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Ways to Experience Embera Tours Panama
from US$195.00
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Reviews (279)
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All reviews dugout canoe plantains chagres river native dances tribal village daily life villagers plants handicrafts culture jungle carvings panama leader clothing inhabitants perspective
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1 - 6 of 279 reviews
Reviewed March 3, 2020

My boyfriend and I went on this excursion with Daniel as our tour guide. It was one of the best days of my life. Thinking about the amazing experience makes me misty with emotion. As an indigenous Canadian I’m in awe of the Embera’s beautiful culture, warmth and dedication to living a genuine indigenous life.
Daniel was an excellent tour guide with abounding knowledge and pride of Panama and its history. The group was small and intimate. We arrived in a canoe to music and smiling faces. The daily life and history of the Emberá people was told to us by Emberá people. They made us a beautiful lunch of fresh fish and fruit. Then we were entertained by music, dance and song. The people then showed us their amazing handicrafts. I hung the beautiful basket I bought on my wall today. Then we went for a nature walk where the plants used by these people were shown to us.
Although my temporary skin markings will disappear my memories of this wonderful day will stay with me always.

Date of experience: February 2020
Thank Fancywombat140
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2020

A boat ride on the Chagres River into the Gamboa Rainforest leads to one of the four Embera indigenous villages at the water’s edge. You are greeted by warm and friendly Embera villagers who allow you to explore their culture and customs through music and dance, short talks about the history of their village and how it functions, presentations about natural dyes from rainforest plants to colour raw materials which are then converted into brightly-coloured, beautifully-patterned clothing, dishes and other wares. A truly memorable experience!

Date of experience: February 2020
2  Thank RDHiscott
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2020

We arrived at the viallage after a half hour ride in a dugout canoe.
We were cheerfully met by the inhabitants who were attired in loincloths (men) and wrap around skirts (women). I was a little shy about photographing the topless women, but soon found that it was totally acceptable.
Through an interpreter they explained how they lived and how they created their extraordinary handicrafts which were all on sale.
We got to eplore the village and its surrounds before a native lunch of fish and plantains served in a leaf envelope. Then some fresh fruit.
Later the men and women entertained us with native dances before infviting us to join them.
What a lovely day.

Date of experience: February 2020
Thank Len F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2020 via mobile

Truly, the highlight of my trip to Panama was today’s visit to the remote Embera Paru village with our guide, Garceth.

I spent many hours reviewing the many different tours to the different Embera villages across the Chagras River region — the Drua, the Tusipono, the Parapera Paru, and more. I wanted to see a village in a way that felt as authentic and meaningful as possible. I read many mixed reviews that suggested these visits were more tourist-trap than anything else.

The Paru village (different from the Parapera Paru) is the most remote one in the Chagres region. It’s a community of around 100 members, many of which are children.

What made the visit so remarkable was our guide, Garceth. Garceth is, himself, a member of the Embera. He was raised in a small Embera village in the Darien region. His parents still live there. Garceth is a remarkable wealth of information, perspective, understanding, and wisdom. This is NOT something any non-indigenous guide could ever provide. His ability to share deep and meaningful perspectives on the culture, their values, their challenges, their rituals was personal, not simply informational. It made the experience absolutely extraordinary — and he demonstrates a level of understanding and respect that I found deeply moving.

Garceth was able to speak about the many conflicts in Columbia that has led many of the Embera to flee through the jungle into Panama. We met children in the village who just arrived — escaping the guerrillas that have massacres entire indigenous villages in Columbia.

I will say that the Embera children were the highlight of my visit. (It’s like meeting Mogli from The Jungle Book!) I prepared for this by bringing a backpack full of treats for the children (ring pops, bubbles, balls, candy sharks, play doh, and more) We played soccer; swam all together in the river; and shared delicious fresh fruit.

On the day we went (a Monday in January) my wife and I were the only 2 guests visiting. It was wonderful not to be part of a giant group; instead, to have a small and personal, intimate experience with this tribe.

Garceth is a well educated (he studied on scholarship at Oregon State) and humble man who knows the jungle better than any guide I’ve yet experienced (it helps that he worked as a ranger in the national park system in Panama for years) I would absolutely choose Garceth for any jungle adventure. And his kinship with the Embera made today’s visit memorable for a lifetime.

Date of experience: January 2020
Thank Eric F
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2019 via mobile

Last month I visited Panama, via the generosity of my sister. She organised the holiday to Costa Rica and Panama via Andrew at Viva Tours.

We stayed in Panama City in the Hard Rock Hotel, which was amazing. There was a lot to see and do, as we were located in the heart of the city next to the mall. The hotel, itself had a pool, several bars, Hardrock shop, restaurants and casino.

Prior to our arrival in Panama my sister booked a tour via Viva Tours to visit the Embera people, one of the indigenous people in Panama. It was fascinating to meet the community and gain some insight to how they live or their culture, a little about their history, see some of their dances, taste their organic food, travel along the Chagres river and meet their baby resident spider monkey Princess! There was also ample opportunity to purchase some artifacts or jewellery and also bath in the river and waterfall. Note of caution, however, the trek to the waterfall and river is slightly challenging. The walk one way takes approximately 20 to 25 minutes via water, mud, across stones and slight altitudes. I would highly recommend proper hiking boots or sturdy and slip free shoes and possibly a large stick. It is possible to do the tour without the advised impliments, but it is a challenge and at times daunting. Anyone doing this tour must be prepared to walk, get wet (thigh to waist length, possibly), get muddy and sweat. In the end, however, it is worth it for the spectacular views and to spend time with the Embera people.

Date of experience: June 2019
4  Thank healthly
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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