Visiting Sarteneja in Northern Belize
Located in the far north of the country in Belize’s Corozal District, Sarteneja is officially the country’s largest village with approximately 4,500 inhabitants. From a Mayan name meaning “water between the rocks,” the village has several freshwater wells. First settled by the Maya more than 2,600 years ago, today the village is home to a mixture of Mexican migrants from the nearby Yucatan peninsula, expats from North America, and descendants of the ancient Maya.
Why You Have to Visit Sarteneja Belize on Your Vacation
Due to Sarteneja’s position on the Bay of Corozal, it is the only place in Belize where you can watch the sun set over water. Still the home of fisherman and lobstermen, the village is also renowned for its artisan boatbuilders. Another important local industry is pineapple farming.
Where in Belize Is it Located?
When is the Best Time to Visit Sarteneja Belize
While a visit to Sarteneja is rewarding at any time of the year, the village has a special celebration on November 1 and 2. Called “All Souls’ Day” in English and “Dia de los Muertos” in Spanish, November 1 is the day when the villagers of Sarteneja say special prayers and leave food out in the belief that deceased children have crossed over and become angels and will return to visit their relatives and loved ones. The following day is marked by prayers and food offerings for adult family members who have died, with each relative’s favorite dish being prepared in order to welcome them back for their brief visit.
Best Way to Get to Sarteneja Belize
Tourism is only starting to discover Sarteneja so there aren’t many connections to this remote village. From Orange Walk Town, it’s about an hour or so over smaller roads to traverse the 40 miles to the village of Sarteneja. You can also arrive by water taxi (Thunderbolt Water Taxi) from either Corozal or Ambergris Caye.
Best Way to Experience Sarteneja Belize
With gorgeous beaches, pristine water and a protected ecosystem, Sarteneja is an ideal destination for anyone who wants to enjoy swimming, birdwatching or fishing. As the only location in Belize in which to observe the sun set over water, it’s worth a trip to Sarteneja just to experience this magnificent sight.