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Ways to Experience Embera Tours Panama
from US$195.00
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72 - 77 of 277 reviews
Reviewed July 1, 2015

When I was child we studied Panama's indigenous tribes in school; at the time the Embera were known as the Chocoes. They're not generally known to be widely seen in urban areas as you might see the Gunas, because traditionally they have lived deep in the forests of Darién.
One reviewer pondered on this trip maybe not being authentic, but what does he know. It is true that they have become acquainted with certain "civilized" customs but mostly to cater to their "civilized" guests, but they do retain most of their ancestral culture. For example, women now cover their breasts with ornaments to receive outsiders, but within their community they have always gone about with bare chests, in the most natural way.
I suppose the Emberas also think that the "civilized" clothes we wear look pretty much alike and I doubt they think we're not authentic. If you take some time to study other tribes you'll see that the Guna and the Gnabe Bugle also keep to their own particular and distinctive traditional garb.
It's a beautiful trip in beautiful landscape with beautiful people, enjoy the experience for what it is, a window into the lives and ways of a culture that is rich, different and fascinating.

Date of experience: June 2015
2  Thank Elaine A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 26, 2015

If you're interested in discovering authentic Panama, Embera tours & Garceth are the way to go. As a native of the Embera tribe, Garceth has an unrivaled knowledge and understanding of the Panamanian culture & wildlife. His vast experience as a park ranger also contributes to his skills, such as tracking & bird call imitations. Finding miniature, wild pineapple and sleeping mimosa, could only be found by someone like Garceth. He is not interested in promoting a cookie cutter tour. Garceth prefers to create a tailor-made tour that may not be the cheapest or most convenient, but it is well worth the money in order to uncover an authentic Panamanian experience. Yet another bonus, Garceth is a truly amiable guy. Enjoy!

Date of experience: May 2015
5  Thank Robyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 14, 2015

The visit to the embera was our most memorable part of our trip. It felt a little uncomfortable that these folks lives and culture have been so disrupted that they must become a part of an industry satisfying our voyeuristic pleasures in order to survive. That being said, my daughter walked away with an appreciation for the privileged lives they have and an increased curiosity and understanding of the lives and experiences of others.

Date of experience: April 2015
2  Thank Jake T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 12, 2015

It is about an hour ride by van to catch the boats that take you to this indigenous tribal community that gives you an idea of the past cultural impact these people had in this área. You get to taste their talapia fish...very tasty I might add and their folk dances with their kids included are very cute....sweet and peaceful people....I left wishing I knew more about their past and present situations, but the barrier of time and language prevented me from doing so. I wish that they would have a hut with a DVD player giving a better historical over view and recent up dates..like how the village actually functions politically and relationally when it come to marriage etc but I loved it over all

Date of experience: April 2015
2  Thank 286thomasw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 21, 2015

We visited Panama on a cruise ship so no excursion was going to be that special due to the number of people involved. The journey from Lake Gatun to Chagres River was interesting as we passed rural views and local villages. The trip was spoilt by the non-stop commentary by our guide but others seems to appreciate his efforts.
The river journey was special in dugout canoes that leaked a bit but powered by Suzuki outboard motors. We travelled into the rain forest which closed on both sides. There were houses with small areas of deforestation around them but overall little sign of human habitation. We saw a few birds but no large mammals.
Once at the Embera Village, one of a few that are visited by tourists, we were welcomed by traditional music and then we were able to wander around the outside of homes and school. This appeared to be a real village. There was dancing and music plus the crafts to buy as expected. It was interesting to learn how the fibres are stained by natural products and woven so tightly that dishes hold liquids. There was a long drop latrine for guests.
There were just too many people for the atmosphere to be meaningful and the costumes seemed too similar to be fully authentic but this was as good as one could expect from a cruise excursion.

Date of experience: January 2015
4  Thank Dean-Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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