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“6-Star Multi-Day Adventure”

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 10, 2014

Yes, I know, there are only 5 stars, but it's just not enough.

Here's the synopsis, then you can read the details below if you'd like. Luis was our guide for an 8-day whirlwind adventure all over Panama. IT WAS AWESOME! What was so great, was that Luis was able via our extended email exchange to learn about what my husband and I are most interested in and highly customize a tour that was perfect for us. Between activities, accommodations, price, meals, you name it, it was all geared toward what we would most enjoy. We are very active and Luis kept us moving. We hiked (a lot!), went river rafting, did a canopy tour, surfed, dove (scuba), did the phenomenal cave tour you'll read about in several reviews, and more. I cannot recommend Luis and Xplora enough. Really.

So here's some additional detail for those who are interested. What attracted us to Xplora was the introductory questionnaire on their website that listed so many potential activities. We were thrilled about the possibility of finding one company that would handle everything for us. Our email was answered very promptly and professionally by Luis and so began our conversation. Luis is incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of Panama and the hospitality industry, so I felt immediately that we were in good hands. We exchanged emails for literally a few weeks making adjustments to the itinerary. He was so patient and answered all of my questions thoroughly and quickly, and there were a lot of them!

My only concern during the booking process was paying for the tour via credit card over email or over the phone. Luis explained why it had to be done so, but I was still nervous. I bring this up because I want to vouch for the fact that my credit card information has not been compromised in any way, so I can now personally attest that this is a safe process.

Once we arrived in Panama, everything went exactly as we had arranged. We had wondered what it would be like having a personal tour guide for the entire 8-days. It was great! We had plenty of time to explore on our own, yet Luis made sure everything went smoothly for each stage of the adventure and was there to answer any need or question that came up. I believe we learned so much more about the culture and country of Panama than we would have bouncing from tour to tour on our own. Also, this arrangement gave us so much flexibility. For activities that were led by Luis himself (most of the hikes), we could decide to sleep in a little or get up early as we wanted. We could also, for example, check out the surfing conditions and decide to surf, or move on to the next destination if it wasn't worth getting wet. I loved that freedom.

Briefly about our destinations: We met Luis just outside of Bocas del Toro and went to Boquete for rafting and canopy tours. It's a cute little town. From there we went to Santa Fe where we did a night wildlife hike and several other waterfall and mountain hikes. It's beautiful there, but it is a very small town. We went on to Santa Catalina on the Pacific coast to surf and scuba dive. We loved this small surf town. The hour and a half boat ride to Coiba Island to dive was well worth the time! From there we went to Panama City and stayed in the Casco Viejo part of town, which is fascinating. We did the Cave tour, which was the highlight of our trip. Our last day we went to see the Canal. I had thought that would be boring, but I was completely wrong. It was fascinating and I'm glad Luis made us go see it. We did lots of other little activities in between that were a blast, too....too many to mention!

What I would really like to emphasize is that Luis did a spectacular job with every facet of our tour. He is so professional and yet so friendly and accommodating at the same time. You could not put your vacation in better hands. I could go on and on, but better probably to just say that I would travel with Luis again without question and highly recommend that you do, too.

Thank Arland V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luis C, Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 19, 2014
Google Translation

Speechless

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Write a ReviewReviews (298)
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"cave tour"
in 18 reviews
"guide alex"
in 13 reviews
"bayano cave"
in 14 reviews
"caribbean trip"
in 4 reviews
"underground river"
in 3 reviews
"hidden waterfall"
in 4 reviews
"rock formations"
in 3 reviews
"day trip"
in 19 reviews
"poison dart frogs"
in 4 reviews
"local wildlife"
in 4 reviews
"beautiful butterflies"
in 3 reviews
"natural pool"
in 3 reviews
"boat ride"
in 11 reviews
"santa catalina"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful country"
in 4 reviews
"different species"
in 4 reviews
"small group"
in 5 reviews
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163 - 167 of 298 reviews

Reviewed February 5, 2014

My husband and I went on the cave tour with Briant in Panama. And it was great! Briant was very knowledgeable and made sure everyone in our group got through safely at their own pace. Be prepared to swim, climb and get wet! I highly recommend (old) tennis shoes if you don't have sporting gear. And last but not least, the lunch is awesome! High recommendations!

Thank Laura D
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 16, 2014

Thank you very much! Your review summarizes very well the activities during our cave tour and it is great to see how much you enjoyed it. Thank you!

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Reviewed January 29, 2014

My wife and I took the Panama Canal Wildlife Safari tour and were not disappointed. Briant served as our tour guide and was not only very professional, but very knowledgeable as a biologist about the wildlife of Panama. We started our tour in the early morning when it is cooler and the animals are out. While out looking for wildlife we saw three different types of monkeys, osprey, and caimans. In addition to seeing wildlife, it was really cool to see boats passing through Gatun Lake from our tour boat. As an added bonus, Briant took us to a butterfly garden that he does work at as a biologist on the way back to Panama City and showed us some beautiful butterflies.

I highly recommend taking a tour with Xplora Panama!

Thank Bryan W
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, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write this review, and most of all thank you for taking our tour and for allowing us to show you Panama´s magnificent wildlife!

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Reviewed January 27, 2014

I wish we had more time to explore the old Panama City, but otherwise, our guide Briant was very informed about Panama City, provided great historical and social context for everything we saw, and even took us to a butterfly garden he supervises and advises for.

We had the extra benefit of visiting Panama City on Martyr's Day (50th anniversary of the protests against US control of the Canal Zone), and he explained the holiday, showed us demonstrations of the memorials, and provided more information than we would have gained had we just walked around the city.

Thank Mandy B
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, 2014

Thank you for this review. We are glad that you enjoyed our tour!

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Reviewed January 26, 2014

First let me say I am not a fan of run of the mill commercial tours, but I rely on tours to maximize my time and money. I look for small independent, in country tour companies that have the itinerary that I want. I also look for tour leaders who have a special interest in the country. Next I compare itineraries and costs with some of the more commercial tours to determine the value of the tour. From the beginning my communication with Esther and Briant assured me I had made the right choice for a tour to Panama. I was told that even if only my friend and I signed up the tour would proceed. My friend's goal was to transit the Panama Canal and my life-time goal was to visit the San Blas Islands and purchase some molas for my fiber collection. We did all that and more. Briant, our guide was one of the best, negotiating changed flight schedules, sharing his passion for nature and frogs, and answering our many questions about Panama. Whatever we needed or wanted Briant was able to adjust and accommodate our needs. He checked and double checked up coming accommodations to make sure all was as it should be. We had lovely hotels through out the trip. OK, the accommodations on San Blas were definitely primitive and not for the faint of heart but I can do anything for two days and wouldn't have enjoyed the experience if we hadn't "gone native".
I rarely read up on a country before hand because I want to show up and just observe and absorb the culture. I was amazed at how modern Panama is compared to other Latin countries. Not a complaint but the only thing I wasn't impressed with was the food- way too bland for my palette.

1  Thank Donna S
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 28, 2014

Thank you for this review. You are exactly the type of customer we enjoy working with: customers that want to avoid the large tour bus crowds! Next time I will cook for you with all the Panamanian flavor :) Thank you so much for taking our tour.

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