Tour was excellent, Mario arrived on time, Mario was very knowledgeable and easy to talk to, adapted tour to my interests and time frame.
The six of us were very pleased with the professionalism of Mario who delivered exactly what was quoted to us. This 2 day excursion again displayed how valuable it is to use Tours by Locals where you can plan your own travel, with help from a local, and have on hand someone who is competent and happy to answer all your questions. I would have no hesitation in recommending Mario to others.
Mary Pat SalomoneUnited States
We had a great day with Mario. He picked us up promptly at our hotel and first we drove out of the city to a small cocoa farm. Mario was very informative about Ecuador during the drive. We toured the property and then Mario explained and demonstrated the chocolate making process. Lunch was prepared by the owners of the farm and was excellent. After lunch we drove to the city and toured around for several hours. Mario speaks excellent English and was very pleasant. Would highly recommend this tour.
Five stars arent enough for Mario! Not only is he knowledgeable, friendly, personable, intelligent, kind and warm hearted, he welcomes you and treats you like his personal family. That is very comforting when you are new in a strange country. He went above and beyond his call of duty to accomodate our personal needs. He personalized the tour to our outmost satisfaction. He gave us tips for future sight seeing and even called the bus terminal to secure pertinanat info on the next day bus routes.
David ProodianUnited States
Mario was an outstanding guide in Guayaquil. He was right on time for our hotel pickup and he had his car ready to take us around the town. As he was from the city, he knew every aspect of what was going on and what to do. He is proud to show others about his city and country. He suggested a wonder place to eat, which was an outstanding seafood and crab restaurant. Private local guides are the way to go.
Mario did a wonderful tour. We had a very great time. We learned a lot on the process of making chocolate and made real organic 100% cocoa chocolate. The farm was great and we really appreciated to see how real people live. Thanks Mario for this trip.
Julie IaconoUnited States
My group of nine had two days with Mario in Guayaquil. He supplied us with a comfortable shuttle bus and a great driver, William. He gave us a solid tour of Guayaquil's sites on the first day and customized us our tour to two rural farms on the second day. However, Mario brings something special to a tour that exceeds most of my other tour experiences. He has a personal warmth and sense of humor that made us feel safe and at home in a very foreign country. Do not hesitate to pick Mario for your tour!
Mitchell LukinUnited States
Mario was one of the best guides I have had in any city, and we (my wife and I) thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Be aware that the cacao farm is just that -- a small farm. We were pleasantly surprised that it was not a sophisticated commercial operation like we have seen on many tours. One of the highlights of our trip to Ecuador was just walking through the cacao plants and helping make and tasting fresh chocolate. Really a great time. The tour of Guayaquil after the farm was also quite good.
Mario gave us and wonderful and comprehensive city tour of Guayaquil. He adjusted the timing of the tour to perfectly meet our schedule. He was very professional and informative. We would highly recommend him to anyone interested in a tour in Guayaquil.
Vijay VasheeMercer Island, WA, United States
Mario speaks knowledgeably, and has a pleasant personality. During the road trip to get to our destination we learnt a lot about the area and unique things about the local culture. recommend him with no hesitation at all.
Charles NorthropUnited States
Barbara GerschwerUnited States
We (2 families w/ 3 teenage boys) had a day to spend in Guayaquil and we did the cacao farm/city tour. It was amazing! My son had his birthday and Mario amazed us: gift, cake, a delicious lunch with birthday surprise by the family who owned the farm. We learned a lot about cacao and actually made chocolate! In the afternoon we headed back to the city: Iguana Park, church and 444 steps to the lighthouse. A fun-filled, packed day! Mario is reliable, fun, knowledgeable and a great guy!
Peng WuUnited States
Mario is an excellent guide and strikes a good rapport with the family . We thoroughly enjoyed our day trip of Guayaquil and the Coca farm. His English is perfect. The conversation with him is like with a seasoned traveler (he himself is passionate about traveling around the world). He is quite considerate and brought rain-boots for us at the coca farm and mosquito propellant (small things but can make a big different in the experience). I would recommend Mario to any friend visiting the area
Victoria ButlerUnited States
Our second tour with Mario and his excellent driver Gabby. We had a wonderful day at the cocoa farm learning about growing and producing chocolate. We then went on to EL Morro for a great lunch on the river and a boat ride to see the dolphins. A stop at a 100 year old bakery was a treat. Because we expressed interest Mario also took us to the cemetery in Guayaquil. Amazing. Thank you for a wonderful day. We feel we parted as friends.
Victoria ButlerUnited States
We are first time visitors to Guayaquil. This was a perfect oversight of the city after an all night flight. Mario was constantly asking after our well-being, and was interested in what we wanted to see. He gave us tips, which we followed up on the next day. Great food at two restaurants. When we climbed the 443 steps to the lighthouse he did not try to rush us and the view was worth the climb. Thank you Mario and your excellent driver.
Mario is a true professional, i.e. knowledgeable, in tune with his guests and picked up on little things. He communicated well in advance. Likely most important is how well networked and respected he is. As a result, we were able to see fully how a banana farm operates - farms don't readily permit guides into their operation. The cocoa farm experience was fabulous, the lunch yummy and he added a special treat over and above what we were expecting. Mario is so enthusiastic about what he does.
Linda CasselUnited States
Mario provided a wonderful tour in Guyaquil, Ecuador. The trip to the Cacao farm was fabulous! We watched the cacao beans processed into raw chocolate and drank delicious hot chocolate. The meal at the farm was delicious, too. Mario is an excellent guide, attentive to our needs, and very well prepared. I would give him more than 5 stars!
Karyn DolanUnited States
Mario's love for his country is very evident and his enthusiasm is infectious, thus, in a few short hours I was immersed in everything Guayaquil, Ecuador and the experience made me want to go back someday soon, and, when I do, I will definitely have Mario as my guide again.
Sarah McdonnellUnited States
Fantastico! Mario will customize your tour to exactly what you are looking for. We had such an unexpected, memorable night because of him! Highly recommended.
Jade BremnerUnited Kingdom
Mario was friendly, flexible, knowledgable and has excellent English. He's an honest and caring guide, and you really feel like he wants to help in any way he can. Very easy to get on with, there's no doubt you will be friends with Mario by the end of your trip. I would highly recommend. He's welcome in London any time.
Paul LeungUnited States
Mario was well prepared, knew his material, considerate and flexible. We came away with new appreciation of Guayaquil and Ecuador. Lunch was at a great local seafood restaurant that were not for the tour, we would never have found.
Debra GageUnited States
Fantastic tour! Great communications before tour by email. All exactly as promised. Very friendly, excellent English, let us decide on tour highlights but excellent suggestions. Stopped for lunch at new ceviche restaurant: very delicious! Extended our tour for an hour so we could climb 444 steps in Las Penas! Don't miss this beautiful view. Many other tour operators won't take you there but Mario said "It was worth it" and it was. Thank you Mario and good luck with the Sharks!!
Richard VioletteColumbia, MD, United States
Excellent guide of the city to include lunch at true local restaurant
Scott SherUnited States
Mario in Guayaquil was a 5 out of 5 guide. Very personable and friendly. He's very interesting and added a lot to our Ecuadorian experience. Accommodated us as to what would be the best tour for us given what we had already seen. Highly recommended.
Chuck M.United States
Mario is likely the best guide we have experienced with ToursByLocals !! He is well-spoken, knowledgeable, and most accommodating. The tour he has developed of a family cacao farm north of Guayaquil will remain one of the highlights of our recent South American trip. We appreciated that it was not "touristy" but relaxed and extremely educational -- plus, we had the fantastic ride through the Ecuadorean countryside. It was great that he segued this with an airport pickup followed by a hotel dropoff.
Erin SimkinsUnited States
Mario was prompt, full of energy and was a blessing to have on our long drive across the country! Thank you for taking care of us for the day.
Jill BauerFernandina Beach, FL, United States
Our tour with Mario was outstanding. We had great views of the city and markets as well as some of the more popular tourist attractions. Mario was an excellent guide, both knowledgeable and personable. His English was excellent and he was able to easily share his passion for the city and Ecuador.
Jaime ZogmaisterUnited States
The tour was even better than we had expected! Mario goes above and beyond to accommodate and to better the experience. He has bits of information about the area, the cocoa process, and other things that make the experience that much better. The whole process was smooth and the chocolate was delicious!!
We have had a lovely day in Guayaquil with Mario. He is a very profesional and great local guide, He took us for a quick visit to Guayaquil, stopped by for some local fruits, and it was great. He also made us very useful recommendations for our next days!!! You will not go wrong choosing Mario as your guide for Guayaquil. Thank you very much Mario for a lovely day! Totally recommend him!
Gerald D.United States
Mario is a very complete guide....prompt with replies, helpful with suggestions, on time, very knowledgeable, polite, extremely friendly and trustworthy. I would highly recommend him to anyone wishing a professional tour ....very well versed and most of all honest......you can't go wrong w Mario
Caryl RahnUnited States
Mario was wonderful and flexible in meeting our needs. I had to contact him that morning as my daughter was very ill. He took us to a pharmacy before touring to get medicine. He offered to take her to a doctor as well. That proved not to be necessary and we did our tour. The Cacao Trail Tour was nice and we got to see the countryside. There were a lot of mosquitoes so bring bug repellent. We saw some nice sights in the city but it was very hot out. Dinner was wonderful and not expensive.
John ParkUnited States
Mario was a terrific guide.
Mario was sufficiently knowledgable but spent a lot of time typing into his cell phone - more interested in contacting a visiting friend than in guiding. Too high priced - not enough value for the investment. Also, little to see in Guayaquil - take a cab to the few places in the guide book.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Dear Kenneth, I didn't know you felt like this about the tour. I apologize for using my cellphone and also apologize for my visiting friend. The price of a tour usually is higher than the price of a taxi because you are paying for comfort (I drive an SUV), English-speaking company, and also safety. It was nice to meet you and Manny,
Susan K.Ottawa, ONTARIO, Canada
We had a great tour with Mario. He gave us a good overview of the city making sure we saw everything we wanted to and more. We had a delicious lunch at a local restaurant that we certainly could not have found by ourselves. Mario really personalized the tour for us. As someone else has mentioned, we felt like we were seeing the city through the eyes of a friend. Thanks so much, Mario.
Karen P.United States
Mario is a wonderful and knowledgeable tour guide. He is very personable and easy to be with. He also gave us several options and we liked that flexibility. If we are ever back in Guayaquil we would definitely book Mario for additional tours! We highly recommend him - you cannot go wrong having him as your tour guide!
Raoul WolfUnited States
Mario organized amazing tours for us. Because of changing circumstances, we ended up merging two separate tours into one excellent day. The cacao plantation was beyond any expectations, and the lunch was outstanding, completely prepared with food grown on the farm. Mario was attentive at all times, and a source of knowledge about his city and the culture. We visited a mangrove preserve with an excellent naturalist. While completely different, this visit rivaled the time we spent in the Galapagos
Raoul WolfUnited States
Due to changing circumstances, Mario was most accommodating and combined this tour with our plantation and mangrove tour.
Michael ArredondoUnited States
My wife, adult daughter and I had a wonderful day exploring Guayaquil with Mario. We visited all the places that were on our list plus some sites that Mario suggested. His knowledge of Ecuador's and Guayaquil's history made it easy for him to answer all of our countless questions. His ability to be flexible made for great day. The highlights of our day were the Historical Park, Las Penas and the Cementerio General. We felt that we were being shown Guayaquil by a close friend. Thanks Mario
Christopher HardyUnited States
Best tour I've ever been on. Mario spoke fantastic English, was fun, energetic and treated us as though we were visiting friends rather than tourists. Our trip with Mario was on our first day in Ecuador, and it completely started our trip on the right foot. If you are considering a tour - this is the one you want to take. The Cacao farm was amazing - wonderful people, educational and the food is fantastic (if you get lunch). I would HIGHLY recommend this tour to anyone!! Thanks again Mario!
Pauline McMeekingUnited Kingdom
We had only a morning in Guayaquil, and are so pleased we chose to tour the city with the irrepressible and knowledgable Mario. We got a real flavour and understanding of the city from Mario, who is equipped for every guest request, and even provided chocolate! I cannot think there is a better guide available.
Leonid AbramovUnited States
Mario picked us at the hotel at the scheduled time. He took us all over the City. We saw quite a lot. We were impressed. Mario is very knowledgeable of the City and commands a very good English. He is a very enjoyable person and a fun to have around. We also had a nice lunch and Mario helped us with the choice of a local food. The weather was good and we glad we had Mario as a guide. It was indeed private and we enjoyed it a great deal. If you considering this tour, ask for Mario. You will not regret it.
Kristin WiseUnited States
You can not go wrong with Mario! His English is excellent, he is very responsive to email & he makes you feel like family!! Our first day in Ecuador was like meeting up with family. Mario is flexible with requests and is extremely personable.
Dianne HauschelUnited States
Eric PopkyUnited States
Mario provided a most enjoyable overview of Guayaquil. As it was Valentines Day he made sure to take us to the Historical Park first before,the crowds showed up. He then drove us around the city stopping at a local hangout for lunch. We ended the day on the Malecon and climbed to the top of the lighthouse. His suggestion for dinner was a perfect way to end the day
Marty FrickeUnited States
Mario is an excellent guide! He speaks English well, knows Guayaquil inside and out, and is passionate about his tours. I was somewhat sick the day of my tour, and he took me to a pharmacy and helped me to get the proper medicine. I would like to give him my highest recommendation.
Joanne AronsonUnited States
We had two days in Guayaquil following a trip to Quito and the Galápagos Islands and weren't expecting much until Mario picked us up at the hotel and shares his love and enthusiasm for his city and country. The tour to the Cacao and Mango Finca was amazing! We learned so much, saw beautiful flora and fauna and enjoyed an excellent and traditional lunch. To top it off, we made chocolate from the cacao beans and then drank a traditional "tea". This was an incredible day!
Roseanna NeupauerUnited States
Alisa FickewirthUnited States
Mario is very knowledgeable and professional! I would recommend him to anyone.
Bryan GerstelUnited States
Mario is an energetic and very informative guide with a great knowledge of his city. His tour is very well organized; he customized it to meet our needs. He made a very large city a pleasure to visit; we have been to Guayaquil before but did not enjoy it as we did with Mario's guiding us around. Anyone coming there should not hesitate to hire him.
Diane ThompsonLake Geneva, WI, Ecuador
Mario continues to amaze us. He shares so many stories about the people, the sights and the land of Ecuador. He makes his tours exciting, adventurous and educational. I can't say enough good things about Mario as he is a Super Guide. A 5 star rating!!!!!
Diane ThompsonLake Geneva, WI, Ecuador
Again Mario is the best. I became sick on the tour and he did EVERYTHING to make me comfortable!! Due to this experience I know Mario is the BEST
Diane ThompsonLake Geneva, WI, Ecuador
We thought Mario was GREAT!!! He was well informed, very organized and delightful. He was the BEST!!!!!
Mario is a very friendly guide. He showed us the sites of Guayaquil and gave us a great restaurant recomendation for the evening. He adapted the tour along the way and answered our many questions.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for your comments Ian. It was great meeting you and your family. I am glad you liked the dinner at the restaurant. Enjoy Cuenca and the rest of your trip!
George GrahamUnited States
Mario is an excellent tour guide who is both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. He is also very accommodating to the needs of his guests. He was also very easy to communicate with via email and, as his time on the day we requested was limited, he provided us with some very good alternaative activites prior to the time we were to meet him. it all worked out very well and we would definitely use Mario again.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks for the review Robert! It was great meeting you and your friends! If you come back to Guayaquil let me know. Best regards, Mario
Lawrence BreaultPort St Lucie, FL, United States
We were a party of 4 seniors arriving Guayaquil by ship. All of our booking activity was done via the internet. Mario was knowledgeable, fluent English and did an excellent job form the minute he picked us up at the pier until he dropped us off 5 hours later. We highly recommend this bright young man to anyone visiting this great city. We will certainly use him again when we revisit Ecuador in the future. Thanks Mario for a job well done.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for the comment Lawrence! It was a honor for me to be your guide Guayaquil. I really enjoyed showing you and your group the city. I am very glad you liked the tour as well. Hope to see you next time you come =). Mario
Barbara GilliamBaton Rouge, LA, United States
The Cacao Trail tour is not to be missed. Mario did an excellent job, and our group of seven thoroughly enjoyed having him as our guide. He went out of his way to make the tour work for our time frame, even getting us a tour when the cacao factory was closed for the day. We all felt very safe traveling with Mario and would highly recommend his services.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thanks for the review Barbara. I am glad you enjoyed the tour. It was great to spend the Sunday with you and your group. Say hi to everyone there, specially to uncle Bill! =)
Ethel HammerUnited States
We spent the day in Guayaquil with Mario. He was an expert guide, who knew the City well. He planned the tour so that we saw all the highlights of the City in one day. He was very knowledgeable and personable as well. We learned so much about the City and its history, culture and economy. If I ever return to Guayaquil, I would hire Mario again.
Ethel HammerUnited States
Patrick McCabeUnited States
Mario was an excellent tour guide. We toured the Hacienda el Castillo, which is the site recommended by our Lindblad / National Geographic coordinator (we continued on to the Galapagos). Mario also took us through the old Downtown district, including a stop at the Iguana Park. Mario picked us up at our hotel in a new rental SUV, and was very chatty sharing local knowledge the 45 minute drive west to the plantation. His English is excellent, and he is super friendly and outgoing.
Rod SouzaUnited States
Mario was a great guide. He showed us all the highlights of beautiful Guayaquil. His experience in the US helped him point out things that we do not see in the US. He is very personable and went out of his way to make our tour full-day tour comfortable and informative. We learned a great deal about the culture of the city and Ecuador itself. I would highly recommend his services to anyone visiting the area.
Mario was great! He gave us just what we had asked for. He was very knowledgeable and had excellent English. Mario was very accommodating and gave us lots of time at each stop. We highly recommend Mario's Vinces town tour if you want to see how the locals live with little to no "history". We enjoyed the drive through the country side. Mario stopped for us to watch a fellow work in his rice field along the way. This was a private tour well worth the money and we highly recommend Mario.
Nelson RodneyUnited States
Mario did a terrific job as the guide for my daughter and myself. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and articulate. We had only a few hours for the tour and we hit all the highlights: Iguana Park, Malecon, and Cerro Santa Ana. The view from the top of the 444 steps was spectacular. We ended our evening at one of Mario's favorite restaurants which was great with nary a tourist in sight! Thank you Mario for a fabulous overview of Guayaquil. Nelson and Halana Rodney
Mario was a pleasant young man and could comment well on the present day aspects of Guayaquil. He took us to all the places as advertised. However, we feel he needs to know more of the history and the stories of the city. A knowledge of the plants of Ecuador would also be most useful. We were a bit disappointed the tour ended at 3.45pm as we understood it would be an 8 hour tour. In all we feel that it could have been a much better tour.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Thank you for your comments. I know the main facts and important historical dates of the city but it is humanly impossible to know all the details of a city. It is also hard for a guide to know the specifics of all plants when we are the most bio-diverse country in the world. With many species of plants and animals. The tour usually starts at 9 and ends at 5 (including drop off), in this case the hotel was just in front our the last stop so we just had to cross the street.
TOURSBYLOCALS RESPONSE: The issue was brought up to the guide and to his guide support manager, who are working on ways of improving some aspects of the tour based on the customer's comments.
Elizabeth WilkesUnited States
Mario is just starting out as a guide, but he provided an incredible, memorable experience by taking us to Vinces and his grandfather's farm, where we were served a delicious lunch and visited with the locals. We learned a lot about Ecuador through these lovely people! He then took us on a motorized canoe ride through pristine wetlands, where we saw a huge colony of egrets and much more. For a "real Ecuador" experience, we could not have asked for more!
George S.Boca Raton, FL, United States
Mario was a young and energetic guide to took great pride in his city. We visited the Parque Historico, downtown, and walked to the top of Las Penas. Mario was informative, was very flexible to our requirements, and greatly enhanced our visit to Guayaquil.