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South Water Caye Marine Reserve, South Water Caye 0000 Belize
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About

#1 of 2 Specialty lodging in South Water Caye
Location
4.8
Cleanliness
4.8
Service
4.8
Value
4.6
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
Beach
Canoeing
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Massage
Concierge
Gift shop
Wifi
Restaurant
Snack bar
Diving
Hiking
Snorkeling
Billiards
Evening entertainment
Fishing
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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Room features
Private beach
Housekeeping
Seating area
Bath / shower
Room types
Ocean view
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish

Location

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South Water Caye Marine Reserve, South Water Caye 0000 Belize
73Reviews9Q+A21Room tips
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Eberhard wrote a review Jul 2022
1 contribution
We (a Group of 6 People) Had Booked and Paid an accommodation at IZE southwater Cay, Belize, in 2019 for a 10-day Stay in 2020. Due to covid, we had to Postpone twice to 2021 and Then to 2022. Also, the IZE Station was closed during the Times we Had Reserved in 2020 and 2021 Due to covid. Shortly Before our Arrival in 2022, we were informed That we do Not have a reservation and it was questioned That we Had paid! In consequence, we Had no accommodation and lost more than 7,000 US Dollars! To this das, Inquiries to IZE to reimburse have Been either Declined or ignored. In summary, we can only warn to make reservations at the Place.
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Date of stay: June 2022
Service
Trip type: Traveled on business
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Heather M, General Manager at IZE Belize
Responded Aug 9, 2022
You have never done business with our company!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Eric W wrote a review May 2022
2 contributions
+1
We had the most amazing experience staying with IZE. I cannot say enough good things about the facility and the people. Our food was excellent and they were very good about dietary restrictions (my wife cannot have dairy). Ms. Sherry also makes the best lemon meringue pie! Jose provided us the most excellent service in the restaurant and did leave us wanting for more. He was also extremely friendly. We (me, wife, and 3 kids) spent most of our time snorkeling the reef right off of the beach, jumping in off the dock, or relaxing with a delicious island drink (Camilla makes an excellent lime colada. We booked a snorkeling experience where Noble (a most excellent guide) showed us another part of the reef which was a short bit ride over. His knowledge of the reef and all of its creatures was truly amazing. He also had an amazing knowledge of coconuts (all over the island) and was eager to share. Noble also educated us on the Garifuna people and culture which was also very interesting and inspiring. Our kids loved hanging out and playing with Aman who kept the place looking great and was there for anything we needed. Nesley kept our rooms very clean and was also extremely nice to all of us. We were also fortunate enough to be there when the owner/manager, Heather, was there. She treated us like family and we were very grateful for her hospitality. We could also tell she treated her employees fairly and with respect which showed in their attitudes and work ethics. There were other employees that we didn’t get to meet and wish we could have as the people who work at IZE were truly amazing and made our trip one of the most memorable experiences ever. We will definitely be returning soon! Thank you for everything IZE.
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Date of stay: May 2022Trip type: Traveled with family
Room Tip: We found Heather to be very helpful when it came to playing “travel guide.” If you have any...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Holmes07 wrote a review May 2022
Pittsburgh, PA4 contributions5 helpful votes
My family visited South Water Caye in mid-April and had a wonderful time. Everything - accommodations, excursions, IZE staff and meals - exceeded our expectations. We stayed four nights and wished we had booked another night or two. The staff, especially Heather, were very knowledgeable and personal. Heather even led some morning yoga classes for our group. We would highly recommend this for people seeking an active beach vacation.
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Date of stay: April 2022
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EkinOak wrote a review Jan 2022
Chicago, Illinois45 contributions4 helpful votes
+1
Friends of ours told us about IZE Belize South Water Caye and we joined them there for a family vacation. South Water Caye is a small island near Belize's impressive coral reef, about 45 minutes by boat from Dangriga. Captain John picked us up from Dangriga with the IZE boat and whisked us away to the island. There are only 4 total properties on the entire island, and IZE is one of them. During the academic year they host study abroad student groups from universities, but during vacations (and at other times throughout the year, depending on availability) regular folks can also book their private cabins. Everything is taken care of. All meals are prepared for you each day by the amazing local chefs who work in the kitchen (Ms. Cherry has been there for more than 20 years!) -- and each meal was better than the next. You literally don't have to do anything! Kids can run around freely, there are no cars (the island is too small to need transportation)...it's just palm trees, beaches, kayaks, snorkeling, and peace. The bar is a really lovely place to hang out, play pool, look at the marine life just below the dock, watch the sunset, and chat with the occasional people dropping in from their boats for happy hour. The entire staff really made sure our stay was special: Noble gave us a tour to his home island of Tobacco Caye and helped our kids make coconut sailboats, Heather organized a candlelit parents-only New Years Eve dinner for us, Lindon served us "Belizean sunsets" at the bar each night, the list goes on. The cabins are spacious, clean, and basic, and have en-suite bathrooms. The breeze off the ocean means you don't need AC (and there isn't any!). There's like one bar of cell reception at the end of the dock but no WiFi. This is a true getaway. If you want/need anything, you have to bring it with you (snacks, toiletries, etc.) Because of COVID, IZE was only welcoming one group at a time and so our friends and us were the only guests on the property. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Imagine having a perfect tropical island all to yourself!
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Date of stay: December 2021
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lkbutler1985 wrote a review Oct 2021
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida2 contributions
We enjoyed a couple of evenings visiting with Heather, and have had such a wonderful time!!! Everyone is so kind, and Heather was full of valuable information. IZE is an incredible place with so much to offer in so many different ways, and the people are so genuine. I can’t wait for my children to experience this amazing place!
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Traveled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Heather M, General Manager at IZE Belize
Responded Oct 25, 2021
Thank you so very much for such a wonderful review! We all loved hosting you at IZE and cannot wait for your return and are excited to meet the rest of your family.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Jenny M wrote a review Oct 2021
Flagstaff, Arizona5 contributions
+1
We stumbled upon this place while sailing. Definitely a feast for the eyes! This place is incredible. Remote, unspoiled, hard to describe in words. Heather the manager is the BEST….. hospital warm and beyond friendly. Get away and unplug in this Belize remote paradise ❤️
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Date of stay: October 2021Trip type: Traveled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from Heather M, General Manager at IZE Belize
Responded Oct 25, 2021
Thank you Jenny, such a pleasure to meet you and Levi. We hope to see you soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Mehek wrote a review Apr 2020
Mumbai, India16 contributions1 helpful vote
+1
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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Holly S wrote a review Feb 2020
14 contributions
+1
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
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
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
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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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This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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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
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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LOCATION
BelizeBelize CayesSouth Water Caye
NUMBER OF ROOMS
11
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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.
Does IZE Belize have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the ocean view available here.