On a Saturday morning In May of 2000 I adopted the first dog of my own as an adult, Max. He was an 18 month old, 45-pound Australian Cattle Dog. He’d been in a shelter in Delaware for 3 months minus a few weeks with a family that didn’t work out, and was scheduled to be euthanized Monday morning at 6 am.Three weeks later Max and I took off on a 1 year journey through the US, Canada and Mexico. We traveled, camping and exploring, for over 20,000 miles by motorcycle. Max rode in an airline kennel mounted onto the back, and he was the best friend and companion I could have asked for. Only twice did he refuse to get up onto the bike.

Over our 13 years together, Max, who was joined by Dozer in 2005 and Margie in 2008, traveled with me through ten countries in North, Central and South America. He and Dozer protected me at night when we camped out. They chased off the police that tried to rob us in Mexico. They have been rafting, kayaking, and tubing on the Rio Grande. They are well known amongst many of the indigenous groups we worked with in Panama and have been in many areas of the jungles that few non-natives ever visit, and they are in more tour client photos than I have.

Max was my friend and constant companion. He saved my life and he changed my life. In 2010 I took a couple of ladies on a private camping tour to a small private island off the coast of Panama, inhabited by only one family. I had always taken the three dogs, Max, Dozer and Margie on all of my tours and this was no exception. When we arrived to the coast to meet the boat for the trip to the island, I unloaded the equipment, luggage and dogs from my truck. That was apparently the first time since we had left Panama City 2+ hours earlier that the ladies had noticed the dogs. They were polite but visibly concerned. “Do you always take your dogs?” I replied that I do. “Does anyone ever complain?” I had to think back but the answer was no, never.


Over the years so many people who had seen me traveling or who had been on my tours had expressed how much they wished they could travel with their dogs, and I was grateful for my good fortune to be able to do so.

After three fantastic days on the island, the ladies approached me. They wanted to let me know that although the snorkeling was amazing, the food delicious, the island gorgeous, the people friendly, the guide excellent, and the ice cream a huge treat (I had made homemade ice cream the last night), “ … the best part of the trip was your dogs. We really enjoyed them. Thank you!”

That is when the idea for Happy Tails Canine Adventure Tours was born. I knew that I had to come up with a way to help others to travel with their best friends. And, now it’s finally coming to fruition. They say that humans are attracted to pets and especially dogs because they give us unconditional love, but for me I think its because they give me the opportunity to love unconditionally!

So keep the rubber down, the wind in your hair and the tails wagging! The best is yet to come.



“Large group trip” ★★★★★

Adventure Tours Panama organized 2.5 days of excursions for our college student group of 31 persons total. We had a fantastic experience! The tours were put together very well; they allowed us to get a well-balanced exposure to the country, its points of interest, nature with animal encounters, and a visit with local indigenous people. We could not have wished for a better time! 
The tours ran smoothly. The bus was comfortable and driven safely, we never had to wait in line (i.e. Miraflores locks), the lunches were fabulous and the locations thoughtfully chosen, and we got up-close and personal to the sights and sounds of the country. At any given time, it was evident that our money spent was going to the local people directly, and not some foreign-owned conglomerate. 
We explored the Panama Canal on small motorized boats, which exposed us to the true immensity of the many ocean liners that pass through the canal every day, and the waterway itself. We were able to explore nature reserves only to find monkeys jumping onto our vessels in search of bananas, and we visited the Woonan tribe who shared insights into their way of life with us on a hike through the jungle, a lunch and a celebration. We saw old Panama City on a walking tour (not through the windows of a tour bus) guided by locals. A visit to an organic farm showed us yet another perspective of Panama’s treasures and alternative, eye-opening approaches to farming. Oh, and did I mention that we saw sloths? (:
The whole trip was the experience of a lifetime for all of us, and observing all the chatter on Social Media afterwards, I think I can safely say that this trip will not be forgotten.

“Just a couple of backpackers” ★★★★★

I was backpacking Central America with my friend and we decided that we would try a tour since we were only in town for a short period. Typically I hate doing tours because it is every backpackers nightmare. Tourists and a “set up” kind of experience is not my cup of tea, however David understood my hesitation and set up a private tour for us. We had the right mix of seeing the “must see sights” to going off the beaten path and really being immersed into the culture and nature. Because of this tour we had an exceptional visit to Panama and really got to appreciate much more of the country than we anticipated. Thank you David!

“Like survivor only better!” ★★★★★

When my wife and I left the San Blas Islands, we felt like we had just been transported back from some place you only see on TV or read about in books. We have traveled quite a bit around the world, but had never been on a trip quite like this. David with Adventure Tours Panama took us to a remote island, not much bigger than a soccer field with crisp white sand, palm trees, turquoise waters…. What more could you want? We lounged on hammocks, snorkeled, lounged some more. Even caught some of our our food from the ocean! It was like being on survivor only no camera crews to disrupt our peace and we were comfortable and well taken care of. After leaving the islands, we wanted more and headed to Panama City with David for a city tour. Once again, we were well taken care as David showed us the Panama Canal and all the cities major sites, including a bunch of obscure and less well know gems. All in all, this is up there as one of my top travel trips I have ever taken and I know that if we had tried to do this on our own, we would have missed out on the opportunities that David at Adventure Tours Panama had given us. David provides professional, top notch tours tailored to his clients individual interests. His in depth knowledge of areas and relationships with community members makes for a tour that leaves you feeling like part of a family. If you are looking for an off the beaten path adventure that you will not forget, David is your guide!

“Plan a Trip with David Blank” ★★★★★

We met David Blank the owner of Adventure Tours Panama 4 years ago when we were planning a trip to the Western United States. When we found out he owned a tour company we told him our plans and asked him to review our itinerary since he has led many tours in the area we planned to visit. David redid our itinerary and custom created a trip that was perfect for our desires and needs. He sent us to places that were off the beaten path like specific places on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, and Mexican Hat in Southern Utah amongst many others. He helped us to make the most of our time and taught us what we needed to know for each area. Our trip was exponentially more memorable because of his thoughtful input. We and our four children had an incredible, life changing trip!! We are forever grateful to David. He gave us the inspiration and confidence necessary to do two more big trips with our children, one to California and another to Alaska, both of which David was instrumental in helping us plan.

“Best Tour Ever” ★★★★★

David is a great guide. What we noticed about David that sets him apart is his desire to make each guest happy. There was a couple who loved birds so he made sure to point out the birds and even made a special stop on the side of the road to show us a Tucan. He has a great personality and is very comfortable to be around.

Out of the many tours we have taken this is by far the best yet! If you are looking for the “normal” tourist attraction this tour is not for you. This tour takes you to the village of the Emberas where you will not only meet the people of the village and interact with them but will glance into their way of life. We found them to be a very gentle, kind people. David is a great guide. What we noticed about David that sets him apart from many other guides is his desire to make each guest happy. There was a couple who loved birds so he made sure to point out the birds and even made a special stop on the side of the road to show us a Tucan. He has a great personality and is very comfortable to be around. We were sad when it was time to say goodbye to the Emberas!