Maleku Village Tour
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.
Tour 1: Maleku Cultural Introduction
- Visits with Maleku families
- Presentations in the “Salon Indígena” (community ranch house) of dances, legend and story telling, demonstrations by artisans of drum making, jicara carving, weaving etc.
- Walking a scenic trail to a rainforest area and source of important local flora and fauna species where one will see traditionally used non-medicinal plants, medicinal plants, and a wide variety of mammals, birds and frogs.
- Visit to an ancestral petroglyph
- Visits to artisan workshops where pottery, weaving and carving are produced.