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“Sucking Fish aren't cool” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Embera Village Tours

Embera Village Tours
Panama City hotel pickup, Panama City, Panama
+507 6758-7600
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Ranked #7 of 106 Activities in Panama City
Attraction details
Toronto
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
“Sucking Fish aren't cool”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

One of the highlights of our recent trip to Panama was the Embera Village Tour. For approximately 95USD we hired Katia Sole of Kats Tours (www.katstours.com) and we were picked up in a private vehicle and whisked away to a remote location along the Charges river. The village experience consisted of a river tour to the waterfall. Due to a lack of rain in the area, the river was remarkably shallow and the boat got stuck a few times. It made for entertaining moments when the Men had to jump in and push. A short walk through the rainforest brought us to the waterfall. Again we were able to walk through the shallow water to indulge in pulsating shower from the fresh waters of the waterfall. Little fish swam all around us, but became annoying when they started to suck on exposed skin. Definitely not the most therapeutic feeling. After sometime frolicking in the water, we headed back to the boats and on to our final destination, the Embera Village. We were graciously greeted by the Indians as they played on local hand crafted instruments. We were lead into a common area where they sold crafts and very reasonable prices. We then meet in the main dining facility to await a lunch of fried Tilapia and plantains wrapped in banana leaves. During our lunch we were given a brief description of Embera heritage, history and life, spoken both in Spanish and the Native Embera language. After lunch we were encouraged to interact with the community, but mostly the kids found us intriguing. Participated in a form of tattooing for 1USD that they assured us would last for the duration of our trip. Can't go wrong for 1 dollar and it didn't hurt. Then we were entertained by traditional dancing and music. It was definitely a unique experience and one that I would recommend to all travellers to Panama.

If you would like to learn more, visit www.urbantravelite.com for video coverage of the Embera Village experience.

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102 reviews from our community

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  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
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English first
virginia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“An experience of a lifetime!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2010

No words can express our feelings about this once in a lifetime experience. Panama is a beautiful country. The Embera are still in our thoughts and in our hearts. These are beautiful people that greet you, entertain you, share with you their lives as if you are part of their family. Then, add to this amazing adventure a person who can give you the most unbelievable insight into his people and a guide that will guarantee an adventure you will never forget. Garceth, I would love to see the rest of Panama through your eyes and I definitely long to visit the Embera again but next time for more than one day. Thank you for your professional service and for your devotion to your people, the gentle souls, the Embera. We highly recommend using Garceth/Embera Tours Panama for an excursion that will stay with you long after you leave Panama and the Embera.
Ralph and Paige Almodovar

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Vancouver
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“This one is memorable!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2010

We booked online with Embera' Village Tours. Our local guide was Anne, a Panama resident who moved from Seattle and married an Embera’ native. She picked us up at the pier, then drove us to a house on the riverside at the end of a dirt road. Out of the van, we walked to the riverside, where two natives and a canoe await. Into the canoe, and upriver we go with a small outboard motor propelling us. We see pelicans and toucans in the jungle trees onshore.
On arrival at the Embera’ Puru village around 11am, the natives play locally made drums and flute to welcome us. Later, we are served tilapia filet and roasted plantain, served on a heavy leaf bent to the shape of a bowl for each person. Then, two large trays of sliced fresh fruit. We wash our hands in a large wooden bowl, filled with water and local natural herbs, which has a wonderful aroma.
One of the young Embera’ women gave my husband a temporary tattoo band around his upper arm… it’s a local plant pigment which also deters mosquitoes… most native people renew their tattoo’s constantly.
We took toys for the children. The skipping rope we brought was a hit, as some had learned to use that in school. The kids loved the flying discs, made from biodegradable fabric, with the Canada flag. I found one young boy around 10 years old, and he was brave enough to realize when I tossed it to him, and gestured… he tossed it back. After two or three tosses, I walked to him and put it in his hands, and pressed his hands to his chest. He was delighted, and went to find a friend, and they tossed that disc for the rest of the afternoon.
We purchased a woven bowl from one family; they charge $1 for each day of work it has taken to create the piece. This piece cost us half what a similar piece was priced for in the tourist stores in town!
I would highly recommend Embera' Village Tours for a realistic Embera' experience.
...Wendy

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