Cristian is a Panamanian born in Chile. Receiving several honors in outdoor activities, ecology and camping, he soon became a Master Guide. Raul is a passionate and dedicated tour guide, he was born in the Chiriqui Province among coffee farms and agriculture. He became a tour guide in , he actively worked in the Pearl Archipelago when tourism was just starting in Panama.
Raul guided whale watching tours as well as island day tours in the Archipelago and after 5 years working there he decided to come back to Boquete and start working as a naturalist and birding guide.
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He is a certified naturalist guide and MarViva guide. Birdwatching at the Ceriana Farm is his favorite activity and his favorite bird is the Three-wattled Bellbird. Raul enjoys showing Boquete to all visitors and encourages more people to visit the area. He currently resides in Boquete. Jason Lara is a Panamanian guide that was born in the province of Chiriqui. For Americans reading this, all of our friends compared our photos from this adventure to episodes of The Amazing Race or Survivor. The second tour we book was the Panama Canal Eco-tour.
Like the Lago Bayano tour, Briant picked us up at our hotel right on schedule. We drove to a small dock along the Chagres River, where we boarded a canopied motor boat for a relaxing wild-life tour. We traveled on the canal itself for a period, before turning into one of the many tributaries, where Briant managed to get us close up to crocodiles and white-faced capuchin-monkeys.
A member of our tour group was an engineer n the canal expansion, so we gained a lot of insight from him and Briant about the future of the canal. Briant seemed to know all the ins and outs of the areas we visited on the tour and easily brought us into relatively close contact with capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, snail kites, and an incredible array of tropical birds.
We also had a distinction of very close contact with the fer-der-lance snake in our walking tour Soberania National Park. This is the most poisonous snake inn Central America. Briant was quick to nudge it off of the path but not before we all got some memorable photos. Our tours gave us a great overview of what Panama central has to offer. We later headed to the Pearl Islands.
Briant and Xplora Eco-Adventures did not simply give us a set menu of options and leave us to figure out what we should do with our time. Rather, he communicated with us about the tours and asked what we were most interested in seeing or where our curiosities were focused. It was nice to have a tour guide that listened as well as he spoke and sought information with the same verve he offered it. We were pleased to run into Briant on a couple of other occasions between our final Xplora tour and departing Panama City a week later.
He had brought travelers to see some of the wildlife exhibits at the Radisson Summit Hotel, where we initially stayed, and a week later we caught up with him in Casco Antigua, where he had another tour underway. It was a great way to begin and end our introduction to Panama.
I highly recommend Briant and Xplora. His tour packages me every expectation we had and also gave us that little extra that makes them unforgettable. Even if you don't see the precise tour you want, it's worthwhile to send him and email. It seems he can create any itinerary to match your interests or agenda. This is the first word that came to my mind when I read this review.
This is exactly what we were looking for when we started this project: I can only thank you for these words, and thank you for allowing me to show you a different side of Panama. I'm very happy to have contributed for you to have a great vacation time. Satisfied customers are the fuel that keeps us going, and you certainly left us with a full tank. This was a wonderful experience that my girlfriend and I shared with Luis in Panama.
I highly recommend Luis as a tour guide and this specific trip experience. Our experience began with a pick-up from our hotel in Casca Viejo and a trip across Panama to the Gatun Locks, which I believe are likely the best way to experience the Panama canal. Soon after, Luis dropped us off on the other side of the locks where we were able to bike on a well-paved roads for about an hour through the rainforest. Later, we traveled even further into the rainforest at San Lorenzo, where we experienced beautiful historical Fort Lorenzo which seems to be abandoned both historically and on the tourist map!
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It was just incredible. The bike ride including sightings of howler monkeys, white-faced monkeys, and a variety of birds. Also, not to be forgotten is the dip into the Caribbean ocean for a swim to cool off. Overall, the trip was a great experience and one of the highlights of our visit. Just a note that the biking is physically vigorous lots of hills and it can get very warm in and around the rain forest. If you're up for a physical challenge and enjoy nature Thanks Luis for the great experience!
Thanks for this very detailed and informative review. It was a very nice day for sure, and you guys were great company. I have to point out that you did a very good job not showing it was a physically vigorous bike ride, to my eyes at least you even made it look easy. From swimming through striking bat-filled caves to walking through the forest at night, all of our experiences with him were extremely memorable. We also participated in the Kuna Guna Yala day trip. While the setting at the private island was beyond gorgeous, we wanted to experience the Kuna culture further. Briant arranged for us to spend the majority of the day on a populated Kuna island and then picked us up to eat lunch on the private island - - he went out of his way to make sure we were satisfied.
Briant also took us on a city tour which allowed us to get our bearings and see where we wanted to spend more time exploring. Finally, he arranged a trip through the Panama Canal, which was the perfect ending to our week-long stay. Briant is always accommodating, professional and extremely punctual. He also speaks perfect English. I would highly recommend him to anyone seeking extraordinary, nature-themed experiences. It was a pleasure to tour with you. The fact that you both were so interested in our country and ethnic cultures is very important to us, and made this tour very special.
Yesterday I was in one of my cave tours, and the bats asked me to send both of you their regards: All the best for you!
Calvo and his staff. I had been planning for sometime an attempt to set the records for crossing the Isthmus of Panama from the Pacific to the Caribbean and return by bicycle roundtrip of miles and cumulative feet of climbing in tropical heat. Am I glad I contacted Mr. Calvo before attempting to do this without his invaluable help! His excellent knowledge of conditions in both Panama City and rural Panama, and his and Mr. Safety was always of utmost importance with Mr. Calvo and company, and thanks to them, I now not only own the records pending certification for crossing Panama by bicycle from the Pacific to the Caribbean 3 hrs, 43 min , and back 8: Needless to say, this kind of shared adventure engenders a genuine camaraderie not always felt between clients and guides.
Adventure Guide, Panama (Adventure Guides Series) by Patricia Katzman
Would-be challengers of my records please take note: Calvo has re-evaluated the risks of this kind of extreme sport on the basis of our shared experiences, and determined that the risks are simply too great to attempt again, so. Calvo kindly agreed prior to the attempt to become the only official of the UltraMarathon Cycling Association in all of Panama, the world sanctioning body for these kinds of record attempts, which among other requirements, required him to take an examination on the rather lengthy and technical rules governing record attempts.
Rarely does a UMCA official applicant make on this test. Talk about flexibility and knowledge: As just one other example among many of his willingness to go beyond the call of duty, he also arranged for a high-end back-up bike as insurance in the event of a major failure of my own bike. Anglophones with little or no knowledge of Spanish will appreciate Mr. And I know whom I shall contact before making any other arrangements.
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Thank you very much for this wonderful review. Yes, it is confirmed, we are not doing this anymore. Sorry to those thinking about challenging the record, and congratulations to the record holder for many years to come! It was truly an honor for us to be able to help out with our small contribution on this important event. I'm in my 50's and I visited Panama for 8 days with my adult daughter.
We prefer to get off the beaten path and learn about the real culture of a country. We also love nature and adventure. Briant arranged our entire trip, including meals, transportation, hotels and tours. He was our personal guide and is incredibly knowledgeable. Our trip was completely personalized and filled to the brim with adventure and discovery.
Prior to our visit we emailed back and forth with Briant. All we had to do was ask, and he provided us with the opportunity to fulfill our wishes.
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The most amazing thing to me was the price. It was less expensive to have Briant as a personal guide than for me to arrange everything myself and pay as we went. Plus, Briant is fully bilingual, so we had no language barriers. Here are my recommendations: The view is amazing but the monkeys are the best! They came right up to our boat. If you like adventure, and you are in good shape, take the hikes to the hidden falls and stay in the small mountain hotel. During this part of the trip we really lived and breathed as locals. You'll get muddy, and you'll use muscles you didn't even know you had, but you'll see the real rain forest.
Take the horse ride through the mountains.