Important Added Information. (Updated September 4th, 2018)
#1- Getting to Placencia from Belize City:
By Shuttle: Belize Shuttles and Transfers (011-501-288-6671); approximately $60 per person (each way); pick up at Belize International airport. 3-hour ride.
By Rental Car: between $90 - $100 USD a day; roughly 3 hour drive. We have our own private place to leave your rental car while in Placencia.)
By Air: (Maya or Tropic Air) $135 USD each way per person / 40 minute flight. Fastest way.
By Taxi : $300 USD each way by SUV (4 people); $350 USD by van (6 people).
(Note: If going to Bird Island the same day as arriving, the shuttle/rental car/taxi way works as long as one is arriving in Belize International by 1pm (then it is a 3hr drive to Placencia + 1 hr for food shopping + 30 minutes to get to the island by 6pm (it gets dark in Belize by 6:30). If arriving to Belize International after 1pm best to fly to Placencia.)
#2- Length of stay: We have a minimum stay of 4 days, maximum 6 days . From experience we have learned that 4-5 days is about perfect, easy to plan for and eliminates the need to have to come back into town at all during your stay, though that option is, of course, available. Longer stays are available upon special request. When booking, it helps us tremendously if you pick days adjacent to already blocked days.
#3- In order to help with your logistics, we can pick you up at your hotel or local airport in Placencia at 11am (or later) on the day of departure to Bird Island, as long as you let us know where you are staying or when arriving. We can then take you food shopping and drop off everything by the boat all at once. Please note this option is available if staying near the town of Placencia and if staying well away from the village, such places do have a free shuttle into town.
#4- The trip from Placencia Village to Bird Island is included in the booking price. We meet at 12 Noon (or later), at the M&M Hardware gas station / Hockey Pockey dock . M&M is in the very middle of town, close to everything. (Please note: this dock is different than the new town dock which is at the very end town.)
#5- Sleeping accommodations: The island's has three buildings; the main house which has a master bedroom with a queen-size bed with all amenities. The 2nd building has a new over-the-water, totally self-contained cabana, also with queen-sized bed and also with all amenities. The 3rd building is a small cabana with a double-size bed, desk, etc, but no bathroom. The island is geared towards 4 people, though can accommodate up to six (6) people depending on group composition.
#6 - Extra Guests: Because of the new additions to the island, bringing extra guests is a great option. Upon booking, if you are not sure how many extra guests there will be, perhaps it is best to book only 2, but change your reservation as you get closer to actual arrival.
#7 - Side tours while staying in the island: there are two side tours we highly recommend while staying in Bird Island with pick up is at the island itself.
The first one is our 'Smogasbord' trip ($275 4 people) for fishing, snorkeling and lobstering, best done during the day after your arrival day since you will catch plenty of fish that will last you the rest of your stay. Our guests simply have loved this type of adventure since they will also learn how to do it on their own around the Bird Island atoll.
The second tour is traveling to the main Barrier Reef (2nd largest in the world) for either snorkeling and/or diving (cost varies), which we can arrange for you with a local outfit and this can be done even after you arrive and are already staying in the island.
Both tours guests should pay direct; best bring extra cash for Smorgasbord fishing tour.
#8 - Exclusivity. Yes, when you book Bird Island, we do not mean privately owned, but that you will have the whole Island all to yourself in ~total~ privacy with a 'no-tan-line' personal option. There is no staff on the island.
#9 - Security: Though Bird Island is 6 miles away from town and inside its own atoll, it is on a main thoroughfare of tourist boats traveling from the Placencia mainland to the main Belize Reef; everyone knows Bird Island locally and keeps a close eye on it. Nearby (1/2 mile) is Frigate Caye, a new resort being developed and we share their security personnel. Addedly, any technical issues (or emergency) its concierge (Jeff) can be over in minutes; his number is posted in the island and there is a local phone in Bird Island for such a purpose.
#10 - Cancellation Policy. We are under and do follow Airbnb's cancellation policy.
#11 - Wading slipper-type shoes. The island is surrounded by hard sand flats and within 100 feet by live coral; bringing soft shoes that cover your toes and ankle are a good thing to have when walking about. There are many pairs in the island that may fit you, but no guarantee to do so.
#12 - Snorkeling equipment: Bring your own or you can rent them locally on the way to the island. Yes, the island does have many sets however.
#13 - Fishing equipment: The island is usually surrounded by constant marauding schools of fish (jacks, snappers, etc) feeding around it. Best to bring (or rent) your own equipment and a few small (1") silver spoons if fishing. If want to do bottom fishing, you should get shrimp bait when food shopping. The island now has a new fishing dock.
#14 - Food: Bird Island is a self-catering scenario so plan to bring enough meats, vegetable and drinks (and liquor) for your stay. The island however, does have a very well-stocked kitchen with a myriad of condiments such as cake mixes, flour, rice, spices, oils, paper towels, garbage bags, etc., so you are not required to think of every little thing. Close by where we take off for the island while in Placencia, there are excellent food store (Ming's) and vegetable stands. Food shopping is a very simple step and can be left for last moment.
#15 - Refrigeration: The island has a new propane refrigerator with a fair-size freezer. It has ice trays. Bringing at least one bag of ice is never a bad idea.
#16 - Water: The island has a well-filtered rain-water system for all general uses. However, we still provide purified bottled drinking water for drinking. Meaning no need to worry about bringing water.
#17 - Communication. A local phone is at the island so you can call local numbers. The island has very good and reliable WiFi.
#18 - Power. The island runs on solar-power and has a wind generator; so no noisy generator. There is a new whisper-quiet Generac IQ2000 generator available to run during cloudy days, though rarely needed. The island is not equipped at present to accommodate the usage of exceptionally high-power items such as hair dryers or air conditioners.
#19 - Boating. There are 1 single-person and 2 new double-person kayaks to cruise the atoll that surrounds the island.
#20 - Sun Tan Lotion and Bug Spray. Remember, it is the tropics; the best type of suntan lotion is one of a high Block Factor, either lotion or spray type. As to bugs (i.e. sand flies), Bird Island just doesn't tend to have them, unlike the mainland or most other Cayes, but on rare extremely calm, still days they ~may~ come momentarily over from other nearby islands.
#21 - Places to stay in mainland: We suggest Cozy Corner or Easy Living, the closest places from where we take off, and easiest to visit local shops from. A more upscale and still 'in town' option is Nirvana. All of the above are right on the Placencia beach.
#22 - General weather pattern:
January-June 15th: is considered the 'dry season'.
June 15th-July 15th: the first seasonal rains tend to occur.
July 15th-September 15th: usually is very nice weather, interrupted by the occasional 30-minute passing shower.
September 15th-October 30th: the second seasonal rains tend to occur, again passing showers.
November 1st-December 30th daily scattered thunderstorms here and there but great weather in long stretches between them.
(Please note that weather in Belize tends to be pleasant, specially at Bird Island which is in a rain shadow and inside an atoll, so its surrounding waters stay clear even if windy. Weather. needless to say, we could never guarantee, so the above is only a rough guide.
Last Note: Bird Island is always undergoing improvements each year. In 2016 we added new decks, a fishing dock and the new observatory overlooking the atoll, which guests have welcomed. Last year (2017) we did the new walkways and an added over-the-water, totally self-contained cabana (16ft x16ft). This year (2018) we already added a new fishing dock and palapas and will be adding many more additions and improvements; we will start on a true beach and an added 'bird' island.