Explore Cayman Brac’s caves for a real adventure.
Cayman Brac is without question the wilder, more rugged of the Cayman Islands, and the entire length of its 10-mile Bluff is packed with dozens of cave systems. These natural wonders were created over millennia as a result of rainwater percolating through the porous limestone, carving out fissures, sinkholes and caves.
In days of old, legend has it that pirates would stash their booty deep in the caves, while islanders used them as hurricane shelters until much more recently. Cayman Brac’s caves are not huge and most are hard to access. Their entrances are typically high in the cliff face or obscured by dense vegetation. There are, however, a handful that are more easily accessible and generally well sign-posted.
Free guided tours of the Brac, which can be tailored to your interests, can be booked through The Sister Islands’ District Administration at 345-948-2222. Alternatively, if you choose to explore the Island’s caves under your own steam, make sure to check out some of these spots.
The cave with the most tragic history, Rebecca’s Cave is well marked and lies close to sea level on the south side of the Bluff. Several local families sought refuge in this cave during the great hurricane of 1932. Amongst them was Rebecca, a young girl, who did not survive the storm. Her tomb lies in the middle of the cave, a stark reminder of how vulnerable these Islands are to nature’s wrath.
Peter’s Cave sits high in the cliff at the Island’s northeastern end, with views down on to Spot Bay. It can be accessed either via a long climb up from the village or the somewhat shorter and very scenic Lighthouse Trail. Keep one eye out for the brown boobies that nest along this desolate cliff top, but be sure to keep the other eye on your path. The rocks are jagged and uneven, so proceed with caution. The cave is deceptively large, with several chambers and various tunnels leading off in different directions. It’s a must-see for the views as much as the interior.
Nani Cave is possibly the most impressive of the Island’s accessible caves. Sometimes referred to as the “new” cave, it was only discovered a few years ago when construction workers were clearing land to build a new road across the Bluff. The access is a little tricky, but once inside, hundreds of icicle-like stalactites hang down from the ceiling and just as many stalagmites rise up to meet them, sometimes connecting as towering pillars.
Unsurprisingly, this cave takes its name from its principal residents. Located close to Public Beach on the south shore, there are several chambers where small fruit bats hang upside down, waiting for “mosquito o’clock,” when they can fly out and feast.
A little eerie and harder to access — there’s a set of three ladders to get up to it — Great Cave is not for the faint of heart. Those who do make the trek, however, will be rewarded with large chambers and some impressive stalactites.
Visit Cayman Brac with Cayman Airways
Together, Cayman Airways and Cayman Airways Express offer multiple flights a day between Grand Cayman and Little Cayman to Cayman Brac. Cayman Airways also offers weekly nonstop flights from Miami to Cayman Brac on Saturdays. To book your flight, call 345-949-2311 or 1-800-4-CAYMAN, contact your local agent or visit caymanairways.com.
If you go caving, be sure to take:
Sturdy, closed-toe shoes. Flip-flops or sandals are not suitable. Hiking boots that support the ankle are best.
A flashlight. Although some natural light penetrates most caves, a flashlight will showcase a lot more detail.