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“Sucking Fish aren't cool”

Embera Village Tours & More
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$175.00*
and up
Private Emberá Village Day Tour
More Info
$120.00*
and up
Embera Village Day Tour
Ranked #12 of 161 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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Toronto
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Sucking Fish aren't cool”
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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237 reviews from our community

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virginia
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“An experience of a lifetime!”
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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1 Thank dovars6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Vancouver
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“This one is memorable!”
Reviewed April 7, 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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2 Thank Wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cameron, Ontario
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“The best kept secret in Panama”
Reviewed February 9, 2008

My family just returned from a Cruise that included Panama...not knowing what to do at this port we decided on the Embrea Indian Village. We all agree that this was the most fantastic experience!!! Although first glance at the canoes was a little worrysome we loved the canoe ride to the breathtaking falls hidden out of the way, then off to the Indian Village where we were greeted by the most amazing hospitable people on this earth, kind, warm and welcomed us with wonderful music, dance and food all wrapped up in a leaf cup, we all could have stayed there for a week, to live with them we truly didnt want to leave them!!!
Not only was this Indian Village a wonderful place to visit, a NOT TO MISS tour for sure, but Laura our tour guide made the day what it was. ...perfect!...it was like she took us to meet her own family!! Laura was very knowledgable and she conducted the tour in a way that made you feel like you were not on a tour at all, not pushed through or rushed, she swam with us at the falls and enjoyed her day just as much as we did!

Thank you Mario and especially Laura for making our day in Panama a day none of my Family will ever, ever forget!!!

Jo-Anne Wade and Family

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

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