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!
Elizabeth StoltzUnited States
Excellent tour guide! Mario was very personable, knowledgeable and enthusiastic. We had a very enjoyable day bird watching, and learning about Panama. I would highly recommend his tours.
Ann E.United States
Mario was awesome! We saw 30 different birds. If we'd been on our own, we might have seen a couple but then we wouldn't have known their names. Mario knew them. He'd set his scope so we could get a close look . Also saw some sloths, including a baby. Super day-- it far exceeded our expectations.
Brian HarringtonUnited States
Mario was a fine guide with great people skills and good birding skills... We would recommend him in a second without second thoughts
Mario is the most personable and knowledgeable guide I have ever used. His enthusiasm was infectious and his desire to show us all we could possibly see so positive. Our experience was everything we could have wished for. I would highly recommend Mario to any tourist visiting Panama and if he is the type of individual that Tours by Locals hires in other settings then I would use no other company on my future travels. Thank you so much Mario for a wonderful day.
Cobb GoffUnited States
Mario provided exactly the Soberania experience we were looking for. We are first time Panama visitors and nature lovers - Mario's knowledge of nature, experience with the local area, easy communication style, friendly personality, and a few happy surprises all together made this a memorable and refreshing day. The other 5 Star ratings are right-you won'the go wrong with Mario!
Thomas GrishamUnited States
Mario was a perfect guide. Genuine concern for us all day long, anticipating our needs. He kept us away from the crowds, and showed us things we were happy to see. Do your self a favor, tour with him.
Kevin RuhUnited States
Mario is a fantastic guide! My trip to Panamá was planned at the last minute, and only lasted four days, but we had so much fun. My mother, fiance, and I went to Soberania National Park and Gatun Lake, and we used Mario for both adventures, on two different days. He is wonderful, as well as funny
Patricia ReedUnited States
Fun day. We saw lots of wildlife. Has an eye for it from the road! Very educational but interesting and fun. True passion ... You have to love it!
Gabriele KosakUnited States
We had a fabulous time with Mario. He is an excellent guide, very professional and lots of knowledge. We felt very comfortable on this excursion and can highly recommend him. If we had to do it again, hands down, Mario would be the one to book. Wonderful memories. Thank you, Mario
Albert BarnesUnited States
A great tour! Mario was excellent. He knows how to spot birds and sees things that you would miss on your own. I would not hesitate to use Mario for other tours and would highly recommend him.
Hi: If your interest is bird watching or photography, It will be difficult to find a better guide than Mario for this activity. I spent a wonderful day and get very nice pictures thanks to Mario. Hope to repeat the tour soon Regards
Basil StetsonUnited States
Mario is an extraordinary guide. To begin with, he is friendly, enthusiastic, knowledgeable and determined to give his customers the best experience possible. We went birding in Soberania National Park. We saw 60+ species and 51 were new to us. We would have seen and identified less than half that number on our own. I am recommending Mario to our friends visiting Panama and we will be hiring Mario on our future trips. I read other customer reviews prior to hiring Mario. He is as good as we all say!
Mike SchiffUnited States
great guide with knowledge and the desire to please
Daniel DiMaggioUnited States
Mario is absolutely the best. Told him we wanted to take photographs of birds and he went out of his way to insure that we saw as much as possible. Great, great guide. Highly recommended.
TOUR GUIDE RESPONSE: Hi Daniel, Thank you for your review. I had a great time with you guys.
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!