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“Excellent cure for a layover” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Almiza Tours by My friend Mario

Almiza Tours by My friend Mario
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Discover the Panama culture with local guides and the best you will pay our local price (Half price than our competitors!!!) We have the best friendly guides with 10+ years experience with tons of information and history details. We are in the business since 1994.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Excellent cure for a layover”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2011

On July 30, I had a 7 hour layover at the Panama International Airport -- a long time to be in the airport but a short time to leave the airport. I contacted My Friend Mario prior to leaving and was assured that I would have enough time to see the Panama Canal as well as quick tours of the colonial parts of Panama City. The airport is very efficient and getting through immigration is only a few minutes. My tour guide/driver Alex was waiting for me. We had time to see the colonial parts and go to the Miraflores Locks to see a large ship going through and to go through the Canal. Alex was informative, friendly, and entertaining and got me back to the airport with plenty of time to spare for my flight.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
5 Thank princebjb2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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English first
Marina del Rey, California
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Mario is the Best!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 18, 2011

My wife and I went to Panama City for three days with another couple. Mario picked us up at the airport and took us on two tours while we were there: the Panama City tour and the Embera Indian Village Tour.

The airport transfers were effortless. Mario was waiting outside customs holding a sign with our name on it when we arrived. On the way to our hotel he took us by the fish market for some ceviche and began teaching us about the city.

The Panama City tour the next day was awesome. Mario has a real passion for the city and its history. He took us through the city in roughly chronological order, teaching us about Old Panama City, Casco Viejo and the modern city, while mixing in the history of the country. Our tour ended with a trip to the Miraflores Locks, where Mario patiently answered all of our questions.

The trip to the Embera Village was also great. Mario arranged for everything. He picked us up at our hotel and drove us to the Chagres River, where two Embera guides were waiting with a canoe. The ride up the river lasted about an hour, and included a stop to catch a fish they spotted near the surface (some nice work by Mario with a bucket on that one). After going past the village, we stopped and hiked to a waterfall, swam for a while, then went to the village for a tour and lunch. Just a perfect day.

Overall I cannot recommend Mario enough. He is knowledgeable, friendly, reliable and makes a real effort to cater to his clients' needs. For example, one member of our party doesn't eat fish, so he went out of his way to pick up a separate lunch for her before going to the village. Mario made our trip to Panama amazing and we can't wait to go back.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
2 Thank BMY2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome trip!!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 17, 2011

I visited Panama a few weeks ago and had such a great time! I contacted Mario at the last minute for a tour to see the indians. As promised he was on time and waiting with a a big smile. He took us to visit the waterfalls and to see the tribe. We had a wonderful time, Mario was very knowledgable. I would recomend Mario 100%. Hope to see them again soon.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank cholitadelperu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“My friend Mario is everybody's friend”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2011

I booked a day tour with MFM and I was glad I did. Unfortunately, I don't remember the guide's tour but he was super friendly and know about the city.
I booked it very short notice when I found that I will have a day free from work and MFM was able to book me right away. The Canal tour was very interesting and at the end of the day they dropped me to the mall to do some shoping instead of taking me back to the hotel.

Visited February 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank Litzza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
Level Contributor
106 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Great trip to the Embera Indian Village”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 5, 2011

Our tour with My Friend Mario in Colon was fabulous. We docked in Colon and we found My Friend Mario right where we were supposed to. We got on the bus and started the treck to the Embera Village. We got to stop at the Gatun Locks for a good 30 mins and even saw a few ships go through. We also got to stop on the way to see some howler monkeys at the side of the road. Apparently we happened to arrive in the middle of a drought so we weren't able to board the canoes at the regular spot so we had to drive a little out of the way along a bumpy road to another spot (not My Friend Mario's fault!!). Our guide was amazing though and through all of her stories and information, we were able to forget about the long bus ride! We did get a ride in the canoes to the village as well. The day at the village was really good. It was hot and humid out and they had coolers of cold beer and other refreshments waiting for us. We sat in this big covered area an listened while we were told about the various handicrafts made in the village. We were then treated to a dance performance by the locals. After that, we were given a delicious lunch of talapia and plaintains in a banana leaf as well as various fruits. After lunch we were given a chance to buy some of the local handicrafts, most of which were very nice and well-priced (even for tourists!) We headed back to the ship after that, and again, our guide entertained us the whole way back with stories and more information about Panama. Great day overall and much better value than a lot of the other tours we heard about!

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Jane123456789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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