About the property
- Lodge1200 sqft
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay4 nights
Single island with main house (2 bedrooms) and cabana. Internet/phone service.
Stay on your very own in a beautiful location inside one of Belize's finest atolls (6 miles from the mainland) in a comfortable setting, and with excellent swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and exploring just outside your door. Bird Island has been featured in many national & international publications; it was the opening act in Airbnb's 'Like This, Live There' ad campaign. It is best described by the reviews left by the many past Airbnb guests. For full information please see the 'Notes' below.
The central theme of Bird Island is a self-catering Robinson Crusoe type of adventure, for those wanting to be on their own without anyone else (no staff), just be with their loved one, family or group of dear friends. Bird Island is offered at an exceptional price for such a unique experience and is best suited for the self-reliant in nature and are most interested in doing their own thing at their leisure in ~true~ total privacy.
Want to get-away from it all, even for the shortest of time, then this is the place. Want to go swimming or snorkeling in crystal clear water in a beautiful unspoiled reef, you will be surrounded by one. Want to grab a fishing rod and cast to cruising feeding fish, the atoll around the island is considered one of the best for it.
Bird Island also tends to have exceptional weather, always cool even during summer months. You will also not encounter any of the notorious sand flies or mosquitoes in Bird Island that tends to plague the mainland and most other islands most of the year; it was hand-filled to achieve that important objective.
After spending time at Bird Island, even for the shortest of time, you will feel like you have done something truly special.
Important Added Information. (Updated May 7th, 2018)
#1- Getting to Placencia from Belize City:
By Shuttle: Belize Shuttles and Transfers (011-501-288-6671); approximately $60 per person (each way); meet you at the airport. 3-hour ride.
By Air: (Maya or Tropic Air) $135 USD each way per person / 40 minute flight. Fastest way.
By Rental Car: between $90 - $125 USD a day; roughly 3.5 hour drive. (Note: If driving on your own please drive via the town of Belmopan, not the coastal road which is still not paved).
By Taxi : $300 USD each way by SUV (4 people); $350 USD by van (6 people).
**Regardless of mode of travel, please let us know your itinerary, so we can help with overall coordination.**
#2- The trip from Placencia Village to Bird Island is included in the booking price. We meet at 1pm, at the M&M Hardware boat dock/gas station , which is in the rear of its large parking lot. M&M is in the middle of town, close to everything. It is extremely helpful for you to do let us know if pick up needs to be later than 1pm. (Please note: this dock is different than the new town dock which is at the very end town.)
#3- Length of stay: We have a minimum stay of 4 days, maximum 5 days . From experience we have learned that 4-5 days is about perfect, easy to plan for and eliminates the need to have to come back into town at all during your stay, though that option is of course available. Longer stays available upon special request. When booking, it helps us tremendously if one picks days adjacent to already blocked days.
#4- Sleeping accommodations: The island's has three buildings; the main house which has a master bedroom with a queen-size bed with all amenities. The 2nd building is a new over-the-water, totally self-contained cabana, also with queen-sized bed and also with all amenities. The 3rd building is a second cabana with a double-size bed, desk, etc, but no bathroom. The island is geared towards 4 people, though can accommodate up to six (6) people depending on group composition.
#5 - Extra Guests: Because of the new additions to the island, bringing extra guests is now an easy option. Upon booking, if you are not sure how many extra guests there will be, perhaps it is best to book only 2, but change your reservation with Airbnb as you get closer to actual arrival. Only children under 5 years old are free.
#6 - Side tours while staying in the island: there are two side tours we highly recommend while staying in Bird Island with pick up is at the island itself.
The first one is our 'Smogasbord' trip ($200 first 4 people/ $50 per person beyond 4) for fishing, snorkeling and lobstering, best done during your first day since you will catch plenty of fish that will last you the rest of your stay; our guests simply have loved this type of adventure since they will also learn how to do it on their own around the Bird Island atoll.
The second tour is traveling to the main Barrier Reef (2nd largest in the world) for either snorkeling and/or diving (cost varies), which we can arrange for you with a local outfit and this can be done even after you arrive and are already staying in the island.
#7 - Exclusivity. Yes, when you book Bird Island, we do not mean privately owned, but that you will have the whole Island all to yourself in ~total~ privacy with a no-tan-line personal option.
#8 - Cancellation Policy. We are under and do follow Airbnb's Super Strict 60 policy.
#9 - Wading slipper-type shoes. The island is surrounded by hard sand flats and within 100 feet by live coral; bringing soft shoes that cover your toes and ankle are a good thing to have when walking about. There are many pairs in the island that may fit you, but no guarantee to do so.
#10 - Snorkeling equipment: Bring your own or you can rent them locally on the way to the island. Yes, the island does have many sets however.
#11 - Fishing equipment: The island is usually surrounded by constant marauding schools of fish (jacks, snappers, etc) feeding around it. Best to bring (or rent) your own equipment and a few small (1") silver spoons if fishing. If want to do bottom fishing, you should get shrimp bait when food shopping. The island now has a new fishing dock.
#12 - Food: Bird Island is a self-catering scenario so plan to bring enough meats, vegetable and drinks (and liquor) for your stay. The island however, does have a very well-stocked kitchen with a myriad of condiments such as cake mixes, flour, rice, spices, oils, paper towels, garbage bags, etc., so you are not required to think of every little thing. Close by where we take off for the island while in Placencia, there are excellent food store (Ming's) and vegetable stands. Food shopping is a very simple step and can be left for last moment.
#13 - Refrigeration: The island has a new propane refrigerator with a fair-size freezer. It has ice trays. Bringing at least one bag of ice is never a bad idea.
#14 - Water: The island has a well-filtered rain-water system for all general uses. However, we still provide purified drinking water for drinking. Meaning no need to worry about bringing water.
#15 - Communication. A local phone is at the island so you can call local numbers. The island has very good and reliable WiFi.
#16 - Power. The island runs on solar-power and has a wind generator; so no noisy generator. There is a new whisper-quiet Generac IQ2000 generator available to run during cloudy days, if needed. The island is not equipped at present to accommodate the usage of exceptionally high-power items such as hair dryers or air conditioners.
#17 - Boating. There are two single-person kayaks, knee boards and inner tube to cruise the atoll that surrounds it.
#18 - Sun Tan Lotion and Bug Spray. Remember, it is the tropics; the best type of suntan lotion is one of a high Block Factor, either lotion or spray type. As to bugs (i.e. sand flies), Bird Island just doesn't tend to have them, unlike the mainland or most other Cayes, but on rare extremely calm, still days they ~may~ come momentarily over from other nearby islands.
#19 - Places to stay in mainland: We suggest Cozy Corner, the closest from where we take off, and easiest to visit local shops from. Sea Spray, Ranguana Lodge are also good choices. A more upscale and still 'in town' option is Chabil Mar. All of the above are right on the Placencia beach. Staying well away from town up the peninsula oftentimes requires transportation.
#20 - General weather pattern:
January-June 15th: is considered the 'dry season'.
June 15th-July 15th: the first seasonal rains tend to occur.
July 15th-September 15th: usually is very nice weather, interrupted by the occasional 30-minute passing thunderstorm.
September 15th-October 30th: the second seasonal rains tend to occur.
November 1st-December 30th daily scattered thunderstorms here and there but great weather in long stretches between them.
(Please note that weather in Belize tends to be pleasant, specially at Bird Island which is in a rain shadow and inside an atoll, so its surrounding waters stay clear even when windy. Weather. needless to say, we could never guarantee, so the above is only a rough guide.
Last Note: Bird Island is always undergoing improvements each year. In 2016 we added new decks, a fishing dock and the new observatory overlooking the atoll, which guests have welcomed. Last year (2017) we did the new walkways and an added over-the-water, totally self-contained cabana (16ft x16ft). This year (2018) we already added a new fishing dock and will be adding many more additions and improvements, such as a true beach and an adjacent island.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within one day
- english, spanish
- Calendar last updated:
- May 24, 2018
About Fred Arbona
Retired not from work, but from the maddening crowd. Came to Belize in 2010. Started Bird Island in 2013. Military Service: Vietnam Era. Then traveled throughout Central and South America for 2 years, always thought I would be back. Went to Cornell University for 5 years. Lived in Sun Valley, ID area for 7 years and then in Prescott, AZ for 23 years until 2010. My two main hobbies have been fly fishing and bird hunting with my beloved English Setters which I had the supreme honor of having for three generations encompassing 37 years.
Fred Arbona purchased this Lodge in 2011
Why Fred Arbona chose Belize
A unique experience. Where else can you find the experience of staying in your own island, at such an affordable price.
What makes this Lodge unique
No need to go on special tours, you can snorkel or fish right out your door.
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 1:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
What an amazing expirence!!! We stayed for 4 nights & 5 days for our 10 year anniversary, at the beginning of September. I have an obsession with the beautiful and amazing country of Belize and my husband knows it all too well. He chose this island, knowing how much I would love it!! Fred is super helpful and will answer any questions you may have.
The island is absolutely amazing. Beautiful clear water, surrounds the entire island, you can see schools of small fish, trumpet fish and star fish right from the edge. If you like to be in the water make sure you bring snorkel gear, there is PLENTY to see!! The kayaks are super fun!
The house has all the basics you will need. You will have to cook your own meals, but it is all worth it with the spectacular views that are right at your feet. This is not a 5 star hotel with all the amenities, the house is somewhat basic and electricity and water conservation is a must. (But honestly if you are spending all of you time in the house, something is wrong with you.)
The stars at night are endless, and the illuminating plankton are magical. The nights were very windy and were a little hard getting used to. The doors and windows stayed open to keep the breeze coming in, which felt a little weird, but if you close everything, it gets warm fast. Overall it was the most perfect gift and expirence I could have asked for!!! If you are adventurous and don't expect fancy amenities, you will LOVE Bird Island!
Book it, you won't regret it.
My family of 4 traveled through Central America for a month. Bird Island was our last stop before heading home. After being gone a month, I figured we would all be ready to come home, but none of us wanted to leave the island. My sons are 5 and 9 and I didn't have to worry about being surrounded by ocean because the reef around the island was shallow enough for my 5 year old to stand in. The snorkeling around the island was great, and kayaking to other islands was enjoyable and challenging! We stayed in 8 different homes during our month away, and Fred had thought of everything to make his guests comfortable. We couldn't believe how well he stocked the kitchen, when he says all you need is meat and produce, he's not kidding. This island was truly an experience of a lifetime.
Can we give it more than 5 stars????
I am not sure that I can choose one word to describe Bird Island. I can say that this is a beautiful place, it's an amazing place, it's peaceful, and it was an experience of a lifetime! We've traveled to many amazing places and I'm not sure that anything can top this one. What Fred has created and shares with many, words cannot describe. I hope to return one day. The entire booking process was seamless and Fred answered all of my annoying questions quickly. He went above and beyond, helping me upon our return to land. He has a wealth of knowledge and shares it openly. The accommdations were perfect. Sitting on the deck each night watching the stars as well as the glow in the dark fish was great. Cayaking and paddle boating and snorkeling all day and alone...who could ask for anything more? I'm sure that others who have stayed would agree that Bird Island has a permanent place in our hearts and memories. This place is great for the soul!
Beautiful and relaxing, just perfect for us.
I can't imagine a better place to be. The little island was perfect for us because it was just the two of us! Fred had the kitchen stocked, we got fresh fruits and veggies in Placencia before we left. The breezes off the water was awesome. We snorkeled, kayaked, and mostly hung out in the hammocks enjoying the beautiful scenes that God put in front of us day after day. We truely enjoyed this trip and Fred wad so much help before answering all our questions. If I could give it more than five stars I would! Hope to someday return to "our" little island.
So relaxing . . .
Home for 4 days now and still basking in the relaxing glow of this fantastic vacation. The island is perfect. Peaceful, tranquil, private - with wonderful activities at your fingertips. Fishing, kayaking and snorkeling kept us busy several times a day. We loved being able to hop in the kayak, paddle a short way, and snorkel in some of the most beautiful coral reefs. We enjoyed watching the sunsets from the rooftop deck, gazing at the moon and stars from the hammocks, and drinking coffee on the deck watching the sunrise.
This trip was spontaneous! I read an article about Bird Island and immediately said "I want to go there!" I grabbed the first dates I could find available. Best decision ever.
Fred is a wonderful host and rightfully proud of his island. He will take good care of you. We enjoyed getting to know you, Fred. Thank you for the "island tour" and for great conversation. Hoping to return soon . . .
Susan and Mark
It is guests like you that make hosting so much fun and to do try harder. BTW, I got a new idea that will be implemented on June 15th: I will build a saltwater swimming pool in front of island (east side) and a small beach sandy beach leading into it. Subconsciously I think I got the idea from us 3 visiting that other island. Till you get to see that new beach/pool in Bird Island, safe travels.
Best Vacation We've Had In A Long Time!
We heard about Bird Island from an article we read about renting an entire island for yourself - and we just couldn't believe the price - so we sent an email to Fred to find out details - and ended up booking a week on his island - it just sounded like a lot of fun. Fred did not disappoint - we had the best time and were totally delighted with our stay on Bird Island - Fred thought of everything and made our stay there so relaxing and so much fun! Since it was just my wife and I, we really felt like we were in some movie about living on a deserted island - except we didn't need to worry about finding food or drink - it was just a fantastic 6 days and 5 nights that we spent on the island. We went snorkeling and kayaking - and all the equipment was right there on the island - no need to rent anything! Relaxing in the hammocks and just enjoying the sense of being alone and not hearing any traffic or seeing any people (except an occasional boat that would wander by) ... We'll definitely be back again - maybe stay for 2 weeks next time ... it certainly ranks up there with our favorite vacations of all time - it was everything we were hoping for - and more! Thank you, Fred!
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
Bring your own food, just the basics, items such as meats, vegetables and drinks. Everything else is on the island. There are many places to shop for food on the mainland, quite close to where we take off for the island.