The son of a Californian flamenco dancer, Greg “The Salsaman” Henry was captivated by dancing early on. At the age of 3, he joined in on performances with his mother’s dance troupe. Years later he went on to found the Hot Salsa Dance Company, which puts on interactive latin-dance shows throughout Hawaii and California. Henry and other company members also lead the company’s instructional arm, Hot Salsa Hawaii, teaching group classes to beginning and intermediate dancers.
In these classes, you can learn the basic steps of Dominican Republic–style merengue, a more energetic version than its Haitian counterpart. You can also work toward mastering the sideways footwork of the bachata. Classes are limited in size to ensure that each student gets plenty of attention from the instructor.
Designed to recreate Hawaii's native volcanic rock and its thrilling climbs, a multitude of climbing surfaces erupt throughout Volcanic Rock Gym's 3,000 square feet. From 16 feet in the air, a large top-out boulder hangs over an expanse of traversing walls, campus boards, and safety mats. Traditionalists can scale a vertical wall with the reassurance of a physical anchor on the top-rope routes, and rebellious climbers and mountain-goat impersonators can attempt the crack-climbing walls and bouldering façades. In addition, curious spelunkers can explore the bouldering cave, negotiating its ceiling holds and stubborn bats to emerge back in the gym from a massive overhang. Climbing routes change every month to present new climbing challenges and dissuade cheaters from memorizing all the foothold nibs before testing their climbing prowess.
Explore coastal caves and rock formations. Walk past active lava flows and tubes. Paddle through schools of tropical fish against the underwater landscape of a reef. These outdoor adventures make up the daily commute for the five guides who helm Hawaii Pack and Paddle. In addition to belonging to the same family, these guides—each certified lifeguards trained in first aid and CPR—share a passion for the untamed splendor of Hawaii's outdoors. It's a passion they bestow upon others during 10 organized tours that challenge participants to kayak, snorkel, and embark on day or night hikes.
As a fully-insured kayak and snorkel-tour company, Hawaii Pack and Paddle sometimes leads forays into little-seen areas, such as the rugged Keauhou Bay or the cave where high-school senior Tiffany keeps her diary. Some tours lead adventurers through the lava flows and jungles of Volcanoes National Park, along the shore of Punaluu Black Sand Beach, or past the waterfalls and ridges of Waipi'o. Other tours focus on special topics such as spear-fishing and underwater geological exploration. Alternatively, multi-day tours may blend several outdoor activities or include overnight camping. On each excursion, guides elucidate facts about the local ecosystem and its ties to Hawaii's cultural history, and they often train participants in one of their favorite skills: marine-life identification.
Like the sea turtles she swims with daily, Vanessa Floyd feels as comfortable in the ocean as she does on land. For nearly a decade, she has taught people how to surf the waves of the Pacific beside the chilly California coast and the warm sands of Hawaiian shores at her pair of Jetty Betty Surf School locations. She focuses on helping beginners overcome their fear of the water and enjoy the rush of riding the surf beneath the open sun. She and her fellow instructors begin their group and private lessons by meeting students at the beach, where they familiarize them with the equipment and the basics of safe surfing. Afterwards, students take to the waves, which instructors monitor to make sure they are suitably small for novice surfers—if not, they’ll either postpone the lesson or unplug Mother Nature's wave machine.
Natural bamboo and wood fences surround the miniature fairways of Jungle River Mini Golf, whose aptly named course pits putters against a slew of jungle-themed obstacles. Like rainforest explorers, groups of golfers hack through the wild landscape, forgoing machetes for colorful putters or spring-loaded spatulas sized to accommodate guests of all ages. Monkeypod trees, palms, crotons, and banana plants drape over the course, framing many attractions including sculptures of friendly gorillas and dinosaurs emerging from tar pits. The course also features large bridges and waterfalls that meander throughout to create sharp turns and contoured greens.