The Embera-Wounaan Indians live in Panama’s province of Darien. Still very primitive and untouched by the outside world these Chocó people are very friendly and open to tourists, enjoying the opportunity to share their culture with others.
One highlight of Caravan’s 8 Day All Inclusive Panama Tour is a morning’s trip up the Chagres River to visit a Panama Embera Indian village.
During this morning visit tourists have the opportunity to:
- Cruise up the Chagres River and take in the sites of Panamanian jungle
- Interact with Embera Indians in their natural environment
- Browse and shop from the Embera handicrafts
Chagres River Panama Cruise
The Embera Indian village tour starts near Gatun Lake on the Caribbean side of Panama. Passengers board a small cruise boat and travel up the Chagres River into the heart of the Panama rainforest. The Chagres River is actually Panama’s primary source for water and is critical in the functioning of the Panama Canal. Along the riverbanks of the Chagres there are opportunities to spot many creatures that make up Panama’s unique wildlife and ecosystem. Toucans, macaws and quetzals all help make Panama one of the best bird watching areas in the world and can be easily spotted up in the trees.
Embera Indian Village Visit
Today the Embera Indians of Panama maintain their traditional living conditions and village structure. Each Embera Indian village is located close to the river bank throughout the Darien Province and most are about a half day’s walk away from neighboring villages. Built on stilts, Embera Indian homes are raised off the ground and have thatched roofs and no walls. All household items such as hammocks, baskets, pots, mosquito nets and bows and arrows hang from the posts and beams around the hut.
Panama’s Embera Indians, also known as the Chocó, have their own form of government and live by their own, unwritten standards. Healthcare is limited and the Embera Indians are not assimilated into Panamanian culture.
Very much community oriented, each villager contributes during harvest time to farm the land together. Food gained from hunting is shared between everyone. Often areas around the small village are cleared in order to grow bananas and plantain which can be used as a crop and resource for obtaining motors, mosquito nets and other goods.
Embera Native Handiwork
After meeting the Embera Indians of Panama many tourists like to collect a keepsake and provide a way to support or thank the village for being so welcoming. Most of the time the Emberas open up their own marketplaces and sell tourists some of their very best handiwork, including colorful woven palm fiber baskets and tagua nut or cocobolo tree carvings.
These vacations always book up quickly as they are All Inclusive and include your meals, in-country transportation and all accommodations.
Call 1-800-CARAVAN to reserve your space today and visit an authentic Embera Indian village in Panama!