My wife and I had a great day learning about the old city and new city of Panama with Mario. He modified his normal schedule for this tour to accommodate our interests and did a great job of interacting with us. We were delighted with his courteous and sensitive approach to his time with us ! Highly recommended !
Jeannette SinkMt Pleasant, SC, United States
If you want an historic and modern history of Panama City and Panama Canal, then you definately need to book your tour with Mario. He is friendly, charming and very informed. His vehicle is large, new and clean.Mario accompanied us to the Biomuseo acting as our personal docent! Afterwards we went to a local Panamanian restaurant for lunch. I can with all certainty state that you will not be disappointed if you book your tour with Mario. You will be amazed!
Jeannette SinkMt Pleasant, SC, United States
Mario met us at the airport with a warm friendly smile. He gave us a good idea of the lay of the land by taking us in his new roomy clean automobile to see the various areas. Mario's command of the Panamanian History was superb! The history of the Panama Canal was informative and interesting. He explained how the metropolitan city grew exponentially since Panamanians took over the canal from US in 2000. Mario is a former teacher and he taught us well about the new Panama City and the historic Panama.
Julie HallbachUnited States
A fun day with Mario in Panama City! He guided us through the ruins of Panama Viejo as well as the museum, pointing out highlights, telling fascinating stories. Thoughtfully made us note buildings in anticipation of where they were moved brick by brick to Casco Viejo. Delightful walking through Casco Viejo after a delicious locals lunch, Mario paced us perfectly & avoided bus crowds. Tour of the Gehry-designed BioDiversity Museum was jaw-dropping. Mario is a stellar guide to see the best of the city.
Brenda B.United States
This tour of Panama City and Casco Viejo was awesome. Mario showed us all around the city and gave terrific background and stories of the areas. Our experience was so much deeper and richer than if we'd tried wandering around the old town on our own. The visit to the gelato shop was a highlight and it really was one of the best gelatos in the world (and we've tried many). We can't say enough to recommend Mario's tours when visiting Panama!
Delia Jeanette PanchulaVacaville, CA, United States
Mario demonstrated what a flexible tour guide he is during this tour! He took us everywhere described...and in addition the Butterfly center and the Biomuseum...which we didn't even know we would want to see...until we did! He listens and provides opportunities for those he is hosting. Yes, we felt he was hosting us, not just "touring" us! Snacks, restrooms, meal times were all flawlessly worked our five (yes, 5) trips together! This trip includes history, architecture and local artisans!
Gareth JamesUnited States
Mario did a great job. Picked me up promptly at the hotel and took me straight to a tour of the canals. He wanted to start straight when they opened which was definitely the correct approach because crowds arrived soon afterwards. I only had a few hours before my flight out but we still had time to tour the old part of the city before he took me out to the airport.
Carol HarlanUnited States
A GREAT day from start to finish! Mario showed us the most interesting sights of Panama, as well as special requests from us. We especially enjoyed the restaurant he selected for lunch, an obvious Panama favorite. He shared many insights and was a superb driver, and very courteous. We couldnt have had a better day, and it was the highlight of our twenty day cruise. Carol and Bob Harlan April 16, 2019
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you Carol. Is great to meet nice people as you guys. Hope to see you again in Panama. Best. Mario
Peter HoebekeUnited States
Mario was a pleasure to have as our guide. He was personable, accommodating and a wealth of knowledge. His tour took us through Panama City and several of the surrounding areas as well as to the Canal, where we watched the locks in operation. Mario also guided us through the museum. He balanced the views from the car with opportunities to walk and experience sites up close. We recommend him highly.
Matt S.Elkhorn, WISCONSIN, United States
Our group of 8 thoroughly enjoyed 3 tours with Mario. He was informative, energetic, organized, polite and the list goes on! He arranged comfortable, safe, and reliable transportation for our group as well. An exceptional guide, you will not be disappointed!
Ada TumeltyUnited States
Today we had our tour of Panama City with Mario O. We would like to let you know that all of us were very satisfied with Mario. He is a great guide who knows his city very well. He did everything he could to meet and exceed our exceed our expectations. Thank you for a very nice day, Mario!
Nanditha JayarajanUnited States
Mario was very accommodating and tailored the tour to our interests. He also gave us a lot of other suggestions/recommendations outside of the tour.
Scott ParkerUnited States
This was our second tour with Mario who, based on our early communications, modified the tour to address our desires, and did an outstanding job. He is very well connected with local merchants and customs and went above and beyond to insure an exceptional experience. Mario is punctional, very considerate, and accomodating; this, combined with his knowledge made the evening tour of Caso Viejo, our objective, very rewarding.
Scott ParkerUnited States
Mario was a joy to work with. His knowledge of Panama history, culture, and biodiversity was amazing. He was a fantastic teacher imparting his love for Panama; and most importantly, he was attentive to our desires and was willing to modify all tours accordingly to maximize our tour experience. Our first tour was the Panama City Tour which was a fantastic introduction to the City and to the history of Panama, including the early Spanish influence, the construction and current operation of the canal.
Tatyana SitkovskyUnited States
Panama is a great city. We saw Miraflores locks and ships that go through them. We were at historic district of the city and enjoyed seeing marvelous buildings Mario was explaining to us every single details of our tour. Another enjoyable day with Mario
Great day with Mario, timed the trip perfectly so that we could see everything we wanted, very knowledgeable and professional
Edna Sino-CruzUnited States
Mario has a thorough knowledge of the history of Panama and the Panama Canal. He explained thoroughly to us the US administration vs Panamanian administration of the canal. We have enjoyed his presentation very much. He is courteous , helpful and patient. I highly recommend Mario to anyone. Thank you Mario for a fun and memorable experience of Panama.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you Edna. You guys was a great group. Thank you for allow me to show you Panama.
Thomas R.United States
Louise StumphUnited States
Mario was an amazing guide and really went above and beyond to make the tour fun and educational for our whole group of two families with kids ranging in age 11-17. I would highly recommend him has a guide. We learned so much much in a short time. He was friendly and knowledgeable and everyone enjoyed him.
Michael MattyUnited States
Mario was outstanding...so much so that we have booked an additional day with him to go on a jungle tour! Super knowledgeable and friendly, having him along made the trip. Extremely broad base of knowledge, his prior experiences as a 'big tour guide' and a teacher gives him a great background, and his personality is great. We learned so much more than if we tried to do it ourselves, or if we went with a big group. Highly recommend him to anyone looking for a guide!
Robert PhelpsUnited States
Mario Ocana is truly an excellent guide, and we enjoyed our tour of Panama City with him very much. Due to an injury, my wife was having some difficulty walking that day, and with Mario's skills and flexibility we were still able to navigate the busy Miraflores Locks viewing area and museum. With his help and guidance we learned so much more than I expected about the Panama Canal and its history! He also took us on a drive to see some of the other sites of the city. I would recommend him very highly!
Joram H.Mae Rim, CHIANG MAI, Thailand
Mario was a great guide, very experienced and flexible. He has a very nice personality.
Catherine WarrenUnited States
Mario was terrific! He tailored our tour to our request. For example, We had already visited the Miraflores Locks so he substituted a stop at Mi Pueblito which we really enjoyed. We drove all over the city to areas we would never have seen on our own. He was very knowledgable about the history of Panama City. This was our first Tours By Locals ( recommended by friends) and will definitely not be our last! Thank you Mario for a great day in Panama City!
Peter BlackUnited States
Mario was on time picking us up at the Hotel and planned out the tour timing perfectly. Started at Miraflores as the last ships go through the locks 9-10 am. Much historical background on Panama, the Canal, and the city as we visited Balboa, the pre-colonial ruins, Colonial Panama City, and the new city. We had lunch with Mario at a very nice Tapas place in Colonial PC. Close to 7 hours in total, great value for the tariff. I would recommend Mario for the City and locks tour.
Richard HorowitzUnited States
Mario was gracious, kind, always on time, and always went above and beyond in helping me
A thoroughly enjoyable tour. As described in the itinerary, we covered the city highlights and canal- which was more interesting than anticipated. Mario was friendly, courteous and flexible. I would highly recommend this tour and guide.
Larry TombackUnited States
Great tour. 5 star. Mario O picked us up on time. Was knowledgeable, accommodating, easy to communicate and very pleasant. Hit all of the spots of interest. Would use TBL again and wouldn't hesitate to recommend Mario O.
Jason SteinbergUnited States
Mario is EXCEPTIONAL! On our first of two days with him, he met us near Panama Viejo and spent the rest of the day exploring Panama City doing an itinerary that we mapped out (Panama Viejo, driving through neighborhoods, fish market, Casco Viejo, including lunch at his friends restaurant Cafe Rene, and finishing at Mirafloures Lock and museum). We are a family of 6 that asks a lot of questions and he never once didn't have a good answer, all in perfect English. He seemed to also know everyone in the City.
On time, very knowledgeable and flexible to our situation (i.e. dropped a couple of items on his "standard" agenda that we had already seen or that we were not interested in). All-in, we had a great 7+ hour tour.
Edwin MarcosUnited States
Mario was absolutely terrific. We told everyone on the cruise about tours by locals. Mario fulfilled all our requests and much more. We are going to write trip adviser and yelp and hope that everyone uses your services. We will use toursbylocals on all our future trips and will insist that Mario be our guide. Lu and Ed Marcos