Cayman Brac Main

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Cayman Brac is just about the same size as Manhattan (2 miles wide, 12 miles long), but the skyline that gives this Caribbean its name is natural: a sheer limestone bluff (brac in Gaelic) that runs the center of the island and sets it apart from its low-lying sister isles, Grand Cayman and Little Cayman.

Fewer than 2,000 residents make their home on "The Brac," and like its sister isles, the island is best known as a destination for divers who really want to put in some bottom time. Wall and reef dives abound, along with the wreck of a Russian destroyer (renamed the M.V. Captain Keith Tibbets after a popular Brac resident when it was purposely sunk as an artificial reef in 1996). And for those wanting more, the world-famous walls of Little Cayman are a short (5-mile) boat ride away.

Topside, nearly 200 bird species frequent the island (expect to see more than 50 different species during seasonal migrations from November through March), including the colorful Cayman Brac parrot. Diving and birding aside, the main activity here is, well ... inactivity. Beaches are limited, and a day of slow sightseeing by car (coastal blowholes, a small museum, and a lighthouse atop the bluff at the east end of the island) will cover the scenic highlights. But for quiet days at low-key resorts, punctuated by periodic pit-stops at open-air bars and restaurants, it's a throwback to a less-developed West Indies.

Experience Cayman Brac: Virtual Destination Tour