Half Moon Caye Wall, Lighthouse Reef, Belize has been named in Scuba Diving.com’s 2015 Top 100 Reader’s Choice Awards. Divers worldwide agree that diving the Half Moon Caye Wall offers an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime dive experience. Spectacular, vivid corals and abundant sea life make this dive destination world-class. Lighthouse Reef is located about 50 miles off the mainland of Belize City and is the most easterly of the three atolls in Belize. Along this 30-mile long and 8-mile wide lagoon is the famous Blue Hole, discovered by Jacques Cousteau, and usually at the top of any diver’s “bucket list”.
Blackbird Caye Resort is proudly the closest resort on Turneffe Atoll to the Blue Hole and offers a day trip every Tuesday, weather-permitting. Starting off at 8.00am we take divers to experience the Blue Hole on a 40-minute boat ride. Advanced Open Water-certified divers get to dive its deep depths while others can snorkel its rim. Afterwards guests head to the island of Half Moon Caye where you can dive Long Caye Wall, enjoy a BBQ lunch on land and then head back to Blackbird that afternoon, but not before one last dive takes place at The Aquarium.
Exploring and experiencing these fantastic sites has never been easier! With another 70+ dive sites minutes from our shores via 10-15 minute boat rides, Blackbird Caye Resort is truly an ocean-lover’s dream vacation spot.
Call 866-909-REEF (7333) to book your next scuba diving trip today with us!
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In January 2015, Blackbird Caye Resort hosted Alejandro Ruiz for an upcoming feature on “Love Nature”, a Canadian channel that broadcasts nature-themed programming on a wide variety of topics from animals to landscapes to outer space. “Love Nature” was established in 2006.
Blackbird Caye Resort was approached late last year and is thrilled to be a part of this program. Blackbird Caye Resort will be featured in a one-hour episode highlighting the best dives spots in Belize later in 2015 (exact dates will be announced!!).
Alejandro spent several days at Blackbird Caye Resort filming underwater and gathering footage for this exciting show that emphasizes an appreciation of nature and all its beauty. Alejandro also spent time with our dive-masters, staff and captured incredible details that we cannot wait to see in in 4K – a new video resolution that is 4 times higher than HD.
“Love Nature” is owned by Blue Ant Media, a Canadian-based media company that was founded in 2011.
Stay tuned for more details to come!
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Blackbird Caye Resort proudly sits on Turneffe Atoll, the second largest reef system in the world. Being the most biologically diverse coral atoll in the Western Hemisphere, divers and snorkelers here experience lush and vibrant underwater scenery that is breathtaking and stunning. 30 miles wide, 10 miles long and 25 miles from the Belize mainland, Turneffe offers deep oceans with an abundant marine life. The atoll is comprised of a chain of islands (cayes) just southeast of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.
There is an elaborate network of salt water flats, creeks and lagoons making up this oceanscape where many species of fish, lobster and other fish find habitat in mangroves and seagrass. Many endangered or vulnerable species also live here, including the American crocodile and the Antillean manatee.
On November 22, 2012 Turneffe Atoll became the largest official Marine Reserve in Belize. This very important move to protect the area was made possible by the Bertarelli Foundation, the Geneva-based family foundation of Dona, Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli.
Minutes from over 70 named sites, the Blackbird dive-masters are able to give our guests a wide choice of dive and snorkel experiences to enjoy on our 3 daily dive and 2 daily snorkel trips.
Belize is home to a sub-species of the West Indian manatee, one of four living species of manatees. The other three are the West African manatee, the Amazonian manatee and the dugong. The West Indian manatee is divided into two species, Florida & Antillean. Manatees thrive in warm waters due to its slow metabolism. Because of year-round Caribbean waters, the Antillean manatee does not need to migrate as the Floridian manatee does when the temperature drops below 86 degrees.
In the US, West Indian manatees are protected under federal law by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Florida species specifically have suffered human-related injury or death due to pollution, boating accidents and ingestion of fish hooks, litter and monofilament line. The Antillean manatee found in Belize has suffered less due to lesser population of watercraft, however, it is listed as endangered under Belize’s Wildlife Protection Act of 1981.
An adult manatee averages 10 feet in length and weighs between 800-1200 pounds. These slow-moving, gentle creatures spend their time eating, traveling or resting in shallow waters. Manatees are herbivores; munching on seagrass and other plant life, resembling cows that graze for much of the day on land, bestowing upon them the nickname “sea cow”. Since manatees are mammals they must surface for air. When exerting energy eating or playing, this could be as often as every 30 seconds, or when resting they can remain submerged for up to 20 minutes.
Having no known natural enemies, they may live as long as 60 years and generally travel solo. Females mature at around five years and give birth every two to five years to usually one calf, who is born measuring two to four feet and weighing between 6o-70 pounds. They stay with mommy up to three years before moving on their own.
In the past, manatees were often mistaken for mermaids by the first Europeans to discover them. However, upon getting a closer look, they were disappointed to discover they were not quite the alluring, mysterious half-woman, half-fish creatures of mythical fairytales.
Seeing and filming one of these intriguing creatures is a rare treat and our very own Divemaster Cardinal, who has been with us for over 5 years, has never spotted one. Many thanks to our guest Dave Runnalls who was able to capture this amazing footage last week during a dive trip to the Great Blue Hole! Please enjoy our video and be sure to learn more about the Belizean manatee by visiting Wildtracks, a non-profit organization formed in 1996 dedicated to “Conservation, Education & Research.”
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From white sand beaches, turquoise waters, unreal sunrises and sunsets to romantic seclusion from the real world, Blackbird has been a phenomenal destination for honeymooners and host to many weddings too! But, now there’s one more reason any honeymooner seeking a destination in Belize for their special time will find Blackbird on their list of choices.
In addition to the sheer beauty and romantic setting Blackbird offers on its own, the Oceanfront Suite comes with a plethora of extra amenities to really make it THE honeymooner’s dream come true in Belize.
- Enjoy breathtaking aerial views of arriving and departing the island of Blackbird in a privately chartered plane that is hired just for the couple
- Your own private jacuzzi sitting right over the ocean
- All diving and/or snorkeling activities at resort
- 3 Daily meals
- Private dinner in suite on evening of choice
- Welcome gift of red or white wine with a basket of season fruits
- One Bedroom (King bed) w/private bath
- Air Conditioning
- Patio and lounge chair area
- Plasma TV and DVD player
- Coffee, tea, and minibar
- Kitchen area & seating
- Outdoor Shower
The unique, exquisitely-appointed Oceanfront Suite is now available for 7 night stays for 2 guests at $8,000 USD.
To book this incredible suite of luxury and romance, please Contact Us or call 866-909-7333 today!
Even if you’re not honeymooning, our Oceanfront Suite is a great getaway spot for any couple – check out our own guests Jerry & Michelle giving their testimonial in this video:
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If you’ve been thinking about visiting Blackbird Caye Resort and discovering Belize’s best-kept secret then you may want to try your luck and enter our 2015 Summer contest to win a 7 night stay with us.
The rules are simple: Join our newsletter and that is it there is to it!
Your prize is for a 7 night stay at Blackbird between May 2, 2015 & August 29, 2015. The package includes accommodations, 3 daily meals, complimentary transfers on Wednesdays & Saturdays and kayaking right off our beautiful beach. Want to dive or snorkel? Blackbird guests can purchase activities at the resort a la carte as well. With 3 dives and 2 snorkel trips offered daily you are sure to be able to participate in the activity of your choice.
What’s not included:
Dive & snorkel equipment rentals
Optional Blue Hole diving/snorkeling trip: $200 US per person; leaves every Tuesday, weather permitting; requires a minimum of 6 guest
Marine Reserve fee of $40 US per person for those who go on the Blue Hole excursion
Resort tax: $4.50 per person, per day
Bar & grill menu
Contest ends February 28, 2015 and one lucky winner will be announced in March 2015. So, enter now and good luck!
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Come join our Belize Island Resort for an epic Belize Vacation Package! Guests from across the globe rave about our luxurious accommodations and marvel at our Ocean wonders! Learn more about the area as explained by Tierney Thys, National Geographic Expedition Leader, Marine Biologist and Filmmaker.
The National Geographic Expedition groups travel to the ends of the earth to places where the guests can experience cultural tours, safaris and journeys to the world’s most astonishing places. This year we are proud to know that the trip to Blackbird Caye Resort was the #1 expedition booked and the #1 to sell out of all the student expeditions offered worldwide.
Teirney found the area of Turneffe Atoll to be an excellent balance between an aquatic resource for first timers as well as for experts alike. She also explains that the area is rich in adventure and that the pristine waters and bountiful marine at Blackbird Caye Resort create the perfect conditions for many species to survive and thrive in these waters. As a marine biologist she feels ecstatic seeing the youth wanting to get involved in learning how to help in the preservation of the ocean and how they want to understand more about its importance in relation to our existence on earth. It is through further understanding of the ocean and marine life that we can ensure it will remain a resource for future generations.
We are all aware that not only climate changes affect our oceans but that there are other problems offsetting its balance such as pollution, acidification, lack of fish, desertification, and global warming, but Teirney found the area where our Belize Resort is to be a shot of adrenaline to a previously dismal outlook. The area of Turneffe where Blackbird Caye Resort is located plays home to many ocean studies and research. There are routine reef audits, dolphin research by the Oceanic Society, and many more projects aimed at preserving our natural resources. Belize is playing an important role by taking ownership & pride in being part of the solution for conserving the World’s Oceans for future generations. The ocean is the vascular system of the Earth and brings life to all of its inhabitants. Turneffe, Belize has been making excellent progress with coral coverage and we have tracked reduction in the algae population from previous levels. This progress is bringing new hope to Belize and is a model for other oceanic communities.
The staff and dive masters at Blackbird Caye Resort are professional and highly knowledgeable. Their level of expertise provided the expedition group leaders of these expeditions with a break so they could enjoy the area and relax while the students discover an amazing world underneath all its beauty. Blackbird Caye Resort is located in one of the most amazing natural habitats in the world and provides divers with endless wonders to enjoy.
Call Blackbird Caye today for your next Belize Resort Experience. We offer the best Belize Packages, Adventures, and family vacations. Most people visit us for Belize Diving and Belize Snorkeling, but you’re welcome to relax on the beach and disconnect from the rat race, take it easy; if that’s what you’re looking for.
5 things we can do to help the endangered American Crocodile.
The American Crocodile was officially discovered and documented in 1807 and named Crocodylus acutus. However, many thought the species to be an alligator — after much deliberation it was finally categorized as a crocodile 1822.
Off the endangered species list
Although the American Crocodile was officially taken off of the endangered list in 2007, and downgraded to a “threatened” species, it remains protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Therefore, it is still illegal to “harass, poach or kill” them.
For those of you with a passion for conservationism, ask the people in charge of the Belize resort that you are staying at to direct you to a local chapter of organizations listed below, that are dedicated to helping the American Crocodile remain off of the endangered list.
The crocodiles are in their element within Turneffe Atoll’s thick foliage. As the largest atoll in the western hemisphere, Turneffe comprises nearly 150 islands and is covered in the largest mangrove system in Belize — perfect for the American crocodile.
Adopt your own Croc
Below, are some exciting activities you can participate in, in order to help this animal while you are in Belize.
1. Sponsor a crocodile: By sending a donation of as little as $10/month, you will be helping a rescued, injured and/or abused American Crocodile with first-class vet care such as food, vitamins and medical follow-ups, as well as the maintenance of its natural habitat.
2. “Adopt-A-Croc”: For as little as $100 yearly, you are able to adopt your own American Crocodile. You will receive your personalized Adoption Certificate in conjunction with quarterly updates regarding the progress of your crocodile. You will automatically receive the title of “Croc-Crusader” and receive email updates concerning the latest research available and being conducted, plus information related to your “child”.
3. The “Rouge-Croc “Benefactor: Your donation of 5K, or more will provide you with the opportunity to have a habitats/sanctuaries named after you, with your name denoted on a plaque. Also, you will get to enjoy your very own “Croc Day”, where you may take family and friends for them to become familiarized with the work being performed within your habitat. For additional benefits refer to ACES, below.
4. Immediately report to the local authorities anyone that you come across poaching an animal, or if you come across a dead crocodile
5. Immediately report to the local authorities anyone you come across that is selling the skull, teeth or any other parts of an American Crocodile.
Lastly, you may contact any of the organizations, listed below, to donate money. Note that all financial donations are tax deductible.
Known as the Crocodylus acutus
Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI):
A Florida-based non-profit organization, which is primarily involved with the conservation and assistance of the American Crocodile in Florida. Contact them and find out how you may help out American Crocodiles in Belize. http://myfwc.com
Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWNC):
This organization assists in the rehabilitation of crocodiles and release of the American Crocodile which have been harmed, hurt or mistreated, as well as with other animals. It is a non-profit organization which is able to do great work with financial support via membership fees, sponsorships, grants and fundraisings. http://www.wildlifebelize.com
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