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“Exciting, informative, peaceful - right our of National Geographic”

Embera Village Tours & More
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Embera Village Day Tour
Ranked #18 of 170 Tours in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We invite you to step back in time with us on a tour to visit the Embera tribe who still live in traditional villages deep in the rainforest of Panama. The Embera people are proud to share their culture and traditions with visitors. Spending time on a day or overnight tour with the friendly Embera people will touch your heart and is an experience you will never forget. Our founder, Anne Gordon de Barrigon, is married to an Embera man and began these tours to share the beauty of her Embera family and friends with others. Note: this page is for the tours offered by Anne Gordon de Barrigon's tour company, Embera Village Tours and not for other tour operators who also offer tours to visit other Embera villages throughout Panama.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed January 10, 2012

This is a fantastic tour that should not be missed. Our tour guide Annie is from the United States and married an Embera man a few years ago. The dugout canoe trip is beautiful and exciting, but the most important part of the trip is the Embera people themselves.

They are warm and beautiful people. Their philosophy and way of life gives the village a peaceful feel. Their artwork is beautiful and a treasure to bring home. Don't miss out on this tour if you are in the Panama area.

Thank Jim-and-Donna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"dugout canoe"
in 40 reviews
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"anne gordon"
in 16 reviews
"banana leaf"
in 10 reviews
"medicine man"
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"chagres national park"
in 9 reviews
"canoe trip"
in 7 reviews
"money goes"
in 5 reviews
"for sale"
in 13 reviews
"palm leaves"
in 3 reviews
"medicinal plants"
in 6 reviews
"tribal members"
in 2 reviews
"brought gifts"
in 2 reviews
"cultural dance"
in 2 reviews
"wood carvings"
in 6 reviews
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215 - 219 of 257 reviews

Reviewed January 2, 2012

We purchased this tour from our cruise line just because it was the only one they had left, thinking it was going to be blah....how wrong were we! This was the highlight of our whole cruise trip! You take an air-conditioned bus trip (1 hour) with a very knowledgable tour guide to a jungle area where a few Embera tribemen are waiting for you to board their motorized canoes (they provide you with life jackets) to take you on a 30 minute trip through the most amazing jungle. The canoes are narrow and fit 8 people. You start off through a snake-like river that converts into this beautiful lake. There are no words to describe the scenery. You must live it. Then you arrive to the Embera village where they (about 100) are awaiting your arrival with music made from instruments they make. They feed you a typical meal of theirs (which was delicious...they let me have seconds) It was tilapia with plaintains and their plates are banana leaves folded in a pita pocket! Just beautiful. No silverware...you eat with your hands and they have this lovely water dish infused with herbs to clean your hands afterward. Dessert is fresh papaya and pineapple. If you're not brave enough to eat the food that they made you, they also offer plain old bologne sandwiches on white bread. Water and soda is available as well. Then you can just talk with them, have them show you around and see the arts/crafts that they make. What I liked best was how peaceful they live. They are totally disconnected from the outside world and live just fine. This tribe is like what we see on National Geographic. This is the real thing! Men in loin-cloths and the women/girls with only beautiful colored skirts on (topless). There was nothing I didn't like about this experience. It was so humbling. Am planning to go back and "live" with them for a week or two. Definitly bring a camera, comfortable clothes like if you're going for a walk/hike, I recommend a hat as well. The whole trip was around 4-5 hours.

2  Thank Squishy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 17, 2011

I booked a private tour with Anne Gordon to visit an Embera Village while on a Panama Canal cruise. Ellie, the Tour Coordinator handled the booking for me, she was a delight to work with. She promptly replied to emails and answered questions thoroughly. I hope to visit her one day on another trip to Panama.

Anne warmly greeted our group of four at the pier and welcomed us to Panama. She graciously provided a wheelchair for our friend. Anne drove us through the countryside telling us about the area, the Embera and answering our questions. Anne is a delightful woman, knows the area and the Embera very well, she is married to an Embera man. Elian and a young Embera boy met us at the Chagres River where we boarded the dugout canoe for our trip to the Embera Village. The men carried our friend down to the canoe and gently placed her at the front where she would be most comfortable and have a great view. A short lived rain shower passed over, we were prepared with our ponchos. Upon arrival at the Embera Village, men and children greeted us with song and welcomed us to their Village. Several men and young boys carried our friend up the steep hill to the Village. They were very accommodating!! We thoroughly enjoyed our time in the Village, learning about their way of life and interacting with them. It was very special for the four of us to have the Village to ourselves!! They prepared a delicious lunch for us, fried fish, plantains, pineapple and papaya. After lunch the Embera men, women and children sang and danced for us, it was beautiful!! Sadly the time came when we had to leave the Village. Again, the men and boys carried our friend down the steep hillside in the wheelchair to the canoe, it was quite a procession. We had an enjoyable ride back to the city and a nice visit with Anne. When at the pier, instead of saying good-bye we taught Anne our Hawaiian phrase, "A hui hou kakou!", Until we meet again! It truly was an amazing day with Anne and the Embera, I will treasure the wonderful memories! I highly recommend this tour, it was THE HIGHLIGHT of our cruise!!

Thank tulipgirl05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2011

All day guide package- pickup and drop off airport. that is the way to go!!!!! Katia (Kats Tours) was great she took us to all the great spots and made our stay the best place we have ever been... they are amazing in wanting to make sure you have a great stay.

Joe H Wichita KS

Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple

2  Thank KATS T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 18, 2011

My wife and I took our 3 year and 6 year girls on this amazing adventure. It is incredible how close to Panama City the world changes to a green jungle and flowing rivers. The village is located in the Chagres National Park, within the Canal watershed. Once here you take a Piragua up river driven by Embera men in elegant "tapa rabos". When we went the river was low and creeks spilled into the main river in waterfalls. The first stop was a beach from which we started a trek up a tributary towards a large waterfall in the jungle. Take good shoes for you and your family. Prepare to carry small children and to get wet. This is an adventure and the trek is not easy for any that is not fit. However, it is absolutely worth it!
We had lunch at the Embera village, where we had time to listen to music and walk around town. My daughters immediately made friends with the young Embera children and were entertained in a game of tag.
All in all this is a marvelous adventure, very close to Panama City. A must do.

2  Thank bettsdaniel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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