Your motor coach will double as a virtual time machine as you travel back more than 600 years to a Central America few people ever experience. This is a journey into the lives of the Emberá Native tribe—a proud people who maintain their traditions and lifestyle as it was before the Spaniards Colónized Panama. A knowledgeable guide will give you an overview of Panama on the way to the jungles of the Central Region and share the history and customs of the Emberá Natives who are the keepers of the rain forest and the Chagres River. When you arrive at Chagres National Park, you will leave the comfort of your vehicle to board a dug-out canoe that will take you to the Emberá village. Although far from luxurious, the dug-outs are sturdy craft which were critical in the conquering of the jungle and in establishing supply lines for both Natives and Spaniards. After motoring up-river, you will see the village emerge from the jungle. Keep your eyes open along the way, as the region offers abundant wildlife that is particularly active along the river’s edge. In the village, the chief will welcome you with traditional Emberá hospitality. A series of dances have been arranged to add to this cultural exchange. Feel free to wander through the village, ask questions and interact with these quiet people. As you will be guests in their homes, a common sense approach and sensitivity to their privacy is appreciated. The Emberá men and woman are spectacular craftspeople and have produced some beautiful items available for purchase as souvenirs or keepsakes of this unique experience.
Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed. Boarding local canoes requires only a minimum of dexterity and flexibility. The landing consists of a rudimentary "put-in" that lacks handrails or proper steps. Many hands will be available to assist; however, guests will be required to step up into the vessels. Restroom facilities are limited and basic throughout this tour; at the Emberá village only latrines are available. Tour duration will depend on the water level of the Chagres River. This tour is not suitable for pregnant women, guests with limited mobility, or guests with a history of back or neck problems.