Find Your Eco-Nirvana in Maui

Nirvana, ahhh—that place where you feel in total harmony with your world. Of course, if your Nirvana is room service in a four star hotel in Manhattan, you may want to question if this Maui Eco Retreat, operated by the Kahua Institute, is right for you.

Mana (Hawaiian for blessings) will greet you as you approach the Maui Retreat center located on the North Shore coastline of Maui, the island nearest Hawaii’s big island. Surrounded by lush jungle and breathtaking waterfalls the Maui Eco Retreat with its dense bamboo gardens and minimalist styled accommodations will give you the distinct feeling that you are one with your surroundings.

Immerse yourself in the quiet respite of the ocean breeze and take solace that all of the buildings and land of this little known retreat were developed with a distinct, and purposeful connection to reducing a man-made impact on the Earth.

The Eco and Opua houses are built from bamboo and enclosed by fruit trees, gardens, and incredible vistas of the ocean. Solar powered, both offer inviting exterior living spaces. Water from an underground aquifer and a strict prohibition of any agricultural chemicals ensures that your stay will be purely natural.

The choice in accommodations includes the Eco House that has an excellent view of the ocean, queen-sized bed, full kitchen and bath as well as an outdoor shower. Price: $150 per night weekly rate, $175 per night normal price

The Opua House, the main retreat center offers four themed rooms. The all white, ocean view Lotus Room, overlooks the Koi pond and is the most expensive of the four choices at $145 per night.

The other three rooms, the Dolphin with is beautiful bamboo canopy bed covered in Indian silks, the Indian Room, the most spare, yet furnished with lovely imports from India and the Hawaiian Room, with its distinct tropical theme, all have shared bathrooms and are a very reasonable $95 – $125 per night.


The Kahua Institute, established in 1995, operates Bamboo Technologies, a company created for the sole purpose of creating and teaching new ecological construction techniques for homes and buildings throughout the U.S. and Asia.

Don’t leave without first renting a bio-diesel for as low as $69 per day or $250-$350 per week depending upon the season and head out to explore the marine life. Maui Eco Tours offers three eco adventures, all reasonably priced, an introductory kayaking class, three-snorkel stop tour and a paddling visit on the northwest coast. Expect to see lots of dolphins and sea turtles. Children as young as 5 may participate in the introductory kayaking class. All participants are outfitted with U.S. Coast Guard certified life jackets. Open seven days a week, there’s no excuse to take the plunge while you are there.


Whale lovers travel from around the globe to experience the majesty of Hawaii’s large population of humpback whales. Especially prevalent during January through April when as many as 3,500 whales return to Hawaii to feed on the large schools of small fish, they can still be seen in large numbers from December through May.

If you would like to protect the whales until you can plan a trip, consider joining the Pacific Whale Foundation. Call 808-249-8811, or visit, Many whale watching tours embark from both the Ma’alaea and the Lahaina Harbor.

Numerous eco-tourism opportunities abound in Maui for the highly adventurous, or the not so adventurous. Positively Green recommends this web site for more information:

For more information or to subscribe at the introductory price of $10 a year, go to . Positively Green magazine launches in 2008. This quarterly women’s magazine will cover every aspect of green from eco-friendly vacations to green fashion to green health. With articles that don’t just explain the problems, they outline solutions for busy people who want to make the change but don’t have the time to research solutions.

By Kelly Magill, publisher, Positively Green