Galería Namu is proud to act as a connection for you to enjoy a memorable visit to Tonjibe, a Maleku village, located approximately one hour North West of La Fortuna (Arenal volcano area). Your immersion in their culture, the people and their customs will be a rewarding and unique experience.
This tribe – the smallest tribe in Costa Rica – numbers less than 500 people. Yet it is culturally one of the richest. The mother tongue is Maleku, although Spanish is spoken. Many of the old ways are still practiced, and this tour will offer the opportunity to witness their dances, customs, artisans at work, sacred places, and plants and animals so important to Maleku traditions.
Apart from sharing with others their rich heritage, these tours serve as an important way to bring a different economic prospect to a community in need of expanded market possibilities. This is a dignified and mutually beneficial way to augment their limited finances.
Together with tribal members, Galería Namu has put together two impressive tours for visitors to Costa Rica who would like a culturally enriched experience. Your visit with the Maleku will facilitate your understanding of the cultural richness of this country’s aboriginal people. Indeed they are proud to offer this opportunity to relate their culture, sacred tribal places and art to you.
The following is a description of the tour options. In both cases the pick up point will be in San Rafael de Guatuso, at the bus stop. This town is easily reached by bus from La Fortuna to Tanque, and from Tanque to San Rafael de Guatuso and will take a little over an hour. There you will be met by your host and the cost for the round trip from San Rafael de Guatuso to Tonjibe and back is an additional $9 per person. In the event that you have your own car, we will provide directions for the easily accessible village of Tonjibe.
This tour can be taken as a day trip arriving at 10am; leaving at around 4pm. Lunch is provided.
Cost $25 Per Person, $20 each for 2 or more people
As an overnight tour the experiences can be expanded to include more cultural immersion to include food and lodging with a Maleku family, as well as a visit to a sacred cemetery. One would arrive at 10am and leave the following afternoon.
Expanded tour cost is $60 Per Person, $50 each for 2 or more people
Tour 2: Rio Celeste Hike
This is for those in physically good shape who would like to enjoy a stunning hike into a little known area around the Rio Celeste. This river is a sacred topographical feature (among others including Volcano Arenal) for the Maleku.
Your guides will bring you, via a primary rainforest trail, to the source of the beautiful turquoise-coloured Rio Celeste. You will visit a waterfall and volcanic thermal pools (bathing is optional in either). A ‘típico’ lunch will be provided and the opportunity is there for you to bathe in thermal springs – just bring a bathing suit.
This is at least a 7-hour hike and is started at 7:30am with a return at around 3:30pm. Once again, this tour can be combined with a overnight stay in the village of Tonjibe.
We project that it would be best for you to arrive at around 4pm the evening before the hike and your departure could be after the hike.
COST: $60 Per Person, $50 each for 2 or more people (not incl. Río Celeste Reserve fees and taxi)
Remember in all cases to add $9 if you are using public transportation and need a pick up from San Rafael de Guatuso. A fee in colones is asked for to enter the reserve through which the Río Celeste flows. For reservations call +506 2256 3412 or 800 616 4322 from the U.S.