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Embera Indian Rainforest tribe Village

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More than ten years ago, several families of Embera indians original from the remote rainforest tribes of Darien's jungle migrated to Chagres River's bank, situated at less than hour and half from Panama City.

The Chagres River is the main water source of the Panama Canal, and due to its importance in the national economy, the Chagres National Park was founded in 1984 to protect its watershed.

Parara Puru is a demostrative village of the embera's culture, established in Chagres National Park thanks to its chief's initiative, Antonio Tocamo. In it, the visitor has the oportunity to appreciate costums and believes of the village in the same way as he would experience it in the remote rainforest tribes of Darien's jungle.

The Natural Bridge, as its name states it, has been carved by nature. It has been in use since the time of the spaniard conquest to pass over the La Puente River. "El Camino Real" or "Royal Way", which passes over the bridge, was the main route used to transfer the gold and silver extracted from Peru to Spain.


We start the tour picking up guesses at 8:00 a.m. at Panama City. We will arrive to the Natural Bridge around 9:30 a.m. After apreciating it, a historic briefing shall be given, and motorized dugout canoes will be boarded to navigate toward Parara Puru in a twenty minute trip.

At Parara Puru, its chief, Antonio Tocamo, and his people will welcome us. The indians will demonstrate us some of their tipical celebration and curative dances. There would be time to share with the indians in an informal way about their way of life (social, religious, economic and other aspects of their culture).

We'll walk a narrow trail where our indian guide will identify flora species that are used daily due to its properties for medicine, construction of habitat, and handcrafts.

At around 01:00 p.m. will have a lunch in the village, and will have time to buy their famous handcrafts: cocobolo wood and tagua (or vegetable ivory) carving, and parara puru (palm leave) baskets.

At around 02:00 p.m. we will travel back to the closest road to take our vehícle to return back around 04.00 p.m.


WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE ? All mentioned transportation, bilingual guides, lunch and beverages, donation to Chagres Foundation.

WHO CAN GO ? Any person from eight to seventy years old, in good health, Minors must travel with a responsible adult.

WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE ALONG ? Camara, hat, sun protection, sport clothing, sneaker or light boots with good soles, swinsuit and towel, and dry set of clothes for the trip back (there are chances to get wet even if you don't go for a swin).

WHAT SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT ? Sandals and jewerly.


USD $ 125.00 per person.

Group Leader goes free with a party greater than 10 persons.


The Embera Rainforest Tribe Village can be visited year around.

 The rainy season starts in April-May and extends to December reaching its peak at October.  Chances for rain are very probable. 

During the dry season, from January through March there is usually a strong North wind and probabilities of seldom light rain

Embera Dance

The Chief Antonio Tocamo greeting visitors


embera chaman sharing is way of life

Tocamo, Parara Puru´s Chief, commenting on its origin


a guest dancing with embera kids

embera women displays tagua seed, or vegetable marfil as it was known, and which is used for handcrafts


embera handcrafted parara puru basket

a guest being painted by an embera.  This vegetable paint will last for days over the body


Parara Puru Embera residents posing with Javier Romero, founder of Aventuras Panama

Glancing at the horizont from the confluence of Rio Indio with Rio Chagres, place where Parara Puru is located


traveling upstream Chagres River in an embera motorized wooden canoe

Embera relaxing in front  of a motorized huge hand carved wooden canoe


La Puente Natural Bridge, nearby Embera Village in Chagres National Park is a river that flows through a hill

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