Emberá Village Tour
The Emberá are an indigenous group in Panama. During this full-day tour, you’ll visit one of their villages and be introduced to various elements of their culture.
up to 30 days in advance
- Duration: 8 hrs
- Available Days: Every day
- Schedule: 8:00 AM
- Hotel Transport Included
- Free cancellation up to 30 days prior
- Mobile Ticket Included
- Offered in English, Spanish
This tour begins at 8:30 AM with a pickup at your Panama City hotel. You’ll take an hour-long drive through the countryside and eventually arrive at a boat ramp on the edge of the Chagres National Park.
Two indigenous boatmen – or, boteros – will be waiting here with a dugout canoe. You’ll hop into the boat and head up river—the ride takes around an hour but can depend on the season and water level. Sometimes the water is so low that the boteros have to get out and push the canoe. If you feel like it, you’re welcome to help them if this happens. The ride up the river is beautiful and gives you the chance to spot toucans, sloths or monkeys in the nearby jungle.
You’ll arrive at the Emberá village of Emberá Puru around 10:30 AM and will receive a traditional musical greeting. Once settled, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the village at your leisure. You’ll then be treated to a short talk about their culture, lifestyle and crafts. After the talk you’ll be led on a short walk through the jungle with one of the village elders. As you stroll along, he will teach you about the medicinal plants that the Emberá use.
Upon your return to the village you’ll enjoy a delicious traditional meal of patacones (friend plantains) and fried fish or chicken. After lunch it’s time to listen to the Emberá music and watch the women perform traditional dances.
Next comes the shopping. The Emberá make exquisite crafts, including woven baskets, plates, masks, and carved cocobolo wood and tagua seeds. The entire tribe then gathers for a group photo—they are not shy about having their picture taken and love looking at the photo afterwards. Your final opportunity is to receive a traditional tattoo made from the black dye of the jagua fruit. The dye usually washes off in about 10 to 12 days.
You’ll then leave the village the same way you came – via boat and car. You’ll arrive back in Panama City after an extremely interesting and satisfying day.
What to Bring
Comfortable clothing, camera, insect repellent, and sunscreen.
Transportation, lunch, and cultural presentations.
Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “More Time and Rates” for full details.
This was the best experience of the trip, everything about it was amazing
Highly recommended. Exceeded expectations.
The highlight of our 10 day trip. Our guide, Jorge, was excellent, provided detailed information about the Emberes. The Enberes were very friendly and welcoming.