Fuerte Amador, Panama
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Approximately 6½ hours
Your motorcoach 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 they were 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. Learn about 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, board a dugout canoe that will take you to the Emberá village. Although far from luxurious, the dugouts are sturdy craft and played a critical role in conquering the jungle and establishing supply lines for Natives and Spaniards. Motoring upriver, you will see the village emerge from the jungle. 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 a guest in their homes, a commonsense approach and sensitivity to their privacy is appreciated.
The Emberá men and women 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 some 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, participants will be required to step up into the vessel. 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 or those with a history of back or neck conditions; not advisable for guests with mobility limitations.