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Great excursion with Relax Day Tour -- Federico and Eric


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My wife and I just returned from a 10-day Panama Canal Cruise from HAL Eurodam.  Puerto Limon was our favorite stop on this trip.  We took an excursion with Relax Day Tour (Federico Shuster, a transplant originally from Austria, was the owner and the guide).  I had done my research ahead of time and contacted 3 different tour operators – Relax Day Tours, Your Lucky Tour, and Port Limon. All 3 companies have similar tours with similar prices, but Relax Day's itinerary had a little longer boat ride and more time in the national park, and included the stops at a fruit stand and a Banana Plantation - clearly the best value.  Plus Federico was the best with communications. His email response was very detailed. When I asked about bathrooms, he went through the entire trip’s schedule and listed the availability (and ranked their cleanness) of bathrooms on each stop.  We picked Relax Day Tour and were very glad that we did.  It was a group of 5 couples, with Federico as the guide and Eric as the driver in a late model van that was very clean and comfortable.  Eric was amazing in his ability to spot wildlife even when driving.  He pulled over to the side of the road multiple times to show us sloths, lizards, monkeys, toucans… Federico provides his commentary with a mix of European and Caribbean perspectives.


The canal ride was great with a smaller group, as each person had a "water side" seat, and could freely move to the front or back of the ship.  (12 people on a boat that normally held 20.)  The driver of the boat would frequently stop and get closer to the bank or into very shallow water to give us better views of lizards and birds.  It's such a contrast to several ship-organized excursions on the same canal where everybody was packed in like sardines.  After the boat ride, we drove to a fruit stand and enjoyed samples of petite bananas, papaya, pineapple, roasted cocoa beans.  Several of us bought fresh coconuts for $1 each.  After we sucked the juice first, they cut open the coconut and dug out the meat for us. There was a gift shop onsite, as well as interesting plants behind the stand next to people's houses. There was zero pressure to buy stuff, and frankly there was almost no time to shop, as we just followed Federido and listened to him talking about each fruit tree.


After that, we drove 30 minutes to a National Park, walking on a sandy path in the woods, while the ocean and its pounding surf was no more than 20 feet away. Sloths and monkeys were all over the trees. It was sprinkling a little at the time, but with the trees, we didn't really feel the rain, and the sandy path never got muddy or slippery.  Federico and Eric walked with us for half an hour, and gave us free time to relax on the beach or walk further. 


After a total of 90 minutes at the park, we drove to a Banana Plantation.  It's a weekend and it's closed.  (Even if it were open, I don't know if we would be allowed to enter.)  But we stood outside the fence while looking at the banana trees.  Federico explained to us how the business and operation of banana growing and harvesting was done, which was very informative.


Finally, we drove back toward the cruise terminal and were given the option to stop at a local supermarket to buy things or to see how daily life was for the residents.  My wife and I chose to go straight back to the ship instead, as it had been a long day.  We thoroughly enjoyed the entire 7 hours of the trip and highly recommend Federido and Relax Day Tour to anybody.

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Frederico Schuster of Relax Day tours is the best! This was my second day out with Relax Day and the second time was as good as the first! I am disabled with limited mobility and rely on an electric scooter to get me around. I was able to do everything! We were met on time at the port; my buggy was stowed and we had a small tour of the town. Then it was off to the canal and the boat. I was helped onto the boat and we had a great time - seeing so much wild-life. We then had a short loo and coffee stop at a great place before going on to the National Park. With my buggy I was able to go about 1 1/2 miles down the rough path - with wonderful views, monkeys, snakes, etc. A stop at the local supermarket for ice-cream and then we were taken back to the ship. It was a fantastic day. The driver and guide were good and the organisation superb. I highly recommend Relax Day tours.

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