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“100% Reliable Private Transfer Service with 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: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Wayland, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“100% Reliable Private Transfer Service with My Friend Mario”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

In the past 2 years we have used My Friend Mario several times to transfer us from the Colon Cruise Terminal to a hotel in Panama City and also to take us from the hotel several days later to the Airport.

The drivers have always arrived early and were courteous and friendly. For anyone disembarking a cruise ship in Colon, the cost of the transfer to either a hotel in Panama City or to the Airport was less than that of a taxi and infinitely cheaper than any arrangements offered by the cruise companies.

In short, their private transfer service has been 100% reliable and very attractively priced.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Harvey_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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277 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Highly Recommended”
Reviewed October 1, 2013

Our tour guide was Mario # 2, he was punctual and went out of his way to make sure that we covered the best of Panama City in a few hours but still able to catch our connecting flight. He was very knowledgeable and it was more than just a normal tour around Panama City.

Visited September 2013
2 Thank jafoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Best of the best, our tour guide was Mario # 2
He was so friendly, very educated tour guide, very intelligent and funny,
We had him for all our tours, always on time and very punctual and accurate , he has patient, never rushed us to finish our tour sooner , very helpful , price was very fair and cheaper than other tours ,cheaper but with value ,great service ,we got cave tour , zip lining, Portobello , rain forest , animal watching ( specially monkeys ) , etc. . I wish we could stay more and enjoy panama with Mario #2 as tour guide. I’m suggesting this tour specially with Mario # 2 .

FABRIZIO from los Angeles

Visited September 2013
1 Thank fabrizio p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, NC
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Several day tours - All great!”
Reviewed September 24, 2013

TL;DR: Amazing! Well priced. Great service. Friendly and fun. Knowledgeable staff.

I spent several days in Panama City and did a total of three tours with Mario. (Mario #2 actually; there are three Mario's on staff!)
I did 1) Rainforest, Colonial Fort San Lorenzo, and Gatun Locks; 2) Embera Indian Village, Rainforest, and Waterfall and finally; 3) Cave Tour (I was with 4 other friends for this and we requested in advance to to see Miraflores locks because my friends had not seen it).

Mario was very friendly and full of lots of information. He had maps of the area that he used to give us a little history and geography.

Below is a quick review of each of the tours:
1) Rainforest, Colonial Fort San Lorenzo, and Gatun Locks
Unfortunately it rained during most of the rainforest tour, but we left the vehicle when possible and saw plenty of wildlife. Once at the fort, Mario's knowledge and stories of San Lorenzo made it enjoyable and very cool to learn about. And the locks were fantastic! While the Gatun Locks does not have the built-up visitor center that Miraflores boasts, there is virtually no crowd and you are actually closer to the boats! I preferred this to the Miraflores ones.

2) Embera Indian Village, Rainforest, and Waterfall
The Indian village was interesting and we got to ask questions about their way of life and how they built their huts. Mario's knowledge was useful here too because he was able to provide some background as to why the Emberas were located in this area and why they remain. Honestly though, I love being outside and hiking, so the rainforest walk and swimming around the waterfall area was a highlight to me. That.... and the amazing pineapples and fresh fruit we picked up at the market!

3) Cave Tour
Uh, FUN!
If you like being outside and aren't afraid of getting a bit wet (wading through pools, etc.) then this is a must do! You don't learn as much history as the other tours, but the sheer 'cool factor' of this makes it worth doing. It's not terribly strenuous, but you have to be able to watch your footing on potentially slippery rocks and wade/swim through some areas (you can use your life vest if you want to take it easy).
At the end, you end up in a lagoon type area and can swim around a dive. (I may have picked up a couple beers on the way and cracked them open at this point :P )
(Pro-tip, if you have a good headlamp/flashlight, bring it. I had one that I left at the hotel. Mario has extras, but bring your own if you already have a good one.)

All-in-all, great tour guide, great tours offered, and great service. Don't hesitate to ask if you can slightly customize the tours. If time permits, Mario will try to accommodate as he did with us.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Fritish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“This one's BEST: Mario in Panama- STOP LOOKING”
Reviewed August 23, 2013

Please take this from an extensive World Traveler with a focus on Latin America. I have taken many tours in different Central and South America and Mario is, by far, one of the best. I took this trip with my parents (65 and 73) and I was blown away by Mario #2's wealth of knowledge about his country and every single place we visited. I took the Embera Village tour as well as El Valle de Anton tour. Mario was right on time to pick us up at our doorstep in a modern full-size car with great AC (I actually asked him to lower it at one point since it was cold inside the car.) If you haven't realized it yet, Mario's prices are lower than the other tour companies in Panama City. Lower prices do not mean lower quality. Mario provided us with a nice balance of detailed historical facts coupled with local trivia as well as recommendations for other places to visit in the city, restaurants to dine in and even the great Riba Smith supermarket where you can purchase really cheap ice cream and patacones (fried plantains). Senior citizens get discounts and I would suggest to do the private tours, especially if you are a small family. You cannot go wrong with My friend Mario. Happy travels!

Visited August 2013
3 Thank NYCLaauraa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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