From Miami to Ibiza

~By:  Amanda

Part of my soul is in Ibiza, it’s waiting at Usuhaia for me to return for it, hopefully next summer. Based on our love for electronic music we decided Ibiza was the the best choice to round out our Spain vacation. Electronic music lives in Ibiza. Every night one of the world’s top DJs is here spinning at the numerous clubs dotting the island.

Ibiza is located just off the coast of Spain in the sparkling Mediterranean Sea, about a 30 minute flight from Barcelona. After some research and tips from helpful British friends we learned that Playa d’en Bossa, located just east of Ibiza Town, was the best place to stay on the island. Furthermore we were informed that Jet Apartments is in the center of it all, recommended because of their daily pool parties. This is the ONLY reason to stay at Jet Apartments, for the price we paid we could have booked a hotel with a rooftop pool in Miami. However, location is location and high season is high season. The apartments are outdated and could use some maintenance and upgrading. For two days in July heat, our air con was kaput and the front desk provided little assistance in the matter. The maids are towel Nazis, however they cleaned properly and the room includes a mini kitchen. My final straw with this hotel was when we were told that even as hotel guests we were required to pay 15 euro to reserve a lawn chair by the pool. Never mind– the beach is just fine with me. A wrist band would remedy this situation, differentiating hotel guest from outsiders.

Bad accommodation aside, I still love Ibiza, the party girl inside me was ready to erupt full force. After unpacking and hitting up the convenience store, for beer and champagne and chips (essentials), we headed down to the pool area, where a DJ spins way into dusk. After a few cocktails we attempted to purchase tickets for Avicii, who was spinning at Usuhaia that evening. Unbeknownst to us, these shows typically begin around 9 pm. Living in NYC, I have never seen a DJ start before 11pm, usually not before 12-1 am. At this point, it was 8:30 pm, so that wasn’t going to happen.

With that plan scratched, we chilled on our balcony planning our next few days. Dmitri Vegas and Like Mike were performing a late night show at Amnesia and a few of our group opted to go see them. Being tired after a crazy previous night in Barcelona, I regretfully declined, as the show began at 3 am. The rest of us chilled on the beach, lounging in the sand, laughing at each other. We created our own party, complete with our personal EDM Spotify playlists, hooked up to speakers. Watching the flights from all over Europe approach Ibiza airport, we played with my new favorite app called Flight Radar 24. These are the moments you know you’re on vacation with true friends, because you can go anywhere and do anything and have the best night of your life.


Late? I am never late! Ibiza flip flops who you are and brings out the best in you. With a boat party booked for 1:00 pm, mom (Anna) set a pick up time of 12:00 noon. Surprisingly, two of the most adult people in our group forgot to set an alarm. Waking up at 11:40, we snapped into action and got ready in 20 minutes, “Home Alone” style. We hopped into cabs and set off for Playa d’en Bossa pier.

Oceanbeat Ibiza Boat Party is an absolutely necessary addition to your Ibiza vacation! The three hour cruise is an insane boat party sailing around the Mediterranean with an amazing DJ. The flier totes unlimited beer, sangria and sparkling wine, but do not be fooled, you receive one glass of sparkling wine upon boarding. The sangria, beer and soft-drinks (soft drinks, why?) are bottomless. Half way through the fiesta the boat anchors giving everyone an opportunity to splash in the ocean. The front of the boat was equipped with a long driving board and the back has a small waterside. According to my friends I was the only girl who did a flip off the front of the boat, I guess those gymnastics lessons were good for something. For the next half an hour we floated and played in the water. It was the perfect time to haul out the go-pro dome and get those fancy action shots. Heading back to the pier, the DJs continued to keep the party going strong.

Because one party is never enough for a day, we headed back to the hotel to prepare ourselves for David Guetta. Usuhaia is by far the best concert venue I have ever been. Every night in the summer, they feature a different headlining DJ. The line-up for the week included not only David Guetta and Hardwell, (both shows which we attended), but also Axwell ^ Ingrosso, Martin Garrix and Avicii. For cost efficiency you can pre-purchase tickets online for about 40 euros, but this must be done weeks in advance, as pre-sale goes quickly. Once you are on the island, if you purchase tickets the day before the event, you can get roughly a 5 euro discount from the day of purchase price of 55 euro. We learned from the party planners that Usuhaia has a time restriction on noise, hence why shows begin at 9 pm, as it is also a ridiculously expensive hotel.


Usuhaia has to be one of the best music venues in the world–it’s definitely MY favorite. The stage opens up to a large area flanked by hotel rooms on each side. If you are bougie and can afford it, several of the rooms actually overlook the stage. There are several wading pools scattered throughout the venue. I can not fathom a better way to watch a concert than dancing to the beat of the music with the cool water moving around your legs, twirling barefoot around each other. A word to the wise: I spent 55 euros on three beers and two bottles of water. Drinks here are exorbitant, everything on Ibiza is. A mojito, while really delicious, is 15 euros, so have a few drinks before you arrive.

Desperate to work on our tan, the next day was dedicated to beach time. Going with our traditional vacay breakfast of Bloody Maria’s in hand, we had ourselves a proper morning. Julie and I hauled real Bloody Mary mix and Tequila minis all the way from ‘Merica. We hadfr our Bloody Maria’s with all the fixings, including olives and pickles.


Our plan for the night was to start off with our first proper sit-down meal as a complete group, since we arrived, because eventually everyone gets sick of sandwiches and chicken nuggets. El Limonero Ibiza is the number one restaurant on TripAdvisor in Playa d’en Bossa and somehow we managed to get a table here for 9 without a reservation, thanks Universe! Since Julie and I essentially have the exact same taste buds we paired off and ordered tapas to share. They were so delicious, I wish I was eating them now! The waitstaff treated us like family and finished off our dinner with a complementary round of limoncello.

After an amazing supper, it was Hardwell time! Heading back to Usuhaia, we parked ourselves back in the wading pool and waited for one of our favorite DJs to start spinning. Hardwell is so ingenious, he even incorporated a Dr Dre remix into his set. I still feel like it was one of the best remix tracks I have ever heard. Words can not explain what this music does to me. The beat travels though my veins and takes me over. I can’t help but move, as the notes climb to a peak my heart follows them into the sky.

With our adrenaline jumping from the performance, we decided our next stop was a paint party at Privilege. Anna had acquired a discount wristbands from some random person on the street, which is actually totally normal. In the mass confusion of Usuhaia letting out, we finally made it onto the city bus for 2 euro (the cheapest thing I did in Ibiza) and rode out to Privilege Nightclub, located inland in San Rafael. Arriving at the city bus drop-off point, we still had to walk down a curvy hill to the club. Without a sidewalk, we ventured down the road in a large group all headed in the same direction. Safety in numbers……probably not in Spain.

Inside the club was a giant dome with a stage set in the middle for the DJ and dancers. Waiting an hour for the party to start, we posted up to the bar and ordered more beers. I don’t know why Budweiser was the only beer option. I also didn’t realize anyone drank this disgusting liquid loaf of bread outside the USA. The concept of a paint party is pretty self explanatory: they spray-gun neon paint all over the crowd and the club is lit with black lights. The paint cannons are timed to spray with the swells of the music…..The set was well blended with EDM and old school Hip Hop, which created an amazingly diverse sound. The paint comes from all angles so attempting to not get paint in your eyes usually ended in an epic fail. Despite my outfit being ruined, all my euros gone and paint stinging my eyes, I didn’t ever want to leave. Finally in the wee hours of the morning we took a cab back to our hotel to shower, because our hair was now a solid. Word of advice: don’t wear any clothing you care about and ensure all your valuables are protected in a purse or plastic bag.

Out of bed early, way too early, we needed time to pack up before the noon checkout. Throwing our bags into luggage storage, we had 2 hours to kill before heading to the airport. A group breakfast with gallons of coffee revived us just enough to grab cabs to the airport. At the airport far earlier than we have ever been for a flight, we checked in and headed to the bar. That is perfectly acceptable at 2 pm. Somehow “Ratchet Air,” I mean Ryan Air, let us on the airplane with draft beers; I love people who don’t care! Flying away with my head on the tray table, I got a 45 minute nap before landing in Malaga.

Spending what I would have normally spent in 7-10 days in Southeast Asia, I still want to go back to Ibiza! Like right NOW! But, its cold and no one is there, so alas I will wait until next summer to go back and fetch the other half of my soul. Who knows, maybe I will leave it there again, just to ensure that I make another trip!

*Authors note: I listened to an entire Axwell^ Ingrosso set while writing this, because that is who I am ♥

Read about our other Spain adventures:

Way too Wanderlust Recommends:

Amnesia: Carretera Ibiza a San Antonio Km5, San Rafael, Ibiza +34 971 19 80 41

Oceanbeat Ibiza Boat Party: Av. Pere Matutes Noguera 22, 07800 Ibiza +34 633 81 14 41

Usuhaia: Platja d’en Bossa 10, 07817 Sant Jordi de Ses Salines, Ibiza Spain

El Limonero Ibiza: Calle Argelagues 15, 07817 Playa d’en Bossa Ibiza +34 618 72 21 111

Privilege Ibiza: Apartado de Correos 94, San Rafael Ibiza +34 971 19 81 60

Ryan Air: (because they let me bring beer)


Swedish House Mafia. “Miami to Ibiza.” Axwell, Steve Angello, Sebastion Ingrosso, and Patrick Okogwu. “Until One.” U.K. , Virgin, EMI and Astralwerks, 4 Oct 2010, digital download.

Malaga: The Ibiza Rehab

~By:  Julie

After spending a little over a week enjoying everything that Barcelona and Ibiza had to offer, catching every sunrise and sunset and just about depleting our savings accounts, we made it to Malaga. The first thing we notice is the prices of food and drinks and we couldn’t possibly be happier. $3 for a sandwich and a beer is probably the best news next to the possibility of naptime.


beach day with my babes.

At this point of the trip our group has grown to 10 people, we have a big “family”. Accommodating a group that big with no dinner reservations can be hard but right at the end of July it’s just slow enough and we happened across a place called “Restaurante Marengo” down the street from the apartments we rented. Everything was absolutely delicious! It’s right next to Batik, so we took advantage and made reservations for the next day for our 2 friends birthday celebration. I highly recommend Batik when you are in Malaga, even if you can’t get in for dinner. Absolutely must go at sunset even if it’s just for drinks. You have an amazing view of the Gibralfaro Castle lit up behind you.


We rented a van the next day, which ended up being the best option for a group our size and gave us more flexibility to stop in Marbella to enjoy lunch on the beach on our way to Gibraltar. Definitely pack your passports because Gibraltar is a United Kingdom territory and you can definitely feel some tension with the locals along that subject. We parked and hired a bus driver to be our guide up the mountain and he gave us some good historical facts along with some personal stories about the vibe and tension between the Spaniards and Gibraltarians. As a side note, do not bring food up the mountain and definitely hold on to your belongings. The monkeys are beyond comfortable just crawling into your van and sitting in between you and your friends if they find a crumb inside. Made for some great pictures and a few screams when they flew in out of nowhere.

Once you get to the top you get to go inside the mountain and we learned so much information. Even if you aren’t a history fan, there is something inside for everyone. It’s pretty fascinating!

As our friends slowly started flying out two by two it finally ended with three of us. Our original plan was to continue on to Morocco but a scary case of bronchitis kind of put a damper on things. But sometimes the unexpected turns bring the best surprises. I’m so happy that we were forced to slow down and really take in Malaga. We fell in love! We checked out of our apartments and stumbled across a really good deal for a week at Hotel Vincci. I could not possibly write enough good reviews about this place. The location is incredible; the staff was sweet, accommodating and professional. I knew if I was going to be sick for at least a week stuck somewhere that I needed a certain amount of comfort. I normally love hostels when we are traveling as a smaller group, and especially when I’m traveling alone, but not when I’m sick. To our surprise the hotel was built on top of an archeological dig of Roman ruins. When you enter the hotel the entrance floor is glass so you are literally walking on top of the ruins. If you go downstairs you can walk through it and it’s pretty cool. The rooftop pool was my favorite. It’s small but the staff is amazing and the champagne is cold and inexpensive.


Probably my favorite find in the entire stay was a complete accident. We were just wandering and looking for a place to eat when we found a little alley and heard music coming from it. It’s a little hidden local bar and sometimes restaurant (until they run out of food as I was told). It’s called Casa Invisible. There are some great murals, a water fountain and some plastic tables and chairs. It’s definitely a locals place but great for people watching. The vibe is one I can’t really explain but I’ll try. It’s magical and mysterious and you can feel a spiritual connection with it somehow. I swear I could feel Hemmingway sitting in a corner flirting with the locals and planning his next novel.


IMG_5740Another great find was Taberna Mitjana. Nothing was special about it from the outside but on a hot day; exhausted from wandering and exploring sometimes you just sit at the first table that can bring you a cold jar of sangria. It’s almost impossible to find bad sangria in Spain. And Taberna Mitjana didn’t disappoint with their summer sangria, which has a little fizz in it and more orange zest for the heat. What made this place on my top 10 in Malaga was the food. I have to confess I went back 4 times in a week for the Brie Cheese plate. The eggplant fries drizzles with honey and molasses is also one of the greatest things. There was never an argument to stop in for both those items randomly throughout the day. It’s right in the middle of all the best shopping so it’s nice to take a break every so often to cool off and rest your feet.


I think my favorite activity was when we bought tickets for the catamaran cruise through Catamaran Estrella Fugaz. It lasted just 2 hours and I wish it were longer. Any time I’m on a boat, I’m in my happy place. They also sell bottles of cava for the price I’d pay for champagne in the store in the U.S. You can’t beat a day on a catamaran with a bottle of cava for only 10 euros + bottle price. The boat stopped for a little while so we could swim and cool off for a bit and we got back in time to shower and make it to our Balinese massages that we scheduled at Naisha Massage Center.


chilling on a catamaran

IMG_5959Near the hotel is one of the cutest organic brunch places called BrunchIt. All the bread is homemade and the food designed from our favorite big cities. The cold pressed juice was amazing. My only regret is not finding this place the first day so I could load up on vitamins the entire time. After brunch, my friend and I wandered past the most enchanting book and map store. We wanted to live there. It’s a magical little store called Mapas y Compania where vintage toy airplanes and hot air balloons hang from the ceiling. You absolutely want to be stuck in there and it would be so easy to spend an entire day exploring.


Our favorite meal was at the Tapeo de Cervantes. It gets busy so definitely make a reservation. The wait staff was friendly, attentive and fast. The food was incredible. The chef came out twice to talk to us and we couldn’t complement the food enough. The skirt steak was so tender it would fall off your fork and the blood sausage with the quail egg was impressive to say the least. We all split a caramel pancake for dessert before we had to be rolled out the door. We were so busy eating and enjoying that we didn’t even get pictures, though they wouldn’t have done it justice.


Our last night in Malaga, we scheduled a Flamenco show at the Kelipe Arts & Cultural Flamenco Center. We had about an hour to kill so we went across the plaza to grab a meal over at Café Central. I wish we knew more about the history of that place. Its history is all over the walls and the decorum, floors, walls, stained glass ceiling and bar were perfectly maintained from the past. It was like eating in a time machine. Great food, great service and fast enough to get us to the flamenco show on time. My friend had always wanted to see a Flamenco show and I really didn’t care either way. It was 10 euros and included 2 sangrias. Let me just tell you, that was the most unexpected highlight of my trip and the perfect way to end the night. It’s a small venue so you want to purchase your tickets early or online. The emotion that you felt from the dancers and singers is inexplicable. Everyone had tears in their eyes and goose bumps. If your blood didn’t dance with the beat then you might have to get your pulse checked. What an incredible experience.


We were planning to go to bed early before our flight the next day but after the performance there is no way you can go right to sleep. So what else do you do if you can’t sleep? Sangria. We stumbled across a place called 21 Bou off Calle de Sanchez where I deemed it my favorite sangria of the entire trip. I’m not sure if I was still amped up after the show and just madly in love with Spain or if it really was the best sangria. But it was the gran finale for our trip.


If you only have 24 hours in Malaga I would normally suggest grabbing roadies and hopping on the hop-on buses and just cruising and seeing everything. Picasso’s birth house was something I experienced a few years back in Malaga and I still think fondly of that day. I learned so much and I felt a stronger connection with the painter from that day.


I realize that a hop- on bus is taking the easiest way out but when you’ve been traveling so long and you are tired and only have one option, that’s always my choice. You aren’t stuck wandering, you can choose with places are important for you to stop at, you don’t have to walk (especially when it’s 95 degrees) and you can tell everyone you saw the important stuff. However, if you are up for the challenge, I’ve designed a little 24-hour layover that I think anyone would love.


Book your tickets online before you get to Malaga to save time. Book tickets for the flamenco show, the catamaran and reservations at Tapeo de Cervantes.

Breakfast at Brunch-it. No brainer. Now go walk that off and head through town, go to Picassos birth house, walk more, work up an appetite because the one thing you need in Spain is an appetite! Grab a pitcher of sangria and that brie cheese plate and the eggplant fries over at Taberna Mitjana, I like traveling with my big groups because we can share lots of plates and I don’t have to eat so much. Head over to the catamaran cruise and enjoy the views and have a swim. Work up more appetite, because now you have dinner reservations at Tapeo de Cervantes. You should finish dinner just in time to head over to the Flamenco show where you can sit and digest and obviously drink more sangria. To top off the night I’m throwing out two suggestions, the day has been so busy already but you have to have a nightcap while your heart beat slows down after the flamenco. If you want a little more upscale, definitely choose Batik for that view. If you want to slow down and watch the locals, I choose Invisible Bar. Either way you will leave with your belly full, a perfect buzz, your taste buds happy and just about every single one of your senses pleased.

Check out our other Spain adventures


Way Too Wanderlust Reccomends