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“My best experience in Panama”

Embera Village Tours & More
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Embera Village Day Tour
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Private Emberá Village Day Tour
Ranked #16 of 167 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 March 13, 2013

What a beautiful day we spent in the Embera Village. David Blank picked us at our Hotel and the experience began when we travelled to the village by dugout canoe. The community received us with music. They were very friendly.
After a pleasant chat where they explained us how they live and what they do, we had a spectacular lunch, fried banana and Tilapia (this has been the best Tilapia I've eaten in my life). Then, we went with the shaman of the community to know a little about medicinal herbs, and then the ladies of the community sang and danced for us.
Thanks to the Embera People and thanks to David for making this trip unforgettable.

Thank Matina28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 - 186 of 247 reviews

Reviewed February 25, 2013

Judy Tovar of Easy Travel arranged this unique experience. Daniel picked us up at our hotel at 8:30. At his recommendation we changed into sturdy soled water shoes for a hike beyond the villages to a remote crystal clear waterfall, led by young men of the village. Hand carved motorized dugout canoes were our mode of transportation. The villagers shared their craft techniques, a meal, and lifestyle, which is unchanged from previous generations. It's an entertaining educational day that people of all ages would find worthwhile.

1  Thank Razorsue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We were lucky enough to have booked this trip with Anne prior to our cruise ship stop on January 22. Anne met our small group of 6 just outside the port gates and drove us to a river location from where we travelled to the village by dugout canoe. There was only one other small group of four and their guide that joined us for part of our visit, a much smaller and intimate group than we would have had with a ship tour. What a fantastic day it was to experience the lifestyles of the Emberá, hear about what brought them to this location and their efforts to build and expand. They are such a happy people. They fed us a delicious lunch of fresh caught tilapia and fried plantain and performed several ceremonial dances, inviting us to participate. A tour with the chief (with Anne as our interpreter) pointing out the highlights of their village and the medicinal plants rounded out our visit.The Emberá showcased their handmade crafts and I wish we could have purchased something from each family's table. They seemed genuinely pleased to have us there. After the trip back to our waiting van, Anne gave us a further tour of the Colon area, including the new lock expansion and a drive by the Gatun locks which we would be going through the following day. Anne had us back to port in plenty of time, no worries about missing our ship.This tour was one of the highlights of our vacation. We would strongly recommend it to anyone travelling in the area.

1  Thank 24vacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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!

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

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

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