of the winter months, especially for longer or deeper dives.
  • Marine life: The island's marine life is active and abundant year-round, but some species may be more visible or numerous during certain times of the year. For example, whale sharks are sometimes spotted around the island from March to June, while turtle nesting season runs from May to October.
  • Weather and sea conditions: The summer and fall months (June to November) are considered the rainy season on Cayman Brac, with a higher likelihood of storms and choppy seas. While diving and snorkeling are still possible during this time, some sites may be less accessible or enjoyable due to weather conditions.


Written by: Julia

Julia is the Content Marketing Manager at Tourbase. With a passion for wandering the world, she is especially drawn to the paths less traveled. On two wheels or two feet, she loves biking and exploring locales both near and distant.

All of our content at Tourbase is written by experienced travel writers who have visited all of the locations we recommend. And our review board of local tourism experts ensure that all the information we provide is accurate, current and helpful

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