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“A beautiful diving paradise!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blackbird Caye Resort

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Blackbird Caye Resort
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Free Night
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Ankeny, Iowa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A beautiful diving paradise!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

My husband and I stayed at Blackbird for our 10 year anniversary and dived every day! The views look like they came off of postcards! We also saw a variety of life on the reefs including sharks, turtles, lionfish, eels, rays, and multiple kinds of fish. The trip to the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye was the highlight for me! The staff and dive guides were very professional and patient with my husband as he was getting his diving certification. Service was very good and food always included lots of fruit and choice of 2 entrees per evening. The huts are right on the beach and include air conditioning and are very clean.There is also a pool and bar to relax after diving. It was a wonderful trip and one we will always remember!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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291 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
Date | Rating
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English first
Aledo, Texas
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

As a diver wanting to get away from the world, this is the place to go! It was a little slice of heaven for me. i had a wonderful stay and the diving was just a bonus! The service was awesome at the little resort, better than some 6 star places I have stayed. the crew on the boat was top notch and you didnt have to lift a finger. They even rinsed our gear and took care of it to be back on the boat everyday. Plenty of water on the boat! you do one dive then go back to resort since they are so close by and later do another one and then another, three dives per day included in your package prices so if you decide you to skip a dive no big deal. The food was very good and they were accommodating to needs if you have any. The oceanfront cabin is new and patio sits over the water. it also has a kitchen with full size frig so if you get drinks on the mainland before you come bring back plenty! the air conditioning in that cabin was so cold too! Ask for that cabin! The beach was well maintained and we had no problems with bugs except for some pesty flies. So I was happy compared to Roatan. Diving was great. Plenty of normal caribbean sea life and the sponges were beautiful. The dive crew was there to help you have a good and safe dive trip and watch to make sure you didnt get lost or there for any help you might need or not need. Would I go again?? you bet!

Room Tip: Oceanfront is newest unit with jacuzzi over the water patio and kitchen. Does not have true thatch...
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  • Stayed August 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westminster
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2014 via mobile

We stayed there last year Aug 2013 and had such a great time! We loved being so close to the dive sites...it was a diver's paradise! We could dive in the morning and fish on the island during our surface interval and be back again on the short boat ride. My husband had a tarpon on while fishing off the pier one night!

They had family style dining which was a great opportunity to make friends with the others there. Since there were I think only ~ 10 tables we were able to get to know several couples well. The dive masters were great and we enjoyed getting to find lionfish (which are destroying the reef in Belize) and then eating them as our afternoon snack as "lionfish fingers!"

We did the blue hole dive since we decided not visiting it would be like going to India and not visiting the Taj Mahal! It was worth it!

The bugs were my least favorite part of the trip. Bring bug spray due to the tiny bugs that are known to enjoy tourists in the Caribbean.

We like to visit new places to broaden our experiences, however, despite the bugs, this is one of the few places that I would visit again due to the great diving and easy access, friendly service, and less crowded atmosphere to build friendships.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Lopez Island, Washington
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

There are 3 resorts out at Turneffe atoll and they are all good. But Blackbird is the best. We are scuba divers and found the operation here top notch in terms of staff, equipment and safety. Snorkeling visitors also had an excellent experience, with a boat and guide dedicated to them also. The food was great, and the cabanas are all you could ask for, very comfortable and well maintained. All the staff were competent and friendly. We chose Blackbird because it costs less, but it turns out we were not giving up a thing. Great value for your vacation dollar. Keep in mind, this is a remote quiet resort, not a noisy party place. If you like nature and relaxation, this is the place to go.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
winnetka, ca
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2014

July 19 - 26, 2014.

There's very little population pressure on these reefs. And no recent hurricane damage. So, the soft corals, fans and sponges are dense and abundant. Fish more numerous than Bonaire, Cozumel or Bonaire. Viz disappointing on most dives, but not enough to impair my photos. A few sites had some current, but nothing like Cozumel.

Dive operation was good. The divemasters separated the tourists from the hardcore divers, usually. Three dives per day were available. They have to keep their schedule, so the dives terminated at 55 minutes. Snorkelers had 2 guided trips per day to shallow, warm, lush reefs. The snorkel guide, Stewart, was superb and spotted all kinds of critters. The dive crew will change and rinse your gear - except for your wetsuit :)

All you have to do is show up on time, get you wetsuit off the drying rack, and get on the boat. They have a rinse bucket for cameras. Giant stride entry; ladder return. They blend the nitrox -- almost always spot-on 32%.

Cardinal and Kenle kept everyone safe in the water and on the boat, spotted all sorts of stuff, wrote notes on slates. The resort manager, Michael, also a divemaster, accompanied us on several dives, too. He'd screen his superb video in the bar during snack hour. He also keeps the resort running, perfectly.

The boat captain, Leo, was highly skilled. Stay put, and he'll maneuver the ladder to you.

Lots of small fish. Frequent shark sightings. A solitary dolphin greeted the boat one morning as we left the dock. I saw others jumping another day.

The usual Caribbean residents were represented. Multiple green morays on almost every dive. Lots of stingrays and spotted eagle rays. The grunts were unusually shy and wouldn't pose for portraits. Nassau groupers were frequent --lots of butterfly fish, tangs, wrasses and some surgeon fish, too. Many spotted drum sightings--they won't stop to pose, either. One good sized octopus, a few crabs, and one coral I've never seen. Many barracuda but no tarpon. Bonefish hung out in the shallows immediately in front of the resort.

Food was great and, like the dives, was always on schedule. (I appreciate timeliness.) Breakfast at 7, first dive at 8. Because the dive sites are so close, they return to the dock between dives, so you have almost an hour to change batteries and memory cards between dives. Second dive at 11. Return in time for a quick shower, or rinse on the dock, and then lunch at 1. Change batteries, cards, nap for 10 minutes, and then do the third dive is at 2:30, returning in time for the 5 o'clock snack in the bar. Dinner is at 7. Always some kind of fresh baked item at each meal. There was, for example, coconut pie made from a coconut that had dropped from a tree that afternoon and was ground up for the pie.

Chocolate brownies made their well-received debut on the all day trip to the blue hole. 3 dives and/or 3 snorkels available. BarBQ lunch on Half Moon Caye, with the Red Footed Booby protected nesting ground. Half Moon Caye is incredibly beautiful and has huge hermit crabs and giant iguanas everywhere. The reefs are even more pristine than those in front of the resort.

Cabanas were well maintained. Daily maid service and night time turn down gives you a candy. Water is all purified by reverse osmosis. Generators worked all the time. Air conditioners work, but were not needed. Ample and constant breeze kept away almost all insects. There are screened porches with hammocks. I never got to use the pool or the complimentary kayaks, because I was eating diving and sleeping. They now have satellite internet in, or near, the office and bar. It's remarkable to have it available, at all, in such a remote location, and it's fast enough for voice.

There is NO light pollution. The stars were great. The dippers were low, and Sagittarius and Scorpio were high. There are frigate birds and pelicans, and if you're lucky, you'll have a house gecko chirping in your room.

Every staff member was cheerful, friendly, and helpful.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

This is the perfect getaway to separate yourself from the world and enjoy a tropical paradise, although wifi is available. I was looking for an all around adventure resort where I'd be able to scuba, do some fishing and enjoy the hotel amenities.
My friends and I got ready for our first dive and the dive master, Cardinal, had all our gear assembled and ready to go and even guess our wet suit sizes to speed us up and get out to the ocean. After doing a back roll entry we were underway to the bottom reef and immediately we could see hundreds of fish swimming below. Not long into the dive we spotted a hawksbill sea turtle slowly gliding in front of us. The reef had huge sea fans and barrel sponges that could fit one of us very easily.
After getting back to the island and satisfying our thirst for a few liters of water we headed over to the bar which is nothing short of amazing. It sits right on the water front and has a nice cool breeze circling through the inside thatch. The beers were cold, the food was great and time seemed to slow right down for me to enjoy everything.
I must say that the resort has a lot of nice amenities such as a pool and pool bar, kayaks for 2 at no extra charge and a nice relaxing area in the same structure as the bar.
I will definitely be back to blackbird but next time with more sunscreen and bug spray.

Room Tip: Ocean view rooms have more breeze and the sound of the waves crashing on the reef.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2014

Our family of 3 divers (parents + 15yo girl) is 1 week out from a week in heaven @ Blackbird Caye Resort . Everything was perfect - Belize is beautiful and the diving was great, really great - huge barrel sponge, huge fan coral, big fish, big schools of fish & plenty of tiny things too. But really what put the frosting on the cake is the staff at Blackbird Caye Resort. Everyone is top notch. Booking - easy, informative, helpful and clear. Transport Mr Moreno at the airport - again friendly, helpful, easy, and informative. Sweet friendly Captain Leo on the boat to Blackbird the best boat captain getting us to/from all the diving adventures. Blackbird staff - Manager Mike with general welcoming info + video, croc night walk, go pro gear tips/advise, video tips, videographer & a great narrator/storyteller of his adventures. Jose - the bartender - sweet hardworking attentive guy, good drinks! Saved the best for last - Cardinal and his brother James divemasters extraordinaire keeping it super fun & safe, doing a wonderful job of spotting sea life, putting us in the right spot to find our own sea life, pointing out the small and large, teaching us new diving tricks - our daughter was on her 2nd dive trip ever - and just keeping us very happy. Such a spoiled pampered feeling - gear ready to go each dive in the perfect spot on the boat for easy entry. Boat right there after every dive a few kicks to the ladder for easy exit. The dive staff Leo, James and Cardinal really love the water and what they do, it shows. They are the best. Diving fantastic. We're not super experienced divers but we've been to Cozumel, Australia, Coral Sea, Roatan to name a few and this diving was right up there with the best - even just snorkeling right below the dock at Blackbird - a bat fish, a big moray eel getting cleanup by a damsel fish, a family of squid, octopus, southern ray....
Room was clean & comfy (we never even used the AC,) view from the porch amazing, spent a few hour dozing in the hammock on the porch between dives. Food - super, plentiful & yummy breakfast lunch and dinner - baked goods oh my I'd like to know how to make those cakes and muffins. Loved those tasty 5pm snacks - especially the lion fish :) Staff in the restaurant - friendly , attentive without hovering - the best. Was a sad day when we had to put on our shoes again & leave but Mr Moreno was there again to manage the details.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all the staff at Blackbird - you are the besl.

Oops forgot to mention - while we were there world famous Tierney Thys running the show at the oceanic institute a stroll down the beach. Added bonus - she came by Blackbird Resort to chat and dove with us on the blue hole trip. She isn't always there but who knows maybe she will be when you go. Where else in the world can you get that?

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blackbird Caye Resort

Address: Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Turneffe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Hotel Class:3 star — Blackbird Caye Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blackbird Caye is a privately owned Island sitting on The Mesoamerican Reef System - often referred to as the "Jewel of the Caribbean" - it is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere with a rich tapestry of vivid corals, mangrove forests, coastal wetlands, and diverse marine wildlife. Within the reef you will find Turneffe Atoll the Caye where the resort is located. Turneffe is the largest and most biologically diverse of the 3 atolls found in the Caribbean home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish, manatees, dolphins and invertebrates. There are over 70 dives sites all within 10-15 minutes from the resort and 45 minutes to Lighthouse Reef where The Great Blue Hole is located. The resort is made of 19 modern cabanas facing the Caribbean Sea and 1 beach house. The cabanas are all equipped with A/C, fans, private bathrooms, either King or Queen Beds with new comfortable bedding, private porches with chairs and swinging hammocks. Included in the price are your cabana, 3 daily meals, dive or snorkel package, complimentary transfers to the island on Wednesdays and Saturdays and use of the resort's kayaks. We are the only resort on Turneffe with an air strip making it convenient to arrive or depart any other day of the week. Our courteous and helpful staff will always make you feel at home as customer service ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Blackbird Caye Hotel Turneffe Islands
Blackbird Caye Belize City

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