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Ella Drua Embera Tour

Rio Gatun, Panama
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About Ella Drua Embera Tour
Ella Drua is an indigenous community of about 120 residents of the Embera and Wounaan ethnicities. Although it is very easy to access (only an hour's drive from Panama City, and a scenic five minute canoe ride from the freeway), it is tucked away in jungly hills and feels like a different world.We offer three-hour tours that include presentations on our culture and history, traditional music and dancing, artisan work, lunch, and a nature walk to a nearby waterfall during which you can learn all about the enormously diverse plants we use day to day. We also host visitors overnight, offer guided tours into the jungle, fishing expeditions on the river, and more!Ella Drua has been open to small groups of visitors for years now. Eco-tourism, complemented by fishing and agriculture, is our community's principal source of income.
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Ella Drua Embera Tour
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D5630OSamym wrote a review Jul 2018
Vancouver, United States121 contributions21 helpful votes
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We went with a large group of teenagers. First we took a canoe ride to a hike area where we hiked for 30 minutes to a beautiful waterfall & back-then we were taken to the village by canoe again where Tilapia & fried plantains we’re prepared for us. We got to dance with the Embera, receive tattoos, play soccer & shop. It was a beautiful experience & the Embera people are so lovely & graceful. Thanks to them, my friend & I lived the hike & made it all the way & back. They never leave anyone behind.
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Date of experience: July 2018
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Robert Q wrote a review May 2017
Salt Lake City, Utah356 contributions95 helpful votes
Most Americans go to Panama to see the canal. We have done so, and enjoyed it.... a lot. But on a second visit, because we had heard such rave reviews about the village as we toured the canal, we decided to visit the village. A true life enhancing experience. You will not be disappointed.
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Date of experience: April 2017
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HughMc wrote a review Nov 2016
Cheadle, United Kingdom685 contributions276 helpful votes
Arrived by boat to be met by the Embera indigenous people welcoming party - with the men playing home made instruments and the women standing at the top of the hill with the children looking on by the 'big hut'. We then all went to the 'big hut' where the leader told us about his people and how the manmade lake Gatun had deprived them off their farming land and how now they fished or hunted food. There was then a cultural dance with all the women of the village in national costume -some who looked more thrilled than others to be dancing! This was followed by an invitation to visit the different families stalls at the back of the hut to buy some goods to help them maintain their lifestyle - no electric or gas here - not to mention sanitation. We were the n invited to visit the village and see the houses on stilts - to keep the snakes and other animals out! There were also a number of young children running around and I was left wondering will this lifestyle still be here by the time they are grown up?
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Date of experience: October 2016
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James J wrote a review Jun 2016
Gulf Breeze, Florida433 contributions54 helpful votes
This is one of the most unique and eye-opening excursions we have taken. We had done a lot of research before we traveled. We took school supplies (crayons, pencils, pens, glue-sticks etc.) Beginning with the canoe ride and including the meal and dancing; this is a must!
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Date of experience: December 2015
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RandyRoss wrote a review Feb 2015
Ridgetown, Canada7534 contributions654 helpful votes
We toured the Embera indigenous village in Panama as part of our our Collette Vacations tour of Panama. We began by boarding dugout canoes for a short trip across the Chagres River to the village. Once there we were entertained by the villagers, given information about them and their lifestyle and fed a lovely lunch. We also had the opportunity to tour the village and purchase their hand-made handicrafts (wood and tagua nut carvings, jewelry, woven baskets, etc.).
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Date of experience: February 2015
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