I'm planning a trip to Panama with my wife and 14-year old grandson for July 2013. I've contacted a company called Panama Travel Consultants. Does anyone have any experience with them? Thank you!
Our family just got back from Panama with a full transit canal tour aboard the Pacific Queen as the highlight.
Panama Travel Consultants arranged the full canal transit.From start to finish,the company's pres.Scott L was in constant touch with us.He was not only pleasant to deal with but also so helpful in assuring us on the success of our transit.By phone & by email,he gave us advice & some tips to better enjoy this very memorable journey.
The vessel his company uses is clean & well maintained,except for some tarp damage which got some passengers wet when the Pacific Queen encountered a serious thunderstorm approaching the Centenary Bridge.The rainfall was so heavy that no passengers stayed on the top deck for about an hour.It was only in Gatun Lake when passengers again ventured on the top deck.
Scott's point person at the Flamenco Marina Marian G,not only was friendly but so efficient that so many passengers were settled in the vessel in a timely manner.Now the cruise host & narrator Gus is something else. Both in English & Spanish,he really knew his stuff.Inside out,he can state all the pertinent facts concerning the canal plus much more.From Flamenco to Balboa through both Pacific Locks up to Colon,Gus knew how to time his narratives & make them more interesting.
Although breakfast & lunch are included in the package,it is still advisable to bring some snacks on board. The main deck's dining area is about 3 flights of stairs down from the top deck so getting food is not so easy.
I would highly recommend Scott's company to friends who are planning to travel to Panama as he can also arrange other tour packages.
After some research on tour operators doing the Panama Canal transits,I found out that their price differences don't matter much.The usual price range for a full transit in July was between $175-180 per adult passenger.There's a tour company called My Friend Mario who includes free transfers from any Panama City hotel to the Flamenco Marina for the same price.We did not choose this agency since its' full transit schedule for that month did not match ours.
We booked 5 nights at the Gamboa Rain Forest Resort unfortunately with another company than Panam Travel consultants. When we started emailing the resort to inquire about booking tours, it would take 5-7 days for them to even respond.. Came across another person's comment on TripAdvisor for the Gamboa Resort and they mentioned Panama Travel Consultants as being the place to book tours in Panama. Well, we contacted them and Scott, the owner responded very quickly and we booked 5 tours with this company. First may I say, Scott is a professional and charming man, and was a pleasure to work with him for our tours. We booked Five trips with him - Canal and City Tour, Chagres River Embera Tribe Trip, Panama Jungle Trip, Pipeline Road Birding and La Tinajas Dinner/Show in Panama City. All of our tours were with private guides/drivers, which was unexpected and phenomenal and great personable guides who really cared about your tour being special and appreciative of your business.. At Gamboa Resort, we heard many people complaining that they could not even book a birding tour at the Resort as they were sold out.. Thank you Scott for making our trip a wonderful experience and when we do go back to Panama, will have your company arrange EVERYTHING from airfare/lodging and tours..
I've never commented on a trip I didn't take - but wanted to let people know of my very positive experience with Scott Ludlum at Panama Travel Consultants.
I contacted Scott in early Sept 2013 to plan a trip to Panama and Costa Rica in Jan, 2014. Scott was extremely professional and punctual. He was very accommodating as we worked through an itinerary, going back and forth with us several iterations until we felt like we had exactly what we wanted. Scott worked with us via phone and email. We had paid for the trip in full and were ready to go but then I fell and fractured a vertebra. According to the contract we had with Scott, it was at a time when we could get 1/2 of the payment back, and Scott was very prompt in returning these funds. We had TravelGuard insurance, so we will work with them to get the other 1/2 of the payment. (Always get travel insurance when you have a lot of money invested in a trip - I had a simple fall in my yard - you just never know what can happen).
Scott was a pleasure to work with and he really eased the situation after my injury. We have asked him to save our itinerary as we plan to go in Jan, 2015 and will definitely book through Scott and Panama Travel Consultants.
We used Panama Travel Consultants to plan our trip over the holidays. They were INCREDIBLE! They spent a lot of time with us to make sure they understood what we were looking for in the trip. It really paid off as our Panama experience exceeded our expectations! We were able marry culture with adventure, relaxation and fun in the sun. We have travelled extensively with our three teenage sons -- this trip was deemed "awesome" which is the highest mark they give!
More! Doing this post made me look again at my photos. WOW! I am so happy we took this trip with our sons. I know we will all never forget crossing the Panama Canal, feeding monkey's, kayaking through the rainforest, eating ceviche in the fish market, zip lining across the jungle and more! Thank you Scott and the team at Panama Travel Consultants for making this trip so special!
We are using Panama Travel consultants right now, have been here since Tues and are not leaving until this Friday. We have had an incredible trip so far and Scott was amazing to work with. Definately use his services if you can. It is very reasonable and well worth it for sure.
My family and I (5 of us, all adults) used Scott from Panama Travel Consultants for our trip to Panama over Christmas and New Years (2013/2014). Scott helped put the entire trip together for us based on where we wanted to go, what we wanted to see and our hotel preferences. He took care of every detail - hotels, air (internal and to/from home), transfers to/from every airport and hotel as well as local excursions. He had numerous conversations with us and adjusted the trip to meet our expectations. He also held a pre-trip meeting with us via phone to go over the itinerary and answer any questions. At the end of the trip he had a call with us to ask us for comments.