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Dive Review of Blackbird Resort in
Belize/Turneffe Atoll, Lighthouse Ree

Blackbird Resort: "Turneffe Atoll and Day trip to Lighthouse Reef", Dec, 2019,

by S D Jackson, UT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 11394 has 3 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report


Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Blackbird Resort (BBR) is sited on Blackbird Caye which is a small island that is part of Turneffe Atoll. It is under new ownership and management who is investing in nice new cabanas, equipment, etc. They have assembled a new impressive team related to the resort and boatdive crew, -all experienced, skilled, with a warm and friendly attitude.

Bugs in this area can be a real problem, but were very mild during our visit. The cabanas are very comfortable with potable water, hot showers, and plenty of electrical outlets for camera gear, etc. The food was very good and plentiful. The bar and staff were a hoot, and the drinks were well crafted, affordable and had some kick to them.

Now to why we came, the diving. Most of the diving around Turneffe is wall, semi-wall, or the top of the wall diving. BBR drift dives these sites and the crew manages this with ease. The boats are new(er), clean and comfortable with very good to excellent crews. I don't recognize the brand but have seen similar in other parts of Belize. Good sized, with a side giant stride entry with a return ladder. All of the dive sites with the exception of the day trip to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse reef are within 5-15 minutes from the resort.

The resort includes three dives a day with their packages. Meet on the dock ready to dive at 8a, 11a, and 2:30p. Surface intervals are at the resort, including an longer one for the lunch hour. The dive routine is very nice and overall you could call it concierge diving, the dive and boat crew handles virtually every thing. We dived 23 dives. The tanks are new aluminum 80's. The nitrox for the week was at 32%.

The diving is typical very good Caribbean diving. Lots of variety of coral and tall coral structure with white sand on top of the reef. They have recently had a bleaching incident which has hit their hard corals. It was sad to see and was a distraction for a couple of days on most every dive.

During the trip we saw large eagle rays on most every dive. Sting rays and rough tail rays were common. XLarge white spotted file fish, hogfish, parrot fish were plentiful. All of the Caribbean tropicals, lobsters, eels, crabs were represented. The stars of the show were the spotted toad fish, burr fish, mating squid and many types of small crabs. We saw several nurse sharks around Turneffe, also.

The day trip to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef was easy and well thought out. We dived the the Blue Hole first, and after our safety stop dived Long Caye. We then visited Half Moon Caye and had a BBQ for lunch and finished our day diving their before heading back to BBR with a 4:30p arrival. The Blue Hole viz that day was poor but we did have a reasonably good dive to the stalactites, seeing a XL reef shark on our return to the boat. Our other two dives on LightHouse were exceptional, pristine coral reefs with plenty of wild life including the largest, inquisitive, 8'-10' grey reef sharks I have ever seen. Lighthouse Reef has some of the best diving in this hemisphere. Unfortunately, the two resorts there struggle and are poorly ran so BBR can be a good alternative.

Overall we had a great trip. Blackbird Resort has came back strong with a great team of professionals. The overall experience and value was very good and enjoyable. We had a great trip.



Websites Blackbird Resort   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Costa Rica, Hawaii, Cozumel, Isla Mujures, Akumal, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Grand Cayman, BVI, Utila, Roatan, Belize, Glover's Atoll, Lighthouses Atoll, Turneffe Atoll, West Palm, Puerto Rico, St Martin, Florida, Hawaii, Saba, Statia, Bonaire, Grenada, Tobago, GBR, Coral Sea
Closest Airport Belize City Getting There Houston or Miami to Belize City, boat transfer or small plane charter to Blackbird Caye

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 70-150 Ft/ 21-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 60-65 minutes total time, stay in eye shot of DM
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments New large fresh water tub was provided. Crew was sensitive and careful with equipment. Charging was handled in own cabanas with plenty of 110v outlets and tables.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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