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“Best guide ever”

Boquete Custom Tours - Private Tours
Ranked #16 of 28 Tours in Boquete
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Owner description: Unlike the typical tour company, Boquete Custom Tours has dedicated its focus on providing a unique experience tailored to the individual needs of each client. Our guides are fluent in English, professional and will provide you with an experience of a lifetime. Please look through the website at the various categories of tours, decide what interests you so we can create your ultimate experience.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed February 25, 2014

My husband Bob and I went on a horseback riding tour with John. You couldnt ask for a better guide let alone an amazing person. I am pretty terrified of horses but he gave me one of the gentle horses named Gordo who took his time with me. John was wonderful. He is so knowledgable of the area and spoke english so well i thought he was an american. We also got a tour of the hot springs. If you want to meet a man who is so proud of his heritage, country and his family then John is your man. I hope to get back there again to do the volcano tour with him.

Joanne and Bob
Staten Island, New York

Thank jojo309
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 22 of 61 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2014

John Tornblom must be the best in Boquete. He is a native that was educated by his Grandfather about the environment, birds, fishing, producing coffee and then lived in the US to learn & perfect English plus, understand the quirks of Americans. This blend plus his continued self education around history, working with photographers, scientists and reading has helped him create a service that would be hard to match. We went with John for a full-day tour starting on the Pipeline to find Quitzal but he pointed out at least 14 species of birds plus 9 Quetzals, the narrow glass wing butterfly, a two-toed sloth and offered us narjilla (flavor of orange, tomato & kiwi) and watercress growing by the creek. Now, that was just the first 3 hours and John started pointing out birds within the first 5 minutes!! Due to our physical limitations, he was kind enough to drive us to the beginning of the Quitzal trail. Onward to a local restaurant in Boquete, Orchedia, for a typical Panamanian lunch (delicious pork for me - chicken for hubby). From there he took us to a coffee plantation, that has won awards for their beans, where John conducted the tour of the grounds, facility and roasted coffee beans plus, made us a cup of outstanding coffee. Again, his knowledge was excellent! Our final destination was about 45 minutes out of Boquete to a popular local's swimming hole... Los Cangilones de Gualaca! It is one of the best natural swimming baths in the province of Chiriquí. Jumping from the rock into the river and drifting along the rocky canyon to the pool at the end was heavenly. John is flexible, kind, engaging, provides facts plus fun side stories, has a comfortable vehicle and works all day long to uncover little gems that make the tour special!

Thank lindawtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2014 via mobile

We wanted to do a birdwatching tour in Boquete. The manager from our hotel recommanded John from Boquete Custom Tour. And now I know why: he is great! We got a pick up at 8am and drove for 20 minutes to the Parque Nacional Volcán Baru. We were with the 2 of us, and John. We walked for maybe 10 minutes and we saw a sloth! Just chilling.. John has eagle ears (his family says) and I believe that's true. Every now and then he hears something and then he took his scope or laser to point it to us. We've seen a lot of quatzals. At one point we saw 10 of them! Fighting for the female. It was amazing. John said this was the 3th time he saw it, in the 14 years of birding. Great!

John knows a lot about different kind of things. He found fresh watercress, a little orange fruit naranjilla with the taste of tomato and kiwi (and something else.. I forgot). And also a guave tree! Delicious!
And he even found a tarantula nest. We didn't see the actual spider, thankfully...

On the way back we saw the sloth again, and it turned and now we saw there was a little baby on the chest!

Anyway, John is GREAT! He can hear and see the birds so quick, we took great pictures. Plus he has a scope, binoculars and a bird book. The other group we saw didn't have all of this and they had a hard time seeing the birds...

My advice? Go for John to be sure to see the beautiful birds here in Boquete. And maybe other animals as well!

1  Thank IndoLaurens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

This guy's knowledge of Boquete is absolutely incredible. Yes, he grew up in Boquete but also has an inquisitive mind, seeking out as much information as possible from the Panamanians themselves and books, about the flora, fauna, history and native peoples of the area. Best yet, having spent three years of high school in the U.S., he can easily communicate with his English speaking clients. John is punctual, his vehicles, well maintained. He is willing to stop for photos and if he sees something he thinks you might be interested in, he just works it into the tour. Never a boring moment. I took his Half Day Tour of Boquete twice! Once on my own, and the second time with friends almost a year later, knowing how much they would enjoy it. John recognized me and promised that this tour would not be the same as my last. He was true to his word.
Over the next few months, I look forward to an all day tour with girl friends to Cerro Punta on the other side of Vulcan Baru, focusing on flowers and another, fishing for rainbow trout in sparkling, mountain rivers.

Thank Libby H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2014

Wanting to make the best of one full day only that we spent in Boquete, our guest house manager called John from Custom Tour the evening before, and got us set for the next morning for a full day discovery tour from 8:45 to 18:00. We visited a small coffee farm, Royal Coffe Casero, went swimming in a river and hiked the waterfall trail, just off the sandero los quetzales. We loved the day, our guide, Carlos, a Boquete native, was absolutely friendly, spoke an excellent english, and transmited his passion of his town an region to us. The hike to the waterfall was really wonderfull and easy. On the way up, Carlos had us taste wild fruits picked from trees and on the way down spotted a Sloth and a female quetzal. Great!
A wonderfull discovery day with a friendly and knowlegeable guide. The whole family loved it. Thank-you Carlos!

Thank Frenchfrog39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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