Mexico is vast and stunning country, but many travellers never make it past Cancun or Tijuana. Puerto Vallarta is a coastal city that sits on the western coast just south of Mexico City, and it is chock full of fun gay things to do that make it well worth a visit.
1. Go gay clubbing
Let’s start with the obvious one, you’ve got to go gay clubbing when you visit Puerto Vallarta. The gay scene exists mostly in the romantic zone (Zona Romántica as they say) along Lázaro Cárdenas. Though not expansive, the gay scene in Puerto Vallarta is warm and welcoming, with a string of stylish bars opening out onto the street. Wandering from one to the next is a great way to meet both visiting and local gays as each will have an opinion of where you should go next.
We started out with dinner at The Top Sky Bar (LGBTQ, where you can enjoy both the stunning sunset and the go-go boy dancers while you eat. From there we went to Roxy Rock house for a couple of cervezas, and then danced to Madonna in Mr Flamingo. If you want something a little more hardcore, Cici’s Slaughterhouse is your more traditional club setting. Complete with sex swings should you so desire.
2. Head to the beach clubs
If clubs aren’t your thing, or they are and you need a place to chill out the next day and nurse your hangover, then you should absolutely spend the day at Mantamar Beach beach club. Whether you want to sprawl out on the beach, splash around in the pool, or chill out in the VIP area and have hot waiters bring you drinks.
3. Visit the islands
With year-round sunshine you need to make the most of your time outdoors, and if lounging around the pool isn’t your thing then you should take a trip to Las Caletas with Vallarta Adventures. You’ll receive endless refills on your margarita as you set sail for the islands, with plenty of high-energy entertainment from your hosts during the hour-long trip. As a happy coincidence our tour leader was a screaming homo, but in all honesty the straight ones are so camp you wouldn’t notice the difference.
The island itself offers all the typical beachfront activities including water-sports (not those kind of water sports though), boat rides, zip lines and all that fun stuff, as well as cooking classes and tequila tastings. For something a little different, visit the island at night for Cirque du Soleil-style evening experience.
4. Naked boat trips
Unfortunately there are no nude beaches in Puerto Vallarta, which is criminal given the sensational weather they have all year round. So the next best thing is to head out on a nude excursion. Jets Private Boat Tours offer both public and private tours of a nearby beach that is only accessible by boat, offering the closest alternative to a nude beach experience.
Trips last 5 hours and include a number of activities including nude snorkeling, nude jungle activities, and of course some good old fashioned nude sunbathing.
5. People watching
Again, no necessarily a gay thing but man do we love to watch people and silently (or not so silently) judge them. Head down to the Malecón, the mile-long esplanade downtown that runs along the beach. You’ll find stretches of bars, restaurants, cafes and galleries to wander around in, or simply park yourself outside and watch the world go by.
To get a more in-depth experience of the city, take a guided walking tour with Vallarta food tours. You’ll never experience tacos the same way again.
6. Go to Pride
Puerto Vallarta Pride is a sight to behold, starting from the Hotel Rosita, followed by a party in the park at the Lazaro Cardenas Park Gardens. The whole of the gay district is closed off for a massive street party, with 20+ gay bars and clubs all getting involved.
It’s an 8-day event and a Pride not to be missed.
ABOUT PUERTO VALLARTA
Puerto Vallarta, located in the state of Jalisco, is well-known for the preservation of its authentic Mexican traditions. The Pacific Coast port features 40 miles of coastline and a diverse topography, including tropical jungles, river beds, steep mountain sides and arid flatlands.
Tourist Board Website: www.visitpuertovallarta.com
Travel is such a huge part of modern life, and having grown up overseas and lived as a digital nomad no one gets that more than me.
As the world gets smaller we’re constantly looking for new and exciting places to visit that are safe and welcoming to the LGBT+ community.