My husband and I are seriously considering doing this excursion on our upcoming cruise and would really like some insight. While this excursion is not lengthy, is there any real opportunity to "live as the tribe" does while you're there? i.e. dress in traditional dress; dance in a ceremonial dance; try some of their foods, etc. Is it appropriate to bring small items as gifts to thank them for their hospitality and if so, what sort of things would you recommend?
You didn't say if you're going on a ship's excursion, private tour, or which cruiseline you are on.
We were on the Coral Princess a couple years ago and took a tour to the Embera Indian Village. It involved a bus ride and a motorized canoe trip of a few minutes to get to the village. I really enjoyed that tour. They served fresh fruit, etc. --can't remember any other food being served or offered. They did a tribal dance that the tourists could participate in. There was no dressing in tribal garb. The women were decorated with henna tatoos and were , for the most part topless, which was no big deal.
They had a variety of items for sale, woven baskets, etc. Very friendly and outgoing. Photos were welcomed but it was polite to not be too intrusive.
Re/ gifts, I think that tips in the form of dollars were more than welcome, as well as the fact they were selling items to the tourists. I'm sure if you wanted to take some sort of gifts it would be ok, but I wouldn't know what to advise to take. I remember that the houses were on stilts with a log with notches cut for steps--they cooked on a platform on the floor of the houses. I also remember seeing poles with antennas and a few color
t.v.'s so they aren't exactly primitive.
I would advise that if you want to take this tour, be sure that you are going to the REAL village--there was a tour that went to a " replica " of a village--make sure which one you're going to. The one we were on was to the real village and counting travel time, etc. it was pretty much an all day tour.
I would count it as one of the best tours I have ever done.
Sorry I can't be more specific but it's hard to guess what someone else may or may not like. To me, this type tour is worth the money, whereas some folks think they have to be in a shopping mall environment such as ST. Thomas to be happy--and so it goes.
If you like nature, history, inter-acting with other people and cultures instead of browsing jewelry stores, I'm sure you would like this tour.
I meant to thank you for your reply but failed to do so in a punctual way - so thank you. I have been doing some research and with your response believe that we will do this excursion. I am definitely not one to want to do the shopping/jewelry stores, etc. in ports. DH and I much prefer stepping out of our comfort zone and stepping in to other cultures. We like to walk amongst actual residents and eat at local eateries and with street vendors selling native treats. We don't always like the different foods but we always enjoy the experience and we're sure to enjoy the Embera Tribe as well. Again, thank you.