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Cayman Brac for non-divers?

Harbor Springs...
posts: 22
reviews: 27
Cayman Brac for non-divers?

We're a family of 4 (parents and 2 teens) who love to snorkel (my husband actually does dive but won't on this trip) and hike and need to be physically active for part of the day but also enjoy reading and playing games at night. We're not looking for nightlife. We've stayed on the other side of Grand Cayman (away from George Town) but even that was a bit busy for us. We live in a tourist town and don't need that for vacation. Would Cayman Brac be a good fit us? Or is it best for divers? And if you have any other suggestions, I'd really appreciate it. We've been looking at Eleuthera as well, it just seems like shore snorkeling is better in Cayman Brac. Thanks so much!

iowa
posts: 119
reviews: 1
1. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

The Brac has really good shore snorkeling (we will be there for 2 months from late Jan. to late March) and also has good hiking trails up on the bluff. It is much more relaxed than Grand and is also much less expensive. No night life but very laid back. As one local told us a few years back--"if you see 3 cars in a row, it's a traffic jam'!!

Dallas, TX
posts: 346
reviews: 83
2. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

I haven't been to Cayman Brac so I can't make a suggestion there but I can suggest 2 other locations.

First is Bonaire. Bonaire has wonderful shore snorkeling. You just rent a vehicle and can drive up to the 70 or so shore sites and jump in. The marine life is incredible (it's the best diving/snorkeling I've encountered so far). There is not much nightlife but there are a great assortment of very good restaurants. There are hiking opportunities in Washington Slagbaai National Park, windsurfing at Lac Bay, visits to caves, kayaking thru the mangroves, etc. Snorkel trips on the Woodwind to the small offshore island of Klein Bonaire are also highly recommended.

My second recommendation would be St. John. Again, lots of shore snorkeling available there as well as boat trips to offshore sites as well as the BVI. There are also lots of hiking opportunities available there. Check out the book "Feet, Fins & Four Wheel Drive."

Good luck and happy travels!

Harbor Springs...
posts: 22
reviews: 27
3. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

Thanks so much! I find your response encouraging, hawkeye23. It sounds just right. Zihuatcat, I've thought about Bonaire and St. John for the snorkeling. St. John is a bit more expensive (and really hard to find a rental at this "late" date), and Bonaire is hard to get to from our little town in Northern Michigan. I love the input, however, and will keep it on my list for future vacations.

Cayman Brac
posts: 33
4. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

Plenty to do on the Brac for non divers. Send me a message and I will give you a list of great snorkeling / swimming spots and some other suggestions - hiking, rock climbing etc.

Oklahoma City...
posts: 5
reviews: 38
5. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

we are traveling to Cayman Brac the last week in April. My husband & I love to dive but we will also be with two of my very best girlfriends. Neither of them dive and are starting to have 2nd thoughts about what they will have to do to keep them busy while we are diving. Can you share the list of those things for them to do besides go back to Grand Cayman for the day?

Cayman Brac
posts: 33
6. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

As far as things to do, the Brac is really relaxed and life really revolves around the sea. There is great snorkelling from shore at various places around the island - Buccaneer's Barcadere on the north side, at the end of Robert Foster lane is my favourite! If you pick a calm day and are feeling adventurous you can snorkel out to the Russian destroyer from here. Other good spots include Public Beach on the South Side, Panama Canal opposite the Police Station in Creek (the north east of the island) and from the dock at the end of the road past the Admin building in Stake Bay (turn off the main north road by the museum and drive to the end of this road).

Take a drive along to the lighthouse on the bluff and walk the nature trail around the end of the bluff, visit Peter's Cave (either the hard way - walking up all the steps from Spot Bay at the far east of the island, or the easy way, approach it from the top of the Bluff and just walk down a few steps!)

There are boat charters available to go fishing, snorkeling, do an island cruise or visit Little Cayman for a daytrip – Point of Sand beach in Little Cayman is beautiful and highly recommended. If you visit the tourist information centre on the Brac when you get here they can give you more information – my husband runs a boat charter over here so I don’t want to appear ‘self promoting’ on trip advisor!

There are a couple of small local art and craft shops around – good to pick up some nice caymanite jewellery, carvings etc.

Mainly tourist come here to relax and take a step back from the hectic pace of life off island – if you are looking for lots of shopping and organised activities, the Brac is not really the place for that.

As far as drinks and dinner, Brac Breef Beach Resort has great food, not really local but fairly priced and huge portions. Their bar is a good place to chill and meet other visitors and locals, mainly expats who live on the island. They have entertainment most evenings – bingo, games night, karaoke, movie night etc. The Captain's Table on the South side near Brac Caribbean Condos is also a good place to hang out and have a drink or some food - the owner, Cesar, is a Mexican who has been on the Brac for many years and is a great guy to sit down and chat with. The Alexander Hotel, also on the south side, has a good bar with a great bar tender and serves bar food and restaurant food (again, nothing really local).

For good local food you could try Aunt Sha's kitchen on the north side, about half a mile from Market Place supermarket, although it has been having mixed reviews of late, or a new restaurant that has opened at Coral Isle on the south side that I have't yet visited but know the guy who owns it and hear he is quite good. Barry's jerk chicken stand next to Edd's Place bar just round the corner from Market Place is open Wed - Sat and is well worth checking out.

Hope this helps!

Oklahoma City...
posts: 5
reviews: 38
7. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

Thank you for the speedy and detailed response. We found this to be very helpful. Can you share the information on the companies that do day trips or island type cruises to Little Cayman, please?(sailing or motor boats). I haven't seen any web-sites that provide this type of boat excursion just ones that offer diving.

Mount Tabor, New...
Destination Expert
for Cayman Islands
posts: 5,846
reviews: 18
8. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

Here is one charter company that offers trips from Cayman Brac to Little Cayman:

tripadvisor.com/Resources-g147370-Maps-Cayma…

http://www.coolbreezefishing.com/

minneapolis, mn
posts: 40
reviews: 12
9. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

I'll echo what was said about Bonaire. I think the shore snorkelling there is better than anywhere else in the Caribbean (at least to the dozen or so places that I've been to). I don't think there's any comparison to Cayman Brac. It's REALLY laid back there. Bonaire has more to offer and you can certainly stay away from the crowded area of Kralendijk if you prefer. I love it there!

10. Re: Cayman Brac for non-divers?

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