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“Safe option for solo travelers” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Almiza Tours by My friend Mario - Private Tours

Almiza Tours by My friend Mario - Private Tours
Panama City, Panama
(507) 6615-2271
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Local tour operator with local guides offering the best value tours in Colon and Panama City since 1994, if you really like to learn about Panama under the local perspective try with us!
Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Safe option for solo travelers”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

My guide was Mario #2 and he couldn't have been a better guide. I used him for both a tour and for airport transportation. As a solo female traveler I can vouch that this company is a safe choice for traveling solo. When I was picked up at the airport there was another female with Mario #2. I learned that if they are picking up a solo female traveler they bring another woman to try and make the traveler feel safer. I thought this was a nice detail. I was picked up the next morning from my hotel and taken all over Panama City. During the whole trip I was never rushed and could take my time seeing everything. He provided maps throughout the trip showing where we were. I got a full history lesson about the city and the country of Panama. I was provided with water during my trip as well and offered to stop for lunch. However, I was crunched for time since I needed to get to the airport and opted to not eat so that I could see more. Highly recommend this company! Great experience!

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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202 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Edmonton, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Look no further, you've found THE tour company in Panama!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

I had booked a private tour for mid January to do the canal, rainforest and fort tour from my hotel at the Panama City Hilton Double tree. Mario picked me up from my hotel on time and took me to a local fruit market to buy some fruit I wanted before going to the Canal. We then went to the jungle to see monkeys, agoutis, coatamundis, a toucan, lizards and other birds before seeing the fort, the beach and old Panama City. History has been a hobby of mine now for 16 years yet Mario was so knowledgeable that while explaining Spanish colonial history in Panama to me, he was even able to explain where the name of my own country, Canada, came from and the Spanish connection to it's name- WOW, if that isn't knowledgeable then I don't know what is! The whole time he was also very friendly, patient and totally willing to make as many stops at different places as I wanted. Mario's English is also quite good and and so is knowledge of native animals and flora. Even for a private tour, the price only around $120 and considering it was literally the WHOLE day, I certainly felt I got my money's worth! I also used him to get to the airport for my next flight and his rates were better than every other shuttle or cab I found. If you want a tour in Panama that is professional, friendly, knowledgeable and valuable service look no further, you're in the best of hands!

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“The highlight of our Trip!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2014

Mario #3 was an amazing guide! He was very knowledgeable and really went the extra mile to ensure that all our expectations were met. I would definitely recommend him to anyone coming to Panama. It's a bucket list sort of experience :)

Visited February 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Pipeline Road Tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2014

We had an excellent bird watching tour with Mario 3 on Pipeline Road just outside of Panama City. He was extremely knowledgeable about all sorts of things besides the birds, and was very helpful and kind. Although the tour did not include a meal, he went shopping before he picked us up and made us a lovely brunch. He also gave us his telephone number in case we had any problems on our Canal Transit tour the next day (which, but the way, was fascinating and very enjoyable). We paid the extra to go into the Rainforest Reserve and climb the observation tower and it was very worthwhile as we saw lots of birds at tree top level as the sun rose.
I can thoroughly recommend both this tour and our super guide, and the full canal transit tour.

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Outstanding Guide!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

Mario Wong (Mario #2) is one of the best guides I have encountered in my travels to 60+ countries. He made the places we visited truly meaningful by supplying the historic context, leaving me with a deep understanding of Panama's history and the events that shaped it. He always had maps at hand to illustrate the information, which was extremely helpful.

I took a private tour with him, visiting Colon, San Lorenzo fortress and the Gatun Locks. I also took the train through the jungle from Panama City to Colon - highly recommended. Mario picked me up in the morning and drove me to the train station, then met me again in Colon. (I like that the tour company didn't mark up the train fare - they just let me buy it myself - $25.)

Mario kept me supplied with snacks throughout the day, and never rushed or hurried me. In fact, after a couple of hours at the Gatun locks - which are fantastic, and much less crowded than the Miraflores locks - I asked him how much time was allotted there, and he said, "Stay as long as you want!"

I thought the pricing was very reasonable for the entire day, and it included everything - admissions, food, guide, transportation. I appreciated that.

FYI, My Friend Mario is actually a tour company with 10 guides; 4 are named Mario. So when you email them, you are communicating with the company, not an individual, despite their sign-off, "Your Friend Mario." (That was a bit confusing to me at first.)

This tour was a real highlight of my visit to Panama, thanks to Mario Wong. I would definitely work with him again!

Visited January 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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