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Private Guide

london
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Private Guide

I am visiting Panama for a few days in June. Any recommendations for a good guide? Costs? Suggestions for day trips?

Thanks

1. Re: Private Guide

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Removed on: 8:51 am, May 26, 2014
Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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2. Re: Private Guide

If you have a decent travel book, you really don't need a guide in Panama City. The announcements and signage at visitor's center at Miraflores is in English. Most restaurants in Casco Viejo are either operated by English speaking people or have someone on staff who speaks at least some English. A good guide book will have more details about Casco Viejo than most tour guides know. If you go to Panama Viejo, there are English speaking guides on site.

Like the previous poster suggested, the best way to take a day trip is to rent a car and drive to either El Valle (in the mountains on the Pacific side, about 90 minutes from the city), or drive to Portobelo (on the Caribbean, about 90 minutes away). Both require at least some knowledge of Spanish. If you rent a car, make arrangements to pick it up at Albrook (AKA Gelabert) Airport.

Closer to the city, you could take a taxi to the zoo at Soberanía National Park (AKA Summit Park), or go to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort where you can take an expensive tram ride through the jungle and climib to a vista that overlooks the Chagres River and the entrance to the Culebra Cut in the Panama Canal.

3. Re: Private Guide

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Removed on: 11:41 am, May 14, 2014
Haslett, Michigan
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4. Re: Private Guide

We were in Panama last September and did several tours with Rudy of "Rudy's Tours". He is an excellent guide and spoke very good English. I did a review under "Things to Do" of "Rudy's Tours" and the tours that we did. His website has information on the tours he normally does and prices. He will also customize tours to meet your needs.

sacramento, ca
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5. Re: Private Guide

My family and I were in Panama last month for just a couple of days. I booked a tour with a company called My Friend Mario based upon good reviews here on Tripadvisor. I highly recommend this company.

I arranged a pick-up at the airport to our hotel on the Amador Peninsula (touristy, yes, but it was awesome to watch from our balcony the ships enter the canal). Mario's father was waiting for us with a sign as we exited the airport. No hassle and I felt the $40 was fair for four people and the location of our hotel. We traveled in a nice Montero that had plenty of room. Mario's dad (wish I could remember his name) spoke English very well and was super nice. After I told him that our visit was shortened by a day and I was disappointed that we weren't going to have any time to explore the old city, he gave us a drive-thru tour of Casco Viejo and of the Peninsula before dropping us off at the hotel, spending a good 90 extra minutes with us. He also drove us to the airport for our return flight.

The next day Alex showed up to take us to tour Fort Lorenzo and the Panama Canal. Clean big van. Alex rocked! He, too, spoke very good English and was really knowledgeable and friendly. Seriously, at the end of the day it was like we were old friends, that's how easy to get along with he was. Great tour for us. We talked a lot about Panamanian history, culture, and current events. He stopped plenty of times along the way to the fort to look at wildlife, have fresh fruit, meet people he knew, and to provide me with photo ops. He offered to take us either to the new Panama Canal Visitor's Center when the expansion construction is occurring, or to Miraflores. We chose the new center so we could see the engineering behind the canal. Good choice! We had the place to ourselves and everyone welcomed Alex warmly, and, therefore us, too. I'm kind of a geek, so I was in heaven. My kids ran around and played on the playground, then all of a sudden they noticed the view of the canal and were amazed. Alex then took us to our hotel by the airport. I'd do another tour with Alex in a heartbeat! Actually, we'd just like to hang out with him and his family! The cost was $320 for the four of us in a private tour. I usually don't do tours and such, but am so glad I did this time. No regrets.

myfriendmario.com, mario@myfriendmario.com or by phone +(507) 6615-2271. His website isn't up right now, which is too bad because it gave information on all the tours available.

6. Re: Private Guide

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Removed on: 8:38 am, August 15, 2014
london
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7. Re: Private Guide

Thank you for your responses so far.

Elmhurst, Illinois
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8. Re: Private Guide

Thanks to everyone for these recommendations.

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9. Re: Private Guide

Hi my opinion you will use www,citycabpanama.com very good

Elmhurst, Illinois
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889 posts
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10. Re: Private Guide

I will check this one out, as well!!!!

Thanks/Gracias!