A map of Sarteneja
A Creative Commons creation from Openbelize.net created by ED with free open source softwares only.
Facts about Sarteneja
Sarteneja was originally a Maya village, squeezed between jungle and sea. It’s now mainly populated with the descendants from the Mestizos from the Yucatan, who repopulated the area after the Cast War.
Sarteneja is a peaceful traditional fishermen community, unspoiled by mass-tourism or real estate development. This healthy environment between the bay that gives resources and the forest (where are the milpas = gardens) offer protection to the people of Sarteneja socially strongly connected.
nAccessible by bus and by boat Sarteneja is out of the main path and that’s why it’s still peaceful.
A quick look of what to do in Sarteneja really easy with this quick map of Sarteneja.
- Shipstern Nature Reserve
- Visit the boat builders
- Kayak rental
- Mayan ruins, cenote, caves…
To support Wildtracks Manatee Rehabilitation Programme a donation is recommended for the visit. Thank you.
The printable version is available at our restaurant and you can download it for your board: Designed by ED @ bluegreenbelize.org under Creative Commons License. Share it but don’t modify it as a JPG. Contact ED for source file, thanks.
File here in JPG format; click right button to download it.
Culture of an ancient Maya settlement.
Here an excellent description of Sarteneja from the document ‘‘Sarteneja Tourism Development plan” written by Zoe Walker from Wildtracks for the SACD:
”Sarteneja, with a resident population estimated at approximately 1,800, is the largest fishing village in Belize…The name is derived from the Yucatec Maya “Tzaten‐a‐Ha”, which is thought to translate as “water in the rock”.
The community was first established by the Maya, and is thought to have flourished between 600BC and 1200AD, covering the entire Classic period of Maya history. The village is built on the site of a large Maya settlement, and signs of the past Maya culture can be found everywhere. In the late 1980’s an archaeological study carried out in Sarteneja
demonstrated that the area was once a prosperous, active, post‐classical seaport.
It is believed that Sarteneja may have held as many as 300‐400 ancient structures, with the site core being located 0.5 to 1.0km from the shoreline*. The architecture shows a strong Yucatec Maya influence, seen in rounded cornerstones, and carved limestone columns. The Maya are thought to have been attracted to the area by the salt pans, and the fisheries, both used as a source of income. The presence of object from non‐local resources ‐ obsidian and flint, jade and metates carved from volcanic rock, also suggest that this was a centre for long distance and regional trading, being an important stop‐over point for merchants and travellers. The area was a cross roads for people travelling between Mexico, the reef, and the Corozal region., suggest trading links with Maya from other areas.”
literally unique in Belize because of the activity of boat building which remains the last in all Central America.
Read here about Sustainable Wooden Boat building here.
More than 400 pictures of boat building in the Gallery:
Sarteneja Easter Regatta
The biggest event in Sarteneja, the annual Easter Regatta, visit the
page about this unique festival of sails.
More than 500 pictures of the regatta in the Gallery:
Here a watercolor from Jacques
Bon french sailor around the world…
Active NGOs in Sarteneja
Blue ventures is a new NGO that arrived in Sarteneja in 2010?. They managed the Lion Fish project with other NGOs in Belize.
Accommodations in town
We encourage the Homestay Program in Sarteneja with the SACD and promote local initiatives in tourism.
Phone: 669-4911 or 423-2677 Email : email@example.com
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Few words about the geographical situation…
We are not talking about art now…
Sarteneja is in the North of Belize on the Chetumal Bay.
The most important thing people need to know about this situation is that the Chetumal bay is an estuary, in fact the most important in Central America.
That means the water is a mixed of fresh water from the rivers of Yucatan and salted water from the Caribbean Sea.
Consequently the water is different than the sea, and the shore is different than a “sea front”. Of course, the real estate business will not reveal any difference.
For us, there is a big difference; speculators are only a few, mangrove is not so marketing. In fact, this estuary save us ! Protect it !
Thanks also for the active work for conservation that does Wildtracks, a remarkable and renowned NGO fighting for protection of the natural environment since more than 20 years in the area. Find more about Wildtracks activities here.
On the extreme opposite we find this holding that is active (clearing forest and water front, destroying the biodiversity) between Sarteneja and Corozal. This is funny but pathetic: yes, they are speculating with golf courses… (original web page)
The Company believes that costs would be reduced by the availability of roads and expected water and sewage system from the neighboring
development. The expected increased exposure of Punta Alegre combined with the anticipated addition of amenities like hotels and golf courses may cause average lot prices to increase by 30%. The Punta Alegre development is expected to contain 350 home sites and 250 condominium units.
Thousand of pictures !
Some pictures of Sarteneja
Photo : Yves
Photo : Yves Nardini
Video from the SACD, fisherman association, Tourism guide association and blue venture
We support “One Week in Parajuru” a ”film that denounce the tragic consequences of mass tourism, orchestrated by an Austrian group, in a small traditional fishermen village in the north-east of Brazil.”
You see in this story that big money can’t do good things for the community. Big money only do more money for the rich.
*Belize – Mother Nature’s Secret NO MORE, article from the Reporter,
one of the Belizean newspaper (support UDP or actual government).