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Reviewed March 6, 2015

We very much enjoyed Xplora’s 9 day Panama Tour in February 2015 . Taking a chance to book such a comprehensive adventure tour across Panama was a bit concerning at first, but Lucia was very prompt to answer all of our questions and complete our arrangements. Our guide Alex was wonderful. As a native Panamanian, he has a broad knowledge of the country, its history, flora and fauna, indigenous people, and the various areas we visited. We were impressed how enthusiastically and professionally he represented his Country and handled our entire tour.
You will experience the extremes of metro Panama City to remote jungle areas, Boating in the Panama Canal among giant cargo ships , Tour the Miraflores locks and watch ships go through (the scale and complexity you can’t appreciate until you see it), Visit the indigenous Kuna Yala people of the San Blas islands, Enjoy the white sand beaches of several Caribbean islands, Head west to the vast Pacific coast beaches, Perhaps hike to a remote farm or hidden waterfall and swimming hole in the highlands near Santa Fe, stop at some tasty restaurants along the way, take a night hike in the forest, among stopping for other points of interest along the way. Never a dull moment.
The accommodations will range from very modern to primitive. You need to be physically capable of hiking occasionally rough trails and climbing in and out of boats. Be prepared to get wet on the boat rides. You should be willing to try new foods and have an interest in learning about this wonderful country, its people, and its culture. If you are interested in this type of adventure – this is the tour for you. It is highly recommended.
All of our arrangements occurred exactly as advertised. We were impressed with this tour company, their people, and attention to detail. Thank you Lucia and Alex.

Date of experience: February 2015
2  Thank jwestby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
_Lucia_D_Pimentel_, Customer Service at Xplora Panama Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2015

We thank you for taking the tour with us and for this great review. We love what we do and reviews like yours are very rewarding! Thank you!

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Reviewed March 2, 2015

If you want to REALLY get to know Panama and indulge all your senses with authentic experiences, then Xplora's 9-day tour is the right choice. You will visit some tourist sights, such as the Miraflores Locks, Boquete, and gorgeous Pacific beaches, but you will also go to amazing, off-the-beaten-path places that most visitors to Panama never see. Alex is an amazing guide who shares his vast knowledge about his country with honesty and passion. It was truly an honor to be able to learn from him. I booked everything by e-mail through Lucia, and her prompt and thorough responses and arrangements made everything go very smoothly. Once you arrive in Panama City, you will not have to worry about, or even think about, any travel arrangements, meal planning, etc. Everything will be taken care of, including admission fees and most of your meals, with plenty of flexibility and some free time to explore on your own at several places.

This trip is not designed for people who want to stay in fancy 4-star hotels and be pampered. It will be best enjoyed by people with an adventurous spirit and an open mind. Be prepared for some rather primitive accommodations in the San Blas Islands, as well as potentially getting drenched with salt water on a rough ride in a small boat to get there. But the chance to experience the native culture of the Kuna Yala people and to visit the beautiful beaches on islands that decorate the Caribbean like a strand of mismatched pearls will be well worth it. A visit to a family-run organic farm in the mountains above Santa Fe was another incredible chance to experience the everyday life of people who happily and successfully exist on an entirely different level from most Americans. It took a bumpy ride in a 4-wheel-drive truck and then a 20 minute hike to get there ... but the payoff was truly amazing. Then an additional short, but sometimes steep, hike ended at waterfalls where you could swim in a pristine natural pond!
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I could go on and on, but it's far easier to tell you that I have visited more than 20 countries on every kind of tour possible. I strongly prefer small group trips, with truly local guides. This trip definitely ranks among the best and most memorable of all of them. It's the real thing, from start to finish, served up by people who really care about their country and the people who visit it.

Date of experience: February 2015
2  Thank kleetampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
_Lucia_D_Pimentel_, Customer Service at Xplora Panama Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2015

Thank you very much for this detailed review. The fact that you rank your tour with us among the best you have ever taken is very rewarding, specially coming from such an experience traveler like yourself. Once again, thank you!

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Reviewed February 28, 2015

If you are an adventurer at heart this tour is a must-do. We were looking for a unique, outside-the-box day trip from Panama City and read some raving reviews of Xplora Panama so booked the Lake Bayano caving tour based on the description on the website. Lucia was incredibly easy to book with, even from Canada, and even when I emailed to do a final confirmation late the night before our tour, she responded right away. Alex, our guide, picked us up from our hotel right on time. Alex has an encyclopedia of knowledge in his head - one of the most informed tour guides I have ever had in my life. We grilled him on Panama history which was great to get from a Panamanian, but his specialty seems to be in fauna, especially birds, he knows EVERYTHING even down to the number of genus of each species.

The tour itself is incredible and I don't want to get into too much description because the less you know the more magical it is! But you will need to be okay with swimming through a dark cave with bats and probably shouldn't be afraid of snakes (we didn't see any but he will warn you about them). We saw everything from spiders and bats, to poison dart frogs, iguanas, butterflies, monkeys...I am sure it is a surprise every time. This tour was one of the most unique things I have done while travelling.

The lunch was amazing also...we went with chicken instead of the fresh caught tilapia due to someone in our trip not loving fish, but I would recommend the fish because they catch it in the lake right beside so I bet it is to die for.

I cannot wait to go back to Panama and book another tour with Alex - I hope to go snorkelling with whale sharks next time! Such a friendly, easy company to book with and I really really highly recommend.

Date of experience: February 2015
1  Thank 122Courtney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
_Lucia_D_Pimentel_, Customer Service at Xplora Panama Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2015

We really love reviews of fellow adventurers of heart! Thank you very much for taking the time to write this wonderful review.

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Reviewed February 27, 2015

We chose a 5 hour day tour with Xplora Panama Tours called Panama Canal Wildlife Safari. Our guide, Alex Gueuara, was intelligent, pleasant and spoke very good English. We were lucky to be the only two travelers so his explanations were informative and very responsive to our questions. The tour is very customized, with hotel pick up, car travel to Gamboa, then boat ride through the Panama Canal, Lake Gatun and good time spent meandering through the islands in the area. We saw three kinds of monkeys, an iguana, sloths and two baby crocodiles. Also numerous water birds. Then proceeded to Soberania park to do a nature hike where Alex explained the local flora beautifully. His knowledge comes partly from lifelong Panamanian residence and partly from having done ecological research locally.
As a practical matter, we had to change our plans several times and Lucia Pimentel in the office accommodated us very well. We were most pleased with the experience.

Date of experience: February 2015
Thank 11,122,014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
_Lucia_D_Pimentel_, Customer Service at Xplora Panama Tours, responded to this reviewResponded March 18, 2015

Thank you very much for this review. We do our best to make sure our guests get the best possible time in Panama. Thank you for touring with us!

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Reviewed February 21, 2015

We booked the 9 day tour with Explora Tours for February 2015.
It was very easy to arrange from Canada, Lusia is very organized and always answers any questions promptly. She takes care of everything!
We expected to be in a small group but it turned out that my husband and I
were the only ones with Alex Gueuara as our guide.
Right from the start we felt very comfortable and well taken care of.
Alex is awesome,very knowledgeable and personable with a great sense of humor.
His english is excellent!
We really got a great insight and feel of the country. We loved getting to know the nature,people and customs of Panama.
Whatever we asked Alex always knew the answers. He has a passion for what he does and it shows in how he does his job!
We will remember this trip as one if not the favourite!
Would highly recommend this tour!

Date of experience: February 2015
Thank Siska D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
_Lucia_D_Pimentel_, Customer Service at Xplora Panama Tours, responded to this reviewResponded February 22, 2015

Thank you for your words and for highly recommending us!

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