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!
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
Jacqueline EmanuelUnited States
Although the Tours by Locals had a specific itinerary to include the specific location of where and when our ship was to dock, he wasn't there. We had to borrow a phone from another tour guide to call Mario only to find out that he went to a different ship terminal. To make matters worse we hade to arrange boarding a bus to take us to the main gate where Mario was waiting. He should have arranged to meet us at the ship like all the other tour operators. This was a major inconvenience.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: I'm sorry for the inconvinience, but we rely on the information that the client give to us, and you mentioned on your email the meeting point was Colon 2000. Remember you also mentioned that you called the cruise company and they let you know that was Colon 2000 your desembarquing port and that's where I was. You were in Cristobal Port. I specifically mentioned in my email there are ports where I cannot enter. And yes we can mqke arrangemeents in advance but I was never notified that your port was changed
Mario is committed to customer satisfaction. He is punctual, cool, flexible, friendly and as importantly knowledgeable. He manages our time better better than we would have, got us to the canal at the RIGHT time - when the ships passed from the Pacific side, stayed late without being asked to. The hug that my wife and I gave him when he dropped us of was warm, genuine and reflective of the relationship he built in the few short hours we spent together. Muchos Gracias Mario!! Anu and Sanjay
Nancy ShelmonUnited States
Mario is extremely knowledgable, flexible and a genuinely nice person. He is proud of his country and wanted to ensure we had a positive experience.
Cathy DavidUnited States
Mario is the best. Since there were four of us he brought along Eric, a fantastic driver and big van. We saw all of Panama and finished off the day watching a huge tanker go through the canal. Amazing. He did what we wanted to do without missing the city. It is a huge plus to have a guide all to yourself. When I was back in Panama again Mario would be my first contact to take another tour.
Dennis CrawfordUnited States
Mario is a charming, professional and eloquent guide who takes his role seriously. We had a marvelous tour with him on Christmas Eve in Panama. His heritage is here, so he knows the local culture and the significance of so much that we would have missed, from architecture to music. A very safe driver, he chauffeured us around in his car for the day which allowed us to cover a great deal of territory. We heartily recommend Mario as your best guide in Panama.
Helen ZagonaUnited States
Steve SchneiderUnited States
Mario's tour was excellent. We had a wonderful time exploring Panama with him as our guide. His historical knowledge was great.
Tony HughesUnited Kingdom
Mario greeted us on the harbour wall : exactly as booked. His time keeping was impeccable, and it continued for the four days that he was with our group - two couples. He and Eric drove us around in his air-conditioned minibus for a full day. His enthusiasm remained undiminished and his knowledge was superb. He gave a good perspective on the many and diverse questions that we asked him. The ancient and the Casa Veijo elements were fantastic. Well done Mario ; an excellent guide, with first class English
Patricia ReedUnited States
Beyond 5 stars! Customized our tour based on our needs, wants and weather. Professional, trustworthy, and Soooo knowledgeable! Fun and educational; introduced us to local cuisines. A must-do guide!!!
Mario provided a terrific tour. He considered our time available and our interests. He designed the tour perfectly and also included a wonderful authentic restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately, we had a medical emergency after dinner. Mario was calm and offered us many options. We felt very secure with Mario, who was able to return us to the airport with not much time remaining before our flight. Mario is a knowledgeable guide, who is passionate about his work and his country. We highly recommend Mario!
Extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We had extremely satisfying experience.
Samantha GagniUnited States
I give Mario 5 out of 5 for the city tour in Panama City. He had a lot of great information and history to share about the city. My friend and I had a red eye from Lima so we were a bit tired, but Mario was very accommodating by stopping for coffee and ice cream. It was a great tour and would recommend it to everyone.
Dave SteeleMadison, IN, United States
Mario did a TERRIFIC job! Went at our pace, very informative, knew when to take a break, and the "local lunch" was great! HIGHLY recommend. Dave & Lisa Steele
Steve MIllerUnited States
Mario is like having an encyclopedia with you at all times. He knew what to look for wherever we were and hustled constantly without ever making me feel like I was hurried. We had a great time; He was flexible and willing to check out anything on the fly. If you're insatiably curious, he's your guy. A real pro.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Hi Steve, thank you for your review. Great day, great baseball and a visit to Duran restaurant, am not sure if I could call this a Job. THank you for inviting me on this adventure.
Howard WeinerUnited States
Professional, knowledgeable, punctual and pleasant.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: HI HOWARD, Thank you for your review. Hope to see you in Panama soon.
Drew M.United States
We hired Mario for the Jungle and City tours, which were very informative and completely enjoyable. Our introduction to Panama was an 'A+' experience due to Mario. He was generous with his time and accommodating of my wife's physical limitations. His thoughtful catering of the tours to her needs enabled us to be more relaxed and really enjoy ourselves. We highly recommend hiring Mario! If you do hire him, then like us you'll feel as if you're saying goodbye to a friend once the tour ends.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Hi Drew, thank you for you review and for letting me be part of these great two days. Hope to see you soon in Panama.
Robert HuberTucson,, ARIZONA, United States
Mario is an excellent guide and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with him.
Great day, Mario did what we wanted to do, very informative tour of Panama. He was courteous, helpful, polite and attentive. Clean vehicle fine for two or three people. Would have given him four and half stars. He did nothing wrong and we had a very good day. Very impressive as he even managed to keep us dry!
Carol PetrellaUnited States
I recently took two tours in Panama (City tour and Soberania) given by Mario. He was not only knowledgeable, but also a lot of fun. He added tons more sites than in the description on both tours. And at the last minute, when I wanted to take a boat ride, he made accommodations easily. He is also an unbelievable picture taker -- give him your camera! And at the end of the day, sharing a meal with him brings even more laughs and stories. Thanks for a fabulous time, Mario!
Gilah PodellUnited States
Mario was fabulous-we had a . He is extremely knowledgeable about Panama City and it's history and knows his way around. We were everywhere - from the old city to the Panama Canal and everywhere in between. He accommodated our wishes in wanting to go to the Fish Market where we not only had lunch but had 3 different types of ceviche on his recommendation. He knows all the in's and out's of getting around the city. He also took us to an incredible ice cream shop. We loved Mario!!