Important Things to Know. (Updated January 3, 2018)
#1- The trip from Placencia Village to Bird Island is included in the booking price. Check-out time is at 10:00am, and pick up (check in) is at 1pm. We meet at the M&M Hardware boat dock/gas station (by where Hockey Pockey is), which is in the rear of its large M&M parking lot. M&M is in the middle of town, close to everything. (Please note: this dock is different than the NEW main town dock which is at the very end of the town/peninsula.)
#2- Length of stay: We have a minimum stay of 4 days, easily changeable to 5 days. From experience we have learned that is about perfect. Such a length of time is easy to plan for, food wise, and eliminates the need to have to come back into town at all during your stay.
#3- Sleeping accommodations: The island's main house has a master bedroom with a double bed and all amenities. The 2nd building is a new over-the-water, totally self-contained, also with all amenities. The 3rd building is also a separate cabana with a double-size bed, desk, etc, but no bathroom. So the island can accommodate up to six (6) people, depending on group composition.
#4 -Extra Guests: Because of the new additions to the island, bringing extra guests is now easier. Upon booking, if you are not sure how many extra guests there will be, you can always book only 2, but change your reservation in Airbnb as you get closer to actual arrival. Only children under 5 years old are free.
#5 - Side tours while staying in the island: There are two side tours we highly recommend while staying in Bird Island, pick up IS at the island itself: Our 'Smorgasbord' trip with a local guide (fishing/snorkeling/lobstering), which our guests simply love; it is only 4 hrs ($175) and you will catch plenty of fish, and snorkel for lobsters and large crabs. We also suggest visiting the main Belize Reef (full day, $85 per person), while staying in Bird Island for either snorkeling or diving. We can arrange either trip for you and this can be done even after you arrive and staying in the island.
#6- Exclusivity. Yes, when you book Bird Island, you will have the whole Island all to yourself, in ~total~ privacy.
#7 - Cancellation Policy. We are under and do follow Airbnb's Super Strict 60 policy.
#8- Wading slipper-type shoes. The island is surrounded by hard sand flats, further away by 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.
#9- 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. For divers, a local outfit in town does rent tanks.
#10- 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, should get shrimp bait when food shopping.
#11- 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 in Placencia, there are excellent food stores and vegetable stands. Food shopping is a very simple step and can be left for last moment.
#12- 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.
#13- Water: The island has a well-filtered rain-water system for all general uses. We provide purified drinking water for drinking; meaning no need to worry about drinking water.
#14- Communication. A local phone is at the island so you can call local numbers, or us, at any time. The island has very good and reliable WiFi.
#15- 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.
#16- Boating. Two single-person kayaks, knee boards and inner tube to cruise the atoll that surrounds it. Also a 2-person super kayak.
#17- 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, but on rare extremely-calm, still days they may come momentarily over from other nearby islands.
#18- Places to stay in mainland: We suggest Cozy Corner or the fancier Nirvana hotel, both are the closest from where we take off. Sea Spray, Ranguana Lodge are also good choices. All four are right on the Placencia beach.
#19- 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 thunderstorm.
September 15th-October 30th: the second seasonal rains tend to occur.
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 a bit in a rain shadow and inside an atoll, so its surrounding waters stay clear even when unusually windy. Weather however we could never guarantee; the above is a rough guide only).
#20- Getting to Placencia from Belize City:
By Air: (Maya or Tropic Air) $135 USD each way per person / 40 minute flight. Fastest way.
By Rental Car; roughly 3.5 hour drive. Cost could range between $90 - $125 USD a day.
By Taxi : $300 USD each way, good option for a 4-6 person group.
Last Note: Bird Island is always undergoing improvements each year. Last year (2016) we added new decks, a fishing dock and the new observatory overlooking the atoll, which guests simple have loved. This year (2017) we did the new walkways and an added over-the-water, totally self-contained cabana (16ft x16ft). During 2018 we will be adding many more additions and improvements, such as creating a true beach and an added island.