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Monkey Island, Embera Village & Lake Gatun
Join us on this unforgettable experience visiting the famous Monkey island and a traditional Embera Indian village, only 1 hour from Panama City. This will be an exciting day off the beaten path, far from civilization and surrounded by beautiful landscapes. Animal lovers will be delighted to witness close encounters with monkeys, while being immersed in the lush rainforest wildlife. Over 900 species of plant species have been identified. There are 114 mammal species, including Baird’s tapirs, whitetail deer, Geoffroy’s spider monkeys, and all five species of big cats. Of the 396 species of birds, there are stripe-cheeked woodpeckers, red-legged honeycreepers, violet-capped hummingbirds, and even harpy eagles. Additionally, there are 96 reptile species, 79 amphibian species, and 59 species of freshwater fish.
On this tour you also will meet the Embera Indians and learn about their rich culture. Marvel at their mesmerizing music, handcrafts and happy yet simple village life.
Between 6:30am and 7:00 am, your personal guide and driver will meet you at your Panama City lodging (Please wait in the lobby of your lodging starting at 6:30am. We start our tour earlier than others to see more monkeys before their bellies are full from tourists feeding them). Sit back and relax in our comfortable, air-conditioned car while gazing at the various sites we will pass on our 40 minute drive to our tour starting point in the Chagres National Park.
As you commence the 40 minute drive, you will have the chance to see the old, colonial American neighborhoods, which served as homes for the Canal construction families and we will pass the famous Culebra Cut. As we arrive at the shores of Lake Gatun you will be greeted by the dense rainforest and all its intriguing sights and sounds.
We will embark with our boat into the Chagres River, which will lead us into the artificially created Gatun lake, which is a hotspot for biodiversity, giving you the chance to spot wildlife such as the coati, howler monkeys, squirrels and sloths, as well as beautiful birds like the toucan and parrots. Our path takes us mostly parallel to the Canal and into Soberanía National Park on our way to the Gamboa Public Docks, where the Chagres River meets the Panama Canal. A couple of minutes into the boat ride, we enter the Canal and take a quick ride past the Dredging Division's facilities and along the shipping lane (and past a large ship or three) toward the Monkey Island area. Needless to say, thanks to Panama’s abundant biodiversity, a bit of luck, and your boat captains’ uncannily sharp eyes will give you plenty more to look for, so keep that camera handy at all times
As we land on the Monkey Island, listen for the different primate sounds and the rustling in the trees as monkeys jump amongst the branches. Prepare for monkeys to come up to you and inspect your clothes, hats and bags. Being surrounded by these magnificent creatures will be an unforgettable experience and give you many photo opportunities.
We continue our adventure to the authentic Embera community, situated in the middle of the rainforest. The locals will warmly greet you with warm smiles. An Embera family will prepare a delicious, fresh lunch for you, followed by fresh, local fruits. Enjoy the innocent, curious glances of the Embera kids playing nearby, while our guide shares his knowledge with you, learning about the community history and art. The tribe will show off their traditional music and dances, giving you the chance to take photos and videos of their unique customs. We can also take a short hike along the trails through the magnificent rainforest where you can discover and learn about the endemic flora and its medicinal uses.
PLEASE NOTE: Whereas the stand-alone Embera tribe tour includes a visit to the waterfalls, during the rainy season months from April to December this tour cannot visit the waterfalls. Since we will be arriving at the Embera village in the afternoon and due to the rain throughout the day, the river water level will be too high and too dangerous for our guests to safely visit and swim in the river.
- Private Tour
- Minimum 2 Guests
- Price - $149 per adult, $139 per child (until age 10)
- Duration - 6-7 hours
- Start time - 6:30 am - daily (pick up between 6:30am and 7:00am)
- Pick-up and drop off at your Panama City lodging
- Well-maintained, air-conditioned car
- Bi-lingual guides (English/Spanish)
- Private Tour of Monkey Island, Embera village and Lake Gatun
- Water Bottles
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Hotel pickup and drop-off outside of Panama City (i.e. Playa Bonita, Costa del Este & Tocumen area. Please select option during checkout)
- Visit to the waterfalls (during rainy season months April to December)
WHAT TO BRING
- Comfortable and adequate clothing to protect yourself from the sun and thus avoid the use of sunscreen. Creams (even biodegradable ones) are polluting and for that reason we do not promote their use
- Comfortable and safe footwear (sandals or water shoes)
- Sun glasses
- Cap or hat
- A reusable bottle to fill with water during the day
- Cash for tips and souvenirs
- ATTENTION LAST MINUTE BOOKINGS: Bookings made after 6:00pm for the following day are NOT guaranteed until we respond and explicitly confirm your tour itinerary. If your booking is not confirmed by one of our booking specialists, your tour will be scheduled for the subsequent day.
- If the water level of the river is too high or too low, this tour does not include the the waterfall. During the rainy season, with high amounts of rain or during dry seasons with drought-like conditions, we reserve the right to skip this part of the tour for the safety of our guests.
- In the purchase of this tour you are contributing directly to the preservation of the Embera Community and its traditions. Tour subject to availability.
Please read our Tour Cancelation Policy before booking.
TOUR CANCELATION POLICY
Tao Travel 365 strives to deliver the best possible customer experience. If at any point you have a question or concern about our service, please call us at +1 (805) 826-3657 or by WhatsApp at +507-6172-8682.
Due to the nature of our business, the high reservation demand and the logistics involved in organizing your tour a 100% refund less credit card processing fees will only be granted if booked via our website www.taotravel365.tours AND if canceled more than 7 days before the tour date. No refunds apply if canceled less than 7 days before the tour start date. All sales are final. If you are unable to attend the tour, contact us as soon as possible and we will try to arrange and reschedule the same or different tour for you. If you are not at the designated meeting point by the time of your tour start time, Tao Travel 365 reserves the right not to provide a refund. However, we will always try our best to locate you at the meeting point and call your WhatsApp number, if one was provided. After all, we want you to come on the tour and to have fun. That is our goal!
CANCELED OR POSTPONED TOURS
Occasionally, tours are canceled or postponed due to weather or ocean conditions, mechanical failure, or other unforeseen events. Should this occur, we will attempt to contact you about the cancellations and to inform you of refund or exchange procedures for that tour. For exact instructions on any canceled or postponed tour, please contact us. In the case of a cancellation of your tour by Tao Travel 365, we will refund your tour or schedule you for another tour, as detailed below.
All sales are final. No refunds are available unless a tour is canceled or postponed, or we are given 48 hours advance noticed whereby a 50 percent refund will be awarded. We will offer refunds of the full face value of the tour(s) that are canceled or postponed (or, if a discounted tour, then instead the discounted tour price paid). No refunds are offered on any service, payment processing or convenience fees. To receive a refund for a canceled or postponed tour, contact us at email@example.com within 3 days of the tour cancellation and write "refund" in the subject line. Instructions will be provided in order to obtain your refund.
No tour exchanges are offered by Tao Travel 365. While in some extreme cases we may offer this service (such as a cancellation by Tao Travel 365), it is not guaranteed and often impossible. Contact us directly by phone at +1 (805) 826-3657 or by WhatsApp at +507-6172-8682 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to inquire about tour exchanges. Fees may apply.