Located on the border of the Belize and Orange Walk District of central Belize just 30 miles (48 km) from Belize City, the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the country’s most beautiful natural areas.

Managed by the Audobon Society, the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is a recognized Important Birding Area home to hundreds of local and migratory bird species. The sanctuary is a vast wilderness measuring more than 16,400 acres (66 square kilometers) of lagoons, forests, pine savannah, and wetlands.

Although the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is primarily known for its astonishing diversity of bird life, the area is also home to many animals, including the endangered Hicatee turtle, the rare Yellow-headed parrot, crocodiles, giant iguanas, and troops of black howler monkeys. Boat tours are available to see some of the wetland wildlife up closer, including several dozen species of waterfowl, including kingfishers, ducks, and herons.

The most famous resident of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is the Jabiru stork. This endangered bird comes to the sanctuary in November to build nests in the pine savannah, and the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is home to more Jabiru storks than anywhere on the planet.

Another popular attraction in the wildlife sanctuary is the island located in the middle of the biggest lagoon. Since 1750, people have been growing cashews on the island, and every May, the nearby village holds a cashew festival where a wide variety of foods and drinks are made with cashews.

The animals and birds in the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary vary depending on the season. Be sure to consult a guide to find the best places to spot the wildlife in the sanctuary. The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is open to the public 365 days a year from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Entrance to the sanctuary is BZD $8 for non-nationals and BZD 2.50 for locals.

If you’d like to visit the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, you can book your tour via Black Orchid Resort. The resort also offers guided tours to nearby attractions such as the Community Baboon Sanctuary, the Belize Zoo, and historic downtown Belize City.

Black Orchid Resort is located in the village of Burrell Boom just a 30-minute drive from the international airport. With elegant rooms and suites, an onsite gourmet restaurant, and a full range of modern conveniences, Black Orchid is a great place to stay during your Belize vacation.