Unknown to me when I got to Panama is a action sports playground for the avid, enthused or curious extreme sports fan. Welcome to NitroCity action sports resort Panama. Home to motocross, wake skating, kite surfing, and an assortment of other fun activities that can fulfil your X-Game dreams.
If you’ve ever watched MTV you might be familiar with a little show called Nitro Circus. The hugely popular show features supercross/motorcross champion Travis Pastrana and his crew of friends in stunt oriented adventures. He opened on the 17th of December 2011 on the tip of a peninsula about an hour and a half south west of Panama city.
I saw the brochure for NitroCity at my hostel and was instantly amped up to go. I guess I expected a jumping X-games crowd, lots of people and things happening. The look of the place is really nice. A huge beach is out in front. The rooms look modern and clean. The restaurant, lounge area are comfortable and the bar stocked. The pool is big and has a swim up bar as well. The decor is showcasing Travis Pastrana’s gear, bikes and friends. The resort was mostly full of workers and a few other day-passers like us. All the workers were preparing for Travis to come next weekend. A lot of the activities were unavailable. However two I was interested in were available. The Jetski rental, which I had never done before, and the cable park/wake skate pool.
The Jetski was pretty fun. With Izzy on the back, I was just getting use to how the thing operates but she didn’t enjoy the salt water stinging her eyes and my stumbling trying to figure out how it works. The sea was choppy so it can be harder to learn on. However I dropped her off at the shore and got a chance to really open it up. And got to go FAST! It didn’t take too long to get the hang of it after that. Driving it feels somewhere between a snowmobile and a motorcycle. Use your legs as shock absorbers and watch out for big waves.
The cable park is something I had never seen before. A big pool with a cable directly down the middle about 25 feet in the air. The cable has a motorized wheel system, think a little bit like a ski lift and attached is a rope down to the water with a handlebar on the end. It whizzes you down from end to end, around buoys and setup on one side is a ramp and the other is a box. The board is not a wakeboard but a wakeskate. There are no bindings but a grip tape to keep the board on your feet. It took me a while to get the hang of it but as soon as I did, I bailed kinda hard and hit my shin off the edge of the board. I had to walk it off but it was just a little too sore to get back in the water. But none the less, I don’t know anywhere else you can try something like this and it was worth it.
– In one word. EXPENSIVE. In two, VERY EXPENSIVE. I know these are not cheap activities to operate however the costs are really much too high for the average person to enjoy. One night at the NitroCity resort is a minimum of $260/night but can go up to $420/night for the “Pro” suits. You can check their website for room rates. However they do not post the cost of the sports. So here they are:
Day pass: $30USD which gives you access to the pool, gym, skate park, beach volley ball and soccer.
Wake boat trip – $100 – Full day – Min 4 people
Wakeboard/wake skate cable park – $25 – 1 hour – Max 6 people
Kite surf lessons – $145 – 2 hours – 1 person
Kite group lessons – $199 – 2 People
Kite gear rental – $120 – 1 day or $75 – half day
Kite surf course – $420 (6 hours) – 1 person
Donut tube – $40 – 15 mins – 2 person max
Standup paddle board lake – $15 – 30mins
Stadup paddle board ocean – $25 – 1 hour
Scuba mini course – $45 -1 hour
Scuba tour (at bona island) – $120 per diver – 4 hours (including transportation) – 4 person minimum
Bottom Fishing (front island) $45 – 2 hours – 6 person minimum
On-shore fishing – $25 – 2 hours
Jetski rental – $50 – 30mins + $15 for a second person
MX Motorcross Rental – $125 (4 hours) or $20 for track access with your own motocross bike
Pit bikes (mini bikes) – $25 – 15mins
ATV – Beach rides – $75 + $15 for passenger
Mountain Bikes – $5 – 1 hour
Skateboard rental – $20 full day
I would go back to Nitro City with a bigger group of friends and a bigger wallet.I really like adventure and activities while travelling. There’s isn’t a option on that list I wouldn’t like doing. So it’s not that the activities aren’t worth trying they are just out of range for most travelers budgets.