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“What an experience!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Embera Village Tours & More

Embera Village Tours & More
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Private Emberá Village Day Tour
Ranked #13 of 152 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
Level Contributor
223 reviews
128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“What an experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 8, 2013

Wow, what an awesome time I had. I was lucky enough that the two people who had also booked to stay overnight didn't, so I was entrusted to Sylvania, an Embera women with 3 beautiful little children and her husband Leo to stay with them 'embera-style'. I couldn't have asked for better.

Sure, if comfort is your thing or you have a bad back, then maybe pass on the overnight, but it was awesome by every standard to get to stay with them and actually experience the village and the people's way of living away from other tourists. Sylvania taught me how to weave and I played with the kids, had a swim, walked around and just simply chatted with other Embera, which was authentic and exactly what I was going for.

Yes, the tour is expensive, I have to admit, but when you see what effort goes into it and how many people benefit from your visit, you understand.

Anne is an awesome guide, anwers all questions as if it was the first time she gets them and is really in love with the Embera.

If you do reserve, try to get a day when there isn't a tour group from one of the cruise ships though, as it dissolves the experience.

The food is awesome! I would recommend bringing a few munchies though, just in case, but I personally had more than enough for supper and breakfast. I could have had a little more for lunch though.

Would recommend and would do over and over again!

Visited February 2013
Thank JenniferDD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Highly recomend a day with the Embera Indians!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013

We booked this trip through our Celebrity cruise ship and were not disappointed! It was a full day of bus and canoe travel over the most beautiful river I've ever seen. Some areas of the river reminded us of Hawaii - large, green mountains meeting the water's edge with no civilization in sight. The Indians were friendly and hospitable - always offering a helping hand to my husband who has problems with his balance. Our guide did all the translating as they only understand Spanish. They made lunch for us - fried plantains and fish - which was served cold in a beautiful banana leaf, garnished with a hibiscus. Presentation was beautiful but the food tasted awful (all that cruise food has spoiled us!!). We loved seeing the members of the tribe dance and play instruments - even the youngest child participated in the dancing. It was a wonderful day of cultural enrichment; one that we probably will never have the opportunity repeat.

Visited January 2013
2 Thank FloridaBuzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
honesdale, pa
Level Contributor
29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful excursion!”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2013

We booked this tour because of the great reviews through Trip Advisor. Anne was prompt to pick us up at our hotel and very informative while traveling. The dugout canoe ride, the village, the reception from the gracious Embera Indians, the meal - all were memorable! We were a bit disappointed that we did not get to the waterfall. We assume it might be because of the traffic getting back into Panama City would be difficult ( our tour was on a Friday). We would highly recommend this tour to others.

Visited January 2013
Thank mamahamill5057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
EmberaTour, Owner at Embera Village Tours & More, responded to this review, January 21, 2013
Thank you for your kind words about our Emberá village tour. It is always a pleasure to share my Emberá family with others. The waterfall near our village is seasonal and not always accessible. Sometimes it is easy to reach by boat, and other times it is a 10 minute walk through knee-waist high soft mud! Other times in heavy rains trees will fall across the stream access blocking the entrance. I apologize for not mentioning to you the reason why on that day we did not stop at the waterfall. Never worry about speaking up and asking if there is something you would like to do that has not been mentioned. We are always open to adjusting to the needs and interests of each group.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
68 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Embera Indians at their best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 13, 2013

We booked a tour with Rudy's Tours to visit the village. He has connections with a smaller village that only allows a few tourists each week. They are delightful. The "medicine man" explained his practice and gave us a great tour of the village. They danced for us, fed us (delicious fish) and their little "gift shop" had some beautiful handicrafts at a much fairer price than the gift shops sell in the City. Rudy drove us to a river, loaded the four of us into a motorized canoe for the short ride to the beautiful site. The Indians have a wonderful setting and seem to enjoy having guests. Rudy is an excellent guide and just takes small groups so the experience is much more meaningful than sharing with 20 other tourists! We are so grateful for his services while we visited Panama City. Prices are more than fair and his communication in regard to booking and timely pick-up, etc. is excellent.

Visited January 2013
Thank KathyBremerton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Best and unforgettable excursion ever!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 28, 2012

For our cruise stop at Colon on December 14, 2012, we booked this one day "expedition" with Anne Gordon to the Embera Indians. Our adventure began with a half hour boat ride in a dugout canoe up the river and through the rain forest. At the Puru village we were greated by the friendly Embera tribe. They showed us their village and Anne explained their lifestyle: No road, no electricity, no TV or phone - but happy people living with the strict minimum in the rain forest. We were invited to take as many pictures as we wanted and they offered us a traditional lunch. This day showed us the total opposite from our consumer society. While ponchos protected us from the rain, our Embera friends were smiling wearing just a loincloth. We will never forget the Embera Indians. Thank you Anne for introducing us to "your" people and village!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank peter41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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