Embera Village & Culture Tour
Embera Village & Culture Tour
Immerse yourself in the culture of Panama with this unique and special visit to an Embera Tribe Village, one of the indigenous groups living in the Panama Province, at the Chagres National Park area for around 50 years. They had originally moved from the Darien Province where the majority of them lived (approximately 30,000). The Embera people in Darien and the Choco region of Colombia have now lived there for centuries and exist independently from the rest of the country which has allowed them to remain rooted deep in their cultural and traditional practices. Embera people are very open to sharing their culture with visitors and this unique tours gives you a chance to embrace local customs.
Transport arranged from your hostel/hotel in Panama City
Pick-up: between 7:30 and 8:00 am
Drop-off: approximately 2:30 pm
Tour guide: Spanish, English
$115 per person (minimum 2 people)
Children 5 years & under= $15
6-10 years= $25
- Return transport. Pick up and return to your accommodation in Panama City.
- Riverboat ride on Chagres River and jungle.
- Traditional lunch in the village.
- Small water and fruit with lunch.
- Short jungle walk and visit to waterfalls.
- Entrance fees.
- Bilingual guide- Spanish, English.
What to bring
- Comfortable walking shoes and clothing.
- Bathing suit and towel (if you would like to swim in the waterfall).
- Water shoes (if you have).
- Extra drinking water.
- Insect repellent.
- Sun protection.
Tour starts with a drive along the Inter-Americana highway for approx 45 minutes to the Corotu port on the edge of the beautiful Chagres river. Once you arrive members of the Embera Indian village will welcome you and start the village tour.
The first highlight of the tour will be a ride along the Chagres river in a traditional Embera canoe which will take you a short distance to the village. Sometimes the river is so shallow the indigenous guide will have to get out and push the canoe through the reeds. This is a pleasant boat ride with the river and its surroundings rich in flora and fauna. Sightings of sloths, monkeys, and a wide variety of birds including the Toucan and Eagle are common during this beautiful boat ride through the jungle. Let’s just hope it’s not raining!
Guests will go on a short hike to the waterfall (during the rainy season this is a large waterfall but much smaller during the drier months) where they will have a chance to take a refreshing bath and escape the heat. Once everyone has had their fill of the waterfall guests will make their way back to the village where the canoe is ready to bring everyone back to the pier.
Around mid-morning we arrive at the Embera village and members greet us with a traditional musical dance. After getting settled guests are free to explore the village at their own leisure, to have a glimpse of how the Embera Indians live and work, play with the local children and take in the pleasant surroundings.
Guests will be treated to a short talk about their lives and Embera culture, lifestyle, and local Indian crafts
Guests will then be taken on a short walk through the jungle that surrounds the village with one of the village elders to teach guests about the medicinal plants they use.
Upon return to the village, guests are fed a traditional meal of Patacones (fried plantains) or Yuca and fried fish (or chicken upon prior request). After lunch, it is time to listen to their traditional music and watch the Embera women dance their traditional shamanic dances.
Next comes shopping time! Although buying something is not required it is nice to contribute to the community by buying their amazing handicrafts: woven baskets, plates and masks from palm leaf fibers and carved Cocobolo wood and Tagua seeds, so bring some cash.
The entire Embera tribe gathers for a group photo. They are not shy about posing for a picture and love to be shown the result if you have a digital one. If you would like to receive a traditional nonpermanent tattoo now is the time. Don’t worry it is a fruit juice dye and lasts only 10-12 days before it wears off. Return to Panama City.
All guests should be prepared to get wet on tour. Bring a light jacket and a bathing suit/towel if you would like to swim at the waterfall.
We recommend guests bring extra water and snacks. We provide a small water and fruit to go with your lunch.
There will be some walking involved (20-30 minutes) and we suggest comfortable footwear.