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“Nice and cool in the cave”

Xplora Panama Day Tours
Book In Advance
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US$128.40*
and up
Hidden Waterfall Hike From Panama City
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US$128.00*
and up
Panama Canal Wildlife Boat Tour and Jungle Walk
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US$160.00*
and up
Lake Bayano Cave Exploration Tour From Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: We offer small group tours with a focus on culture, nature, and adventure. All our tours are guided by local Panamanian guides with 10+ years of professional experience leading safe and informative tours in Panama. In them you will find a great sense of responsibility, safety awareness, and a keen interest to offer every single one of their guests a top quality personalized experience.
Reviewed 6 June 2012

Wow what a great experience we had with the tour and Briant. Briant was right on time picking us up at our B&B. Briant has excellent english skills and very knowledgeable about what he was showing us. You can tell this is his passion and is doing this because he truly loves the country. I would recommend this to anyone that is looking for a one day experience. You get wet, sometimes up to your neck but you will be wearing a life jacket. There was no current in the river so you did have to kick your feet at somepoint to move forward.

Don't be afraid of the little fish nibbles it didn't hurt just surprized you a little.

Thanks Xplora and Briant for an excellent day! Oh and thanks for bringing back my bag of wet clothes that I left in the van...what a great guy!

1  Thank shotbyruth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2012

The cave is so amazing that it does most of the job to fascinate people: I just took you there! It really is one of my favorite places in Panama, and it does not matter how many times I have been there, I just enjoy every single one of them. So I thank you for taking my tour; It is great to take people like you, that really appreciate natural beauty. Thank you very much for your review.

PS: The fishes only nibble ladies legs... they don't mess with the guys! hahahaha just kidding :)

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201 - 205 of 273 reviews

Reviewed 4 June 2012

I recently did the cave tour with some friends, and it turned out to be one of the most memorable things we did on the trip. Briant is extremely knowledgable about the area and all the critters one may find in the cave. I would agree with the advertisement for the trip, you WILL get wet, at some points you may actually be swimming. Wear some longer, light-weight pants (not jeans) and some closed toe water shoes and you should be fine. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is reasonably active. Everyone in my party was in their late 40's to early 50's and we all did just fine.

Thank lorracs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 23 April 2014

This is why we love what we do, and why we do it! Thank you for taking the tour with us and for this wonderful review.

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Reviewed 2 June 2012

The underground river trek was by far the best thing I experienced in Panama. I should point out a couple of things. While the underground river trek is considered moderate difficulty, this is adventure is of moderate difficulty for active adults. The next thing I should point out that there will be hiking, climbing, and swimming depending on what time of year you travel. This makes choosing the appropriate footwear difficult. I brought water shoes, but they fell apart easily. Unfortunately, hiking shoes will weigh you down while swimming.

The trek itself was amazing. You travel through and river which runs through a cave. You will get wet during this hike. You wade through water, climb over rocks, and you swim. Overhead you will see fruit and insect eating bats flying through the air. In the water, you will see fish swimming and eating the larva which are brought up to the surface by your movements, If you make too much noise, the howler monkeys in the canopy above will throat their dominance. Also, you should be on the lookout for the beautiful but poisonous dart frogs.

It is a great once in a lifetime experience. Briant is an excellent tour guide who is very knowledgeable about the fauna on Panama.

Thank faustus1500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Briant D, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write this great review. Indeed, the tour is of moderate difficulty, but if you are not an active person, then it might be a little more than moderate. I am glad you enjoyed our tour so much!

Thank you!

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Reviewed 20 May 2012

My group of 5 visited one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the ruins of a fort, in Colon Panama. It was a bicycle tour and I have not ridden a bicycle in at least 3 years, but it was one of the highlights of my trip to Panama. Our guide, Luis, was very kind and patient and he pointed out the howler monkies and other local wildlife as we biked. After I rest my legs, I would do it again and recommend it to anyone. Also, cudos to each of my three 40-plus biking buddies who beat the 29-year old on the trek!

Thank KJCworldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luis C, Tour Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 21 May 2012

Thank you very much. Your group was a joy to be around and spend a day with, and what a pleasant coincidence to run into you the next day at Casco Viejo! Saludos

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Reviewed 29 April 2012

We booked two excursions with Xplora Eco-Adventure tours and guide leader, Briant Dominici, made every moment memorable.

We had a limited amount f time in the Panama City area during our trip. We had initially looked into Ancon (another tour operator that was more dominant in advertising) based on the vast schedule of tours it had listed. It seemed like a "go-to" operation for cruise ships. We tried to contact that operator via email and through their website. Days went by with no response and, when they did finally contact us, it was to tell us that many of their advertised tours we not available or couldn't be confirmed until enough participants had signed on.

When booking an excursion in a country that I'm not familiar with, the last thing I want to deal with is an operator that can't commit to its services up front. I plan ahead to alleviate the frustration of last minute details and for this reason, I start digging further into information on other, locally run, tour guides and operators.

Xplora Eco-Adventures was the first choice in our re-consideration of operators. The first thing to appeal to us were the range of tour options offered by the company on its well-designed and easy to navigate website (www.panamatraveltours.com). It is locally owned, so we recognized that the fees we paid contributed to the local economy, which was especially important when we were accessing areas managed by indigenous tribes. Certainly the biggest consideration for us, and one I encourage other vacation planners to look at, is the feedback one their TripAdvisor page. Briant and Luis acknowledge comments, address criticisms, and seemingly leave every traveler with a feeling of connection to Panama as a beautiful country of exploration and Briant and Luis as personal guides. It is very encouraging to see a business so engaged with customers before, during, and after a trip. Bravo to them for demonstrating the very highest regard for their clientele's feedback and integrating it into future trips to always better the tour experience.

Briant responded quickly to our first inquiry and we were easily able to set up two tours for our short time in Panama City: The Canal Eco-Tour and the Lago Bayano Bat Cave Hike.

The Lago Bayano Bat Cave Hike took us via bus on the Inter-American highway into the eastern area of the Panama Province. We disembarked at a small Kuna village, where we switched to a motor boat that took us across Lago Bayano to a rustic lakeside village devoid of electricity, plumbing, or any of our "modern" conveniences. One can argue that it was very far from civilization or the actual epitome of civilization.

We started at the mouth of the cave and, as a group, followed Briant into the darkness. Words can't adequately describe the scenery of the cave, especially where the ceiling split or opened up to let shards of light play inside on the cave walls. The hike through the river was wet, but easy for the first third of the journey. As we moved into the middle third, which was the deepest section of the river, the excitement was up in everyone. We moved into deeper water that chest deep on me (5'10" man). The river deepened, the ceiling got lower, and the echo of our excited voices resonated enough to set the bats in motions. What a thrill! As we moved in one direction hundreds upon hundreds of bats poured from their perches in the ceiling and whisked right above our head. They didn't touch anyone and no one panicked, realizing that this was not an attack - but rather a fantastic demonstration of nature on its own terms. The hike into the cave ended at a gorgeous open-air swimming hole, where our hiking team relaxed before heading back along the same route. In addition to bats were saw a variety of frogs, toads, and other wildlife throughout the day. (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.

Thanks, Briant!

3  Thank BrooklynRider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Briant D, Tour Coordinator and Guide at Xplora Panama Day Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 May 2012

WOW! 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: to provide the best posible experience in a personalized way. 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.

Once again, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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