Travel Tips

Published on June 7th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut


Gay Travel Tips: How to Find LGBT-Friendly Hotels in Latin America

Since I’m a travel writer, I frequently get messages from friends, family and acquaintances, asking for travel advice — especially related to Latin America, since I cover the region regularly. Happily, these questions — and the research that I do in order to answer in a useful manner — frequently lead to content ideas for posts and articles, since good travel advice is always worth sharing (hint: this is an invitation for you to contact me with your own Latin America travel questions: Mark[at]

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One of the most recent questions I got was from a travel agent who’s interested in finding gay-friendly hotels in Latin America for one of her clients. I cover LGBT travel (also called gay travel) regularly as well — I recently moderated a panel discussion about LGBT travel trends at the New York Travel Festival, and is also a media partner for the 2015 International LGBT Business Expo and International Business Forum, which will draw some of the most important gay-friendly travel businesses from around the Americas to Mérida, Mexico in September. I’ll also be making a presentation at that event. So long story short, I try to stay on top of gay travel trends in Latin America.

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Here are a few travel tips to find gay-friendly hotels in Latin America:

• Search gay travel listings: Hotels that are members of LGBT travel organizations and/or list themselves on gay travel websites are obviously more likely to be welcoming. Check out the IGLTA, a membership organization that focuses on LGBT travel and has a site that lists its hotel members, and also, an independent website that provides sponsored listings of gay-friendly hotels (including a lot of B&Bs and smaller, independent properties).

• Go to the hotels themselves: Independent hotels that are a member of Preferred Pride, a program headed by Preferred Hotels and Resorts, are LGBT-friendly and often put together interesting gay travel packages. Marriott has a section on its website dedicated to gay weddings and events. Hilton also has an LGBT travel section on its site.

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• Research the destination: In general, the Caribbean isn’t as rich with LGBT lodging as Mexico and elsewhere in Latin America. That’s partially because of the smaller overall size of Caribbean destinations, but in some cases it’s the result of homophobia. In general, it’s best to stick to the Spanish-, Dutch- and French-speaking islands if you’re looking for a gay-friendly environment (stay away from Jamaica completely).

Mexico generally has more gay and gay-friendly hotel options than the Caribbean islands. On Mexico’s Caribbean coast, the Oasis Sens hotel in Cancun is all-inclusive and gay-friendly — it’s not exclusively gay, but they market to gay travelers (and Cancun has beautiful Caribbean water). Overall, the most vacation-oriented, LGBT-friendly options in Mexico are in Puerto Vallarta, which has a large concentration of gay hotels, as well as a gay beach. Check out and for details about the options there.

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Large Latin American cities like Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro are also great places to find gay-friendly hotels. Cities like these also have sizable gay pride celebrations, which can be an especially fun (albeit perhaps pricier) time to enjoy gay-friendly hotels; you can ask about special packages that might include admission to local events and nightclubs, as well. Savvy hoteliers will know how to put together attractive packages that make their guests feel welcome.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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