Our small group of six is seated in a wooden dugout canoe, winding our way through the Mogue River’s dense mangrove forest. We are on a 45-minute journey to visit the home of the native Emberá people, an Indigenous tribe that resides in Panama. As the motor purrs and the waterways narrow, fringed by lush foliage and low-hanging branches, our guide points out tropical birds, fish, and other wildlife. Soon, our boat bumps up against the muddy shoreline, where we step onto the slippery banks as we are greeted by the enthusiastic barefoot children who take our hands and lead us to their village.
It’s wonderful when travel expectations are exceeded. This Panama cruise, or rather UnCruise, has many fantastic highlights packed into one week.
Our small, luxurious ship offers plenty of pampering, including massages, gourmet meals, and all-inclusive premium liquor and craft cocktails served up by a pro mixologist. We are treated to a multitude of memorable experiences, including a nine-hour voyage through the Panama Canal while enjoying dinner grilled outdoors by the ship’s chef and narrated by a Panamanian expert. Other UnCruise activities are just as delightful, such as afternoons on tiny, isolated islands surrounded by crystal-clear water and palm trees swaying in the breeze; kayaking along the rivers; and hiking in the forest.