There are more than 50 dive sites around Cayman Brac so there are plenty of choices for new and experienced divers alike. November to April is high season at Cayman Brac but for diving, the seas are calmer and visibility better from May to July. The island has been hit by hurricanes so do check out the weather forecasts before booking a trip especially from July to October.
Visibility ranges from 60-100ft (18-30m) and dive sites consist of walls, coral gardens and some good wreck dives. Most of the sites are close by and easily accessible by a short boat trip and some can be dived straight from the shore. Water temperature is warm with a range of 78-82°F (25-28°C).
A must-see when diving here is the purposely sunk MV Captain Keith Tibbetts. This is a 330ft (100m) Russian Koni class frigate that was sunk in 1996 to create an easily accessible artificial reef. Besides that, do try the Buccaneer Reef or check out the bronze sculpture on Radar Reef as well as walls like Wilderness Wall. Tarpon Reef makes for an interesting dive with large silvery tarpon swarming around the tunnel and crevices. Divers can also head to the famous Bloody Bay Wall on the nearby Little Cayman Island.
Around the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, many fish come to take shelter and hunt so expect to see schools of barracuda and trevally, and colorful reef fish like angelfish, boxfish and pufferfish. Moray eels have also made a home on the wreck and you may find them peeking out of cracks and crevices. Blennies are also fun to look for and harder to miss are inquisitive goliath groupers. Around the sandy bottom of the wreck there are garden eels, starfish and sea cucumbers.
At wall dives and coral gardens, soft and hard coral growth is plentiful. Many different types of sponges, sea fans and sea whips brighten up the scene. Nassau groupers are often seen waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey, while parrotfish buzz around looking for food. Hawksbill sea turtles and green sea turtles are a likely sighting as are lobsters. Out in the blue and on sandy bottoms, find eagle rays and stingrays. Caribbean reef sharks are not that common here but you can see nurse sharks resting on the sea floor or hiding under boulders and table coral.
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Cayman Brac is the second largest island of the three main islands that form the Cayman Islands. A sliver of an island which lies close to Little Cayman, its width measures only 1.2 miles (2km) while it is length is 12 miles (19km) long. Cayman Brac was named for its magnificent and rugged limestone bluff that rises along the east of the island. The highest point of the bluff, or brac, which is Gaelic for bluff, is 141ft (43m) high.
The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the early 16th century and together with Little Cayman, he named the islands La Tortugas to describe the turtle population there. Through the 16th to 18th century, Cayman Brac was a popular stopover for pirates who visited the island for water and food. Today, Cayman Brac has a small population of about 2,000 people and perhaps has a larger population of brown boobies and frigatebirds.
Cayman Brac is unique amongst the rest of the Cayman Islands and is an enticing tourist destination especially for those who love the outdoors and adventure. It has good scuba diving, dramatic limestone caves, world-class rock climbing and plenty of nature to enjoy.
There are rock climbing routes which are accessible to beginners and experienced rock climbers. Make sure to visit the limestone caves or go kayaking. Non-divers can still enjoy the reef via snorkel trips or try open water fishing. Besides that, head out on foot or on bike and don’t forget to bring your binoculars as there are more than 200 species of bird out here.
Fly to Charles Kirkconnell International Airport on Cayman Airways from Grand Cayman.