Blackbird Caye Resort In Belize Has Been Awarded Tripadvisors Certificate Of Excellence For Five Consecutive Years



Inducted into ‘Hall of Fame’ of Five-time Certificate of Excellence Winners on the World’s Largest Travel Site

Turneffe Atoll, Belize – May 20, 2015 BLACKBIRD CAYE RESORTS today announced that it has been recognized as a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame winner. The Certificate of Excellence award celebrates excellence in hospitality and is given only to establishments that consistently achieve great traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. The ‘Hall of Fame’ was created to honor those businesses that have earned a Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years. Winners include accommodations, eateries and attractions located all over the world that have continually delivered a superior customer experience.

“Blackbird Caye Resort strives to provide our guests with a unique private island experience, and we are truly thankful to all our past guests who have taken the time to go on TripAdvisor and let others know what an amazing adventure our resort can be. Being awarded the Certificate of Excellence five years in a row simply points out the dedication of our staff and management to making your vacation a dream come true, and now as we are inducted into the Hall of Fame, it is our goal to continue this tradition year after year.” said Michaela Feinstein Owner/General Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort. “It is a great honor to win this award for many reasons, but the greatest is that guest reviews confirmed our commitment to excellence. This new accolade is a remarkable vote of confidence to our business and a spotlight focused on our dedicated staff.”

“Winning the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years is a remarkable feat. TripAdvisor is pleased to induct five-time award winners into the ‘Hall of Fame’,” said Marc Charron President, TripAdvisor for Business. “By putting a spotlight on businesses that are focused on consistently delivering great service to customers, TripAdvisor not only helps drive an improvement to hospitality standards around the world, it also gives businesses both large and small the ability to shine and stand out from the competition.”

When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account the quality, quantity and recency of reviews and opinions submitted by travelers on TripAdvisor over a 12-month period as well as business’s tenure and ranking on the Popularity Index on the site. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. 

About Blackbird Caye Resort

Blackbird Caye Resort is a unique property situated on a 2-mile long private island, amidst the unspoiled natural beauty of the Caribbean waters. Just 25 miles off the coast off Belize City lies the Turneffe Atoll, where Blackbird Caye Resort is nestled in an idyllic tropical island retreat with uncommon personal attention.

Blackbird Caye Resort offers ocean front cabanas overlooking the iridescent turquoise waters and protected by the atoll’s reef. With more than 70 world-class diving and snorkeling sites minutes away, and the dramatic walls of Turneffe just off the resorts beach, the adventure starts the moment you arrive.

Whether you’re looking for a diving adventure, a family retreat, or a group getaway, you’ll find Blackbird Caye Resort the perfect location and the perfect people to make your vacation dreams come true.

About TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and book the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools that check hundreds of websites to find the best hotel prices. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 340 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.

TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands:,,,,,, (including,, and,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and

*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, December 2014

**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q1 2015

For more information on Blackbird Caye Resort please contact:

Sandra Lockhart

Sales Manager for Blackbird Caye Resort

Toll Free: (866) 909-7333

Fax: (877) 269-5073


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EPIC EXCURSIONS: The Great Blue Hole, what can you expect?


In 1971 Jacques Cousteau, a famous undersea explorer, dubbed the Blue Hole as one of the world’s top ten scuba diving sites — this was for a reason, because it offers some of the most spectacular underwater wildlife and fauna on this planet. Check out these quotes from Trip advisor:

One of the world’s top dive sites

“I think this might be the best trip my husband and I have been on. No exaggeration.
I don’t even know where to start… It was remote, quiet, and away from the hustle and bustle of normal day-to-day life. The perfect opportunity to kick back and relax, but offering enough activities that we were never bored. Diving was the best I’ve had (in my limited experience – I am not an advanced diver) and Cardinal was a terrific dive-master. He was really chill and he tried so hard to give us the best experience possible. We saw EVERYTHING – sharks, turtles, octopus, eels, barracudas, lobsters, stingrays, eagle rays, groupers – you name it, we saw it.” — Islandgirl678

“We elected to dive the Blue Hole and although the down side of a deep dive is that it is typically short, it was well worth the experience. We were there with much more well travelled divers than I was and they all agreed that it was some of the best diving that they had experienced, other than more exotic locations on the other side of the globe. The staff was super. Our dive master paid extremely close attention to each of us and was great about showing us things in the reef. It was clear he knew the reef as if it were his back yard.” — Shanstorm

Check out Tripadvisor for some more Blackbird guest reviews:

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EPIC EXCURSIONS: Lighthouse Reef


Lighthouse Reef  — a small atoll 70km from mainland — hosts many dive sites but perhaps the most awe-inspiring in the famous Blue Hole: a collapsed cave risen from the ocean’s floor, leaving a deep geological mystery bursting with aquatic wildlife.

A geological mystery

Other sites include Silver Caves. Long Caye Wall, Coral Gardens and the aptly named Oasis —where huge black coral sponges grow from vertical cliffs.

The trip begins in early morning (Tuesday) after a hearty breakfast. First Blackbird will transport guests out to Turneffe Atoll, the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Western Hemisphere.  After diving/snorkelling the wonders of Turneffe, guests are whisked off to Light House Reef Atoll.

The Blue Hole — one of the top ten dive sites in the world — lies near the center of the Lighthouse Reef. The hole is circular in shape, over 984 ft (300 meters) across and 407 feet (124 meters) deep and has been declared one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world!

Caribbean reef shark

Scuba divers are lured by the opportunity to dive in the crystal-clear water meet several species of fish, including Midnight Parrotfish, Caribbean reef shark, and other juvenile fish species.

Other species of sharks, such as the bull shark and hammerheads, have been reported there, but are not regularly sighted.

Check out the Blackbird website for more information:

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EPIC EXCURSIONS: Half Moon Caye Natural Monument


Halfmoon Caye Natural Monument is an island within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll system, 13 miles (20 km) east of Turneffe Atoll and therefore incredibly isolated.

The most diverse atoll

Before reaching Halfmoon Caye, Blackbird guests will be able to experience the wonders of Turneffe Atoll — the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the western hemisphere.

The trip begins in early morning (Tuesday) after a hearty breakfast. First Blackbird will transport guests out to Turneffe Atoll. After diving/snorkelling the wonders of this site, which was officially declared a marine reserve in 2012 by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, guests are whisked off to Light House Reef Atoll.

It is difficult to reach unless you possess a very fast speedboat and the local knowledge needed to navigate the seas. Luckily Blackbird has both in spades, so if diving the Halfmoon Caye and The Blue Hole have ever been on your bucket list, we can take you there.

Shallow and deep waters

Half Moon Caye Natural Monument was made part of the Crown Reserve in 1928, making it the Belize’s oldest protected wildlife site.

The island is completely isolated — miles from the nearest land — and sits just 4.5 miles (7 km) of reef bursting with marine life.

Because there are both shallow and deep waters, it is possible to snorkel and dive.

Different species of fish reside within varying depths of water so either way, there is a plethora of underwater wildlife to view.

After experiencing Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, Blackbird takes guests to The Blue Hole — one of the top ten dives sites in the world.

A mysterious underwater structure plummeting depths of up to 410 ft (124 meters) lying approximately 60 miles (96 km) off the coast of Belize

Book a holiday now with finest dive resorts in Belize: Blackbird Caye Resort

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5 interesting facts about Turneffe Atoll system.

The largest atoll in Belize

The Turneffe Atoll is located just over 24 miles (39 km) east of Belize City and is surrounded by intensely coloured waters, which glisten vivid blue, green and turquoise. An atoll is a ring-shaped reef, island or chain of islands formed of coral.

There are only four atolls in the Caribbean and Turneffe is the largest and most biologically diverse of these. In total it comprises of nearly 150 islands covered in the largest mangrove system in Belize. In addition to mangroves, the islands posses large areas of tropical savannas and forest.

At approximately 30 miles (48 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide it is the largest atoll in Belize. Turneffe Atoll is made up of a series of mangrove islands, cays, lagoons and lush grassland marine robes — all of which are surrounded and protected by a ring of vibrant and unique coral species.

Surrounded by wildlife

The atoll was officially declared a marine reserve in 2013 by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development.

It is the most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere. The islands  — some of which are larger than 2020 hectares (5,000 acres) — are covered by more than 77 different varieties of vegetation. Interspersed with lagoons, mangrove forests cover almost all low-lying areas of the atoll.

Turneffe Atoll’s reef supports a wide range of diverse aquatic species such as the endemic white spotted toadfish and the white lined toadfish. Plentiful sponges and corals provide feeding grounds to endangered animals including the green sea turtle.

Belize’s largest American saltwater crocodile population also resides within the atoll, approximately 200-300 individuals. It is also the only offshore stretch of water designated for the endangered Antillean manatee.

Giant marine toads, green tree snakes and other reptiles and amphibians use the littoral forests and brackish lagoons at their home.

Blackbird Caye Resort can take you there. Check out the website for more information:

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How’s the service?


The diving is good, how is the service, the staff?

Past guests of Blackbird Caye Resort are always willing to write about their experiences with us. Check out TripAdvisor — for our reviews. Below are a few about our attentive, gracious and charismatic staff:

“Staff was terrific. Chris and Joe on the snorkel trips were great. Ian and Jackie at the bar were very friendly. Michael the manager very helpful. Great place to relax and enjoy the beach and water, catch up on your reading.” —  Earl S

“Emmy & Cardinal were our dive masters for the week. Love those guys.”LaurieC1961

“The crew out at Blackbird are second to none! Thanks for making my stay so wonderful everyone!!!! :)” gypsygirl32

“Michael is a perfect manager. Cook is genius in making cakes. Our snorkeling master was doing everything to show us sea life. Thank you to everyone at Blackbird resort!”OlenaChu

“Blackbird Caye Resort is the best vacation we have ever had. The dive masters and the absolute best, they can and are more than willing to answer any and all questions, offer tips to make your diving more enjoyable, nice and so fun. Everyone on staff on the island is so nice and helpful. Anything you need, just ask and you have it. We will be going back again and again. WE LOVE THIS PLACE.” — dogynini

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THROWBACK THURSDAYS: “Sea and respect”


“Sea” and respect … Turneffe’s multiple-use reserve helps protect a globally important coral reef ecosystem

“Sea” and Respect…Turneffe’s multiple-use reserve helps protect a globally important coral ecosystem

Millions of organisms

In 2012, with the supervision and financial support of multiple non-profit organizations, the Turneffe Atoll System was declared a multiple-use marine reserve.  This was due, primarily, to the fact that it is considered the largest and most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere and, therefore, perceived as a “nautical rainforest”.

What is coral?  Actually, the question should be “what ARE coral”.  When scuba diving in Belize and you come across coral it may look like chunks of rock to you.  In fact, these rock-like structures are the result of millions of organisms, called polyps that multiply in colonies. They cling together, are living and “breathing”, only feed at night and hide during the day. The reason they appear as being rock-like is because they have an exoskeleton, to provide them with support, which is composed of calcium carbonate.  This is the same com that shellfish use to make their shells – this type of coral is referred to as “hard coral”.  Another type of coral is referred to as “soft”, for it does not have a calcium carbonate skeleton. Instead, it supports itself upright by tiny spines.

Within Turneffe’s coral reefs thousands of animals make their homes.  It is believed that there are possibly thousands of other unknown species which live in and around the coral reef.   It is a scientific fact that it supports, within its folds, more species/unit area than any other area in the surrounding ocean.

Thousands of coral species

Lastly, this coral ecosystem also makes contributions to the medical field from which research is currently underway to find cures for cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections and viruses.  It has been discovered, and which is of great importance, that the compounds within the Caribbean Sponge are used in the making of AZT which is the medicine primarily used to fight the AIDS virus.  Also, corals and molluscs are used to manufacture orthopaedic and cosmetic surgical implants.   Currently, there is on-going investigation to find out whether coral skeletons may be used for bone grafts.  A soft coral known as Caribbean Gorgonian produces a compound used as an anti-inflammatory and, this same substance is also used in an anti-wrinkle cream.  Taking into consideration that approximately 95% of the ocean has not yet been explored, the possibilities of discovering more and more medical uses for coral are practically endless.

Rock-like structures

So, when scuba diving in Belize and you come across coral please “sea” it and treat it with respect.  Remember the numerous benefits it is contributing globally and that one day it may even save your life.

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The world’s largest Manatee population

The Meso-America Reef System is home to one of the world’s largest populations of manatees — estimated to number anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500!

The population thrive in and around Turneffe Atoll, which is approximately 30 miles (38 km) long and 10 miles (16 km) wide — it is the largest atoll in western hemisphere.

The atoll is made up of a series of mangrove islands, cays, lagoons and lush grassland marine robes — all of which are surrounded and protected by a ring of vibrant and unique coral species.

Frequenting the coastal waters

Manatees are large, often slow moving mammals that frequent coastal waters and rivers of Turneffe Atoll. They are born underwater and have been known to live up to 40 years. The huge creatures are usually very docile and are therefore great for viewing underwater.

The marine mammals are also known as sea-cows and are mostly herbivorous — eating over 60 species of plant species and 10% of their bodyweights everyday.

Manatees can measure up to 13 feet (4 m) in length and weigh as much as 1,300 pounds (590kg). They also have paddle-like flippers.

Just like other mammals, manatees make sounds, especially when communicating with their young. When adult manatees communicate with one another it is usually during sexual intercourse and playful interaction.

When female manatees give birth they must immediately rush their young to the surface for its first breath of air.

Frequenting the coastal waters

“Manati” — meaning “breast” — derives from the Taino, a people existing in Colombia before European settlers forced them out of the country.

There are three species of manatee, distinguished primarily by where they live. One manatee population ranges along the North American east coast from Florida to Brazil — many of which are found residing in the Meso-America Reef System. Other species inhabit the Amazon River and the west coast and rivers of Africa.

To see these remarkable creatures, visit Blackbird’s website:


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The Aquarium dive site is located within the Lighthouse Atoll and lives true to its name: the area is bursting with aquatic life with an abundance of schooling fish from School Master Snappers, Creole Wrasse, Queen Angelfish, Banded Butterflyfish and Honeycomb Trunkfish.

Blackbird will transport guests

Renowned for its crystal clear waters — with visibility up to 80 ft (24 meters) — the site plummets to depths of up to 50 feet (15 meters). The Aquarium is reachable by boat, 13 miles east of Turneffe Atoll, to the northeastern corner of Long Caye.

First Blackbird will transport guests out to Turneffe Atoll, the largest and most biologically diverse atoll in the Western Hemisphere. After diving/snorkelling the wonders of Turneffe, guests are whisked off to Light House Reef Atoll, 13 miles (21 km) east.

It is difficult to reach unless you possess a very fast speedboat and the local knowledge needed to navigate the seas. Luckily Blackbird has both in spades, so if diving the Blue Hole has ever been on your bucket list, we can take you there.

Crystal clear turquoise waters

The trip is breath-taking as the boat glides over 10 ft (3 meters) of crystal-clear turquoise waters — in the middle of the ocean. If lucky enough, you might catch a glimpse of the red-footed boobie — a rare bird that resides on the atolls.
The Aquarium is well defined with long coral ridges and sandy canyons that run perpendicular to each other, beginning shallow before dropping off into the depths.

Strong currents often flow across the reef so divers are advised to work carefully with the dive masters — the currents generally sweep across the reef from the east. However, these flows of water can be utilized by divers, who are able to drop down to the west and be effortlessly pulled along to east before rising and returning to the boat.

Varied and colourful species

Crinoids (aka Sea Feathers) inhabit the Aquarium and are visible during the day. Their orange, featherlike arms are often fully exposed while their small body remains attached beneath the coral formations — in other locations, Crinoids are not so common.

Fish are also varied and colorful at this site. If you look on top of the reef and in the dividing channels, you can find the a wide range of diverse wildlife, including Parrotfish, who graze on the algae patches that mantle much of the reef top.
Check out the website:

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7 Reasons why Turneffe should be on your bucket list.

Over 60 species of birds

The Turneffe Atoll System is the largest atoll in the Caribbean. That statement alone should be reason enough for you to put it on your bucket list of things to do when scuba diving in Belize.
What are 6 other good reasons?

1.    It offers the BEST diving in Belize:  The atoll is full of mangroves and sea grass flats which act like feeding grounds for sea creatures.  It is full of a vast variety of exotic fish, such as the rare Whitespotted Toadfish.  You will also come across several other endangered species of animals such as the Antillean Manatee who only breeds in this atoll system.  The salt-water crocodile is another endangered species found there.  It is believed that there are currently between 200 to 300 animals there.

2.    Onshore, Turneffe is home to over 77 vegetation types and over 60 species of nesting birds, most of them also on the endangered list.

Swim with dolphins

3.    Who does not want to swim with dolphins?  In Turneffe you will find schools of bottle-nosed dolphins that are just as happy to swim with you.  This wildlife sanctuary is the place where they
come to feed, as well as to nurse their calves.

4.    The atoll boasts of at least 60 known scuba diving sites and 200 cayes within the reef.  So no matter what your level of diving expertise is you will find a spot where you will feel comfortable and safe.

5.    Since the atoll is approximately 25-30 miles (40- 50 km) offshore, the water is always clear and allows you visibility of at least 100 feet (33 meters) and up to as much as 150 feet (46 meters).

6.    160 miles (258 km) of walls and reefs makes this Belize diving spot a location where you will find yourself isolated from the masses of divers found in other sites.

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