If you are on vacation, or new to Maui, and you want to explore the island and its surrounding ocean, you have a couple choices. You can use a guidebook to find the ‘hidden gems’, which now, thanks to those guidebooks, you’ll be enjoying with 600 new friends (and i’m not kidding, last time I drove past Twin Falls, there were approximately 200 cars there.. 4 people in a car, you get the idea… it’s not Disneyland, people), OR, you could jump in a van or bus and be driven around with, if you are lucky, only 10 or 14 other people joining in on your private adventure…
Miranda Camp is offering another option. A naturalist, adventurist, and self-described ‘amassador of fun’, she will take you and your friends and family on a private tour of your design. After years of being an informal tour guide to her own friends and family, Miranda decided to make a business of her natural talent – delighting visitors with the hidden treasures of Maui. She recently started her company, Maui Mana Adventures, and specializes in Hikes, Stand Up Paddling and Snorkeling Tours.
Miranda and I worked together for several years at Maui Ocean Center, (seriously, she’s one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet, I think there’s a combination of Hawaiian Aloha and Southern Charm in there somewhere) – so she was willing to put down the paddle for a few minutes to answer some of my questions:
Maui Made: How did Maui Mana Adventures start?
Miranda Camp: I’ve been taking people on adventures in Maui for many years and one day a friend said to me “You should do this for a living because you’re so good at it!” It’s what I love to do more than anything else so it was shocking to me that it hadn’t occurred to me before.
MM: What’s your favorite adventure on Maui?
MC: There are so many great adventures on Maui, but I think I love my Island Loop Adventures the best because they are a combination of various adventures all in one day. We tour either the West Maui mountains, Halemahina, or the East Maui mountain, Haleakala, and fit in as many adventures as we can. It’s such a blast!
MM: Anywhere on Maui you haven’t yet been?
MC: I’m sure there are special places on Maui still undiscovered by me. I’m working on finding them all.
MM: What sets Maui Mana apart from other tours on Maui?
Every company has it’s own unique niche. My company is all about sharing the aloha and special Mana (which is Hawaiian for ‘life force energy’) of Maui. I specialize in private custom tours, so my clients design their own adventures. They tell me what they’d like to do and see and we do it at their pace. I’ve been studying everything I can about Maui from amazing people since I fell in love with it and moved here over 16 years ago. I have lots of enthusiasm and respect for the island and it’s Hawaiian culture and I love to share that with others.
MM: What are your favorite places to explore around the other Hawaiian islands?
MC: All of the islands are so unique and special. There are too many favorite places to name and I’m still learning.
MM: why do you think ‘ecotourism’ vacations and activities are so popular now?
MC: Because people are getting back in touch with their surroundings and realizing that we need to take care of the things that sustain us just as they were our own families. This is what all the ancient cultures realized and we are finally getting back to our roots. It’s a beautiful thing! (MM Notes: Maui Mana Adventures donates 5% of their profits to local organizations that work to preserve and restore the special places on Maui.)
More about Miranda Camp:
She’s worked as a Naturalist/Educator for The Hawaii Nature Center, the Pacific Whale Foundation and now with the Maui Ocean Center Aquarium for over 10 years. She has lead hikes for The Nature Conservancy of Maui and the Maui Sierra Club and volunteers for the Coastal Land Trust, Auwahi Reforestation Program, The Hawaii Wildlife Fund Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project and more. Safety is important to Miranda: she’s First Aid/CPR Certified.
To see what others are saying, check out the reviews on Tripadvisor.