My First Time Practicing Stand-Up Paddling

Stand-Up Paddling

One of the hotels that I have been very curious about and that certainly left me speechless is Nitro City (now it is called Maalaea Resort). There are so many things to do that one day is not enough.

I advance by informing that I am not a sportswoman, athlete or something similar, the most I do is walk my pet, go up a hill or hike a trail.

So, what do I do there? because this hotel is not only for extreme athletes, but also for all those who want to do something different, even once in their lives, since they can practice them from level 0 (zero).

And I chose this hotel to do stand-up paddling for the first time.

Arrive with a little rain, quickly go to my room to settle while it was clearing.

The hotel

My room was just amazing, it had a beautiful view, it just said “I want to live here”, this is my birthday / Christmas gift early.

It is very comfortable, it also had an autographic paddle board with photos of competitions, I saw these elements throughout the hotel.

The beautiful view from the bed in my room.
The beautiful view from the bed in my room.

At the end of the night the rain stopped, so I couldn’t do much, I wanted to walk around the facilities and got to know the whole hotel.

However, enjoy the beautiful views and after a delicious dinner.

The restaurant

I was very surprised by the menu, I was expecting only hamburger, fish or shrimp with potatoes or fries, but it is very varied.

It has options of chicken, pork, vegetarian, pizza, different salads, among other things, of course there is also the fish.

I chose a quinoa salad, chicken with corn and a natural passion fruit juice, everything was delicious and trust me, you won’t be hungry.

Back in my room, having such a beautiful view, I couldn’t sleep with the curtains down.

Imagine waking up like this, well in my case I woke up, as in all my trips (I think I have an internal clock for trips hahaha), to see the sunrise, I did not have it in front, but I saw how little by little everything was going to light up and going from dark blue to light yellow. I went out on the balcony to enjoy the first rays of the sun.

Pool. Stand-Up Paddling
Sunset at the Pool.

After this sunrise comes a delicious breakfast in front of the sea, I ordered omelets with onion steak, orange juice and tea, a delight.

Now, book the activities and prepare while resting a little.


I saw several pets and this place is pet friendly, in my case I left mine at home, because I have the impression that it would not have behaved very well.

Stand-Up Paddling (SUP)

This activity has been increasing in Panama, it is quite simple, it is enough to know how to stop at the table and use the paddle, the difficult thing can be to identify where the tide is going and in case of high wind, not fall.

There are several options for stand-up paddling in the hotel,it can be in the hotel’s artificial lake (where wakeboarding is practiced) or in the sea, there are also people who do it in the pool.

Stand-Up Paddling
You can not only do it standing, you can also do it kneeling or sitting.

Some history of this sport

Doing some research, apparently it was born in Hawaii, when they tried to photograph the surfers.

So, they designed these boards a little longer and more stable, they also added an oar to be able to move.

Another version says that someone created it to take bigger waves, however, it has its beginnings for thousands of years, when people rowed standing up.

The truth is that this modality can be done for surfing, races, short or long walks, each one has its style of board.

It is also known as stand-up paddle, paddle surf, stand-up paddle surf, stand-up paddlesurfing, SUP and surf of rowing.

My experience

As I swim a little, I thought I would do it in the lake, but I saw it very small and decided to go to Stand-Up Paddling.

Cesar attended to me, gave me the pertinent instructions, but then he decided to accompany me and I must thank him, because without him I would have followed the course of the run and would have been far from the hotel.

He told me “let’s go to the boats”, now, even though I gave him I never went past the hotel, I saw him so calm, sometimes he didn’t even row and I couldn’t reach him, hahaha, he even taught me to go faster.

Now I feel very happy because I did not fall, I wobbled a little but almost nothing.

Almost as an expert, I say.
Almost as an expert, I say.

Stand-up paddling is a lot of fun, whether you have a point where you want to go or not, you can do a competition between friends or just surf and enjoy the moment.

This season is perfect to do it because there is little wind, equal to little chance of falling.

Then wakeboard (I will tell you in another article), quickly return to the room to give me a shower and collect everything, I had to deliver it (there is the option of late check-out, depending on availability).

From there to a well-deserved lunch, this time ceviche, then a pork burger, french fries and natural strawberry juice and rest for a while.

Then I stayed in the pool until sunset.

Part of what I taste
Part of what I taste. Above, chicken and quinoa salad with corn, tortillas with onions below, and pork burger with fries.

In conclusion

I really liked this activity, it is fun and it is a simple exercise suitable for any age,.

Muscles are strengthened, balance is improved and being a sport that is practiced in nature, it is ideal relaxant to lower stress.

From the hotel I loved the room, the activities, the music, the food, the attentive staff, in short, everything.

I had the impression that it was for extreme expert athletes, but no, one can go, enjoy the place or do any of the activities, since they are designed to be done from level 0.

Activities included

  • Ping pong,
  • pool table,
  • foosball,
  • foot tennis,
  • balance boards,
  • soccer,
  • beach volleyball,
  • skatepark,
  • among others.

Another thing you can do is, go when there is some extra activity like, a sports tournament (I want to go kiteboarding, it must be beautiful, of course I will be in a chair or taking photos, from the shore) or a beach party with live music.

Extra fact

This is the only extreme sports hotel in Panama, it is among the best in the world in this category, and there are activities that are not offered in another part of the country.

This hotel (Nitro City) was created by Travis Pastrana, recognized in international motocross and motorsports.

With the idea of ​​having a place that, in addition to staying, could do this type of activity.

Game area
Game area, you can also see part of the decoration of the hotel.


Apparently on its new website, the hotel is not currently offering Stand up Paddle.


  • If this is the first time you are doing stand-up paddling, ask and follow the instructions, you will see that they are simple but necessary.
  • Also do it when there is no wind and in places without waves.
  • Don’t forget sunscreen and glasses.
  • Tap water is not drinkable (it tastes strange, yes, you drink it without knowing it), you can ask for it in the bar or in the restaurant with any of the meals. (in the rest of the country is drinkable).
  • If you travel at night, be careful, do not go too fast, because there may be many dogs and birds on the road.
  • You can also wakeboard at this hotel.


  • Stand up paddle: $15.00 (1/2h on the lake) and $30.00 (1h on the beach).
  • Pass: $30.00 adults and $20.00 children and pets. Book in advance and payment is made at the hotel.
  • Room: from $198.00, there are options with or without all meals included.


  • Day pass: 9:00 a.m. at 7:00 p.m.
  • Payment activities: 9:00 a.m. at 6:00 p.m.

How to get to Maalaea Resort?

Take the Pan-Americana Highway, enter through the Chame photo stop, continue until you see something that appears to be a fork, turn left.

Continue until you see the entrance to Maalaea Resort.

From the Pan-American Highway, it is 30 minutes and from the Bridge of the Americas it is 1:30.

The trail is generally in good condition, there is only a small part that is not very good.

More informationMaalaea Resort

Update: 2020.

Stand-Up Paddling
Sunrise in front of the sea.

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