Gatun Lake, Panama
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Approximately 6½ Hours
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 colonized 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.
Keep your eyes open along the way, as the region offers abundant wildlife that is particularly active along the river’s edge.
At Chagres National Park, leave the comfort of the 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 played a critical role in the conquering of the jungle and in establishing supply lines for both Natives and Spaniards.
Motoring up-river, you will see the village emerge from the jungle. The chief will welcome you with traditional Emberá hospitality.
A series of dances has 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 a guest in their homes, a common sense approach and sensitivity to their privacy is appreciated.
The Emberá are spectacular craftspeople and have produced some beautiful items available for purchase as souvenirs 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. Tour duration will depend on the water level of the Chagres River. This excursion will depart from Gatún Lake and will end in Colón, where you will re-board the ship. The Panama Canal Authority assigns specific time slots for the transit of a vessel through the locks. The ship will anchor in a designated area and will wait for instructions. Once clearance is transmitted to the ship, procedures begin to bring the ship's tour passengers ashore. Therefore, tour departure times may vary and will be announced onboard. The return time of the ship to Colón may also be delayed due to transit through the locks. We recommend that you are prepared for any potential delay of the ship's arrival to Colón and plan accordingly by bringing any needed medication or essential items on tour. Facilities are available at the terminal in Colón while waiting for the ship's arrival in case of delay.