Crooked Tree is a city in Belize District, Belize.
Crooked Tree is about halfway between Belize City and Orange Walk on the Northern Highway. The exit is well marked. You will leave the surfaced road for the packed dirt road of the causeway that leads to the village. The distance is about 2-3 miles.
You can also take buses between Belize city and Orange Walk and get off at the Crooked Tree stop. You will then have to walk into town.
The roads in the village are sandy and hard to drive in good conditions and awful in heavy rain, which is not uncommon. Unless you have a 4WD vehicle leave your car at the entrance to the village near the causeway and walk.
There is a visitor center as you enter the village right after the causeway. Be sure to stop in to get information on the local goings on.
The Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary is open daily and is USD $8. Where "it" is is a bit hard to define but the village proper sits within the Sanctuary.
Crooked Tree's main feature is birdwatching. The village sits off an inland lagoon and there are hundreds of species of exotic birds to be seen with almost no effort. Local guides can take you to the best spots to see the highest variety. The highlight is the Jabiru stork which is the largest flying bird in the Americas.
You can also do some boating about the lagoon. Rental prices can be high but the views are generally excellent and afford you the opportunity to see even more of the bird species. Again, local guides are available.
Chau Hiix is a Myan site that is being excavated. It is about a 3 hour canoe to trip each way from the village. When they are about, usually the dry season, on-site archealogists can give you a tour.
- During the first week of May, Crooked Tree has the annual Cashew Festival. the village grows a lot of cashews and during this festival to mark the start of harvest they put on quite a show. Cashews are turned into a variety of products including juice, jelly, and cakes.
- Ava's Cooking Class a unique cooking experience of Belizean cuisine in a welcoming village environment with abundant nature. The class typically starts at 9:00 ~ 10:00 am with Mrs. Ava’s introduction and explanation about the flow of this cooking class, while guests have welcoming coffee. Mrs. Ava then shows how to cook cuisines, using ingredients mainly from her yard such as chicken and coconuts. The guests take turns to cook some parts of the meal by themselves. After that, guests can enjoy their meal over a sit-down lunch at her veranda together. Recipe will be provided after cooking.
- Good News Garden Tour will walk you through a beautiful garden, Good News Acres, with more than 50 species of fruits, flowers, herbs, etc. Ms. Vange, the garden owner and the nature lover, will tell you about this village, people’s life, nature, etc., then you will explore in her clean and vast garden with explanations of each flora, where you can also enjoy watching birds.
- Cashew & Mango Picking is open normally from mid April to end of June. You can pick as many as you like and take a maximum of 5 cashews or mangoes (or mix of them) that you picked to home. Ms. Vange will tell a short story of this village and the Belizean traditional way of cashew nuts processing in her clean and lovely yard. At last, you can buy homemade products such as jam, ice cream, dried fruits.
- Bird's Eye View Lodge offers home cooked meals, you will eat in the kitchen, for USD $10-$12. There is no menu selection you will get some sort of chicken or fish dusted with a local spice mix with fried plantains, rice and black beans typically. Very hearty and good.
- Crooked Tree Lodge has a restaurant with a friendly and family feel. They cater mainly for their guests, however if your not staying with them call Mick or Angie (626 3820 or 623 5035 ). Or just pop down check it out and book in for the meal of your choice. Prices are very reasonable at US$10 for B/fast and lunch and Dinner is US$15. Lodge speciality meals include BBQ roast topside of beef, Tilapia and shrimp bake in spicy sweet sauce, Rotisserie roast chicken, Fresh salads served with grilled fish or chicken. Also very good food.
The patio on the roof of the Bird's Eye View Lodge is an excellent place to take in a drink and to watch the wildife on the lagoon as the sun sets.
- Bird's Eye View Lodge, sits about 50 feet from the lagoon, tel: 011-501-203-2040. The lagoon gets a lot closer if it rains so be sure and park well away from the water's edge. Rates are reasonable at USD $40-$80. The rooms are clean but a bit spartan. A/C is not in all rooms and the heat and humidity can be a bit much if you are not used to sleeping without it in the tropics. The staff is very friendly. There are signs pointing you to the Lodge and everyone in the village knows the location anyways. The roads to the lodge are poor, at best, and any heavy rain will render them impassable to anything less than a 4WD. Even then, typical rental cars like the Suzuki Grand Vitara have gotten stuck in the roads. The Lodge takes all major credit cards.
Visit Crooked Tree Official website by Crooked Tree Village Council