Published on September 4th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
Top 5 Gay Travel & Vacation Destinations in Latin America
Latin America is dotted with lots of fascinating, gay-friendly travel destinations, from sunny beaches to sophisticated cities, from beautiful gay-friendly hotels to the world’s largest gay pride parade. Globetrotters looking to discover the best of Latin gay life in the Americas won’t want to miss these five gay vacation hotspots in Latin America — each of which has its own unique allure. (And if you’re thinking of tying the knot, check out LatinFlyer’s guide to Gay Marriage & Destination Weddings in Latin America.)
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Classic Gay Sophistication
As the capital of the first Latin American nation to legalize same-sex marriage, Buenos Aires exudes a sophisticated vibe that translates into a great range of choices for hotels, dining, shopping and nightlife. Check into a beautiful boutique hotel, have a late dinner and drinks at a resto-bar, and dive into the most legendary gay nightlife in Argentina.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: Gayest Beach in Mexico
This Pacific coast beachfront city is a favored destination for gay foreigners, thanks to its relaxed vibe, sizeable gay beach at Playa Los Muertos and loads of activities that range from outdoor sports to gay nightlife in the Zona Romántica, a neighborhood that is supremely walkable by day and night. No wonder it’s one of the gayest destinations in all of Mexico. Check out more Puerto Vallarta travel tips from Don Pickens, owner of Casa Cupula, an upscale gay hotel.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Biggest Gay Beach
No visit to Brazil’s original jet-set vacation destination is complete without at least a couple hours at the gay beach in the upscale Ipanema district. Slip into your tiniest bikini and sit back in a beach chair beneath an umbrella, while enjoying refreshments and some of the best people watching in the hemisphere. Save some energy for drinks or dinner at an open-air cafe at the end of the day. Need more inspiration for your trip? Check out LatinFlyer’s Top 5 Reasons to Visit Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Gayest City in the Caribbean
Gay nightlife is always evolving in Puerto Rico‘s capital, but the beaches never stop to attract sun worshippers — especially gay-popular Condado Beach, where you can stake out a chair in front of Oceano, the super-cool, open-air bar and restaurant that after dark packs in a good-looking clientele of every sexual orientation. The beach is also a good place to ask for advice about the current hotspots for dancing; most gay nightclubs are in the Santurce district, a quick drive from Condado. Check out LatinFlyer’s own guide to the gay bars of San Juan, Puerto Rico and also my video of San Juan’s annual gay pride parade.
Sao Paulo, Brazil: Biggest Gay Pride
The world’s largest gay pride parade and celebration (more than 2 million attendees and viewers, by most counts), São Paulo’s gay pride parade takes place every year following the annual holiday of Corpus Christi. That’s reason enough to visit South America’s largest city. But factor in the diverse nightlife, fabulous shopping and stylish boutique hotels — not to mention other annual events like Fashion Week — and you’ve got justification to visit Brazil‘s liveliest metropolis at any time of year. Hungry for more? Savor these three must-see São Paulo restaurants, from Menumixx.com.
ALSO WORTH CONSIDERING
Bogota, Colombia: Biggest Gay Club
It may not be traditionally known as a “gay destination,” but Colombia’s capital has proven its gay-friendliness with its views (the city is leaning toward same-sex marriage) and a thriving gay nightlife scene — in fact, you probably won’t find a larger gay nightclub anywhere in the hemisphere than Theatrón, an oversized venue with multiple clubs, bars and ambiance all in one location.
Mexico City, Mexico: Biggest Concentration of Nightlife
The aptly named Zona Rosa district in Mexico‘s capital is home to an ever-growing number of gay-friendly hotels and nightlife. Calle Amberes is the main hub, and you can see same-sex couples holding hands at all times of day or night here.