Known as one of Belize’s top birding spots, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary (pardon the pun) spans 16,400 acres and includes more than 3,000 acres of lagoons, swamp and marsh. Take a canoe for a close-up look at crocodiles, iguanas, turtles, coatis and (depending on luck and time of year) the jabiru stork. With a wingspan of up to 12 feet, the jabiru is the largest flying bird in Central and South America. Some say they’re bigger than some of our airplanes.
While birding is great any time of year down here, the peak time is the dry season from November to May. At any time of year, even on a one- to three-hour tour, you’re likely to see 20 to 40 different species of birds everything from snowy egrets and snail kites to ospreys and black-collared hawks. There are two types of duck, Muscovy and black-bellied whistling, and all five species of kingfishers. So many birds, no matter how much time you spend here.
Not in the mood to hike around looking at birds? You can rent canoes, bikes, even horses to see your feathered friends. The Belize Audubon Society manages the sanctuary, and the visitor center has free trail maps.