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South Water Caye Marine Reserve, South Water Caye 0000 Belize
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#1 of 2 Specialty lodging in South Water Caye
IZE is a unique and exciting travel destination and not just another hotel. While we welcome tourists looking only to relax and enjoy our incredible Southwater Caye location, alongside the world’s second largest barrier reef, our primary focus is education. We were the first organization of our kind within Belize, and have been in operation since 1970 offering educational and cultural excursions to both our Blue Creek rain forest and Southwater Caye marine biological field stations.Throughout the year, as well as adventurous travelers and tourists of all ages; students, scientists and educators visit our facilities to conduct ongoing research projects. Some of these projects are funded by the national science foundation which allows the opportunity for our guests to not only enjoy, but to participate and learn about the natural surroundings they are visiting, providing a rewarding and enriching travel experience set within some of the earth's most incredible ecosystems. We have dormitories for student groups or private cabanas for singles, couples and families and offer beautiful grounds, a full bar and restaurant as well as snorkeling and fishing tours.Our staff are some of the best in the country, who love what they do and where they do it, so when you come stay at IZE you may arrive a stranger, but you will depart as family.
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Property amenities
Free internet
Bar / lounge
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Gift shop
Snack bar
Evening entertainment
Non-smoking hotel
Shared lounge / TV area
24-hour front desk
Express check-in / check-out
Private check-in / check-out
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Private beach
Seating area
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Non-smoking rooms
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Hidden Gem
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish


South Water Caye Marine Reserve, South Water Caye 0000 Belize
67Reviews9Q+A20Room tips
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Popular mentions
Mehek wrote a review Apr 2020
Mumbai, India16 contributions
I went to IZE for about a week as part of a short group field marine research experience through Drew University and it has been one of the greatest highlights of my undergrad career so far. The plane ride from Belize City to Dangriga was a lot of fun, I got lucky and was asked to ride as co-pilot! South Water Caye is the most pristine place I've had the opportunity to dive at. In a single dive, we saw a nurse shark, a loggerhead sea turtle nearly as big as me, spiny lobsters, a manta ray, and spotted eagle rays among several other fascinating fishes and corals. Some people in the group also saw dolphins during a snorkel, some other notable animals included barracuda, upside down jellyfish, trumpetfish, stingrays, porcupine fish, scorpionfish, flounders, arrowhead crabs, and batfish! Everyone at IZE is super friendly and professional. The guides are all very experienced and trained to give you a safe, yet enjoyable tour, even for inexperienced swimmers. I'm vegetarian by choice, and I usually struggle with food options, but I had absolutely no complaints here, the food was delicious and they happily accommodated other dietary restrictions in the group. If you go, be sure to try a coconut. They are ridiculously yummy, especially the white meat (we call it malai in India). There is a classroom at IZE filled with comprehensive charts, books and reef guides that were very helpful for looking up the things that we were seeing on our snorkel/dive trips. IZE is very close to Carrie Bow Caye, a popular field station for established research scientists. We were very lucky to be able to visit and get a glimpse of what a marine field station looks like because we went as university students and were so close. The ecology around the island is super diverse and insanely beautiful. We carried out research beaches, reefs, mangroves, and sea grass beds. The wifi works on and off, but it forced our group to bond and form meaningful relationships as well as take advantage of books and tour guides for information. I know that IZE also has a small field laboratory established by another university that you may be able to get permission to use for research. They also have an on site dive shop in case you need or lose gear. The dormitories were very comfortable and well maintained, we just had to bring our own sheets and towels. We went to sleep every night with the soothing sounds of the ocean and wind in the trees and woke up to animal calls (who knew geckoes were actually alarm clocks?!). The dorms have fans to keep the room well ventilated even with the doors/windows closed. There are a bunch of bunk beds, so if you're coming in a large group, no worries, there is probably a large enough capacity. There are also two dormitories with separate bathrooms for boys and girls if needed. The bathrooms are regularly cleaned and the bathrooms in the private cabins are even nicer. Remember to carry a portable bidet and shower slippers if you're used to that. Somehow the days at IZE felt very long and we were able to achieve a lot. We were in the water about 3-4 times a day: 1-2 tour guide snorkels and 2 experiment related trips daily. In our down time we sun bathed at the beach, played beach volleyball and pool with the staff, kayaked in the bay, threw rocks for Reef Boy (the sweetheart island dog), watched sunrises, documented our field observations, napped in hammocks, interacted with other guests/guides, danced at the bar and observed marine life off the deck! the island also sparked one or two Belize romances in our group, which I thought was cute :) On the last day our guides shared some of their culture with us through a live song and dance performance. Overall, I cannot recommend IZE enough, I don't know if anything could have made the research trip more perfect. I told the station manager Barbara before I left, if there was ever an opportunity for me to go back or even work there, I would do so without hesitation. Nothing but the highest compliments for this great team and beautiful location. It's an excellent place for curious students and definitely perfect for an adventurous holiday. You really can't go wrong choosing IZE, you won't regret it. Say hi to them from me!
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Date of stay: March 2020
Sleep Quality
Holly S wrote a review Feb 2020
14 contributions
A short 1/2 hour boat ride from Dangriga brings you to south water key. Ize is a ecological research station that also hosts non students in lovely casitas on the beach. Three incredible, fresh cooked local meals and non alcoholic beverages are included daily. There is a small bar on the dock to get local beer or mixed drinks. The snorkeling is incredible, and sand is soft and white. There are no large beaches on the island. We didn’t want to spend a lot of time on beach because there was shallow, reef protected water then snorkeling further out. Our guide Richie took us out when we got there to show us the reef and wildlife, and then on the most amazing snorkel adventure further out in the reef. Free use of kayaks is included with your stay. There is a classroom library attached to the dining hall that has every tropical ecology reef book or ID book that you could want. Wifi is available at the dining hall. The cabins are perfect with a lovely breeze, ocean sounds, good beds and a back porch with hammock and chairs. The manager and staff were friendly, informative and did a great job! Reef boy and pescado are the island mascots and a joy to be around. At the end of the adventure they take you back to Dangriga. We didn’t want to leave! Thanks IZE🌴🐚🐠
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Response from Barbara K, Manager at IZE Belize
Responded Feb 25, 2020
Thank you Holly for coming to visit us and for leaving this very kind review. We hope we will see you back again in the not too distant future. Bring the kids next time (or not! - LOL!)
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Isabelle wrote a review Apr 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
Such an amazing place to stay, this was my second time staying here! Great location right on the reef provides a nice constant breeze; bar and dock facing west provides the perfect place to watch the sunset, stars and look for octopus and eels. Friendly staff, great food, amazing snorkeling, just can't say enough good things about this place!
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Date of stay: April 2019
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: All the rooms have a private porch facing east, perfect place to watch the sunrise, and catch the...
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1 Helpful vote
Pedro Melo wrote a review Apr 2019
Rio de Janeiro, RJ4 contributions
Great staff, amazing cabins where you can watch the sunrise laying on your bed! Good food. The ocean around the island is perfect for a good swim. And there’s Reef the dog, that loving fun creature. Loved him!
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Date of stay: April 2019Trip type: Traveled solo
Vicki J wrote a review Mar 2019
Saint Louis, Missouri55 contributions7 helpful votes
I had the most absolute best vacation at IZE Belize. I was treated like family and everyone from Ms. Barbara, Paulette, Camelia and Richie became my family. I took my first solo vacation ever and I could not have picked a better place to unwind and relax. I stayed in the Mangrove cabana. The accommodations are simple but clean. Paulette made wonderful meals and was such a delight to talk to along with Camelia at the bar. I just lucked out and I was the only guest at the resort at the time. It was so quiet and peaceful. I honestly wanted to cry when I had to leave. IZE has an actual beach, unlike San Pedro. The water was crystal clear and I had plenty of things to do. Take time to kayak and paddleboard or just sit on the end of the dock with a cup of coffee and completely relax. The island dog, Reef, entertained me with bringing me anything he could get in his mouth to play "go fetch" with. The snorkel guide Richie made my experience the best. He took me out snorkeling and showed me such wonderful marine life. I suggest taking the night snorkel. I got to see octopus, crabs, and lobster. He was just a joy to be around. I look forward to returning and bringing my boys next time. It was heaven on earth!
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Date of stay: March 2019
Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Rooms are simple and more camp like than luxurious
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Frequently Asked Questions about IZE Belize
What are some of the property amenities at IZE Belize?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and kids activities.
What food & drink options are available at IZE Belize?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and a snack bar during their stay.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at IZE Belize?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English and Spanish.