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“Once in a lifetime experience! Bayano Lake Caves”

Xplora Panama Day Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We offer small or large group tours with a focus on culture, nature, and adventure. All our tours are guided by local Panamanian guides with 10+ years of professional experience leading safe and informative tours in Panama. In them you will find a great sense of responsibility, safety awareness, and a keen interest to offer every single one of their guests a top quality personalized experience.
Reviewed February 17, 2013 via mobile

I can't say enough about how fun and fascinating this tour was. Briant is an amazing, kind and knowledgeable tour guide who made us feel like good friends immediately. Luckily, our tour group ended up being just my boyfriend and I plus Briant's son so we really felt special. The drive out to the lake is long, but it's interesting to see the Panama farm country. The lake is gorgeous and the boat ride is lovely. The cave experience was out of this world!! The bats, the frogs, including getting up close with a poison dart frog, the fish, and all of the "small" spiders were just cool and Briant can find all sorts of things even in the dark. I was so nervous about swimming through a black cave with bats flying overhead, but it was thrilling!!

Some practical information: Briant recommends hard toed shoes (like sneakers) due to the risk of stubbing your toes on the rocks. I wore some quality aqua socks with slip resistant bottoms and felt totally fine.

The hike is definitely moderately challenging. Lots of rocks to navigate and a little bit of climbing was necessary to get to the lagoon.

No real need for bug spray due to all of the bats eating the critters.

Bring a waterproof camera. Beautiful scenery but you will be swimming.

Thanks for everything, Briant! Let us know if you ever come to Dodger Stadium!

7  Thank brynnezee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 19, 2013

I am so glad that you had such a good time. Reviews like this make me like my job even more. Thank you so much, and I will let you know if destiny takes me to LA someday.

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"cave tour"
in 18 reviews
"guide alex"
in 15 reviews
"bayano cave"
in 15 reviews
"hidden waterfall"
in 5 reviews
"caribbean trip"
in 4 reviews
"underground river"
in 3 reviews
"rock formations"
in 3 reviews
"day trip"
in 20 reviews
"poison dart frogs"
in 4 reviews
"local wildlife"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful butterflies"
in 3 reviews
"jungle walk"
in 3 reviews
"natural pool"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful country"
in 5 reviews
"boat ride"
in 11 reviews
"santa catalina"
in 3 reviews
"national park"
in 7 reviews
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190 - 194 of 297 reviews

Reviewed January 29, 2013

We have been travelling with friends over the New Year’s holiday for several years. We've been to Vegas, done cruises and done the beach thing, but this year we endeavoured to do something a little different.
In our search for "off the beaten path" natural tours we came across the tours offered by Eco-Adventures through Xplora. We booked the trip in the Spring (months before travelling). About a month before heading on the trip, we finalized the details with Briant and Lita and got our “what to pack” info...and did a little shopping.
We arrived in Panama (29 Dec) at the tail end of the rainy season...literally, I think the rainy season ended that day. What this meant was that many of the lakes and rivers were at very high levels.
We did the 9 Day Eco adventure tour. We did caving, visited the Kuna natives in the Caribbean Sea, watched a ship traverse the Miraflores locks, travelled to Santa Fe and did moderate hiking to a waterfall, swimming, lunch at an organic farm, a night hike to a small lagoon in the rain forest to see the “night life”, visited a beach resort on the Pacific coast to relax for the day, then to Boquete for some rafting and other activities. The activity level was moderate, so not too difficult for a person doing regular light to moderate exercise.
Our goal on the trip was to do some “off-the-beaten-path” activities and experience as much of the Panamanian culture and lifestyle as we could. This trip gave us that and more. We managed to get to both coasts (I know, not that difficult in Panama), and visit several communities in a rather natural setting.
Briant was an informative guide. He did his best to answer the questions we posed and provided details on every stop of the tour. There were times when I think he could have been more informative, but I think it was generally appropriate given the situation of each visit.
I’d strongly recommend this trip for someone wanting to experience Panama culture other than what you see at a resort or in the city. It was interesting, challenging, a little dirty and exciting. There were only two things I wish I had that I did not bring...a dry bag and a spare pair of hiking shoes. The dry bag would have been very useful to keep things dry during the caving and boat rides. We did a lot of stuff where there was mud and water. One pair of shoes would have been good to keep dry while the others used for the wet and dirty jobs.
Go visit Panama!

2  Thank JerryDeme
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 3, 2013

Thank you so much for writing this detailed review! We are very happy that our tour fulfilled your expectations and then some, that's great to hear. Your contributions for the "what to pack" list are greatly appreciated.

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Reviewed January 27, 2013

A huge bouquet goes out to Briant for a fantastic time in Panama. All the details were so carefully planned out - we experienced a great time learning about the rich culture of the Kuna Yala people and the Panama Canal. Whitewater rafting was amazing. Guide was very sensitive to the level of skill and adventure desired. Huge highlight was the hike to the waterfalls, the organic farm and the San Blas islands - beauty to behold. Briant does an excellent job of organizing to ensure a great time.
- Sharon & John from Canada

1  Thank Sharon3390086
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 30, 2013

We are so glad that you had such a great time! Thank you for taking our tour and for writing these encouraging words. And of course, thank you for the bouquet :)

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Reviewed January 20, 2013

We booked this tour after reading the glowing reports on Trip Advisor, and on the whole, it didn't disappoint. Briant gave a bit of the Panama Canal history as we drove to Gamboa (more info would have been appreciated), and the boat trip itself was wonderful. Lots of sightings of capuchin monkeys, and close enough to afford great photos. (Some monkeys seem to be fed by tour operators so are basically trained to approach at the sound of a boat.) Great sightings of snail kites as well. The walk through the rainforest was lovely, though a bit rushed. My husband spotted a brown frog, which Briant then caught for closer viewing (he's a frog expert), but that was it for wildlife — except for the ubiquitous and always fascinating leaf-cutter ants. One point I should mention. The walk involved crossing a couple of fast-flowing streams over slippery rocks. A bit tricky for some, and Briant was very good at helping the first couple of people across. (We were a group of 6.) My husband and I were at the end, however, and although we didn't need assistance, we were annoyed that Briant led the group onward (with accompanying guide-talk) before we'd even reached the other side! The walk seemed rushed, possibly because we'd had a late start that morning and Briant needed to be back for another tour. Apart from that, the 3.5 hour tour was good value.

2  Thank Jasmine039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2013

First, and most important to us, is to say thank you for taking the time to write about our tour. We take our customer's opinions at heart. We are very happy that you enjoyed the tour and qualified it as a good value, but we have also taken notice of your suggestions regarding the areas where we can improve the quality of our service. Please accept our apologies for seeming to be in a hurry during the hike, there was no afternoon tour or prior commitment to attend, just wanted to clarify that. Again, thank you very much for you nice comments and your valuable suggestions.

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Reviewed January 12, 2013

We decided to visit Panama and actually see the country instead of just cruising through the canal. The tour with Briant sounded like a lot of fun and it was. My wife and I had a great time. We did activities that we had never done before such as swimming in a cave filled with bats, spending a night on a tropical island, a hike to hidden waterfalls, and a night hike in the rain forest in search of the red eyed Panamanian tree frog.
Some of the accomodations were "rustic" as to be expected when you are away from Panama City. Just go with the flow!
You will get wet, you will get some bumps and bruises, but you will see and do things that you may never have an opportunity to do again.
We were also very fortunate to spend the tour with six new friends from Canada. We couldn't have met nicer people.
Thanks you Briant and Lita!!

Thank Robert N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 14, 2013

We really appreciate you took the time to write this review.
You choose our most adventurous tour and we are glad you enjoyed it this
much. Thank you!

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