Embera Drua is a small indigenous community located on the banks of the Chagres river within the national park of the same name. Due to its proximity to Panama City is ideal for one day trip.
The adventure begins in the “port” The Corotu on the shore of Lake Alajuela (or Madden). Only way to reach the indigenous village is along the Chagres river in a piragua (a traditional boat) with engine. Navigation along the river is a nice experience. You can admire the crystalline waters of the river and the wild life of tropical rain forest within the Chagres National Park. It is a unique opportunity to observe different animals in their natural environment.
When you reach the village you will hear the sounds of traditional drums, flutes which give a visitors a warm welcome to the community.
In the village the tourists can learn about indigenous culture, the village´s history and stories about the life in the village.
There are you can enjoy a variety of activities for example: A personal talk with village members to learn about the the fantastic culture, rituals and history of the Emberá people, exhibitions of handicrafts, delicious local food served in a traditional dish or banana leaf (this was my favorite) , exhibition of traditional music and dance (if you can dance with them), nature trail with a healer to learn about traditional medicinal plants.
Do not forget to bring a bathing suit, the community is just across the river and is nothing better than refresh you body in its clear waters.
Some Useful Data
To bring: Water bottle, sunscreen, hat, insect repellent, bathing suit, waterproof sandals, photo camera, change to buy a souvenirs
Price: The price includes transport along the river, the activities in the village and a meal. The price is per person and depends on several factors. We have to negotiate directly with representatives of community (about $ 40 – $ 70). Another option is to use the services of a travel agency.
Tip: If you want to learn more about this indigenous community you can stay for one or several nights. You have just to arrange the trip with the representatives of the community.