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Explore Costa Rica and Panama on the worldʼs most exotic cruise

By Sue Bryant, The Sunday Times UK

Distant drumbeats echo through the rainforest above the screech of birds. Weʼve been on the Mogue River for an hour now, chugging along in a wooden dugout, the brown water fringed by the dense greenery of the
Darien jungle. In the distance, misty hills rise to 6,000ft. This is the edge of the Darien Gap, the roadless and lawless border between Panama and Colombia, regarded as one of the most impenetrable regions in the world.

A faint smell of wood smoke in the air suggests the presence of a nearby village. We round a bend and a group of Embera are standing barefoot on the bank, clad in beaded skirts and loincloths, drumming, chanting and
beaming with apparent delight at our arrival.