Founded in the early 18th century, Crooked Tree – 33 miles from Belize City – may be the oldest non-indigenous village in Belize. Apparently the area got its name from early logwood cutters who boated up Belize River and Black Creek to a giant lagoon marked by a tree that seemingly grew in every direction. These 'crooked trees' (logwood trees, in fact) still grow in abundance around the lagoon. Until the 3.5-mile causeway from the highway was built in 1984, the only way to get here was by boat, so it's no wonder life still maintains the slow rhythm of bygone centuries.
Crooked Tree village is the gateway to the eponymous wildlife sanctuary, quite possibly one of Belize's best birding areas. It's worthwhile for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful rural community in a beautiful setting. Stay the night to be here at dawn, when the birds are most active.