The Maleku Indian Reserve is located in the northern region of Costa Rica. The reserve is home to three different towns, known as Palenques Margarita, Tonjibe y El Sol, all within the 2993 hectare territory. The population is 1000, and 80% speak the native dialect called MalekuJaica. The purpose of this tour is to allow us to learn the way of life of these indigenous groups in the present day and what they have done to keep their customs and traditions alive.
Our tour begins at 8:00 am from La Fortuna. After a 1 hour drive through the northern plains we will arrive at the Indian community Palenque Tonjibe and be warmly received by their people. After a short presentation, we will begin a hike through the village to observe many important aspects of this special place, such as the way they bury their dead, the antique type of home structures, and their art work and craftsmanship which currently provide a means of income, the use of cocoa in their farming, and the creation of their clothing. Later we will continue our hike through a trail in the forest in order to learn about medicinal plants that our ancestors used, and how they are currently benefitting from them. Here we will also observe some antique huacas or indigenous tombs.
Finally we will pass through a Palenque were we will be treated to a dance presentation with dialogue in the native Maleku language and customary dress, followed by a traditional Maleku meal. Around 1:00 pm, we will have completed our visit to this village and will begin our return to La Fortuna.