Ox Bow Lake Visit

Oxbow lakes are an important and distinct habitat found in the Amazon basin. Formed when a bend in an Amazonian river gets cut off from its main channel, their waters are much more calm and clear than the silty, turbulent river. Shallow and tranquil, oxbow lakes provide perfect habitat for marsh grasses and a host of interesting animals that prefer these backwater lagoons. Many of these animals are also easy to watch and thus make great photography subjects for folks on a family eco vacation.

Looking like a cross between a pheasant and feathered dinosaur, the bizarre Hoatzin clambers a around the lakeside vegetation and makes odd, grunting noises. The locals call it the “stinkbird” on account of the bad smell it gives off! Eco travel guests to Refugio Amazonas who visit the oxbow lake near the lodge frequently delight in sightings of Squirrel Monkey troops that sometimes forage in bushes at the edge of the lake. Overhead, spectacular Scarlet and Red and Green Macaws are a regular sight as they fly over the lake and parrots are also frequently seen. In the water itself, guests may also espy Black Caimans that reach a length of 4 meters (12 feet) and endangered Giant Otters that make their home in the fish-filled waters.

For close views of animals and a better view of the lake, guests of Refugio Amazonas who take part in this ecotourism family travel activity paddle around the calm waters in a canoe or catamaran. After looking for rainforest wildlife that lives in the water and forests next to the lake, your guide will take you to one of the largest trees in the rainforest. An immense, old growth Kapok, you have to literally take a separate trail to walk around its base! As you appreciate this beautiful tree, your guide will tell you all about the historical and spiritual significance that the Kapok (or Ceiba) holds for Amazonian peoples.

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