Reviews By Recent Guests
The following reviews are those left by recent guests in web sites (i.e. Airbnb) in just the last year. They do capture well the experience you can expect when staying in Bird Island.
After the initial apprehension we felt watching the boat leave that dropped us off off, my wife and I quickly adapted to life on the island. Despite its isolation, the Bird Island house had virtually everything we needed to enjoy our stay. We did our own cooking, thanks to Leo taking us to purchase fresh veggies and other groceries at stores in Placencia prior to taking us to the island. We were met at the island by Fred and Ruth, who had prepped and cleaned everything prior to our arrival. We lived almost exclusively outside; snorkelling, paddling, watching the seabirds and underwater creatures, and having our meals at one of the two outdoor dining areas. We took advantage of the opportunity to fish with Thurman, whose talents helped us catch enough fish for the remainder of our Belize vacation. We also took a snorkel tour to Silk Caye and swam with nurse sharks, loggerhead turtles, eagle and sting rays. Needless to say we had an incredible stay and made lifetime memories.
Wonderful stay. Would definitely recommend!! Fred and Leo are fantastic. Truman took us on a great fishing trip.
Very different than any other place I have stayed. The island was awesome, and Fred and his family were even better. Extremely responsive and helpful. Elaine is a must, the food was amazing and she was extremely helpful (also - have to get her to sing karaoke). Thurman was extremely nice and the fishing trip was extremely successful, not to mention how great the fish tasted. The snorkeling was also amazing, being surrounded by a reef brought so many cool creatures to the island. Highly recommend, was an amazing experience.
Bird Island was fantastic! This was a bucket list trip for me and my wife. I have been following and watching Bird Island since it was listed on AirBNB and all that waiting and expectation was not in vain. The place was just amazing and everything that is promised in the listing. My wife and I had a week of firsts... Saltwater fishing with Thorman (schedule that during your visit if you can through Fred!), feeding Nurse Sharks, snorkeling, traveling to Belize.... the list could go on and on. Everything was as described and the peacefulness, perhaps interrupted by a Pelican hunting fish or a friendly boat passing by, was exactly what we needed and Bird Island provided it.
This was the most amazing adventure we have ever taken. Elaine was an amazing cook, the island was perfect and the fishing/ monkey river was a great adventure. I can’t wait to book another week.
We stayed at Bird Island for our honeymoon and we were amazed by our surroundings. During the day the water was warm, calm and teal. The ocean life was just as beautiful. We are both certified divers but you could see anything you wanted by snorkeling. At night the stars are so bright you can actually take pictures of them on your phone. If we needed anything Fred and his amazing family all stepped in for anything we needed. If you don’t want to cook while you’re here I recommend asking for Elaine, she’s an amazing cook!! I would definitely recommend staying here and we would love to come back again!
We absolutely loved it here! Totally recommend! The views are spectacular. The host Fred is super friendly and was very helpful from booking to check in to check out. Elena is great! She's an amazing cook and guide, and we learned soo much from her. The reef is soo pretty and vibrant. The rooms are clean and tidy, and the place is well stocked. The island is comfy and has lots to do like snorkeling, games, floats, kayaking, fishing. We had soo much fun! It was such an amazing experience!
We had a such a lovely time on the island. Beautiful surroundings. Great food by Elaine. They really go above and beyond to make your stay comfortable. Ruth even got my husband a cake and shirt because it was his birthday!!
We had a great time at bird island. It was secluded and beautiful. A really cool experience being surrounded by water. They had the island stocked with all of the necessities which was very helpful. Had drinking water, lots of kitchen essentials, coolers, etc. I would note that you shouldn’t expect to be going to a resort. The home is not luxury, but if that’s not what you are looking for this place will be good for you. We loved our time here and we miss the views already.
This was our second stay at Fred and Ruth’s place and it was nothing short of perfect. They have made some substantial additions to the island , all of which is catered toward an immersive experience. The perfect adventure without ever leaving your location. Of course the snorkeling was unrivaled - with new and beautiful creatures and coral on ever inch of the surrounding area. We spent hours each day just enjoying the marine life.
We went fishing the first day with Thurman (for the second time also) and the experience and his expertise is well worth every penny!
Another fabulous stay , I cannot emphasize how much we enjoyed this little slice of heaven- hope to see everyone again soon.
Dream come true! Do not expect resort accommodations, but do expect pristine snorkeling, friendly nurse sharks/sting rays, incredible local creole cuisine (if you opt for chef), and memories to last a lifetime. I highly suggest the personal chef (Elaine) who not only prepares all your meals, but provides an authentic Belize experience to immerse in the culture and elevate your stay beyond words. You really don't ever need to leave Bird Island, but Elaine is there to assist with any excursion or desire. She anticipates needs before they arise and goes above and beyond all expectations. Warning, be prepared to never stay at a typical resort again because everything will pale in comparison. We'll be back Bird Island! ☺️
Very unique place, kind of Gilligan's Island/glamping combo. Extremely clean, which is tough to do on an island 6 miles from shore! We had Elaine cook for us, definitely recommend her. Really made life much easier, and she is a good cook. She makes delicious pina colada's too. Fishing with Thurman was excellent, and he prepared the fish so Elaine could cook them for us. Kids loved the fishing. Kayaks and SUP's were nice, snorkeling around the island is very good. Just remember, this is not the Four Seasons. It is an adventure! Fred, the owner, is fun to talk to and just a really nice guy.
What an amazing and unique experience, Bird Island was everything we hoped it would be! Rustic, charming, paradise all to ourselves! You can tell this island is a true labor of love for Fred and his family. Fred was very helpful and responsive to any questions before we arrived in Belize. Once we arrived in Placencia, Leo continued the excellent service and communication. He was wonderful; helping with grocery shopping, fitting us with snorkeling gear, and getting us out to the island. As soon as we arrived at Bird Island, Leo took us around and explained everything so we were comfortable. We had the most amazing time swimming, snorkeling, fishing, incredible sunrises and sunsets, stargazing, and just enjoying the time to truly relax and disconnect. If you ever wanted to have a truly private island experience and have a sense of adventure, Bird Island will not disappoint. I would say it is a trip of a lifetime, but we have every intention of going back.
Dream come true! Do not expect resort accommodations, but do expect pristine snorkeling, friendly nurse sharks/sting rays, incredible local creole cuisine (if you opt for chef), and memories to last a lifetime. I highly suggest the personal chef (Elaine) who not only prepares all your meals, but provides an authentic Belize experience to immerse in the culture and elevate your stay beyond words. You really don't ever need to leave Bird Island, but Elaine is there to assist with any excursion or desire. She anticipates needs before they arise and goes above and beyond all expectations. Warning, be prepared to never stay at a typical resort again because everything will pale in comparison. We'll be back Bird Island! ☺️
The other reviews already say it all but I’ll echo them anyway.
First, Fred was awesome to work with. He answered questions quickly leading up to our stay. He proactively gave advice about our trip including advice for things to do outside of our stay with him. This place is beautiful (more on that next) but Fred takes all of the effort out of planning and makes your stay great.
Second, Elaine was an amazing cook for us. She was awesome to be around and gave lots of advice for areas to snorkel and more. We give our highest recommendation to hire her! You won’t have to worry about any meals!
Lastly, the island… wow. What more can really be said about this paradise. Every part of it was beautiful. Our group enjoyed laying in the hammocks, snorkeling, fishing, reading, kayaking, and libations! We had faster internet than expected so we were able to FaceTime kids back home.
Absolutely stunning experience. True sense of privacy in a beautiful, one of a kind island. Fred and his team made everything easy. Highly recommend fishing with Thurman - you'll likely have enough fresh mackerel, yellowtail, tuna, etc for your stay with one half-day of fishing. Plus Thurman's wife made an amazing spread of stewed chicken, fried plantains, coconut rice and beans, coleslaw, pickled chilis, onions & vinegar sauce, and a bread pudding dessert for the fishing trip (a lunch worth seeking out by itself, seriously). If you're a cook, the kitchen, bar and grills (charcoal & gas) on the island are well equipped to make the most of your catch & provisions (+ citrus juicers, cocktail shakers, good barware). The island itself is an ongoing labor of love; you feel it in a million unique touches. Plenty of fun water equipment to entertain yourself and the snorkeling is great. No annoying bugs. Just hermit crabs and pelicans and you on the island. GO!
Bird Island defied all of our expectations! We celebrated our twins’ birthday there, and Ms.Ruth surprised us with decorations, candles, and two absolutely gorgeous cakes waiting in the dining area upon our arrival. Miss Elaine is the BEST cook, and she introduced us to and spoiled us with her delicious Belizean dishes during our stay. We woke up to beautiful sunrises and fell asleep to the sound of the wind and waves. There was no shortage of fun activities to do every day and we didn’t want to leave! We had a great day of fishing with Thurman who was very kind, knowledgeable, and patient. We can’t wait to get back to our new home away from home. If you are looking for paradise then book a stay at Bird Island!
An amazing vacation, once-in-lifetime experience. Best snorkeling I've ever seen. Can't say enough about Fred and Ruth. They went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we could ever want, even bringing us amenities we needed from town. Must do fishing trip with Thurman. Wish we would've stayed longer!
You know it's a great vacation when you're walking around enjoying your private island and talking about how all of the 5 star reviews make sense. It's beautiful, it's private, and it's amazing. We adored Elaine, our incredible chef who introduced us to Belize's fabulous cuisine. We snorkeled, paddle boarded, kayaked, ate, drank and were very merry. We had lovely sunsets spent on the hammocks. It was the vacation of a lifetime.We also had Seahorse Dive Shop pick us up for an excursion of diving, lunch and snorkeling at Laughing Bird Caye.
WOW. My friend group of 6 stayed at Bird Island for 4 days and we had an amazing, relaxing time. It truly is an oasis in the ocean. A few recommendations based on our experience:
1. Hire the cook (Elaine)! She was wonderful, cooked us 3 FULL meals plus snacks every day and gave us lots of tips for the reef and Belize travel in general.
2. If you hire Elaine, she will shop for all the food for the main dishes, you will shop for your own snacks/alcohol/etc. Her meals are so filling that you will not need as much food as you think!
Bird Island is for sure a one of a kind experience! You'll be spending your time in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, surrounded by gorgeous clear water that is home to a beautiful coral reef. For the sun lovers, there is never a moment where you can't find a place to soak it in, and for shade lovers there are lots of umbrellas and overhanging roofs to protect. There is no shortage of water activities to do, from snorkeling to kayaking and paddle boarding. Or grab one of the many books that have been left there by other guests (including us :) and read or take a nap in a hammock! This off the grid paradise is family owned and Fred, Ruth, Leo and Thurman make you feel welcomed and well taken care of. It's a good idea to check with Fred before you food shop, there were plenty of oils, canned goods and things like peanut butter. If you expect lavish accommodations look elsewhere. Bird Island is for the adventurous traveler who loves a unique experience. We loved every minute of it.
Thank you so much for sharing your island paradise with us. What a special place you have created on Bird Island. Everything was truly perfect for our family adventure. Your attention to details is amazing. The kayaks, paddle boards, games, Ruth’s food, and overall design and decor were all unforgettable parts of our stay—along with our fishing with Thurman and snorkeling with Leo and Kaden. Every detail we could imagine was taken care of and the island had everything we could possibly want or need during our stay. Fred’s communication was excellent before our arrival and throughout our stay, making sure our needs were met at all times.
How lucky we were to have discovered and spent time here.
Much gratitude from our family!
Best vacation! No excursions needed, it's all there. Bird Island is a must for anyone who loves the water. A rare attainable private island paradise. It didn't take long to realize the “Gateway to Paradise” sign marked our path to the most breathtaking and abundant reef. Our family had a magical week snorkeling and paddle boarding, kayaking to the neighboring mangrove island, diving for lobster and conch, swinging in the hammocks while our Pelican friends fish all day, cooking fresh fish on the outdoor grill each evening followed by a visit from the local nurse sharks and rays, then gazing at the stars after lights out. Highlights of our five day stay were catching barracuda with Thurman, snorkeling the Silk Cayes with Hakeem and Orrie, those delicious lunches from Ruth, riding out an overnight rainstorm and waking up to rainbows over coffee. Our Bird Island experience was everything we didn't know we needed! Words really can't express how amazing. Thank you, Fred.
Best vacation of all time, even more wonderful than expected!! Words really can't express how amazing the experience was! Fred and his family were so nice and welcoming, we appreciate you sharing paradise with us!
I don't even know where to begin! Our family's best vacation ever!!! Fred helped us book our flight from Belize City right to Placencia, even dealing with our travel changes. So sweet and understanding! Leo was more than helpful and such a cool guy. He took us grocery shopping, took us to a local restaurant for dinner before heading to the island, and even became best of friends with our 5 year old! He wouldn't even hold our hand by the end of the day, "just Leo" lol
Leo gave us a tour of the place in great detail to make sure we were nice and comfortable before heading out. We went fishing, snorkeling, cave tubing, saw the Mayan Ruins, hike through the jungle, and it was all arranged by their personal tour business (Privasea).
Every morning we were able to watch the fish in the clear water, watch Pelicans dive for fish, and just RELAX. They seriously thought of ANY and EVERYTHING you might need while staying there. It was home away from home, but on an island!!! Thank you guys!!
Our Bird Island experience was fantastic from the moment we landed in Belize. Emilio arranged flights and made sure we had everything we needed to get to Placencia. Leo took it from there with groceries, beer and snorkelling gear. We then had a beautiful boat ride to the island which was excellent. Thurman was a fantastic tour guide, he took us snorkelling, and fishing and provided us with a authentic Belize meal which was unreal!!!. The kitchen supplies and bathroom necessities were all a pleasant surprise. Communication between the team while we were on the island made everything super smooth. Bird island is super cool and Super unique from the sting rays and nurse sharks to the peacefulness of being secluded on a private island. Fred is a excellent host and we would definitely recommend this unique island.
A stay at Bird Island is hard to describe- something like Swiss Family Robinson meets Fantasy Island (Minus Mr Roark and Tattoo;) Highlights of our stay: Leo helping us catch lobsters to cook for lunch on the outdoor grill and taking us out to the best snorkeling spot where we saw an octopus! Attempting to make fry jacks and eating them with homemade guava jelly left for us. Floating around the atoll and lazing in the hammocks. Morning coffee and tea in the comfy deck chairs by the bar. Riding out an all night thunder storm and living to tell about it ;) watching our two Pelican friends fish all day long... I could go on and on. Other reviews that talk about the helpful pantry, the amazing spaces etc are all true but for us number one it was feeling like we were part of the family. Leo and Elaine worked hard to do that for us and it was the secret ingredient to an already magical trip!
What an incredible experience. We stayed for 4 nights and it was perfect. The property far exceeded my expectations of cleanliness and was completely stocked with everything you could think of. There wasn’t once I looked for something and couldn’t find it.
We arrived to the island a bit late on check in day as my husband didn’t want to take the small plane from Placencia so the water was a bit choppy getting to the island. If you’re scared of boats, especially in the dark, make sure you get to Placencia early enough to make the boat ride during the day. The boat ride leaving was perfect. We lost power one night, but I was able to get in touch quickly to find out how to fix it.
We saw so many birds and lots of sea life while there. We had 3 large star fish hanging out around the island, saw an octopus and a large crab.
When leaving, one person in our group took the plane but again my husband wanted to drive back. Being unable to find someone to drive us on a Sunday, Leo offered to take us for a reasonable fee. We are very grateful for his willingness to help.
I’m impressed by the care and time taken by the family to make this experience so enjoyable!
Bird Island is gorgeous and secluded — and Fred and his team are very accommodating. We had a blast snorkeling, canoeing, and wild-life-spotting!
Bird Island is a piece of paradise where you can lose yourself in the Beauty, peace and serenity of nature all around you. Fred, Ruth and Leo were the kindest, thoughtful and most accommodating hosts. They went above and beyond to ensure I had everything I needed to be comfortable during my stay. I can’t say enough about their generosity of heart and spirit, which can be felt around the island!
Bird Island is a truly magical experience. It is the most luxurious off-grid and austere experience you can get. To be able to walk in from snorkeling or kayaking, hike to a shower and make dinner was truly incredible. And unlike visiting a resort or other similar adventure, Bird Island is what you make of it. Want it to be a romantic retreat? Awesome, it’s private and secluded. Want it to be an outdoor retreat for a group of friends? Party on, and don’t be afraid of being loud! Seriously, if you’re on the fence, go ahead and hop off and have a blast!
A family/friend group of four spent six glorious days on Bird Island in July 2022. If you want an amazing spot to enjoy the ocean with all its wonders, a bit of adventure along with unparalleled peace….this is your place! We spent hours snorkeling, kayaking, swinging in the hammocks, and listening/dancing to music. We only did one excursion during our stay and it was absolutely fabulous…..fishing with the amazing Thurman! It’s a “must do” activity and not to be missed. Kudos to Leo who executed our pickup and return flawlessly (boat ride in the rain to the island was an adventure in itself!). Our hosts, Ruth and Fred, were very helpful, responsive and gracious…..couldn’t deal with nicer people. It really was a trip of a lifetime- just book it!
It’s hard to put in words to describe Birds Island. It is the most private place I’ve ever been. You have an entire island to yourself and no other island for miles. Some things I was concerned about was mosquitoes, heat and no ac. The bugs including noseeums were non existent. There was always a breeze and ac wasn’t necessary even during the day. We spent all of our time outside except for bedtime. Leo picked us up from the airport and took us to the produce stand and grocery store before heading the island. He was extremely accommodating. We stayed 3 days and we did a boat tour with their company, PRIVASEA ADVENTURES and Thurman (boat captain) was great! We caught enough fish and conch plus some to cook for every meal. A fishing tour with Privasea is a must. I typically get sea sick (from Florida) and I was not sick or nauseous once. We snorkeled every day around bird island. We saw so many fish, coral, conch and lobster. It was truly a once in a life time experience.
Like other reviewers have said, this place is simply amazing. To help others decide whether this is the place for them, I will try to address a couple angles that others haven't.
First, this place is a great choice for a variety of physical abilities and ages! I have limited mobility and use a wheelchair for distances. Bird Island was relatively accessible. There are little steps all over the property, but the walkways are nice and smooth and level. There are at least three stairs to access any of the three bathrooms. One shower is nearly a walk-in, with a threshold of maybe five inches. I was traveling with two strong companions, so there were no problems, and a third companion who is elderly had no issues.
Second, the snorkeling is great, but because you're out in the open ocean, there is definitely a current, so you need to be a strong swimmer. Same with kayaking - be prepared to use some muscle! The water was nice and warm, and hanging out in the inner fenced pool area was so fun.
Third, although we enjoyed the Monkey River tour, we saw almost no animals, which was disappointing. Just manage your expectations.6
Fourth, really all you need to bring is a swimming suit. There are bottles of sunscreen and aloe, books, games, tons of food, nice snorkel and kayak equipment, towels, soap... just anything and everything you could need. Next time I'm showing up with a backpack with four bikinis in it and that's it! :)
Everything that everyone said was spot on! Fred and Ruth were amazing! Their home is a wonderful piece of paradise! They were so nice, accommodating, and made the best suggestions. We are a family of five which includes an 18 yr. old and (2) 27 year olds. The fishing tour we took with Thurman was awesome! We all caught several different kinds of fish and had plenty to eat. He was so helpful in teaching us how to properly fish as well as helping prepare the fish to eat. We took the two island tour with Akim. He was so knowledgeable on the history of Belize and really gave us a great time. His tricks to get the sea turtles, nurse sharks, and stingrays to come were amazing. All of the other tours around us were coming by us because they weren’t seeing anything as their tour guides did not do any special tricks. Once back inland we did a cave tubing tour that Ruth suggested and it was great. If you are thinking of booking, do not hesitate. It was an amazing trip that we will remember for a lifetime! Thank you Fred and Ruth! Your home was the highlight of our stay while in Belize!!!!!
If you are looking for a secluded, unique experience that includes lots of sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling while being surrounded by water and all its inhabitants without crowds or man made clocks this is for you! Our family enjoyed snorkeling and seeing the nurse sharks, rays, coral, the resident eel and octopus and well as the pelicans which dive for fish what seems like all day and of course our nightly hermit crab findings. We stayed 4 nights and felt this was the perfect amount of time for us before heading to another area in Belize. Booking a fishing trip with Thurman is a MUST in our opinion. This was truly a unique experience and gave us a chance to unwind and unplug. There is Wi-Fi but was used for mainly touching bases with family at home when needed only.
Now please be prepared and understand this seclusion means a few things:
You will be preparing your meals and cleaning up after yourself, unless you hire a chef. We needed all the beds for our family so this was not possible and really that would take away from the privacy in my opinion. Also because it is self contained there was electricity and water issues. These were addressed as they came up in a prompt manner, however, be prepared for these things as this is not some high end all inclusive luxury resort. We embraced this as part of the experience. Thank you Fred, Ruth, Leo, and Thurman for this experience!!!!!
A one-of-a-kind, must-do, beautiful, amazing, fun and relaxing vacation stay! Fred and the entire crew were so welcoming and accommodating! Amazing service and so friendly!
The island has everything you could want. Complete privacy as needed, and lots of entertainment options if you want. You can go on any or all of the unique tours provided, and you can also just chill on the island with zero interruptions
We saw so much wildlife while on the island and snorkeling and kayaking around the island: pelicans, hermit crabs, nurse shark, rays, octopi, a moray eel, barracuda, needle fish, bioluminescent jellyfish, conch. There’s a little yellow bird with a beautiful song who lives on the island. And I’m probably forgetting some!
There are plenty of spaces to spread out, like the pagoda area with table, the swings, the hammock platform and more. There are also great communal spaces like the bar and table area and a picnic table.
Here are the tours we did:
Fishing: Not all of us are fishers, so 4 out of 6 of us did the fishing tour. We had plenty of fish to eat for most of our stay. We caught barracuda, mackerel and snappers. The lunch provided was so good!
Silky caye/laughing bird combo snorkeling. Silky caye was so fun swimming with a sea turtle, nurse sharks, and rays. Laughing bird was an amazing snorkeling tour of the reef where our guide pointed out all sorts of fish, and corral. We had a yummy lunch too!
Monkey river: this was a super unique experience. our tour guide grew up in monkey river. He told us a bit about the history of the surrounding towns and we even had a delicious meal in the village. We saw howler monkeys, lots of flora and plants, and had a wonderful time.
One recommendation for getting to Placentia. On the way in, we booked a shuttle from the Belize airport to placentia because we were wary of the small airplanes and some of us get motion sick. I do not recommend driving. It was a very long drive and we definitely got motion sickness. On the way out, we booked an airplane ride from placentia to the Belize airport. I highly recommend skipping the shuttle and taking a plane. Leo arranged a ride to take us to the placentia airstrip and even made sure someone at the Belize airport was expecting us.
All in all, this is a bucket list type of vacation and we are excited to return! A unique outdoor-type living experience. Thank you so much to Fred and everyone we met!
Like all the other reviewers we can't recommend a trip to Bird Island more highly. The island and setting is perfect and Fred is a wonderful host. The best decision we made was hiring Elaine to cook. She did so much more than cook and clean up after dinner. She prepared the menus and did the shopping at both the vegetable market and grocery store (one of our party went with her to pick up some additional items and to pay for the groceries) which saved us time and money. She was an excellent cook of traditional Belizean dishes which we requested. One day she went snorkeling with us and harvested enough conch to prepare for dinner. Because of her knowledge of the island and surrounding waters we saw more wildlife, including manatees, a moray eel that lives under the dock, nurse sharks that came up to the dock when she chummed the water while cleaning fish we caught with her help. We all agreed this was our most relaxing vacation. We hope to return in the near future.
The space is one-of-a-kind. Bird Island has comfortable sleeping accommodations, a fully stocked kitchen, activities galore, and every amenity you'll need for your stay. But, the hosts are the reason you should book - Ruth and Fred are communicative, professional, and warm. 100/10 recommend.
It's hard to put into words how incredible our adventure on Bird Island was. Prior to our stay here, we spent five days on another private island (Little Peter Oasis) and while it was great to be waited on by staff, Bird Island was without comparison. There is something spectacularly liberating about being completely alone on your little piece of heaven. Not to mention you can be naked ALL THE TIME! LOL
My wife and I came across the karaoke machine in the kitchen one night... Needless to say, EVERY night was karaoke night. The reef was breathtaking, the nights were romantically spooky, and filled with lots of rum and reenacting scenes from castaway. Every single thing about Bird Island was exceptionally well-thought-out.
Fred, Ruth, Leo, Thurman, you guys have created something truly spectacular and we are endlessly grateful to you for sharing it with us and the world. We look forward to coming back in the future when we have kids and reminiscing on our memories and making new ones!
Fred and family were amazing hosts and Bird Island is a dream vacation spot! We had the best time. They picked us up in Placencia, took us to the Privasea shop to pick up some snorkeling equipment, boated us to and from this island, got us set up a fishing excursion with Thurman at Privasea, and arranged transportation to where we were staying after the island. They did it all! Fred was very response leading up to and during our stay on Bird Island. Ruth had the kitchen pantry stocked and the island looking beautiful. Leo was a great guide to and from the island and making sure we had everything we needed for our stay, and Thurman was an awesome fishing tour guide. I would highly recommend this place if you enjoy snorkeling, fishing, and hanging out with just your friends.
Unbelievable experience! I cannot say enough wonderful things about this unique property, this beautiful country, and its wonderful people. Fred and his family have this entire experience SO dialed in! They have thought of everything and were so accommodating, quick to respond, courteous and professional… just AMAZING! The tours offered off bird island were phenomenal and the wildlife is spectacular! We snorkeled, kayaked, Swung on the swings for hours at a time:) Consider yourself one of the luckiest of people- if you are able to book this fantastic property! Thank you so much for sharing, Fred & family…
This place is so sweet. Perfect place for a chill and private vacation away from the chaos of the world. We booked in May of 2018 and it was so so so worth the wait. The bar, the swim up area, the extra cabana, all of it were awesome additions, with so much care and thought put in. Part of our group had major flight delays that caused us to come a day late, but Fred took care of it all, coming two separate days to pick us up and take us out to the island. Easy peasy. Fred, Ruth, Leo, Thurman, and the rest of the Bird Island crew were so fantastic and were amazing at communicating with us and responding to our needs (and we were needy at times haha). The other reviews really say it all, but words truly can't fully describe the place. Book it. Take a tour (fishing was awesome and we had so much to eat it was insane). This crew knows how to treat you well and it truly is the best deal around.
If you’re looking for a private full service resort, look elsewhere.
If you’re looking for the most charming Glamping experience ever, you’ve hit the jackpot.
This property is surrounded 360 degrees by a fabulous healthy thriving coral reef. It’s picturesque and nearly perfect. One week wasn’t enough.
Fred, the owner could also not have been more helpful. I would definitely go back.
We were two couples who had a relatively short stay at Bird Island, but like other reviewers, we loved every minute of it. We experienced every type of weather imaginable while we there and found that we didn’t mind the occasional (or frequent) rain storm. The skies always cleared up and snorkeling in the rain was just as much as fun as in the sun. There was plenty of space for the four of us to relax individually if we wanted.
The kitchen and drinking water were well stocked and the freezer and coolers kept our ice cold for several days. Leo and Fred went over everything with us before we were left alone on the island, and everything was straightforward to use.
The snorkeling around the island is phenomenal and so convenient. When you want to snorkel, simply put on your gear and head northwest from the swings and you’ll be surrounded by coral and fish. The reef forms a ring around the island and the “Blue Hole”, and we found plenty to explore over multiple days. We caught fish and conch in the area around the island and will definitely try the fishing excursion the next time.
The seclusion of staying at Bird Island is unique. It was incredible to have nearly every comfort of home without any noise or interruption from the outside world. It’s a magical place and we will be back!
Wow! What a dream vacation! We loved every single minute on the island. A whole week was definitely enough time to relax, snorkel, fish, kayak, sun bathe and spend time with loved ones. We loved cooking up delicious meals in the very well stocked & supplied kitchen. The view from the upstairs suite is mind blowing. Our group of 5 had plenty of spots to have to ourselves, if we needed it, but we never did
This island is the most phenomenal experience and year after year, Fred, Ruth and Leo outdo themselves upgrading the acre. The additions are amazing and well thought out. Everything is designed and staged to perfection, See you next December!
We had a great honeymoon! We wanted to be off the grid and this was the perfect place to do it. We had a couple of minor issues and they were addressed immediately. Everyone was very helpful and the shopping process was very easy. If you are looking for luxury don't waste your time. If you are looking to get away from crowds and have everything you could need on your own Island this is where you want to go. We wish we could have stayed another week. We will definitely be back.
Absolutely amazing! The stay was way better than we could have ever expected. Had a great time snorkeling and kayaking with lots of colorful fish and wildlife to look at. The island really had everything you could have asked for and everything was very thoughtfully set up.
Susan + Kelly
The house was absolutely incredible and exceeded all of our expectations!
The communication was prompt and clear from the beginning to end. We loved the boat ride out, our time at the house, the snorkeling trip with Leo that included a delicious lunch made by Ruth. We saw sharks, sea turtles and stingrays. The snorkeling around the house was fabulous as well!!!! I literally can't say enough great things about this experience and about this family.
It was everything and more and we can't wait to do it again!
Susan + Kiley
This is an awesome place to stay. Every review before this is true and accurate. The one surprise for us was how beautiful and amazing snorkeling was. We found that if you go straight out the swing set area and veer left go almost to the blue edge of the water, it is most amazing in that area. You have to get past the low grass area. If you are not that adventurous, the shallow swim area Fred has created, has more fish than you can imagine. There were about 5 starfish in the area also. It was an amazing aquatic area. The next amazing site was the endangered (please don't kill) nurse fish. We had a family of 3 visit us every night by the boat dock. We would sit there and feed them fish from our fishing trip. We saw a sting ray and small octopus there also.
Next amazing activity was the fishing trip that Fred recommends. Adrian and AJ were our captain and 1st mate and they are determined to get you fish. They took us so many spots. It was a blast. They took us to a snorkeling area and a turtle area also. We caught lobster, jack, barracuda, etc. We had plenty to eat and feed the nurse sharks. We have been on 3 other fishing trips in the USA, but by far, this was the best one.
We were worried about how much food and water to bring. Leo helped with the grocery planning and what to bring and not worry about. There is plenty of water on the island. They provide 5 gallon jugs set up like culligan water in the kitchen and at the bar. He had us bring some bottled water also. We drank it, but could have been fine with what they provided. They had a fridge in the kitchen and 2 yeti coolers at the bar. We brought 3-4 bags of ice and this was perfect for 4 days. They had cooking oils, cereals, cake mixes, seasoning, cans of every bean, mushroom, corn, tomatoes, etc. They even had the water flavor packets.
No matter how many reviews you read, the experience is 10x better.
Those four years of waiting really tried my patience but damn it, it was worth the wait. We couldn’t have been more impressed or satisfied with our experience. We were originally scheduled to visit in March of 2020 but then Rona... We had to reschedule twice but the process and communication was always so easy. Fred and Ruth answered all my questions and kept me informed on everything as it was changing. IT IS WORTH THE WAIT!
The island was incredible. It was the perfect spot to relax, play, disconnect, have fun…just amazing. We had four people in our party and there was more than enough space for all of us. All of the cabanas were so cool. The kitchen was stocked with everything we could have needed and had a few things we forgot to grab which was so helpful.
Leo and Francois were fantastic. We loved their snorkel tour and getting to know them. Good guys right there! Very attentive, fun, and helped with anything we needed.
We also really loved Hakeem’s fishing tour and Monkey River Cruise. His knowledge of the area and its history was very impressive. We loved his humor and hearing of his experiences growing up in Belize.
Ruth…your food on the excursion *chefs kiss* I will dream of your bread pudding for the rest of my life.
I 100000% recommend Bird Island to everyone. It is worth every penny spent and every second of waiting.
Bird Island is a truly unique experience. Our family travels often and loves the ocean. When I found the listing for Bird Island, I knew it was right up our alley.
At first, some of the family was a bit skeptical about what we would do there for five nights being all alone. But boy, those five nights vanished quickly and we were left wishing we had more. Each day we rose with the sun and our days were filled with kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, napping in the hammocks, and just being together as a family. We caught fish, lobsters, and crab that we enjoyed for dinner. We say many species of fish, nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, octopus, eels, and stunning coral and sea fans.
The island has all of the items that are needed. We enjoyed a fire at night, played games, and were able to relax after a stressful year. During our time there, we celebrated our 20th anniversary and we were so touched when Ruth sent out a cake for us to enjoy.
The memories we made at Bird Island will be forever cherished. Thank you for sharing your beautiful island with us. I will hold onto the stunning vision of the sunsets and sounds of the wind, birds, and gentle waves until I return again.
Our family of 6 (kids aging from 11-18) travels quite a bit, and this was probably the most unique, adventurous, and amazing trip we’ve had. If you love the ocean and snorkeling and the outdoors and hate crowds this is like Disneyland meets National Geographic.
We spent hours each day just snorkeling the amazing reef right there on the island. We saw numerous types of fish, lobsters, stingray, eagle rays, nurse sharks, barracuda, starfish, eels, and almost anything else you can think of. The kayaking was really fun, as long as the wind and currents weren’t too strong. At night we sat around and played games, talked, and laughed. Everything you hope your family would do.
They do a great job of trying to think of everything on the island that you might need. Including extra food, snorkel gear, fishing gear, local cell phone, wifi (that was sufficient for basic needs), and first aid kits (yes we had to use it).
Fred and his family were amazing communicators and super responsive. We never felt like we couldn’t get any answers or clarification or assistance.
Getting there we took a shuttle van down and stopped at Bluehole national Park. I suggest carving out some time to tube the cave there. Looked incredible and it’s on the way and probably an hour stop. We then flew back and despite it being a small plane I was impressed with the pilot and it saved a ton of time with great views.
The reality is, if you’re looking for a five-star resort with catered meals and room service, this is not it. But if you want a completely unique experience where it feels like you’re on a world-class, all day snorkeling excursion everyday with amazing ocean life, and random adventures waiting and a unique experience that you or your friends and family will never forget I can’t imagine a better place.
Every review you’ve seen expressing how awesome this place is, is 100% true. TRUE PARADISE with A1 hospitality, from the pickups, to the shopping, to the fishing tips, to the warm smiles and good vibes —- everything was great. I went with a group of friends and we definitely regretted not staying longer. I won’t take up anymore space here but Bird Island, I will be back. THANK YOU!
Bird island is truly a special place. This is our second time coming and we will be back for sure! The island has everything you could need and more. It’s comfortable, beautiful and full of fun things to do if you are up for adventure. We opted to have someone cook and clean while we were there which truly elevated the whole experience. Tasha cooked amazing food and quickly became part of the family. Fred is an amazing host and quick to respond to all my questions. Can’t wait to come back!
Fred is a complete superhost. Bird Island was everything we expected and just a bit more. This was our 20th anniversary and a 50th birthday celebration, so it needed to be really special for just the two of us. We've already booked our return for March 2022. Our kids are pretty lucky they'll be coming next time.
We just completed our third trip to Bird Island, and it continues to deliver a truly remarkable and very special experience. If you are looking for the ultimate destination to disconnect and reset, this is the place. Fred, Ruth and Leo are wonderful hosts who have thought of everything guests will need. We were picked up at our hotel, taken to get groceries from a well-stocked store and local produce stand.
Once on the island, we loved seeing all of the additions that have been added over the years. We spent our days snorkeling and reading, but the hosts can arrange fishing trips and other activities if needed. The island has everything you could possibly need. We look forward to returning with our little one :)
I I think all the reviews below pretty much say it all. The pictures don’t do it justice. The snorkeling is unreal. And true serenity that comes with being out in the middle of the Caribbean can’t be accurately put into words. I don’t think I’ve ever felt such sadness when leaving an AirBnb. My girlfriend and I will miss it that much. Fred was also a great host. We had some flight complications that led us to have to change our travel itinerary and Fred was great at working with us and being flexible. That on top of the grocery shopping and getting COVID tests on the mainland was all a breeze. We will certainly be back!
If you could imagine complete solitude with the best feeling of relaxation, you would be at Bird Island. If you want a host that is willing to go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need to have a wonderful experience then Fred and Ruth are it! Bird Island was a trip three years in the making for us and I can honestly say became a trip of a lifetime.
This place is amazing. Ruth and Fred leave no stone unturned. Awesome snorkeling along the whole outside of the ring of the deep water. Make sure you use the motorized scooters to snorkel they eliminate your need for a life vest. This place is so amazing. We traveled with six of us and we all thoroughly enjoyed this vacation. Make sure you take a fishing trip with Thurman he is the fish whisperer. We had enough fish for three nights of meals and he prepped and fileted it on the spot. This was our favorite vacation ever!!!!
Where to begin? Bird Island is quite simply the most exceptional, first-rate, tranquil, delightful, amazing place for a vacation. The surrounding reef is breathtaking with an array of hard and soft corals, beds of turtle grass, carpet anemones galore, tons (literally) of fish, jellies and so much more. With shallow waters leading to a dropoff, the snorkeling experience is superlative! The one and two-person kayaks available on the island offer additional ways to explore the surrounding waters. And the accommodations on the island itself – one could not ask for anything more! Ruth and Fred’s attention to detail is astonishing. From a well-stocked pantry to flashlights located exactly where needed to navigate through the nighttime hermit crabs, there is no feature lacking. The bar area provides a great gathering place for drinks, food, fun and games as well as a grill for cooking the fresh fish caught right from the dock. Two Yeti coolers offer plenty of space for ice to keep all your selected beverages cold and ready to go. The kitchen is fully furnished with everything needed to create whatever meals you desire. The new electric refrigerator/freezer has plenty of space for all your needs. The dining room table is available for “inside” events in the case of rain or higher winds (we did need to use it one night when playing cards to prevent the cards from blowing away). In short, if you think you forgot to bring something, don’t worry – you will find it on the island! The 4 bedrooms have plenty of windows to catch the prevailing winds – Mother Nature’s air-conditioning- and the beds are quite comfortable. Two of the bedrooms have attached bathrooms with great showers. There is an additional outdoor shower and tap by the bar for rinsing off after being in the ocean. There are so many “secluded” spots on the island to catch a quick nap, eat, read or just relax – from the gazebo over the water to the hammocks on the deck , the picnic table, the benches along the dock – too many to mention! We had an absolutely wonderful family vacation on Bird Island with our two grown children and daughter-in-law. Fred and Ruth are superb hosts and made us feel like family. We will be back!
So much has been said about Bird Island, so I won't bother repeating what others have said. If you like adventure, you'll have a ball. We spent six nights. The first 30 minutes I was terrified by the length. By the end, we could have stayed another week.
From the moment I arrive on island, a peaceful feeling washes over me. Perfectly appointed, immaculately clean and well-stocked. The newly added beach area and grotto bar were a delight! Mia, the tiny resident bird was a sweetheart. A bonfire every night after sunset. WiFi made work a breeze. Kayaking to neighboring islands and walking the perimeter of the nearby blue hole were incredible moments. The best Christmas of my life. Every person needs to experience this island. Thank you!
Awesome Island Thanks Fred!
Every wonderful review about Bird Island was true! It was total paradise. Our TOP highlight of the trip was the fishing tour we booked with Thurman. He's so sweet and knowledgable about the area, and took us to all his secret fishing spots. We caught 12 fish, 5 lobsters, and 6 conches...and could have kept going but it was already way more food than my husband and I could have possibly finished in the 4 days we were there. Definitely recommend booking that tour as an addition to the trip (on the 1st day so you have plenty stocked for the remaining days). The kitchen was very well stocked as well - even if we hadn't caught any fish or brought any food, there was enough there to eat comfortably for 4 days. The only thing missing is fruits and veggies...and booze :) Wi-fi is not amazing on the island, but you're there to disconnect right? It's enough for emails and a little bit of social media, but forget about streaming anything! Also our first night there, the wi-fi went down entirely so were pretty isolated from the world for ~40-some hours. Overall - food was great, weather / temperature was great, hot showers + cool ocean was (Website hidden by Airbnb) was a perfect trip!
Bird Island is perfect for those who are self sufficient and prefer a humble home away from home experience on water. We LOVED it. A full kitchen had all amenities we needed and then some. The marine and bird life around was WONDERFUL. I really enjoyed the kayaking. Fred and Ruth were amazing hosts who went above and beyond to make sure our wants and needs were met. I wished for nothing but sun... was a bit overcast for our stay but no "wish I had" in regards to the amenities. I would definitely reserve Bird Island again!
My husband booked this island retreat for my 50th birthday. We booked it when I was 47 if that tells you how popular it is but it was completely worth the wait! The ocean breezes and the privacy were unlike any other vacation we’ve had. I’m going to start with tips for future islanders...Bring at least 15-20 bags of ice. The yeti coolers held the ice very well and were helpful in keeping our drinks cool. The fridge is propane and went out on us with two days left so we had to throw a lot of our food to the fish. If we had brought more ice we may have been able to salvage a couple hundred dollars worth of food. The pantry is stocked with pasta,rice,canned veggies, ramen,soup,oil, etc so don’t double up if you don’t want to. Make a good grocery list before you go to Ming’s because it gets very expensive very quickly. There is LOTS of bug spray on the island. But it was mostly unnecessary. Hardly any bugs. Ask Fred how to run the generator, how to fill the toilet flushing tank, and how to change any propane tanks and relight the fridge BEFORE he leaves the island. If you want to see the nurse sharks and stingrays in the late afternoon bring cans of tuna and chum the water. They are a beautiful sight to behold. Book the smorgasbord excursion with Thurman from Privasea Adventures to catch fish for your dinners. We had 6 people on our trip and caught enough for two of the four dinners. It was amazing and Thurman was a great guide for the area. We did it the day before going to the island so we didn’t have to use any of our island days. Thurman cleans and filets it all and brings it to you when you’re ready to go to Bird Island. There’s fresh water to drink, don’t bother buying any. I’m sure there’s more but that’s a good start. It was serene and peaceful and we were never bored. I highly recommend this Airbnb and Fred and Ruth were excellent hosts! I hope to visit again! I posted a couple videos on YouTube if you want the full tour!
Bird Island is a truly special place. It is so evident how well loved it is and how much thought and effort has been put into taking care of the island. We went snorkeling, kayaking, read in hammocks, watched the birds & crabs, and went out on the Smorgasbord tour. We so much enjoyed meeting Fred, Ruth, Leomar and Earnest. A very unique birthday experience. Thank you!
his place will not disappoint!! Fred and his whole family are great very friendly helpful and just want the best experience for everyone! This atoll has it all!! The new water craft they bring you helps get all around the reef with ease. We saw every kind of fish you can think of. Bring a GoPro or some knock off version like we did! Amazing!! The Spanish rays and nurse sharks come to the dock every afternoon to feed. Plus if you have some leftover fish from one of the best fishing trip you’ll have!! With Thermon the best fishing guide! The green moray eel will come and eat the scrap fish. Be prepared to love it! We were there for 4 full days. Must haves: we took 12 bags of ice made lots of drinks and used every bit of it. These are not big American 10/20lbs bags either. Belize only has 5 pounders if that! Take 14 bags if you love to drink mixed drinks! Keep as much of it in the freezer as you can! They have a charcoal grill if you want to grill the fish or whatever. There was coal and lighter fluid already there. Fully stocked pantry. It did rain every night we were there. It helped fill the rain water shower fed system. But it always cleared up by 6am sunny days!! Hope everyone has as great of time as we did!!
What can I say, this is such a unique experience. So different from any other trip I’ve taken. Fred and his family were very helpful in getting us setup on the island, and I would defiantly recommend going fishing with Thurman. There is great snorkeling around the island and kayaking around the atoll is a lot of fun.
Best place is the world!
Bird Island and Fred was amazing, we had such a great time and I could have stayed there forever. He made sure to share a wealth of information about staying on an island and the coordination and communication was perfect throughout the whole process. Pictures can not do this place justice it was even more amazing in real life than in the photos. I highly recommend and would love to come back!
Fred's and Ruth's place is wonderful. My husband and I celebrated my birthday and our 14th wedding anniversary on the island. Our favorite activities were snorkeling around the island and reading in the hammocks on the back porch. We also LOVED the smorgasboard fishing excursion with Turmond. We caught 15 fish, way more than we could eat ourselves! I landed a Big Ass Barracuda (a new species I discovered and named) that was our biggest of the day. Turmond was essential in instructing me how to land such a fierce fighter. Barracuda fish tacos on a private island are delicious! If you stay on the island, booking the Smorgasboard Fishing excursion is a must. The pantry is really well stocked. There are lots of canned goods, dry pastas, sauces, flour/sugar/oil/vinegars to fill out the provisions you bring with you. Microwave popcorn, coffee (french presses are available), tea, honey, sweeteners, cake mixes with frosting, cold cereal, hot oatmeal are also provided. They thoughtfully and carefully planned the staples in the kitchen to include spices and seasonings as well. You literally just need to bring meat, produce, ice, and booze. There is also a charcoal grill with provided charcoal and lighter fluid. We kept the charcoal in the 3rd bedroom because it rained nightly, so we were able to keep it dry during our stay. We stayed in the back bedroom, because we decided that had the best ocean breezes of the 3 available rooms. Since there were only 2 of us, we used the main bedroom as a "staging area" to keep our luggage and supplies nearby, but out of the way. 2 kayaks are available, as well as a variety of snorkel gear, which came in handy when my hubby's mask started leaking. We spent most of our time either in the water, or in the hammocks relaxing and drinking adult beverages. We were only there for 4 nights, but could have easily stayed a week. It was nice to get away as a couple and just recharge in such a unique environment! Two things to note: the surrounding small islands are no longer virgin territory...there are a couple of lodgings on all 3 of them (one looks more like a resort), and the smallest has work currently occurring. You can hear the hammer, but we didn't find it problematic in the least. Also, on one day, a random boat showed up with a group of 12 or so snorkelers to snorkle in "Fred's Reef". I know he doesn't technically own the water and nature surrounding the island, but it was a bit of unexpected intrusion into our "fantasy" of the private island and having it "all to ourselves". In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't a big deal, just something we had to tolerate until they left. All in all, we loved our time on the island, and were not ready to leave when we had to!
Absolutely perfect!!! Worth the 2 year wait!!! True relaxation from our busy lives.
Fred was fantastic, and the island and reef was even better than we had expected. We caught fresh lobster, conch, and crabs and really enjoyed seeing the bioluminescent creatures at night. The only thing we'd do differently next time would be to bring more ice along, at least if we were to go back again during the summer. We brought out 5 bags, but it was all melted after the first day, and the refrigerator/freezer struggled to keep up.
Response from Fred:
A recent guest suggested the answer to the ice summer dilemma - Yeti coolers! So we got them: one just to keep ice in reserve for the entire trip and a 2nd to keep drinks cold at all times. Glad you had a great trip Mike, and the safest of journeys.
Fred and Ruth were super nice, friendly and had great recommendations. It was such a pleasure staying on Bird Island. The amenities are insane considering that it's such a tiny island, and the environment is extremely relaxing. We would stay here again in a heartbeat!
Bird Island is a truly unique experience, with a level of disconnectedness from the world that was completely new. Though we had access to Wi-Fi and streamed music, FaceTimed our kids, etc., the sheer emptiness of our schedule led to relaxation of a depth I don't think any of us had been to in years. Some logistics for planning: Fly into Belize City and immediately connect via Maya Air to Placencia. We got in the day before we were set to head to the island. We stayed at Brisa Oceano resort, which had nice rooms at a fair price, and coordinated with Fred, who was always very attentive and enthusiastic about our happiness. The next day we walked from there to Ming's market and got 4 days worth of supplies. Fred met us there and took us to the dock and then to the island. The island was a perfect place to disconnect. Lots of reading in a hammock, casual snorkeling on a whim, and relaxation. We did the deep sea fishing trip with Thurman and (even as novices) caught enough fish for four people for the remainder of the stay. After our stay, we went back to the mainland and spent a couple more nights in the Placencia area before taking the Maya Air flight to Belize City for our flight back. But using Maya Air, it would be easy to connect to another area in the jungle or something. As a country, Belize is very easy for the American traveler, as everyone speaks English and American dollars are accepted along with the national currency. In any case, Bird Island lived up to the lofty expectations set by its wait list and its reviews. I wasn't fully prepared for the de-stressing that occurred there. Even getting back to the mainland saw the old stress levels start to increase. Truly a one-of-a-kind experience, and well worth the wait.
Bird Island offers an incredible private island escape. The island is surrounded by a living reef filled with a variety of wildlife which offers fantastic snorkeling and kayaking (supplies on the island). For guests who are not as enthusiastic about being in the water, the island offers great views, plenty of well placed hammocks, and a fire pit. The house comes with everything that you would need during your stay and items that you wouldn't have thought of including extra canned foods and cake mix! Be sure to bring copious amounts of ice, as the ice is perfect for blended drinks and keeping the beer cold, but melts quickly. Just be sure to pack veggies, sides, and lots of snacks. For food, book the fishing trip with Thorman which will supply you with enough fish for your stay. We caught snapper, mackarel and big-eyed jack, and one 2.5 foot barracuda just barely got away. Remember that you are on a small island which is surrounded by lapping water all hours of the day and night. If you are a light sleeper, earplugs may be a worthwhile item to bring along. We went diving with Seahorse, and they picked us up and dropped us off right at the island. So convenient! All the other people on the boat were jealous of our digs (we shared the secret with them). Additionally, Fred was super helpful. All the other reviews mentioning how great he was aren't lying. For those who are willing to make their own meals (fresh and saves a ton of money) and don't mind being environmentally aware (water conservation, power conservation, etc.) and want a beautiful, peaceful, well-thought out place in the middle of your own private coral reef, look no further. It's one of "those" trips you'll probably always be a little extra proud of undertaking. (Don't worry, there's still wifi if you need it. Our friends were able to facetime their kids at night to keep in touch with home). I'll be adding more pictures once I get home, but for the visually curious, here's an album to see some of what we're talking about: (Website hidden by Airbnb) Thank you Fred and Ruth! We look foward to seeing you again in (Phone number hidden by Airbnb) ! :) -Carly and Kaellie
Had an amazing stay at Bird Island which really exceeded our expectations. It was well worth the 2 year wait and it was exactly what my wife and I needed to get away from our hectic lives in NYC. Given we were kind of neurotic in our preparation for our trip, wanted to add a few specific tips beyond what was already covered (e.g. definitely do the fishing trip with Turman, etc.), hope some people find this helpful: 1. Food - Bird Island is already stocked with a full pantry of canned and dried goods. You do NOT to bring any of the following: pastas, rice, spices (salt, pepper, hot sauce, pancake syrup, etc.), canned goods, pasta sauce, coffee, tea, sugar, flour, etc. There is also a lot of purified water provided so there's no need to bring bottled water. Advise that you DO bring: fruits and vegetables for your stay, meats (accordingly, depending on whether you're doing the fishing trip -- for two people we bought two ribeye steaks, bacon, chicken wings, and Italian sausages), more beer than you think you need, liquor, juices / milk, bread, eggs, limes, and other perishable things you may want to eat. The bottom line is - given how well stocked Fred and Ruth keep the place, you definitely won't starve. 2. Food shopping - highly advise you inform Fred on where you're staying prior so that you can be picked up and brought shopping (vegetable/fruit stand + Ming's) the morning you head to the island. There were some reviews that indicated that they didn't prepare well for the shopping, but with this pickup we were brought from our hotel (Brisa Oceano Resort - which was great too) via an SUV to the market and then loaded the shopping bags back into the car --> onto the boat. This was far easier than we expected as we didn't have to lug around lots of grocery bags. 3. Cooking - besides a well stocked pantry, there is a full stove + oven, as well as a wood-charcoal grill -- we used the grill pretty much every day for dinner to cook the meats + fish (you may want to look up some easy to prep fish on the grill recipes) as well as grilled veggies. Again - LOTS of spices are already provided, as well as the requisite cookware, utensils, etc.. Whoever is manning the charcoal gill for dinner also gets probably the most amazing sunset view I've ever seen. 4. Bugs - there weren't any when we went, but NO NEED to bring bug spray, as there was plenty provided on the island that we did not use. 5. Sunscreen - make sure you DO bring this. 6. Toiletries - no need to bring soaps / shampoos or towels - its very well provided. Obviously do bring your own tooth brush and tooth paste. 7. Transportation from the airport --> Placencia. We took a car services (All in One Travel) from BZE to Placencia (~3.5 hour drive) and then flew Maya Air on the way back to BZE. Highly recommend this approach as you get to see Belize from the ground and the All in One Travel driver (shout out to Cameron!!) was awesome and not only knew a lot about Belize, but also we stopped at a great local place for lunch and a homemade ice cream place (where the ice cream was made in house -- as in, you could literally identify the cow the milk came from to make the ice cream). Flying back was obviously much faster but really appreciated driving through the rain forest, etc. and seeing Belize from the ground. 8. Leave your bad attitude at home - this is a place to truly relax and really a time to bond with those that you care about. Also, Placencia was a great town to hang out in with great beaches, drinks, food, etc. Hope this helps!
If you enjoy total Privacy, Sky day & especially night, the Water & life above/below surface of your own island.. this is for you 100% I wouldn't be able to top my experience on this perfect & affordable dream ever. Grateful for crossing advertisement & memories my heart of mind will cherish. A blessed, self care & girls trip that validates beauty of LIFE.. We will be back, better Belize IT, on Bird Island!
Fred & Ruth are great hosts. Enjoyed everything about the island, a true paradise. Fishing Trip with Thurman was excellent too, caught enough fish to eat during our 5 night stay. The snorkeling on the reef around the island was amazing!!! Would love to go back! Cynthia
Fred, Ruth and family are wonderful hosts, and with Thurman and Leomar it's a great team overall. Bird Island is an absolutely fabulous vision of a place. A magical getaway setting surrounded by natural beauty, a well designed and engineered facility with thoughtful provisions and amenities, an exhilarating adventure overall. Definitely book a fishing trip with Thurman, and ask Fred about options for trips to the surrounding islands and snorkeling excursions. Stock up on booze duty free at the airport, and just get perishables at the local grocery before heading out. Go with a sense of adventure, go with peace of mind. You will create and discover memories to last.
Oh my, Bird Island is a wonder. Our family had an absolutely magical time! It was great for our kids ages 10, 8, and 9 months. Fred and Ruth are exceptional hosts, Thurman’s fishing trip was fantastic, and the island itself is just beyond words - peaceful, stunning, extremely homey, and full of wildlife/adventure for the kids. There are so many thoughtful touches, special spaces, incredible snorkeling - we even managed to be there for the exquisite show of bioluminescence in the water at night. Not to mention the stars - we could see the Milky Way! Fred and Ruth make sure you have everything you could possibly need for the trip of a lifetime. Bird Island exceeded our every expectation and was well worth the 2+ year wait. If you get the chance to book this very special experience, do not hesitate! We are already planning our next visit to see Fred, Ruth, Leo, Thurman, and Mia the Bird.
Two of us stayed on Bird Island February 5-9, 2019. The place is terrific! We do a lot of sailing and being on the island is a lot like being on a big boat, but without the worries. Just remember this place is an adventure. It's not five star, perfect-in-every-way, luxury accommodations. It's a funky, cute place that's well-maintained and constantly updated and upgraded, but it's still a rustic retreat on a private island. For us it was the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of a New York winter. We would go again in a heart beat. Snorkeling around the island is great - we saw lot's of cool stuff and it was different every day. We kayaked to the neighboring islands and had a look around. There's fishing, bird watching, fish watching, crab watching, swimming. We spent a lot of time laying in the hammocks reading trashy novels (there's a bunch on the island). Pros: - super cute place - spotlessly clean - fully equipped (really, really well equipped) - location is amazing (great snorkeling, kayaking, etc.) - great sunrises and sunsets. - very romantic - Fred made all the transfers and provisioning seamless - great excuse to leave your mobile devices off for a few days. - you will make friends with the little crabs that climb in and out of the planter by the kitchen door - they are amazing to watch! Cons: - can't think of any. - oh wait - our stay was too short! Suggestions: - bring more booze than you think you'll need. - bring less clothes than you think you'll need (you don't need any!) - go easy on bringing condiments - there's a lot on the island already - make sure you go with people you like - ask Fred about private excursions - he'll set you up. - snorkel on the outside edge of the reef and plot your return to the island carefully.
Bird Island is nothing short of pure magic. It’s worth every penny. The second we got there we could tell how much thought and care the hosts put in to the island, we seriously can’t wait to come back!
Hard to add anything the other reviewers haven’t. Truly a surreal experience, a peek into marine life seemingly undisturbed by humans. Waking up every day to sting rays, barracuda, schools of feeding fish, diving pelicans - it was magical. And that’s not evening mentioning the phenomenal snorkeling available right off the docks. Bird island is a must for any ocean lovers.
What a special and beautiful experience we had! We will be going back as soon as possible! We had such a great stay! I especially liked how we were literally on the water! We could jump in and swim throughout the day and night. We used kayaks all the time and experienced outstanding snorkeling and swimming. We loved all special touches like sunscreen, cooking utensils plus spices, games, speaker for our music and extra care from Fred and his team. Everything is open and peaceful plus some cozy areas for reading and napping. You will be delighted.
What an amazing trip to have added and been able to check off our bucket list! So worth every second of the wait! We've looked forward to this for roughly a year and a half and our stay was everything we hoped for and more! Please please book the fishing trip with Thorman- it's worth every penny! We went out on our first full day and had SO MUCH fun! Not to mention we were able to catch some awesome fish! Spanish Mackerel, Barracuda, Horse Eye Jack, Common Jack (or some variety), and plenty of Yellowtail Snapper. Pro tip indeed to book this early so you have plenty of time to enjoy the bounty for the remainder of your trip. We brought lime and butter for grilling but also had a wonderful stove top fry using salsa and rice to make a basic pan paella. This will help you with planning groceries so you don't need to lug too much along too. Snorkeling was awesome as was Kayaking, but you will also be able to watch the wildlife right from the dock! We saw octopus (at night via flashlight), a variety of sting rays (spotted eagle was my absolute fav!), nurse sharks (when cleaning fish), barracuda, snapper, puffer fish, and more! Watching the pelicans dive for fish and feeding banana's to the hermit crabs that live under the deck was another fun pastime. Lastly the bioluminescence at night means you can star gaze in the sky AND in the ocean. We recommend bringing a book or two to enjoy from the hammocks and/or a puzzle or game to enjoy at night. That said there are books, puzzles, and games all there as well! Thank you Fred & Ruth for your hospitality, Leo for ferrying us to and from while being extra accommodating and delivering us straight to our hotel after, Jeff for for the hidden secrets and tips, and Thorman for an amazing fishing expedition! We will be recommending this to all our family and friends for years to come!
Fred and Ruth run a first class show! Fresh paint, super clean and well stocked. If you have forgotten something from the pantry, chances are it is at the home. Many different places to lounge about. Multiple hammocks! The wildlife viewing and photo opportunities are endless. Swimming and snorkeling were wonderful as was the fishing for lobster and conch! Sunrises and sunsets to take your breath away. Sleeping to the sounds of waves lapping. So crazy good! I have waited years to visit and definitely will return! A slice of heaven on earth. Don’t think twice about the rate-just book it.
Bird Island should be a "must do" item on your list of things to do while visiting Placencia Belize. It's beautiful, it's a true Robinson Crusoe experience, has great wildlife viewing, and has total privacy. Fred and his family make you feel very welcome. There are three separate sleeping areas, two of which include a full bathroom and TV. You can watch both the sunrise and sunset every day! Taking the Kayaks around the reef it's amazing. It's just one of those things that should be on you're bucket list. I recommend staying 3 to 4 days on Bird Island and then staying 3 to 4 days in Placencia in order to meet and mingle with the great people of Belize. If I had to sum up the best part of Placencia Belize, it would absolutely be the amazing friendly people there.
Awesome as usual!! Fred and Ruth are a joy! Thurman was great on our fishing day and found us fish, lobster and conch. He even taught us how to clean and cook conch which came in handy a few days later. Improvements are always being put in place, much had changed since my initial trip in Jan 2016. Perfect relaxation and amazing snorkeling! Hated to leave....but I’ll be back! Thanks Fred!
Wow! We had this trip planned for 2 years and we can’t even explain how amazing it was! Snorkeling, reading, fishing, hanging out and star gazing. Everything was great. The fishing trip is a must and we caught way more fish than we could eat. Will definitely do it again Thanks
Ok, like other reviews said - DO IT. Such an amazing crazy experience. This place is beautiful, tranquil and peaceful, yet full of sightseeings as it's right on a reef. Our days were full of snorkeling and kayaking, and in between resting on hammocks watching the birds. Seriously, if youre in doubt whether to do it - do it.
Stop what you are doing and book it. Just book it. It’s impossible to put into words the happiness we found on Bird island. It’s beautiful, comfortable, charming and secluded to say the least. Then top that off with outstanding hospitality. Fred, Ruth and leo were just fantastic. Pro tip book the fishing trip with Thurman early as possible. He’s a gem. We are rebooking now.
This is truly your own little island, not a resort. You are on your own out here but do have a method to communicate if needed. There are the regular amenities plus some extras. It is in a great location, not far from many dive sites. This is the ideal get away from it all place. Fred was great. Transportation from the airport is provided as well as a stop at the store prior to the boat ride to the island. Make sure to buy everything you will need for your whole stay as well as several bags of ice if you like it in your drinks. You will need bug spray too. Mosquitos love me and I used a lot. This is a place not to be missed and was well worth the 19 month wait after booking. I highly recommend.
Bird Island is a magical place. You have a beautiful oasis in the sea with a complete atoll around you. You have solitude, yet every convenience. Fred, Ruth and Leomar are really great people and they have created something really special. Thank you so much for letting us come experience it. I’m booking it again for sure.
Bird Island is an amazing escape for vacation! I will share below some of my personal suggestions, starting with the most important...book this island! Our trip started with the prompt arrival of our boat with Captain Leo. We had a rental vehicle that we were able to park in a secure place for the duration of our stay on the island. We brought 3 bags of ice with us...just about right to last our 5 days and 4 nights. Anything more than 3 bags won't fit in the freezer, but we did have a cooler available for use, however the ice won't last more than a day or 2 in there. There are also ice trays but depending on how much you drink and like them chilled they probably won't be enough to sustain you each day by the time they freeze. I recommend getting ice from the gas station/marina right where you are picked up so you can grab it last minute and not have to carry it very far! As for groceries/food, the local grocery and fruit stand are good. I also recommend the local tortilla place for tortillas and chips. If you are not coming to Placencia directly from the airport I recommend hitting up fruit stands elsewhere first, as the one is Placencia wasn't quite as robust as some others, but will definitely suffice. When purchasing items be mindful of what MUST go in the fridge, as there is limited space and cooling ability, but we were able to just rotate what we needed cold in. Our ride out to the island was nice. It was a breezy day so we had some waves but Leo made it a smooth and comfortable drive for us. Upon arrival Fred, Ruth, and Jeff (island neighbor/security) met us, helped us unload, and Fred gave us the grand tour of the island. We were a group of 4, 2 couples. Each couple chose to stay in the unattached bungalows...more privacy/seclusion, and cooler and breezy, but all 3 rooms are amazing and have great views. We had been looking forward to the smorgasbord fishing tour with Thorman. Unfortunately that did not pan our until our 3rd and final full day. Despite the wait, when we did get to go it was amazing, a great experience and we got lots of fish. Would have been great to do earlier (which was suggested and the plan) just so we had fish to eat the entire time. While it was disappointing to go later in our stay, fortunately the shelves are stocked so we were able to have rice and beans and spaghetti for dinner. There were plenty of dry/canned goods so you will not go hungry even if you don't catch all the fish you can eat. If you like your food with some heat, I would recommend bringing some chili powder or hot sauce. There are plenty of other spices available for cooking. Weather wise we were there in the off/rainy season...
There is not much to be said that hasn't already been. It is a unique trip for people who know how and want to just relax.
What can we say Fred, you guys knocked it out of the park with the bird island property, how you handle your customers, the boat ride, Thurman, every aspect was covered. Congratulations on putting together a world class experience for the climax of our 20th wedding anniversary trip to your wonderful Belize.
Bird Island is a magical place that I'll never forget and will definitely return to in the near future. From the spectacular snorkeling around the reef around the island to kayaking to the little nearby conch island, there's really no shortage of ways to take in your stunning surroundings. Fred is also a super awesome and funny guy who's lways working on new enhancements and add-ons to the island. One tip: Do the fishing trip with Thorman - you'll have more fish to eat that you'll be able to as you effortlessly pull them out of the ocean.
This was hands down one of the best trips I've ever taken. The place was actually better than described or in pictures. It was truly an amazing place. Thurman is a must! He know all the fishing and snorkeling spots and is an awesome guy to be around. Fred and Ruth are amazing and made us feel at home. They are truly awesome and amazing people. If you have a chance, make sure to just book it. I will definitely be back one day, hopefully soon!