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“Beware of Elvis”

Almiza Tours by My friend Mario
Book In Advance
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$95.00*
and up
Embera Village Tour from Panama City
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, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed October 25, 2013

We had a day tour with My Friend Mario on October 11th in Colon, Panama when our cruise ship docked there. The tour guide was " Elvis ". He was awful. Our tour included the Gatun Locks ; when we got there, he told us to go buy our tickets and he would meet us afterwards. When we booked the tour, it was stated tht our admission to this was included. Luckily, I had a copy of the confirmation in my bag and at the end of the tour we challenged him on this and deducted it from the price.
Elvis bought pineapples on the side of the road and never even offered us a piece. He had drinks and snacks but we did not get them. My husband asked for a diet coke and never got it. I think he took it all home.
We went to the town of Portabello. We were told it took 20 minutes to get there and actually it was well over an hour in no traffic. When we got there, we saw a run down village with pregnant dogs running all over the place, a church of some sort and a run down fort. It was a waste of time driving all that way.
The trip back was terrible . Elvis talked on his cell phone and ignored te passengers for at least 45 minutes of the trip. Once we got back to Colon, the traffic was horrendous ( not his fault ) but he got out of the van to smoke a cigarette and take a walk and came back 15 minutes later....we were all ready to start walking back to the port.
We asked for a discount because we were supposed to go to the beach and did not go due to rain....thank goodness because we never would have made it back to the ship on time. He gave us a $5 discount which really did not mean anything.
He was the most sloppy and unprofessional tour guide I have ever met.....beware of tours with Elvis. I know the Mario tours had great reviews but not with this guy.
Better to stay in the port than venture out into Colon until they can get their traffic resolved with the new freeways.

2  Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wapanda10, Manager at Almiza Tours by My friend Mario, responded to this reviewResponded November 6, 2013

Thank you for your comment will without your feedback we can not know what happens with our guides in the field, they all receive training and have years of experience. Unfortunately Elvis acted unacceptably, therefore, we have taken the decision until further notice Elvis put in the position of assistant guide. Elvis will return to be the principal guide only if he improve his skills.
We work really hard to give our clients the best experience in Panama and this time Elvis ruins the whole team effort.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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122 - 126 of 284 reviews

Reviewed October 24, 2013

We found myfriendmario via a Google search and easily booked them for three days of private touring plus airport transfers.

We were met at the designated spot at PTY and our guide for the entire stay was Oscar Rodriguez. He is full of character and knowledge but above all, he scoped us and our interests and was bold enough to suggest a change in our itinerary.

We are so grateful he did that as he introduced us to surprises, secrets, and thrilling hideaways in Panama. He constantly looked after our elderly travel companion including pushing her wheelchair.

He knew we liked to eat and every opportunity he had he thrilled our palette.

HIs knowledge, reliability, and vibrant personality made us eternal fans.

Myfriendmario made our trip to Panama one to repeat - and with Oscar for sure.

3  Thank SilverSpringBoyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

1  Thank Harvey_Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

2  Thank jafoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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

1  Thank fabrizio p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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