LGBT Travel: Spotlight on Mexico

SECTUR (Mexico’s tourism ministry) and the Mexico Tourism Board have announced that they will launch an LGBT campaign to attract the market to the country and its many gay-friendly destinations.

LGBT travelers will no doubt already be familiar with Puerto Vallarta. For more than 60 years this has been one of the top go-to destination for LGBT travelers. The Zona Romantica is where the majority of the city’s gay hotels are located. It’s close to the gay beach, gay bars and nightlife, restaurants and cafes.

Perhaps the best-known gay hotel in Puerto Vallarta is the 15-room/six-suite Casa Cupula. Originally opened as a safe haven for the LGBT community, Casa Cupula is one of the most progressive hotels in one of Puerto Vallarta’s trendiest neighborhoods. It also offers tours and activities for LGBT travelers, like Go Gay’s Jungle Zip line Adventure, a special guided tour of the city’s Botanical Gardens, and an Ada Sailboat Banderas Bay cruise.

Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife starts in the afternoon on the beach and keeps going until the wee hours. Some of the most popular LGBT clubs include Pace’s Ranch, La Niche, CC Slaughters and Enter on Weekends.

The city’s second annual “Vallarta Pride” celebration is set for May 22-26. Events include music festivals, beach parties, fashion shows, mass commitment ceremonies and activities in participating bars and clubs. The city will also host LGBT Confex’s fourth International LGBT Business Expo, June 12-14.

Mexico City, a huge draw for LGBT travelers, reflects its progressive mindset with actions designed to enhance equality for all members of sexually diverse communities. In 2010, same-sex marriage was made legal in Mexico City, a first for any Latin American jurisdiction. Legal adoption by same-sex couples was also enacted in 2010.

Mexico City’s Zona Rosa, birthplace of the country’s LGBT rights movement, is home to some of the best gay nightlife in the world. LGBT travelers will also love the architecture and history of the Centro Historic, the artsy enclaves in Condense and Roma, and the affluent lifestyle in Planck.

The most LGBT-friendly hotels in Mexico City can be found in the Zona Rosa. These include Hotel Geneve, which is over-the-top without being campy; Hotel JW Marriott, which positions itself as one of the city’s number one spots for same-sex marriage; Hilton Mexico City Reforma; and W Mexico City.

Riviera Maya also caters to LGBT travelers looking for an exclusive, VIP experience. Luxury LGBT travel advisor Carlos Melia recommends Aroma Spa here and dining at Zama’s Restaurant, which he calls “rustic chic.”