I’ve been working in the travel industry for the past 6 years and have been traveling/partying pretty much all of my life. You can pretty much call me an expert on the subject. I have been all over the world and consider the following destinations/parties the wildest and best I have been a part of. 1). Carnival in Salvador, Bahia Brazil 2.) Summer in Ibiza 3.) New Years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 4.) Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain 5.) National Beauty Pageant Week in Cartagena, Colombia 6.) Summer in Mykonos, Greece
1. Carnival in Salvador, Bahia Brazil
Brazilians consider Salvador, Bahia as the best and most fun Carnival in the country. The Guinness Book of World Records considers Carnival in Salvador as the biggest street party in the world. Millions of people hit the streets and it’s literally 5 days of chaotic fun. I’ve been traveling to Carnival in Salvador for the past 6 years. It’s definitely the craziest party I have been to. Just imagine millions of people on the streets just going crazy with some of the hottest bands from Brazil playing in the background. It’s also singles paradise as one of the main themes during Salvador is “Solteiro em Salvador” meaning everyone is single in Salvador. If you are looking to experience Brazil Carnival look into Carnival in Salvador, Bahia especially if you are looking for a Wild and Crazy time.
2. Summer in Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza is the party capital of the world! It’s the perfect combination of great weather, beautiful people, incredible beaches, and the hippest, most sophisticated nightlife in the world. If you love electronic/house music, it is definitely the can’t miss destination of the summer as the best DJ’s in the world make Ibiza their home from the End of May until the End of September – any other time most of the clubs in Ibiza are closed (Pacha is the only club open all year). I’ve been going to Ibiza for the past 4 years and you definitely have to go VIP and hit Pacha, Amnesia, Privilege & Space. Drinks are extremely expensive (about 10 – 20 euros per drink), but if you get VIP and do bottle service, you will have your own table and spend just about as much. Depending on the party, bottle service can be as low as 150 euros per person to 300. Clubs get extremely packed during the summer and at some parties you can barely move around. If you are traveling there, you might as well spend a little more and enjoy it, rather than feel like a sardine. I personally enjoy traveling to Ibiza in July (All major DJs are there and it’s not as hectic as August) or September (Closing parties are incredible). August is the busiest time of the year and I try to avoid it as the hotels raise prices and the clubs are overly packed.
3. New Years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
New Years in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of the most amazing cities in the world and one of my favorite travel destinations. Its annual New Year’s Eve extravaganza puts all new year’s celebrations to shame. Millions pack the city for an all-night festival of music, food, and fun, punctuated by spectacular fireworks. From mind-blowing scenery and incredible beaches to wild nightlife and beautiful people, Rio de Janeiro will make your New Years an unforgettable experience. The main attraction in Rio de Janeiro for New Years is watching the fireworks on Copacabana Beach. The fireworks are amazing, but I’ve actually had a better time going to the exclusive parties all over the city. The beach can get a little sketchy and it is fun don’t get me wrong, but the best thing about Rio de Janeiro are the people (The Cariocas) and being at an exclusive party is the way to go because you don’t have to worry about anything. All you have to worry about is having a great time and ringing in the new year. I definitely recommend making your travel plans early as the hotels and flights sell out by mid November.
4. Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain aka San Fermin Festival
The Running of the Bulls is held every year between July 6th and 17th. It is one of the world’s craziest and wildest festivals where people run through the streets of the medieval city with actual live wild bulls! Every year over one million party-goers flock to Pamplona and party day and night drinking Sangria, eating delicious tapas and for the brave ones – run for their lives in front of angry bulls! The running of the bulls is an adrenaline rush, but it literally only lasts about 5 – 10 minutes and is at 8am every morning. What a lot of people do and what I recommend doing when running with the bulls is to party during the day, get some rest at night and then wake up early to run with the bulls. After you have run with the bulls, you can focus on partying. The pubs and streets are literally filled with people day and night.
5. National Beauty Pageant Week in Cartagena, Colombia
Cartagena is the home of Colombia’s National Beauty Pageant, one of the country’s hottest events of the year. The most beautiful women from all over the country compete to be crowned Miss Colombia. The event is usually held the 2nd week in November. That week is absolutely nuts as the city erupts in Exclusive Parties, Parades, Beach Events, and the Best Nightlife in the country. My favorite event during this week is called “The Desfile de Balleneras”. It takes place in the Bay of Cartagena as marines escort the Beauty Contestants in small boats throughout the bay. The only way to check out this parade is on boat. 100s of boats line up to check out the parade, but it’s more about the party than the beauty contestants. People blast their music, have water balloon fights, move from boat to boat and party like it’s 1999.
6. Mykonos, Greece in the Summer
Mykonos is Greece’s party island during the summer. If you want to party for 24 hours straight, you can do it in Mykonos – hit the beach parties during the day, head to Mykonos Town to watch the sunset, have dinner and party at night and if you want to keep on partying there are several options for after hour spots that open at 3:00AM and go through the morning/afternoon hours. As far as Mykonos partiers – celebrities, politicians, beautiful people and ordinary mortals all flock here to see and be seen at the glitzy “anything goes” clubs for which the island is world famous for. During the summer all the clubs/bars will be packed. Peak season to go to Mykonos is end of June through mid September.
All of the destinations/parties above are a One in A Lifetime Experience. If you want to have an incredible time, I recommend pre-booking everything in advance as these events sell out quickly. I also recommend going through an expert travel company for these events like Tours Gone Wild. They do trips like this year after year and have the connections to make sure you have a great time. All you literally have to do is call them, book your trip, show up and have a good time.