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“Mario was great!”

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: Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for older children
Wyckoff, New Jersey
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Mario was great!”
Reviewed November 10, 2011

We took two day tours with "My friend Mario" on my brother's recommendation. The first was the Panama City tour to Panama Viejo, Casco Viejo, Ancon Hill, Amador Causeway and the Miraflores Locks. Our Mario (as he said, not THE Mario) was very friendly, helpful and relaxed and willing to indulge our preferences. We took a second tour where he met us at the Panama Canal train station in Colon at 8:30 in the morning, showed us around Colon, drove us across the canal (and to the Gatun locks) and for a walk through the rain forest to see sloths and see and hear howler monkeys. It was terrific. We also went to Fort Lorenzo. Everything was relaxed and fun as well as informative.

Visited September 2011
4 Thank dianadevit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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278 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Personal Service at it's Best”
Reviewed October 21, 2011

We spent two days with Mario. A Panama City day and then an all day Panama Canal crossing (Mario provided the info and the ride to and from the boat). We also were picked up at the airport and taken to the airport when we left. They provide excellent commentary, clean vehicles and friendly on time service. We selected Mario because of good reviews on Trip Advisor. You cannot go wrong with Mario. In closing I would like to point out that his prices are EXTREMELY reasonable.

Visited October 2011
4 Thank embdmb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Captain Cook, Hawaii
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Quality, Professional and a true Value”
Reviewed October 10, 2011

That says it all. Mario senior was waiting for us upon arrival at PTY and efficiently drove us to our hotel. On the way into town he gave us an informative narrative of the place and the people there in Panama, helped us plan a custom day trip of Panama City for later in the week and pointed out quality restaurants nearby our hotel. The following day we used them to provide transportation to and from the canal sailing tour and used them again for a custom city tour from Mario junior. They were quite willing to customize a standard city tour to meet some of our needs off the beaten path. We truly appreciated their doing this for us

They were always on time, extremely knowledgeable and extremely fair in the rates they charged. Their vehicles are clean and in excellent condition with cool AC. They are excellent at their job and a real bargain compared to their competition. It is disappointing to read previous TripAdvisor reviews alleging that Mario “made a lot of money” for his service, when you consider that the cruise ships booking the tours get a commission, the attractions (Indian villages) also get a cut of the fees Mario receives in addition to the drivers needing to be paid, as well as the high cost of imported vehicles and fuel which leaves their labor of love meagerly compensated .

They are an honest family business that we highly recommend for any transportation or travel needs in Panama City and will definitely use them again on our next visit.

Visited September 2011
3 Thank KOA002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Logan, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome Tour”
Reviewed October 9, 2011

Three family members and I took a cruise to Panama - I was apprehensive about taking an excursion not sanctioned by the cruise, but my husband had booked this tour with "My Friend Mario" and I'm so glad he did. Our guide, Alex, and our bus driver, Felix, were great - we learned so much about Panama and the people there. We were taken to the rainforest and those who desired took about a 45 minute hike to see monkeys. We had also seen several monkeys and sloths and beautiful blue butterflies as we drove through the rainforest. Felix was amazing at spotting all the wildlife and stopped the bus several times for pictures. We also walked around the ruins of San Lorenzo Fort and Alex was there to answer any questions. Afterwards we spent an hour at Gatun Locks watching a large freighter pass through the Canal. Throughout the trip, plenty of drinks were provided, as well as some of the local foods for snacks. I would definitely recommend this tour!

Visited September 2011
3 Thank Clizm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best choice in Panama”
Reviewed September 27, 2011

My Partner and I took 3 tours with MyFriendMario and definitely was the best choice we could ever take, as we wanted something more private. So we took the city tour , snorkeling down the rain-forest in Colon to a very nice beach then we made a stop in San Lorenzo Ruins and fishing at Gatun Lake (amazing artificial lake made by men) I got to catch the biggest sea bass and it was my first time fishing :). We enjoyed the company of Mario my friend we had a wonderful time. The snacks were very good and beer, water. Also he was very gentle to make other stops for us to pick up our cloth and make fast groceries at a near Market. I highly recommend this company. Thank you Mario.


Visited September 2011
3 Thank Vero-iTech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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