Important Added Information. (Updated Mar 7th, 2018)
#1- Getting to Placencia from Belize City:
By Shuttle: Belize Shuttles and Transfers (011-501-288-6671); approximately $60 per person (each way); meet you at the airport. 3-hour ride.
By Air: (Maya or Tropic Air) $135 USD each way per person / 40 minute flight. Fastest way.
By Rental Car: between $90 - $125 USD a day; roughly 3.5 hour drive. (Note: If driving on your own please drive via the town of Belmopan, not the coastal road which is still not paved).
By Taxi : $300 USD each way by SUV (4 people); $350 USD by van (6 people).
#2- The trip from Placencia Village to Bird Island is included in the booking price. We meet at 1pm, at the M&M Hardware boat dock/gas station, which is in the rear of its large parking lot. M&M is in the middle of town, close to everything. It is extremely helpful for you to do let us know if pick up needs to be later than 1pm. (Please note: this dock is different than the new town dock which is at the very end town.)
#3- Length of stay: We have a minimum stay of 3 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.
#4- 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 (Cabana #1) is a new over-the-water, totally self-contained cabana, also with queen-sized bed and also with all amenities. The 3rd building is a second cabana (Cabana #2) 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.
#5 - Extra Guests: Because of the new additions to the island, bringing extra guests is now a viable 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. Only children under 5 years old are free.
#6 - 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 ($195 first 4 people/ $50 per person beyond 4) for fishing, snorkeling and lobstering, best done during your first 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.
#7 - 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.
#8 - Cancellation Policy. We are under and do follow VRBO's cancellation policy.
#9 - 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.
#10 - 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.
#11 - 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.
#12 - 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.
#13 - 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.
#14 - Water: The island has a well-filtered rain-water system for all general uses. However, we still provide purified drinking water for drinking. Meaning no need to worry about bringing water.
#15 - Communication. A local phone is at the island so you can call local numbers. The island has very good and reliable WiFi.
#16 - 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, if needed. The island is not equipped at present to accommodate the usage of exceptionally high-power items such as hair dryers or air conditioners.
#17 - Boating. There are two single-person kayaks, knee boards and inner tube to cruise the atoll that surrounds it.
#18 - 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.
#19 - Places to stay in mainland: We suggest Cozy Corner, the closest from where we take off, and easiest to visit local shops from. Sea Spray, Ranguana Lodge are also good choices. A more upscale and still 'in town' option is Chabil Mar. All of the above are right on the Placencia beach. Staying well away from town up the peninsula oftentimes requires transportation.
#20 - 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 in a rain shadow and inside an atoll, so its surrounding waters stay clear even when 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 will be adding many more additions and improvements, such as a true beach and an added picnic island.