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“Rudy's Tours”

Rudy's Panama Private Guided Tours & Transfers
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Offers Private Guided Tours in Panama - We are happy to show all travellers this incredible country, it's customs, amazing history, delicious food, diverse nature and biodiversity in the most authentic way...let the adventure begin!!!
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Rudy's Tours”
Reviewed 9 July 2014

We took five tours with Rudy and they were all excellent and very memorable...The groups are small (no more than six people) therefore the service is very personalized.....The highlight trip however was the tour to the Embera Village...where we were welcomed by the most hospitable peoples...an elder gave us a tour of the village and explained why his people had moved closer to the city...we enjoyed a delectable lunch, traditional dance and had a jaguar tattoo. Rudy is a wealth of knowledge on Panama , very professional and personable.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Barbara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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160 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Houston
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Exceptional!”
Reviewed 5 July 2014

This review is long overdue. I used Rudy’s Tours when traveling to Panama last summer. My travel needs were unique. I had lived in the Panama Canal Zone as a child. I currently live in Texas, and was returning back to the area for the first time. I was excited, emotional, and a little anxious. My initial contact with this company was with Patty, by email. She responded to my email promptly. She was professional and very kind. After answering my questions about the tour itinerary, she even offered to help me with lodging. I booked two tours.
Both days, Rudy not only arrived on time, but he was early! On the first day of my tour, Rudy drove me out to see the area where my mother and I lived in the canal zone. I had beautiful memories of the area. Needles to say, I was thrilled to be back! Rudy was knowledgeable and engaging. My mother is now deceased, so this tour was very special to me. Later, we spent a considerable amount of time in Panama City and the Panama Canal. I learned so much. On day two, I booked a walking tour of “The Other Panama.” It was great to just enjoy authentic Panamanian life. Rudy accommodated all of my requests. I had a special request to see Museo Afro Antillano de Panamá. I appreciated that Rudy let me spend all the time that I wanted there. He was very patient. I enjoyed learning about the significant contributions made by African descendants/West Indians in the building of the canal. At some point during the day, he made an extra stop so that I could purchase souvenirs for my family. As a solo female traveler, I felt safe with Rudy. My tour didn’t feel like a “tour.” It felt like I was out exploring Panama with a dear friend. I can warmly recommend this tour company. Thank you Rudy and Patty, for helping to make my trip memorable!

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank stephanie1913
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando
Level Contributor
23 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Rudy's Tours Is The Right Choice!”
Reviewed 3 July 2014

We had a fantastic time in Panama and feel that choosing Rudy's Tours was pivotal to the whole experience. From the very beginning, everything was handled professionally, proficiently and promptly by Patty. We actually settled on Rudy after reading his customer reviews and reading Patty's words about him. We read through loads of reviews of the various tour operators on TA and decided to contact Rudy because we felt as though he would be awesome based upon other TA user reviews. Thank you to others who write in as well. We do all of our travel research here and make decisions based upon balancing the good and bad reviews. Rudy had no bad reviews and while that can be a red flag usually, after meeting him, we see why. Rudy is truly a lovely soul. He was punctual, very friendly, easy going, a wealth of information on all things Panama and genuine to a fault. Thank you Rudy and Patty!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank RCMC350
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Superb guide”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

We just finished the last of 5 day tours with guide Rudy Ariani of Rudy's tours. They were fantastic. We took the standard city/canal tour, aerial tram and monkey island (the island was indeed full of monkeys and Rudy knew how to entice them out, Santa Clara Beach tour ( a wonderful wide and deserted beach), the other Panama , a unique tour, where Rudy took us off the beaten track to see a Panama tourists do not see, and the amazing Embrera Indian village which we reached after our dugout canoe plied through the back waters of Panama. Rudy was knowledgeable and able to answer all our questions (which is not easy to do since I am a lawyer). He knew just where to go and effectively guided us through the experiences. If you want big bus tours in Panama, he is not for you, but if you want individual experiences at a relatively low cost, he is for you!

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank wihunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carmel, New York
Level Contributor
79 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Three Days with Rudy”
Reviewed 6 May 2014

Rudy is an exceedingly nice guy: very positive, kind, well-meaning and thoughtful. He is a pleasant companion. He knows several languages and his English is good, but not excellent. Sometimes you will run up against a few words here or there he doesn't understand. My sense is that he knows more than he can express easily in English.

We did three tours with him; a fishing trip, a tour of old Panama (the shipping area, fish market and meat markets where the ordinary Panamanians shop), and a tour of the Embara village.

Rudy's tours are arranged and organized by his wife Patty, of Patty's Casitas. Patty is the salesperson, and Rudy is the tour guide. I mention this because you need to understand that Patty re-sells tours from other companies, such as the transit of the canal and a bird watching tour and boat ride from the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. These are not with Rudy. She sells these enthusiastically enough, and did not trip to talk my wife out of them, but when I mentioned how bad the boat ride was, she said negative things about it, agreeing with what I said and amplifying on it further. I suggest you carefully find out if the tour is Rudy's or someone else's , and try to get her real opinion. She is a strong personality, and wants to please you, but at the same time she wants to sell.

The Embara tour was interesting, and not overwhelmingly touristy. The village dresses up and puts on a bit of a show for you; you aren't seeing real village life, just them dressed up and carrying on for the tourists. Still, parts of it were fascinating. We spent time with the medicine man, touring the village, and asking questions about his "cures." All of this was translated through Rudy, who spoke enough of their language to talk to those tribe members who didn't speak Spanish. It was as real as you are likely to get unless you can speak the language and go off into the jungle to visit some tribes who are not in the tourist business. Not likely for most of us.

The Old Panama tour was the best. You could wander around these streets alone during day, at least the main ones, but you would miss some things. And you might not make it all the way to the fish market and the meat market, which are a bit off the beaten path.

Rudy took us to the men crushing sugar cane in the market, bought us a drink, also offered coconut milk. Sanitary conditions in the markets and the streets are not bad, but they are not excellent, either. I did wonder about the safety of eating and drinking off the street, and at the market restaurant where the locals are, but we were all fine, and I would assume that most people are coming through it unscathed. Rudy certainly had no reservations about offering us the local food. Generally, I had no trouble drinking the tap water in Panama, or eating any of the food.

Toward the end of the tour Rudy seemed to flag. I am not sure if it is his English, or just maybe he lacks a sense of the possible things to say. He had almost nothing to say as the walked us through the fish market, aside from offering us a ceviche, and said virtually nothing about the meat market. A really good tour guide would have been full of facts (who buys there (mostly wholesale buyers, restaurants, etc), how many pounds of meat and fish, and maybe a little arranged interaction with buyers, butchers, etc. This didn't happen; we were tired, and maybe Rudy was too, and we just walked through.

As I have said, Rudy is a little bit passive. The more you interact with him, the more you will get from the experience. He is trustworthy and knows what he is talking about. He just needs to get more detailed knowledge and be a little more active to make a really excellent tour guide.

I have included some pictures so you can get a sense of who Rudy is, and a little of what you can see and experience on the tours. The Old Panama street life is really very rich, and well worth going along with Rudy.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank gmpooin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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