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The Sister Islands

Although Cayman Brac and Little Cayman are termed the Sister Islands, they’re not twins. Cayman Brac is a rugged 14 square miles dominated by a 144-foot bluff or cliff surrounding the eastern end of the island. Little Cayman, just five miles away and measuring only 10 miles long, barely reaches 40 feet at its highest point. Together, the two islands offer some of the best wall diving of the Caribbean and offer varied outdoor attractions - hiking, biking, kayaking, snorkeling, bird watching, fly and bait fishing and rock climbing on the bluffs of Cayman Brac.

The two islands have long been ranked as one of the top diving destinations in the Caribbean. Not only is the visibility outstanding, but also the choice of dive sites is extensive. Both islands have diving that will suit any skill level of diver, with outstanding snorkeling as well.

One of the highlights of Little Cayman is Bloody Bay Marine Park, with its wall dropping off steeply into the abyss. Eagle rays and sharks patrol the deep blue, while closer to the wall, turtles, eels and other marine life cavort among the sponges and coral.

The must-see Cayman Brac dive site is the wreck of the M/V Captain Keith Tibbetts. This 330-foot Russian frigate, intentionally sunk in 1996 as an artificial reef, appeals to any skill level. Your first view of this war vessel is the bow, now severely tilted to its port side, resting in the sand at 90 feet (27 m). As you swim to the broken mid-section you might run into a Goliath Grouper or a large Green Moray. The radar tower which rises to within 26 feet (8 m) of the surface is easily accessible even by snorkelers and is home to juvenile fish, shrimp and crabs.

Although diving is the major draw to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, there are many topside activities that will ensure that your time off is anything but boring, try bone fishing on the coastal flats or deep see fishing off the walls, or try hiking some of the Brac’s winding nature trails. Sign up for a free guided nature tour to see the island’s flora and fauna. Look carefully for the native emerald green parrots at the Brac Parrot Reserve. You’ll probably hear their distinctive cackle long before you see them.

Rock climbing is a new sport and is increasingly popular to the Brac. Bolted routes are located on both sides of the island at the eastern end. Experienced climbers rappel over the edge of the bluff at Lighthouse Point and then climb their way back to the top.

Both islands are a birder’s paradise with approximately 200 visible species, resident and migratory. Little Cayman is also home to the largest iguana population – approximately 2,000 -- in the Cayman Islands. So many, in fact, that “Iguana Crossing” signs have been posted along the road and they have right of way.

Although a little more remote than Grand Cayman, these charming sisters are ideal for a laid-back vacation with something for everyone to enjoy.


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