Crooked Tree Tourist Attractions
The farming and fishing village of Crooked Tree has a was settled by logwood cutters c1750, who came to the area via the Belize River. The area's logwood forests were used to produce colored dyes for export to Europe, and Crooked Tree may have been the earliest inland European settlement in Belize.Situated by a large lagoon, legend claims Crooked Tree was named for a tree on the lagoon that seemed to grow in every direction. These "crooked trees" still grow around the lagoon. There is excellent birding in and around the village, and there are a few options for accommodation and dining.
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary covers 5sq.mi/12sq.km around the Crooked Tree Village. The reserve was created in 1984 due to insistence from the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) and is presently managed by the organization. The BAS proposed the idea for the sanctuary because of the area's wealth of resident and migrant bird species.The habitat of the sanctuary consists of fresh water lagoons, rivers, marsh forest, swamplands, pine and oak savannah as well as broadleaf forest. Throughout the dry season (December to May), many migrating birds flock to the area. In total, 275 species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary.Egrets, herons, ducks and hawks are very common. Occasionally, the endangered jabiru stork can be spotted. With a wingspan up to 8ft/2.5m, the jabiru is the largest flying bird in the Western Hemisphere. Other wildlife found in the sanctuary includes howler monkeys, crocodiles, coatis, iguanas and turtles.
Address: 12 Fort Street, Box 1001, Belize
Opening hours: 8am-4:30pm
Always opened on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), Baron Bliss Day - Belize (Mar 9), Commonwealth Day - Belize (May 25), Independence Day - Belize (Sep 21), National Day - Belize (Sep 10), Pan American Day - Belize (Oct 12), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Easter - Christian
Useful tips: The best time of the year for wildlife watching is May. Canoe rental, guided walks or boat tours are available for a range of prices.
Guides: Guided tour available as optional extra.
The Cashew Festival takes place annually during the first weekend of May. The festival celebrates the beginning of the cashew nut harvest in Crooked Tree Village. During the festival, cashews are used to make cashew jelly, cake and juice. Apart from sampling the cashews and cashew foods, the festival also features storytelling and live music.
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