Garceth picked us up promptly at 8:00am from our hotel. He is rather short guy, and will be easily recognizable by his facial Embera tattoos. Extremely nice and knowledgeable, if he chooses to share, his story and struggles will amaze you as well. I traveled with my husband and 8 year old son. The drive in a well air-conditioned van lasted about 1.5 hours. We stopped at a convenience store to buy some drinks and ice cream, continued on a motorized canoe for an additional hour or so. The canoe ride was an experience on its own, very scenic with bird sightings, it also gave us an opportunity to see local fisherman in their tiny boats at work.
Once we arrived at the village, we were welcomed by men of the tribe playing traditional music.
It was an eye-opening experience seeing these people’s way of life. If you are traveling with children and are worried that they might find it inappropriate that women, men and kids wear only a cloth around their waist – don’t be. My son played with the children and enjoyed the visit tremendously. One of the women painted a traditional Embera tattoo on his arm, and he thought it was the coolest thing ever. It also allowed him to realize that there are places where kid’s days don’t revolve around PlayStation and TV. I highly recommend this tour and would definitely do it again when in Panama.
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