Hawaii Mermaid Adventures appeals to all ages. // © 2016 Hawaii Mermaid Adventures
Feature image (above): Guests explore the waters off Maui, mermaid-style. // © 2016 Hawaii Mermaid Adventures
Clients can slip on a tail and slide into the water with a new activity called Hawaii Mermaid Adventures. Based at southwest Maui’s Makena Beach, the commissionable experience invites guests to assume an aquatic alter ego while exploring Hawaii’s rich underwater wildlife.
Hawaii Mermaid Adventures is part of the eco-tour company Hawaiian Paddle Sports, which is owned by Timothy Lara.
“I had seen mermaid photo shoots on the beach and at pools, and I thought how fun it would be to actually become a mermaid, instead of just taking photos in a tail,” Lara said.
The two-hour adventure begins as clients practice getting in and out of their tails on land. Guides share information about the different types of mermaids, such as sirens, deep-sea mermaids, whale singers and reef mermaids, and they talk about myths surrounding the mysterious creatures. The group also discusses proper water etiquette, including important conservation issues.
Once in the water, budding mermaids and mermen can swim through hula hoops, splash their tales and look for tropical fish and coral. During the winter months, they can listen for underwater songs of the humpback whales that migrate to Maui’s warm waters. The company provides free beach and underwater digital photography. Guests who don’t want the dream to end can purchase their own mermaid tails for future use.
Since each excursion is exclusive to one party, and since the mermaid tails are unisex, Hawaii Mermaid Adventures makes a great option for families. Lara also recommends the activity for girlfriend getaways, bridal parties and repeat clients who are looking for something new or unique on Maui.
All of Hawaii Mermaid Adventures’ guides are CPR-, lifeguard- and marine naturalist-certified, so safety is at the forefront of the company. Staff members also undergo regular Hawaiian cultural training.
“Our guides are very hands-on, and they happily provide recommendations for other parts of the island,” Lara said.
Like Hawaiian Paddle Sports, Hawaii Mermaid Adventures emphasizes sustainability. It often gives back to the environment through volunteer work and financial assistance to local nonprofits.
“We’re all about creating memorable ecotourism experiences,” Lara said. “Clients can feel good that their dollars spent go right back into the Maui community and help to improve the destination.”