Okay, I’ll admit that I’d never even heard of Sarteneja Village until just now, but after reading about the Backpackers Paradise cabanas and campsite I totally want to go. It’s fairly close to Corozal, which is a common stopping point for people coming or going to or from Chetumal, Mexico just to its north.
Backpackers Paradise says it’s a 2-minute walk out of the sleepy village of Sarteneja, which has about 3,000 residents who are mostly involved in fishing, wooden boat building, and fruit cultivation. For anyone looking to experience a truly authentic and relaxed Caribbean way of life, this place looks ideal. It appears to be very affordable as well, so even if it takes a bit of extra work to get there it could pay off with a cheap and wonderful stay for a few days or more.
As a cheapskate myself, the first thing that caught my eye was that camping costs a grand total of BZ$5 per night, which is US$2.50 for those unfamiliar with the permanent exchange rate. I’m not a camper usually so I think I’ll go for one of the double beds in the cabanas, which go for US$10 per night for the bed (rather than per person) so close friends and co-joined twins get an even better deal.
The facilities sound basic, but what would you expect at those prices? There is a common bathroom, a common entertainment room, and a restaurant that also seems to feature shockingly low prices. If I ever have to go on the run and drop out of society until the heat is off, I think you’ll find me at Backpackers Paradise (but please keep that to yourself). If that deal still doesn’t sound quite good enough to you, note that they offer free tropical fruit that you pick yourself (in season) including mangos, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, something called crabu, and even what might be the world’s only prune tree.
What to do
In addition to the charming-sounding fishing village, there appears to be abundant butterfly and bird watching as well as the nearby Shipstern Nature Reserve. But right at Backpackers Paradise they also horseback riding for US$12.50 for 90 minutes, a horse and buggy tour for two for US$17.50 for 90 minutes, and all-day bike rentals for US$5.
For even more information
I found all this information on the official Backpackers Paradise website. It’s loaded with much more information too, including details on how to get there and all the other possible options you have available. The site seems to be optimized for fans of 1996 web design who have giant monitors and a wide browser window, but with the prices they are charging I’m fine with them cutting this corner.
And seriously, if I need to disappear for a while, please do not tell authorities I’m at Backpackers Paradise. Thanks!