Mario was an excellent guide, he has a keen eye to locating birds even far away or in flight.
William McAdamsUnited States
Mario provided a great tour of Soberania for us. His in-depth information and hard work to show us wildlife was excellent. He had a telescope to see distant or close up animals much better than binoculars. He provided comfortable logistics and a good lunch. We would definitely recommend this tour!
Mario was an excellent guide. His knowledge & passion for the birds & wildlife is obvious. I could not have hired a better guide for a 1 day birding trip in Panama. Mario was friendly, courteous, & very patient. I would highly recommend Mario for anyone wishing to learn more about the natural history of Panama.
Stephanie O.United States
My first time taking a tour like this, and it has motivated me to take more than the future. Mario is an expert naturalist and it was so fun to see so many birds and mammals that I would've had NO chance of seeing on my own. Truly an unforgettable experience in a tropical forest. He was so friendly and generous, and I can't recommend this tour enough!
Brenda B.United States
This tour of Soberania National Park was awesome! Waking up early on vacation is unheard of for our family, but it was totally worth it to see the sun rise over the jungle. Climbing the tower in the middle of the jungle and being able to see above the canopy was amazing. The animals were just waking up and we saw a sloth almost immediately (one of our hopes for the tour). Mario was just superb in giving us a unique view of Panama and the beautiful flora and fauna. Great job, Mario!!!
Jisoo RyuSouth Korea
Gregory DahlUnited States
Mario is an excellent birding guide and an excellent general guide who exceeded our expectations for a memorable day.
Cecile ShainUnited States
Mario is an excellent guide. We were picked up on time. We never felt rushed on this tour. Mario is extremely knowledgeable and speaks excellent English. He knows his birds by their call and brought a scope so we could see animals close up. Mario would spot sloths, monkeys, and birds that we would have walked right past. He also had a very nice bird book that we could cross reference. My only suggestion would be to improve the lunch - we had cold dried rice and chicken. Absolutely recommend!!
Cherie MoritzUnited States
We went birding with Mario this morning and it was the highlight of our trip. Five out of five!
We had an amazing day with Mario, the park is a wildlife lovers paradise! Mario is incredibly knowledgeable about everything Panama, from the names of every flower in the forest to the local baseball schedule. It was brilliant to get out of the city for a day and enjoy the jungle with such a great guide.
Scott ParkerUnited States
This was our 5th tour with Mario, all excellent! Mario is exceptionally well qualified, considerate, through, and tailered every tour to meet our desires. Soberania with the 100-foot tower is a must for bird lovers, and even those who are not. Mario arranged 4 wheel drive to get us in and out because of road repair. He is knowledgable of the birds in the area and has a trained eye to spot them. With his spotting scope he enabled us to also see the beautiful wildlife up close.
Very well organised. Mario is a very friendly and competent guide. We have seen more than 50 bird species alone in one day.
Tatyana SitkovskyUnited States
The tour was very well prepared and very enjoyable. Mario showed us a lot of different birds and animals. What was especially touching Mario bought us snacks and lunches. We were having picnic by small waterfall Mario is the best
Karen KostenukeUnited States
Great guide, so kind and so informative!
we had two fantastic days with our guide Mario to get an introduction to the Soberania National Park and Gatun Lake. Mario was well informed, passionate and patient with us, so we were able to enjoy the landscape and wildlife close to Panama City. One of the best guides we had on our trip!
Dagmar Ramos MarquezUnited States
My husband and I had a great time with Mario. His knowledge is outstanding. He goes above and beyond and is very punctual. Very friendly and you can tell, he likes to do his work. Would book a tour with again. Dagmar
Renae SheplerUnited States
Mario was wonderful! This was our first day in Panama. He was very prompt in picking us up at the hotel. We did a day trip to Soberana. I couldn't believe how extensive Mario's knowledge was of the birds... his ability to locate different birds was incredible. I enjoyed having a private tour... nothing was rushed. Mario worked constantly to assure we had a wonderful time. This was the first time we used Tours by Locals. Because this trip exceeded our expectations, I will use Tours by Locals again.
Mark HerrickUnited States
Outstanding tour of Soberania Park by Mario. We've done birding tours in Costa Rica and Mario was as good or better. He's very knowledgeable and we saw many birds that we would have never seen on our own. He's organized and thus we were able to see many areas of the park. He helped us listen for the different types of bird calls. Many thanks, Mario.
Richard WakeleeUnited States
Richard WakeleeUnited States
Mario picked me up at the airport (on time) to start a trip to Pipeline Road. He was a safe driver in a good car, knew the forest birds, he carried a good spotting scope and had an ice chest with water, sodas, snacks and even sandwiches for lunch. His English was very good (he lived in the San Diego, CA area for three years). Right after our 15 January trip I booked him again on January 18 for another amazing day (raptors) of birding in Panama. I highly recommend him.
Tianxiang WuUnited States
He is very professional and English fluent. He knows a lot of the birds and animals in the rainforest. The private guide is very useful since we can enjoy our personal schedules.
A great birdwatching opportunity from the canopy tower. The hummingbird station was a highlight- where we were able to view & photograph birds up close & personal. Mario was enthusiastic, patient and attentive to our needs. We would highly recommend Mario as a guide.
10/10. Mario is a true birding expert - he knows all the bird calls, what to look for and where to find the birds. He carries a scope and sets it up so the client can see the birds (which were literally invisible to our eyes). His English is very good. If you are a keen ornithologist, or are just interested in Panama's bird life then you will not be disappointed with this tour.
Great guide for birdwatching in Soberiana NP near Rainforest Discovery Center. Agreed to pickup at 5 am. With sunrise at the park and first on top of the observation tower. We saw many birds and howler monkeys in the far distance. Later a walk along Pipeline Road. Worried about availability of food and drinks, but no shortage and expectations exceeded. Mario is knowledgeable and good at spotting birds. Brought our own binoculars, but his telescope showed the birds in even higher detail and brightness.
Tom SchagerUnited States
Don't think twice just book this tour! Yes, it leaves at 5:30 AM but you won't regret it! You need to get to the park early to really watch it wake up. Mario is an outstanding guide and knows exactly where to lead you to the best places and birds. He was very knowledgeable about the local birds and how to find them. The snacks and lunch were perfect - you won't go hungry or thirsty. Mario is very conscious of the heat and takes breaks when necessary. Mario is the BEST and this specific tour is great!
Joe TuckerUnited States
At our age and travel experience, we have gone on a lot of private tours. Mario was the best guide ever! We did a nature tour in the National Park primarily for bird photography. Mario not only knows his birds, he knows how to spot them --- many we could not see until he got them in his scope. I came back with many very good photographs. Mario was very professional, kind, and courteous. He provided home made lunch, which was excellent, drinks and water. Had a really great day adding 42 "life" birds.
Susan EatonUnited States
We had a great adventure with Mario, spending the day looking for birds in Soberania NP. We picked up a friend in Panama City before picking me up in Gamboa. He was a very knowledgeable birding guide, knowing many birds by sight and sound. And the tour that was advertised as 6 1/2 hours ended up being closer to 12 hours. I highly recommend Mario for your Panama adventure.
Kyle HopkinsUnited States
Mario was an excellent guide. His knowledge and enthusiasm for birding was superb. He spoke English very well making the information easy to comprehend. He could hear and spot the birds easily and then set up his scope for a better view. He picked us up on time and we were at the tower in Soberania park in time to see the sunrise and watch the birds flying. It was spectacular. We then wored our way down the canopies. I highly recommend Mario for this and any other tours he leads.
Leah BolgerUnited States
We booked a tour with Mario based on the strong recommendation of another couple, and he lived up to all the hype! Mario is extremely knowledgeable and has strong English skills. He was able to spot birds and find them on his scope--we never would have seen them otherwise. He was very friendly and anxious to please. We wholeheartedly recommend this tour by Mario!
Andrew HorowitzUnited States
WOW! Howler monkeys, toucans and so many features of nature that you will only see here. Mario brought all sorts of viewing equipment and made the trip very special. He has a great deal of knowledge of nature and this park. Everything about the day was perfect. Mario was really great and made the day a wonderful experience. The park was also something that should be seen when in Panama. Just great!