LGBT Visitors: Activities and Entertainment for All Tastes

Iñigo Alkorta
Feb. 14, 2020

Known worldwide as a premier LGBT destination, Puerto Vallarta continues to consolidate its reputation as one of the best places to visit, thanks to its infrastructure, accommodations, gastronomy and entertainment, either purely oriented to this group or welcoming in an inclusive manner. Activities in the destination start early and never end. The setting is the spectacular Banderas Bay, which offers an immense rainbow of possibilities for all tastes.

Start the Day with Magical Views

A brief walk along Los Muertos, one of the destination’s most emblematic beaches and a nerve center for the LGBT community for several decades, is the best way to start the day. While you walk and enjoy the invigorating sea breeze, you can observe visitors and residents exercising or taking the first rays of the sun either on the sand or in one of the excellent beach clubs in the area. Sapphire Ocean Club is one of the most recognized, ideal for savoring a delicious breakfast overlooking the sea or relaxing in its comfortable lounge chairs. Mid-morning, a good plan consists of a refreshing swim in the pool, accompanied by a delicious cocktail, the perfect occasion to socialize with friends or meet new people.

A quieter and more intimate option is available at Casa Cupula. With its privileged site at the top of the Amapas neighborhood, this boutique hotel offers enviable panoramic views that inspire the most pleasant awakenings. After breakfast at its acclaimed restaurant, Taste, its magnificent terrace is perfect for reading or checking emails. Then, the Pool Club is a must, where in addition to enjoying a delicious cocktail you can chat and meet other guests or concentrate on spoiling your partner.

If You’re Not a Fan of Lounge Chairs … Go on an Adventure!

For those who do not come to relax and want to take advantage of every opportunity from the minute they wake up, the action starts very early in Puerto Vallarta.

Vallarta Eats Food Tours is a great option for those who want to discover the authentic local cuisine first-hand. Their bilingual private or group tours take you through the streets of the city center, visiting the stalls and favorite restaurants of residents, to eat tacos, birria, sweets and other samples of Vallarta cuisine.

For lovers of adrenaline, tourist service providers have designed adventures aimed at LGBT groups. Such is the case of Boana Torre Malibú and its well-known Horseback Riding Tour, which includes riding on a ranch north of the city, through the verdant hills, where there is a waterfall ideal for a swim with your partner or friends.

One of the tours par excellence is Wild & Wet Gay Cruise, a six-hour tour of the bay, which provides passengers the best views of the city and its coasts, as well as the possibility of making new friends and enjoying delicious cocktails, until you reach a private beach, where more food and drink await, but above all, lots of fun with one of the destination’s most animated and sexy crews. The party continues aboard the cruise on the return to port. 

Afternoons of Art, Shops and Cocktails

Afternoons are the best time to discover that Puerto Vallarta is not just about sun and sand. Starting at 6:00pm, the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood and the Romantic Zone begin to pulsate. Here, art enthusiasts can visit numerous galleries with very different styles, from figurative to abstract, landscapes or experimental and transgressive, including pieces of fine homoerotic art, which are usually an excellent souvenir or a great addition to private collections. Some of the most outstanding gay-friendly art galleries are Pacífico, NordSouth, Corsica, Contempo, Dante and Muy Guapo, among others.

Another great option for the afternoon is a walk along Basilio Badillo and Olas Altas streets, where you can do some shopping in the various boutiques or enjoy a delicious coffee or frappé.

When the sun begins to go down, one of the best options to see the spectacular Puerto Vallarta sunsets and start preparing for the night is at the top of Pinnacle Resorts, either in their Signature Lounge or Residences Sky Bar. With the privileged location and 180º views of the bay, city and mountains, it is the perfect place to enjoy the last rays of the sun in pleasant company and with a piña colada or another cocktail in hand.

Unforgettable Nights: Shows, Gastronomy and Partying

In recent years, the entertainment and show offering has been enhanced, thanks to the emergence of various theaters and cabarets with a lineup of international acts and recognized works, be they musicals, drag queen shows, comedy or classical music. Some of the most important theaters, located in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood, are Act II Entertainment, Incanto and The Palm Cabaret and Bar, which offer shows throughout the year, many aimed at the LGBT audience, with actors who have had experience on Broadway or are recognized participants of RuPaul’s Drag Race, among others.

Puerto Vallarta’s increasingly exciting gastronomic scene is also one of the biggest attractions for visitors. In the Romantic Zone, there are several restaurants that are openly gay-friendly, from casual spots like Seasons PV, Warique and Azafrán, to even the most avant-garde, such as Fusion Gourmet, The Swedes or Medregal.

And finally, the night comes. Puerto Vallarta’s LGBT nightlife is internationally renowned, thanks to its atmosphere and variety of clubs, bars, lounges and nightclubs. Some of the most frequented nightclubs are concentrated in the Emiliano Zapata neighborhood, between Ignacio L. Vallarta and Lázaro Cárdenas streets. Mr. Flamingo, which opens in the afternoon, is one of the most popular outdoor bars for its fun atmosphere. On one side is La Noche, a lounge and rooftop bar with two atmospheres, either for dancing or chatting on its intimate terrace. In this area, you can also find the famous CC Slaughters, one of the LGBT community’s favorite clubs for dancing, as well as other emblematic bars such as Paco’s Ranch and Reinas Bar.

For the more relaxed or those who want to talk quietly, a must-see is Púlpito street. Here you can find Garbo Piano Bar, a perfect place to have a delicious martini with live jazz music, or Blondies Loft & Slushbar, which offers an excellent innovative and classic cocktail menu. There is also the possibility of combining different environments. For this, one of the best options is booking a tour with Gay Vallarta Bar Hopping, ideal for groups and celebrations, with guided tours that include dinner and visiting six bars and lounges with very different concepts.

With its attractions, vibrant atmosphere and innumerable options to enjoy day and night, Puerto Vallarta proves to be one of the LGBT hotspots worldwide, an ideal place for romance as a couple or fun with friends.


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