Sittee River is a peaceful, riverine corner of the country with its own calm mood. Continuing on the road from Hopkins, you’ll pass through False Sittee, followed by the village of Sittee River, occupying a few bends of the slow, flat river of the same name.
The road turns upstream, looping westward, about six miles back to the Southern Highway. Sittee River qualifies as a village only in the loosest sense, with a few houses, Reynold’s Store, some jungly places to stay, a few resorts, and more often than not, a few insects. Choose from several fully screened accommodations from which to soak up the thick, tropical tranquility.
There are dive shops and boats to whisk you out to the cayes, excellent fishing (snook, tarpon, peacock bass, sheepshead, and barracuda), and, only 12 miles by road to the west, the entrance to the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.
Near the soccer field, you’ll find high-speed, air-conditioned Internet—and coffee, juice, beer, and gifts—at Sittee River Internet (www.sitteeriver.net).
Sittee River Internet is also where you’ll find famed local guide Horace Andrews (tel. 501/603-8358, www.belizebyhorace.com), right across from his dock. Horace does river tours on the Sittee River, snorkel trips to the cayes, fishing trips to the cayes or lagoons, and inland tours such as Cockscomb, Mayflower, and Red Bank to see the scarlet macaws in season.
Bocatura Banks (tel. 501/606-4590 or 501/668-4590, U.S. tel. 207/288-3400, bocaturabank [at] yahoo [dot] com) runs sailing charters on a 40-foot catamaran named Toucan Play. The boat can carry up to 20 people; an all-day snorkeling trip is US$75 per person, with park fees, food, and drinks all included. The owner, Alan Stewart, is a marine biologist, photographer, sailor, and dive master who first came to Belize in the mid-1980s. He also maintains four riverside cottages on his property in Sittee River, where he docks the boat. A restaurant provides meals in a nice setting, and many activities are available.
On the road to Bocatura, you’ll also find Diversity Cafe (contact Martin or Jeanette at 501/523-7038). Their dive shop, Second Nature Divers (www.secondnaturedivers.com), is across from Almond Beach.
Hotels and Restaurants
Glover’s Guest House (tel. 501/509-7099, www.glovers.com.bz) provides cheap, spartan lodging for both passersby and guests of the Glover’s Atoll Resort. Stay in a cozy bunkhouse on stilts for US$9 per person, or in one of the private, stilted, screened-in riverside cabins for US$29; meals and a cooking area are available. Camping is US$5, tents provided. You can use the guesthouse’s canoes and kayaks to explore the river.
Sir Thomas’ at Toucan Sittee (tel. 501/523-7039 or 501/670-4892, www.sir-thomas-at-toucan-sittee.com, US$95) has six unique wood bungalows, including private bathrooms and hot water, comfy mattresses, and nice semi-outdoor jungle showers. The 18-acre property on the bank of the Sittee River is popular with birders, nature lovers, and families. You can camp on the grounds for US$20; bring your own gear. Accommodations are set amid hundreds of fruit and other trees planted by the previous hosts. Ask about guided river and lagoon canoe trips—for fishing or just nature viewing. A major highlight is the spooky night canoe paddle up Boom Creek; this canopied waterway is filled with wildlife and jaw-dropping vegetation (and insects—be prepared).
Getting to Sittee River
This area is about a 10-minute drive east of the Southern Highway through mostly orange orchards and riverside lots. There are usually two daily buses that drive through Sittee River and False Sittee Point, but this schedule is always up in the air; most accommodations will provide some sort of transfer from Dangriga. Driving south on the road from Hopkins, you’ll pass through False Sittee, followed by the village of Sittee River, occupying a few bends of the slow, flat river of the same name.
© Joshua Berman and Avalon Travel from Moon Belize, 9th Edition