Gay Vacations in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Highlights

  • Wake up in the middle of the night to go out. Clubs often don't even open their doors until after midnight, and then can still be empty until later. But you can ask about the bars that offer "pre-dancing" and open at around 10 PM.
  • Don't mind the attitude. The city residents can appear arrogant and too beautiful for their own good (especially in the gay bars!), but they love Americans and will warm up to you eventually.
  • Spring is fantastic in Buenos Aires. Spring—late September to early December—is a lovely time to visit B.A. It's when the city is abloom with purple jacarandas and before the apex of the tourist season in January. Just watch out—things get crowded during October’s World Tango Fest.

The "Paris of South America" is one of the gayest cities on the continent. Same-sex civil unions are legal here (a rarity in Latin America), and Evita left her mark all over the place. The populace is so sophisticated and fashionable that you'll have a hard time telling the models from the commoners, the homosexuals from the metrosexuals. It's amazing to think that no gay bars existed here before 1984, when the brutal, anti-gay military dictatorship was finally ousted. Now, LGBT clubs pump through the night and don't even open until the wee hours. The city has gay lodging, gay tours, even gay tango lessons. (Tango, after all, was originally danced between men.) Portenos—the city's residents—consider themselves much more aligned with Europe than with their immediate neighbors, so it’s no wonder that B.A. is considered one of the most progressive cities in South America, and a top gay travel destination.

Buenos Aires is grand and stately, but still ragged enough around its fringe to give it an edge. Prices have inched up since the dramatic fall of the peso in 2001, but Buenos Aires remains a continual steal, where steak dinners with excellent wine will cost you a fraction of what the same quality would in New York or London. There is no real gay area, but plenty of fashionable ones that draw the queers. Palermo SoHo and Palermo Hollywood are filled with chic lounges and clubs where local celebrities go to be seen. Recoleta, near the famous cemetery where Evita is buried, has a selection of gay and lesbian establishments and hotels and is a great, central place to stay. The old cobblestone streets of San Telmo are also very gay, and the clapboard-colored streets of La Boca are a bit of a tourist trap, but afford a glimpse into the Buenos Aires of yesteryear. And of course there's the Casa Rosada with its famous balcony fronting the grand Plaza de Mayo, and the impressive Teatro Colon opera house. Shopping is a popular hobby in the stylish city, and there are plenty of upscale boutiques to get lost in along Santa Fe Avenue and Florida Street. There's a gay pride parade held on the first Saturday of November (remember, the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere), and ask locally about when the next Brandon Gay Day will occur. These large, frequent parties are organized by the city’s film and arts students, and they capture the vibrancy and openness of Buenos Aires.

Published: 16 Jul 2008 | Last Updated: 17 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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