Cayman Brac, a small island 90 mi/145 km northeast of Grand Cayman, offers excellent hiking, spelunking, diving, snorkeling and deep-sea fishing (marlin, wahoo, bluefin and barracuda).
It's also the only part of the Cayman Islands with any notable above-water topography: A spinelike wedge of limestone rock runs the length of the island, rising to a height of 140 ft/43 m at the east end, where it drops straight into the sea. (Brac is Gaelic for "bluff.")
"The Brac" has fewer than 1,500 residents and is still unspoiled by development. It's a great place to read, swim, bicycle, explore, bird-watch or simply relax.
If there's a drawback, it's that the Brac has little beach compared with the other islands, though most hotels maintain a small stretch of sand for their guests. Still, it's the best place in the Caymans to experience the relaxed lifestyle of the Caribbean: Most island residents are happy to sit and chat.
A good place to catch the local gossip is at La Esperanza, an open-air bar and restaurant in Stake Bay, on the north side of the island. A stop at the small Cayman Brac Museum, which depicts early island life, is also worthwhile.
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