Turneffe Atoll is the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere. Located 25 miles east of Belize City, it is the closest to the mainland and the most accessible of the three atolls in Belize. Unlike the outer atolls, Turneffe is unique; it is not a ringlet of sandy islets like Lighthouse Reef and Glover’s Atoll, but is instead nearly covered with thick green mangroves and a shallow lagoon. It is the only Caribbean Atoll made up of dozens of mangrove islands which are the juvenile nurseries for coral reefs and many schools of fish.
Turneffe Atoll offers world class diving and snorkeling — the visibility often ranges from 100 to 150 feet. In addition, at least 60 species of birds are found at Turneffe during the height of the migratory season, including 18 species of nesting birds. The large expanses of intact mangrove and sea grass habitat and shallows serve as a huge nursery area for a wide array of fish species, crocodiles, manatees, dolphins and invertebrates. The marine life at Turneffe make the scuba diving and snorkeling an adventure like no other destination in the Caribbean. The coral formations and marine life found here are truly unmatched.
Blackbird Caye is located along the southeastern margin of the Turneffe Islands platform that is surrounded by a continuous fringing and patch reef complex. Blackbird Caye comprises a total of 4,721 acres of land. Several species of mangroves contribute to a partially submerged forest, which begin as individual sprigs or trees and end up gathering enough soil around the entangled roots to build an island. Above water is a bush much like a sea grape tree, only with smaller leaves. Below is a system of long roots, some hanging in mid water, sponge covered and creating a maze for juveniles and smaller fish to swim through. Crabs, lobsters, oysters, and more hide in the maze of roots.
The range is home to a number of important conservation targets which include, but are not limited to, at least 2 marine fish spawning aggregation sites, a breeding population of the endangered American Crocodile, and a number of threatened coastal marine habitats including the greater reef complex itself, beach forests that support several important species of resident and migratory birds and at least 2 species of marine turtles are believed to nest on the range.
Guests are met at the Belize City Philip Goldson International airport by a Blackbird representative for a short drive to the Radisson docks. There the adventure begins with a beautiful 32 mile boat ride crossing the Belize Barrier Reef, entering the protected mangrove lagoon of the Turneffe Atoll and on to the resort. This takes one hour and twenty minutes in the fifty feet transport boat named Bigbird. Blackbird also transports guests via a ten minute chartered plane ride from the municipal airport in Belize City to the Blackbird private airstrip. Charters are done upon request with complimentary pick up and drop off to the airport or any nearby destination within Belize City.
Upon arrival at the resort the guests are greeted by the island managers while being given a brief orientation of the resort. They are then taken to their nearby room accompanied by a Blackbird staff member. There is no reception office or front desk giving way to an informal friendly atmosphere. Fine food is popular with guests at Blackbird where meals are served each day, most of which are prepared Belizean style and served from a central buffet. The dining staff make the most of the unlimited fresh seafood as well as typical Belizean favorites such as stewed chicken with rice and beans.
Dinner is done a-la-carte, Blackbird style. The Beach Bar is quite popular as a convivial gathering spot after a full day’s activities. It is a free-standing thatched design situated near the water’s edge. There is also a second bar inside the main dining used in the evenings after dinner.
Savor island dining at its best! As you arrive via boat you will find our Palapa-style Restaurant directly facing the main dock. Enjoy being served by the gracious and friendly staff while the local chefs prepare fresh island cuisine daily to satisfy the most demanding appetites. During the day for a light snack, casual poolside dining is available featuring sandwiches, conch fritters, chicken and fish fingers and much more. The Blackbird restaurant has a small lounge area that provides a warm atmosphere for guests to relax and meet new friends. Guests usually pull tables together as they become acquainted with each other.
YOUR ALL-INCLUSIVE PACKAGE INCLUDES:
Blackbird Restaurant – Three daily meals are served at the Palapa style restaurant facing the main dock. Breakfast and lunch are both served buffet style with a fixed menu at 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM. In the evenings, dinner is served at your table with a choice of two delicious entrées. Dining at the Palapa-style restaurant consists of excellent local and foreign dishes combined with freshly caught seafood prepared to perfection. Fresh produce and fruits are brought from the market in Belize City by boat on a weekly basis.
Blackbird Poolside Bar – They offer a snack menu where you can purchase popular meals like chicken fingers, grouper fingers, conch fritters, ceviche, chips and salsa in between dining hours.
High Tide Bar – Relax and unwind at the main bar after a long day of activities. A favorite of family and friends open daily, happy hour is from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm offering complimentary snacks.
The swimming pool at Blackbird Caye Resort on the beach offers refreshing enjoyment. The swimming pool offers food and beverage service and complimentary towel service. It is the perfect place for guests of all ages to dive into a carefree day. Comfortable chaise lounges, friendly poolside food and drink service, and a sunny atmosphere all combine for another vibrant day.
Modern Oceanfront Cabanas, Perfect for Couples or Families
The resort consists of 18 private oceanfront cabanas all with modern accommodations, screened in balconies and hammocks all facing the spectacular Caribbean Sea. The resort features four charming thatched roof mahogany cottages, nine hard roofed cabanas, as well as a duplex and a triplex cabana making these two latter ones perfect for groups or families.
Blackbird Oceanfront Suite
One Bedroom with Ocean Views
Perched directly in front of the reef, the NEW one bedroom Oceanfront Suite at Blackbird offers a truly incomparable experience. Bask in the magnificent views of the breathtaking ocean from the window or patio of your very own Blackbird Suite. Enjoy exclusive use of the jacuzzi overlooking the spectacular ocean. Plan an incredible vacation in this spacious, one bedroom suite, one of the best options for accommodation at Blackbird.
Belize Diving Facilities
Get Your SCUBA On at Blackbird Caye
Unlimited Air Supply
Located at the Dive Center, Blackbird’s compressor room has abundant capacity and storage, so that all tanks are filled and ready to go. The Dive team ensures that everything is prepared for you before and after each dive.
For those of you who wish to travel lightly, Blackbird’s dive center has a variety of different dive equipment that you can rent. This includes wetsuits, BCD’s, regulators, Dive Computers, Dive lights, mask, snorkel, and fins.
See Some of the World’s Most Diverse Aquatic Wildlife
If you want to dive in Belize, you’re definitely in the right place! Blackbird Caye Resort is located along the Mesoamerican Reef System – the world’s second largest barrier reef, and the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere.
As a guest at the dive resort, you will have the chance to see some of the planet’s most diverse aquatic wildlife. There are 70+ spectacular dive sites located near the resort, with only an average time of 12 minutes to reach them, plus, the resort is also one of the closest dive resorts in Belize to the famous Blue Hole.
Your Dive Vacation Package Includes:
Accommodations: air conditioned, oceanfront cabanas at Blackbird Caye Resort in Belize (price varies depending on the room type selected)
All Inclusive: 3 meals daily
Belize Diving: 3 dives per day, except for arrival & departure days; weight belts, weights, & tanks are included
Airport Transfers: round trip ground & boat transfers between the resort & the airport in Belize City on Wednesdays & Saturdays (for travel on other days, a surcharge applies)
Kayaking: free use of the resort’s kayaks
What to Expect
If you book one of the resort’s Belize diving packages, the staff of professionally trained, PADI certified dive masters will make every effort to fulfill your diving preferences.
Before your first dive, the dive masters will give you a full briefing on the diving procedures, with your safety foremost in mind, and will check your certification card and ask you to fill out a liability release form.
If you are under directions of a physician and/or taking medication, we advise you to please check with your physician as to whether it is safe for you to dive. As a precaution, please bring a certificate from your doctor stating that it is safe for you to SCUBA.
Here’s what you can expect from the Dive Vacation Package:
3 Dives per Day: each day will begin with an early breakfast at the resort, followed by two single tank morning dives and a single tank afternoon dive. They usually return to the resort in between dives, which allows for adequate surface interval and also time for a snack and a break.
60 Minutes per Dive: before each dive, there will also be a review of the dive site, with a description of maximum depth, maximum bottom time, and direction of travel. In order to complete three dives per day, they limit down time to 1 hour per dive – except for those diving with nitrox.
Dive Sites: diving is done as long as the weather permits, and some of the popular Belize dive spots you will visit include:
West Side Story
Drift Diving: The captain will pilot the boat to you upon your ascent so there’s no tiring swim back to the boat.
Valet Diving: The only time you’ll have to set up your dive equipment is after the initial briefing. After that, the resort’s dive masters will do this for you after every dive, including washing down your equipment and preparing it for your next day of diving.
Gear Rentals: Blackbird Caye Resort provides weight belts, weights, and tanks as part of your diving vacation package, but other diving equipment rentals are not included.
We recommend that you bring your own mask, fins, snorkel, and wet suit for fit and comfort. However, the dive shop has a selection of BCs and regulators for rent, along with masks, fins, and snorkels.
Although the year-round average water temperature in Belize is 82° F (28° C), with 3 days per dive, we advise using a dive skin or thin short suit. You can rent short 3ml wet suits in a few common sizes at the resort.
*Please Note: the water around Blackbird Caye Resort is too shallow for shore diving.
Dive Package Price: from $1,285 US
The dive resort’s all inclusive Belize diving packages vary in price depending on the time of year you want to travel, which accommodations you choose to stay in, and how many nights you’d like to stay at the resort.