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Hostel Review: Backpacker’s Paradise, Sarteneja


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Modesty Pedroza



Welcome to our hostel review series, where we explore hidden gems around the world that cater to backpackers and budget travelers. In this edition, we’re heading to the coastal town of Sarteneja, a backpacker’s paradise nestled in the heart of Belize. This charming destination offers a laid-back atmosphere, breathtaking natural beauty, and a range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts.


Sarteneja, located on the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, boasts stunning beaches, pristine mangroves, and a vibrant coral reef system. It’s an ideal destination for travelers seeking tranquility, adventure, and cultural immersion. Whether you’re a solo traveler looking to make new friends or a group searching for an off-the-beaten-path escape, Sarteneja has something to offer for everyone.


One of the standout features of Sarteneja is its diverse range of accommodations, including several hostels that cater specifically to backpackers. These hostels provide affordable and comfortable lodging options, making it the perfect base for exploring all that Sarteneja has to offer. In this review, we’ll take a closer look at one of the top-rated hostels in Sarteneja, highlighting its location, accommodation options, facilities, activities, and more.


So, grab your backpack, put on your adventure hat, and get ready to explore this backpacker’s paradise in Sarteneja!



Perched along the azure waters of the Caribbean Sea, Sarteneja is a coastal town located in the Corozal District of Belize. Situated approximately two hours north of Belize City, this sleepy fishing village offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The town’s remote location adds to its charm, as it remains relatively untouched by mass tourism.


Surrounded by pristine natural wonders, Sarteneja offers breathtaking scenery and abundant opportunities for outdoor adventures. The town is nestled between the dense expanse of the Shipstern Nature Reserve and the expansive Chetumal Bay, providing a unique blend of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems.


One of the main draws of Sarteneja is its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This world-renowned reef system is teeming with vibrant coral reefs, diverse marine life, and magnificent underwater caves. Travelers can embark on snorkeling or scuba diving excursions to explore this underwater wonderland, or simply unwind on the pristine beaches that line the coast.


In addition to its natural beauty, Sarteneja is also rich in cultural heritage. The town is home to a vibrant community of Mestizo and Maya people, who proudly preserve their traditions and customs. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture by participating in traditional ceremonies, visiting indigenous villages, or sampling delicious Belizean cuisine.


When it comes to reaching Sarteneja, the most common route is by land from Belize City. There are regular bus services that connect the two destinations, with a journey time of approximately two hours. For those looking for a more scenic route, water taxis are available from Belize City to Sarteneja, providing a picturesque journey along the coast.


Overall, Sarteneja’s idyllic location offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and tranquility, making it the perfect destination for backpackers seeking an off-the-beaten-path experience.



When it comes to accommodation options in Sarteneja, backpackers are in for a treat. The town offers a variety of hostels that cater specifically to budget travelers, ensuring a comfortable and affordable stay. One of the top-rated hostels in Sarteneja is Beachside Backpackers, known for its welcoming atmosphere and cozy accommodations.


Beachside Backpackers offers a range of room options to suit different preferences and budgets. For those traveling on a tight budget, dormitory-style rooms are available with comfortable bunk beds and shared bathroom facilities. These dorms foster a social atmosphere, allowing guests to connect with fellow travelers and share their experiences.


For those seeking a bit more privacy, private rooms with en-suite bathrooms are also available. These rooms are well-appointed and provide a cozy sanctuary after a day of exploration. They come equipped with all the necessary amenities to ensure a comfortable stay for guests.


The hostel itself is situated just steps away from the beach, offering stunning ocean views and soothing sea breezes. Guests can unwind in the common areas or relax in the hammocks, soaking in the peaceful ambiance. The communal kitchen provides a convenient space for guests to prepare their meals, saving money on dining expenses.


One of the standout features of staying at Beachside Backpackers is the warm and friendly staff. The hostel’s team goes above and beyond to ensure that guests have a memorable experience during their stay. They are always ready to provide recommendations on local attractions, assist with travel arrangements, or organize group activities.


Overall, staying at Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja offers backpackers a comfortable and affordable accommodation option with a welcoming atmosphere. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group of friends, this hostel provides all the essential amenities and a prime location near the beach.



Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja is equipped with a range of facilities to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable stay for guests.


The hostel features a communal kitchen where guests can prepare their meals. This well-equipped kitchen includes cooking utensils, stoves, and refrigerators, providing a convenient space for backpackers to cook their own food. Not only does this help travelers save money on dining expenses, but it also allows them to enjoy home-cooked meals and experiment with local ingredients.


For those who prefer to relax and socialize, Beachside Backpackers offers various common areas where guests can unwind. The spacious lounge area provides comfortable seating and is the perfect spot to mingle with other travelers, exchange stories, and make new friends. Additionally, hammocks are available for guests to kick back and soak up the tropical vibes.


In terms of practical facilities, Beachside Backpackers offers laundry services for guests to freshen up their clothes during their stay. This convenience allows backpackers to pack lighter, knowing that they can easily wash their clothes when needed.


WiFi access is available throughout the hostel, ensuring that guests can stay connected with family and friends or plan their next adventures. This allows travelers to keep up with work, share their experiences on social media, or research local attractions.


For those traveling with their own vehicles, Beachside Backpackers provides parking space, giving peace of mind to guests who prefer to explore the surrounding areas with their transportation.


Overall, Beachside Backpackers offers a range of facilities that cater to the needs of budget travelers. From a communal kitchen and comfortable common areas to practical amenities like laundry services and WiFi access, the hostel ensures that guests have everything they need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Sarteneja.



Sarteneja is a destination that offers an array of exciting activities for backpackers to make the most of their time in this coastal town.


One of the main draws of Sarteneja is its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef. Backpackers staying at Beachside Backpackers can embark on snorkeling or scuba diving excursions to explore the vibrant coral reefs and encounter an incredible array of marine life. From colorful fish and sea turtles to majestic rays and even the elusive whale sharks (during the migration season), the underwater world of Sarteneja is a playground for nature enthusiasts.


For those who prefer to stay on land, Sarteneja offers opportunities for hiking and nature walks. The nearby Shipstern Nature Reserve provides a pristine setting for exploring the lush tropical rainforest, spotting various bird species, and immersing oneself in the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Guided tours are available for those who want to learn more about the local ecosystems and the importance of conservation.


Moreover, Sarteneja is known for its traditional fishing community, and visitors have the chance to experience the local way of life. Fishing trips can be organized, allowing guests to learn traditional fishing techniques and enjoy a day out on the water. This hands-on experience provides an immersive cultural experience and an insight into the livelihoods of the locals.


For those seeking adventure, Sarteneja also offers kayaking and paddleboarding opportunities. Travelers can explore the mangrove forests and navigate through calm waters, enjoying the serenity and beauty of their surroundings.


Aside from the natural wonders, Sarteneja hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, celebrating the local culture and traditions. Travelers may have the chance to witness traditional dances, music performances, or traditional ceremonies that showcase the vibrant heritage of the region.


Overall, Sarteneja offers an abundance of outdoor activities and cultural experiences for backpackers. Whether exploring the underwater world of the Belize Barrier Reef, hiking through the pristine nature reserves, or immersing in the local fishing culture, there is always something to keep visitors entertained and enthralled in this coastal haven.



The staff at Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja are renowned for their warm hospitality and exceptional service, making guests feel right at home during their stay.


From the moment guests arrive, the friendly and welcoming staff members go above and beyond to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. They provide a personalized level of customer service, taking the time to get to know each guest and catering to their individual needs.


The staff at Beachside Backpackers are local experts, well-versed in the best attractions, activities, and hidden gems in the area. They are always ready to provide recommendations and insider tips to help backpackers make the most of their time in Sarteneja. Whether it’s suggesting the best snorkeling spots, arranging transportation to nearby attractions, or recommending local eateries, the staff members are a valuable resource for guests seeking insider knowledge.


In addition to their knowledge, the staff members are also skilled at building a friendly and inclusive atmosphere within the hostel. They organize regular social events and activities, such as communal dinners or movie nights, where guests can gather and bond with each other. These initiatives create a sense of community and make Beachside Backpackers feel like a home away from home.


The staff members are also attentive to the cleanliness and maintenance of the hostel facilities. They ensure that the communal areas and guest rooms are well-maintained and cleaned regularly, providing a comfortable and pleasant environment for guests.


One of the standout aspects of Beachside Backpackers’ staff is their genuine passion for sharing their love for Sarteneja and Belize. They take pride in their homeland and are eager to share their knowledge and stories with guests, providing a deep connection to the local culture and heritage.


Whether it’s providing valuable recommendations, creating a sense of community, or offering exceptional service, the staff at Beachside Backpackers play a crucial role in ensuring a memorable and enjoyable stay in Sarteneja.



The atmosphere at Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja embodies the essence of a laid-back coastal paradise, making it a favorite choice among backpackers seeking a relaxed and friendly environment.


Upon entering the hostel, guests are greeted by a tranquil and welcoming ambiance. The sound of crashing waves and the gentle sea breeze create a sense of serenity, instantly putting visitors at ease. The hostel’s beachfront location adds to the overall ambiance, allowing guests to soak up the stunning views and enjoy the calming sounds of the ocean.


The communal areas at Beachside Backpackers are designed to foster social interaction and create connections between travelers. The spacious lounge and outdoor seating areas provide a comfortable space for guests to relax, share stories, and forge new friendships. Hammocks are also available, providing the perfect spot for some peaceful relaxation.


One of the defining features of the atmosphere at Beachside Backpackers is the sense of community. The friendly staff and like-minded travelers create a welcoming environment that encourages socializing and making lasting connections. Guests often gather for communal meals or participate in group activities organized by the staff, fostering a sense of camaraderie and a family-like atmosphere.


The atmosphere is further enhanced by the hostel’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendliness. Beachside Backpackers employs eco-conscious practices such as recycling, water conservation, and the use of renewable energy sources. This sustainable approach helps create a positive and responsible atmosphere, attracting environmentally-minded travelers who value sustainable practices.


Overall, the atmosphere at Beachside Backpackers is one of tranquility, friendliness, and camaraderie. It provides the perfect backdrop for backpackers seeking a relaxing escape where they can unwind, connect with like-minded travelers, and create lasting memories in the idyllic setting of Sarteneja.



When it comes to food, Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja offers a delightful culinary experience for its guests.


The hostel provides a communal kitchen where guests can prepare their meals, giving them the flexibility to cook according to their preferences and dietary restrictions. The well-equipped kitchen includes cooking utensils, stoves, and refrigerators, making it easy for backpackers to whip up their own delicious meals. This not only allows travelers to have a taste of home while on the road but also helps them save money on dining expenses.


In addition to the communal kitchen, Beachside Backpackers also offers delicious meals and snacks that can be purchased on-site. The hostel’s in-house restaurant provides a menu with a variety of dishes showcasing the flavors of Belize. From traditional stews and fresh seafood to tropical fruit smoothies and refreshing salads, the menu caters to different tastes and dietary preferences.


The focus at Beachside Backpackers is on using fresh and local ingredients in their dishes, ensuring a flavorful and authentic culinary experience. Backpackers have the chance to savor the vibrant flavors of Belizean cuisine and indulge in the country’s rich culinary heritage.


Furthermore, the hostel organizes communal dinners where guests can come together and share a meal. These dinners not only provide an opportunity to try a variety of dishes but also encourage a sense of community among travelers. Sharing food and stories create bonds and foster friendships among guests from different parts of the world.


For those who want to explore the local dining scene, Sarteneja also offers a few eateries where travelers can sample traditional Belizean dishes. From local street food stalls to small family-owned restaurants, visitors have the chance to experience the flavors of the town and engage with the local community.


Whether cooking in the communal kitchen, enjoying meals at the in-house restaurant, or exploring the local eateries, Beachside Backpackers ensures that backpackers have a memorable and satisfying culinary experience during their stay in Sarteneja.


Nearby Attractions

Sarteneja, although a small and peaceful coastal town, is surrounded by a plethora of attractions and natural wonders that are easily accessible from Beachside Backpackers.


One of the main attractions in the area is the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This pristine coral reef system is renowned for its rich biodiversity, vibrant marine life, and stunning underwater landscapes. Guests staying at Beachside Backpackers can take advantage of snorkeling or scuba diving excursions to explore the reef and witness its breathtaking beauty up close.


For nature enthusiasts, the Shipstern Nature Reserve is a must-visit. Located near Sarteneja, this vast reserve is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. Travelers can embark on guided nature walks or bird-watching tours to observe the resident wildlife that inhabits the lush forest and wetland areas of the reserve.


Sarteneja is also a gateway to other nearby natural attractions, such as the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is renowned for its birdwatching opportunities, as it serves as a haven for resident and migratory bird species. Visitors can explore the wetlands and waterways, spotting a wide array of bird species in their natural habitat.


For those interested in cultural immersion, nearby indigenous communities offer a glimpse into Belize’s rich cultural heritage. Travelers can visit these communities and learn about traditional practices, arts, and crafts while interacting with the friendly locals. This provides a unique opportunity to understand and appreciate the diverse cultural tapestry of Belize.


In addition to natural and cultural attractions, Sarteneja offers various activities for adventurous souls. Kayaking through the mangroves, paddleboarding on calm waters, or taking a fishing trip with local fishermen are just a few of the thrilling experiences awaiting visitors.


Lastly, the town itself has charm and character. Exploring the charming streets of Sarteneja allows visitors to soak in the laid-back atmosphere and the local way of life. Whether it’s strolling along the beach, interacting with friendly locals, or sampling delicious street food, Sarteneja offers a unique and authentic Belizean experience.


With its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef, nature reserves, indigenous communities, and various adventure activities, Sarteneja serves as an ideal base for exploring the surrounding attractions and immersing oneself in the natural and cultural wonders of Belize.



Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja, Belize, offers an unforgettable experience for backpackers and budget travelers seeking an idyllic coastal getaway. From its stunning beachfront location to its welcoming atmosphere and range of amenities, this hostel provides the perfect base for exploring the natural and cultural wonders of the area.


Sarteneja itself is a hidden gem, offering a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of more touristy destinations. With its pristine beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and lush mangroves, the town is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Accommodation options at Beachside Backpackers cater to different budgets and preferences, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable stay for all guests. The knowledgeable and friendly staff members create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, going above and beyond to assist travelers and provide insider recommendations.


The hostel’s facilities, including a communal kitchen, comfortable lounge areas, and practical amenities like WiFi and laundry services, ensure that guests have everything they need for a memorable stay.


Sarteneja offers a plethora of activities and attractions, from snorkeling and diving on the Belize Barrier Reef to exploring nature reserves, visiting indigenous communities, and embarking on adventurous excursions. The town’s laid-back atmosphere and local charm add to the overall experience, allowing backpackers to truly immerse themselves in the beauty and cultural richness of Belize.


Whether it’s relaxing on the beach, snorkeling among vibrant corals, exploring nature reserves, or connecting with the local community, Beachside Backpackers provides an ideal haven for backpackers looking to create unforgettable memories and forge connections with like-minded travelers.


In conclusion, Beachside Backpackers in Sarteneja offers a unique and enriching experience for backpackers seeking a budget-friendly and authentic adventure along the beautiful coast of Belize.