Paraíso Gay: Puerto Vallarta

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Whether you’re traveling solo, with a fab group of friends or that special someone, Mexico’s top gay-friendly destination offers a little something for LGBT travelers worldwide, from its renowned luxury amenities and daring adventure options to impeccable world cuisine and exciting gay nightlife. No matter the time of year, you’re sure to enjoy a slice of summer and experience sultry nights to remember.

Stay

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway for two, Casa Velas (HotelCasaVelas.com) is where you’ll find the love. The 80-suite boutique resort is all-inclusive and adults-only so you can get frisky, and live it up while you do. While here you can enjoy a swim in the immersion pool and dine at the hotel’s own restaurant Emiliano’s — open for breakfast, lunch and dinner — preparing fresh dishes of gourmet Mexican and world cuisine. Guests also have access to Casa Vela’s sister properties Velas Ocean Club and the family resort Velas Vallarta for private beach access and even more amenities.

Blue Chairs (BlueChairs.com), located in Puerto Vallarta’s gay neighborhood Zona Romantica, is a popular gay spot, both to stay and as a gathering place for many LGBT locals. The hotel is located on Puerto Vallarta’s gay beach, Playa Los Muertos, and close to the cobblestone streets of Old Town and the boardwalk Malécon, all just footsteps away from the city’s gay bars and nightclubs. Rooms are decorated in Mexican style, offering 43 ocean view rooms, with an additional 38 one-bedroom suites that will be opening this fall. You’ll find a ground-floor, beachside dining option, Blue Chairs Beach Club Restaurant & Bar, in addition to the rooftop Blue Sunset Restaurant & Bar, which brings out drag queens and go-go dancers nightly to keep the party going.

For those looking for a little more action, also located in Zona Romantica close to Blue Chairs is the cruisier, gay men-only Vallarta Cora Hotel (VallartaCora.com), which offers cozy one-bedroom suites with one and a half baths, kitchenettes, balconies, free wifi, cable TVs, air conditioning, an on-property bar (open from 3 p.m. to midnight with many regular locals stopping in), pool, 30-person Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, and towels and lockers for rent. Here it’s perfectly acceptable to walk around the property in nothing but your swimsuit all day, every day you’re visiting.

Casa Cupula (CasaCupula.com), a stylish gay-owned-and-run boutique hotel, is located in the hills up a few blocks from the bars and clubs of Zona Romantica. With 18 rooms and four suites, the hotel offers guest a chance to stay in comfort, with free Wi-Fi, cable, flat screen TVs, home theaters with surround sound in select rooms, stereos with iPod docking capabilities and pillow top mattresses. Work out at the property’s PUMP Gym then relax at one of the resort’s three pools, rooftop deck, or select from a menu of in-room spa services. Also on the grounds is trendy dining spot Taste Restaurant (Taste.com.mx), serving Asian, Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine for a romantic dinner for two, or you can order it up for an intimate in-suite dining experience.

Dine

Though you’ll undoubtedly want to spend your days in beach gear, Puerto Vallarta doesn’t skimp on formal dining. A popular favorite, and one of the best restaurants in the city, Café des Artistes (CafeDesArtistes.com) chef Thierry Blouet prepares Mexican ingredients with European flare for inventive and delicious dishes in a romantic, fantasy-like setting—all accompanied by a skilled live violinist who wanders from table to table taking song requests.

When in Mexico, traditional Mexican food and fruity margaritas are a must. At El Arrayán (Elarrayan.com.mx) you can order your favorite Mexican dish, like quesadillas and empanadas, or be bold and order some of the more unusual fare—like duck or cricket tacos—while sipping on an el arrayán margarita. Cooking classes are also offered here, where you can learn to cook a few of the Mexican dishes and then feast on your efforts.

Play

If you come seeking outdoor adventure, Vallarta Adventures (Vallarta-Adventures.com) is Puerto Vallarta’s number one adventure tour company, providing opportunities for adventures on land or by sea — zip lining, rappelling, horseback riding, scuba diving, snorkeling, surfing, fly boarding and much more — depending on how daring you want to be.

Once the sun goes down, there’s no shortage of things to do. The lounge at La Noche is a chill spot to begin your evening with cocktails before dancing the night away. Relax in the warm glow of the downstairs lounge, or take it up to the lively rooftop bar and deck.

Next to La Noche is Paco’s Ranch, a Mexican-style bar featuring the best nightly drag shows in town — starring versions of popular Mexican divas and some American ones you just might recognize — that is frequented by visitors and locals alike. Across the street is the locals’ favorite nightclub, CC Slaughters (CCslaughtersPV.com). Nighttime fun kicks off late here, midnight or later, and dancing usually goes until 5 a.m. If sexy Mexican strippers are more your speed, wind down the night at Wet Dreams, a men’s bar and lounge with all-male entertainment for your viewing pleasure.

However you choose to spend your time in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find just the experience you came searching for, and the chance to relax in your own personal paradise.

Photo links:

Casa Velas GaleriaHotelCasaVelas.com


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