After booking our trip 3 months out and getting my family excited about fishing and taking a boat ride to see monkeys and sloths it all ended in disappointment. We were on a red eye flight and had a 12 hour layover in Panama. We knew we had no intention of ever visiting again and this would be our first trip. Time was going to be priceless. After sending our flight info and reconfirming he assured us a driver would be waiting with a sign for us. We landed at 6:30 am and made it to the pick up area by 7:15. Thinking the driver might have not been anticipating us so early we waited. By 7:45 we tried calling Mario at the tour desk. His number was disconnected. They could not dial his listed cell and advised us to use the pay phone to do so. I finally reached him a little after 8. My call woke him up. He had no idea who I was and told me to call him back in 15 minutes. When I got back hold of him our driver apparentlly had car trouble but did not find it important to notify his boss Mario so that we could have another driver. Mario said he would come get us and do the tour himself. He wouldn't be there for another 45 mins to an hour. After waiting an hour and a half he sent me an email that he had a minor car accident and would need to cancel. He gave us no other reccomendation, instead he just said "murphys law".
Now that it was past 10 we had no option to do what we intended. We bought specific clothes and items for our ecotour. Now we were standing in the airport looking like fools with 2 young kids for over 3 hours. We found one tour company that had space but only a group Spanish tour was available for the city and canal. The other option was a taxi for the day. That meant no fishing, no boat ride in the jungle, no monkeys, no sloths, none of the things I had my kids learn about before we came. We ended up having someone drive us to the canal at least.
I can understand bad luck and car problems. But my theory is this is overbooking, cherry picking and absolute poor business ethics. Looking at the amount of times Mario sites car problems, car accidents, and even boat problems in other reviews online should at least make you wonder. If he is not just overbooking and screwing the least expensive bookings over, than at best he is irresponsible, a poor planer, and an unsafe driver with unreliable transportation. In either case he is a failure to me.
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