Arrival in the Fishing Village of Sarteneja, Belize – First Impressions

So, it’s EARLY Saturday morning and I am in the small village of Sarteneja – the coast of the Belize mainland.

How did I get here you may (or may not) ask?  It was actually quite easy…



The Thunderbolt water taxi leaves every day from San Pedro at 3pm going to Sarteneja (4:30pm) and then Corozal (5pm).  It returns leaving Corozal at 7am.  I boarded the boat on the lagoon side of San Pedro town and we were off.

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For some reason this emergency exit sign cracks me up.

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A $90bzd round trip ticket purchased right on the boat.

You can see my basic route above on the map…I drew a red line.


An hour and a half later, we pulled up at the big cement municipal dock.  The fishing fleet, for the most part, was out to sea.  Lobster season.

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First thing that struck me is that the village is NO WHERE near as small as I thought it would be.  It’s actually quite sprawling with a handful of bars sprinkled along the water, lots of kids and adults swimming in the late afternoon sunshine, a super market, a party store and at least six churches.  2000 people all together and a growing expat population…drawn by the lower prices, the accessibility to the sea, the proximity to Corozal and the Mexico border (SHOPPING) and perhaps more…I have yet to find out.

Sarteneja is known for fishing and for the building of wooden boats.  Some gorgeous sail boats have been made here.  I didn’t see any building but I saw boats everywhere…



A very cute little restaurant just at the foot of the dock.  Everything is so green here…



An upstairs bar overlooking the shore line.  Not much going on…

IMG_7592Tour Guide Association.  Quiet also.

IMG_7593Some of the property for sale leaves something to be desired…


But most of what I’ve seen is absolutely lovely.


There are a few very impressive houses built by expats like this Sarteneja mansion on the sea.


And lots of empty space.

IMG_7603We took a ride to the main street and the community center where this weekend’s dog and cat clinic will take place.  I rode in the back of a pick up truck because, well, that’s how I roll in Sarteneja.

There is a guest house…I need to make some time to visit for sure.  Oasis Guest House.

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1946.  I’m not sure there was much in San Pedro at that time.IMG_7606

We passed the garbage truck.  Really…this woman and her horse do the garbage collection in town.


The small high school…


And then, a lot or two off the beach, my friends beautiful house…


And then right next door, this huge house.   One that is primarily used as a rental (FIVE bedrooms and $700US a month!) but was donated for the weekend for the visiting vets and assistants.


And the view from the roof top swing.  Sarteneja is a tad bit disorienting for me.  In most of Belize, the sun rises over the sea and sets over the land or lagoon.

Here in Sarteneja?  The sun sets over the sea…THIS is going to take some getting used to.

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Time to get moving…the vet clinic set-up starts EARLY.  7am to be exact and right now the emergency revolves around coffee…


Must get moving!

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