Modern Panama is home to seven indigenous tribes, and the Embera is one of its most well known native groups. Part of the Embera tribe migrated from the Choco region of modern day Colombia to Panama in the late 18th century. The indigenous people retain their own language, cuisine, culture, and customs, many of which can be seen on a visit to an Embera village.
Traditional houses are typically built on stilts and often on the riverside, where they are organized into a small community with a communal house at its center. The Embera also keep their own government and family structures. Most of time, villages can only be approached by water; typically a traditional dugout canoe brings in visitors.
As the Embera people live sustainably in the middle of the rainforest and for the most part have resisted modernization, a visit to an Embera village offers a unique glimpse at a preserved way of life. Music and dance, traditional clothing, and indigenous foods are all a part of an immersive experience.
To visit a Embera village, a guided tour is necessary. Tours of the village typically pick visitors up at their Panama City hotel and provide roundtrip transportation. Prices vary depending on length of stay.