Gay Vacations in South and Central America

South and Central America Highlights

  • A little Spanish goes a long way. Although English is common, especially in large urban areas, you’ll find the friendly locals are patient and respond well when you can say a few words in their language.
  • Don’t spend all your time in the cities. True, for gay travel, cities are most likely where you’ll find the biggest queer scenes, but be sure to mix up your urban gay travel vacation time with excursions to the region’s fabulous natural scenery as well.
  • Don’t bite off more of the region than you can chew. Hop-scotching across Latin America in one trip can be maddening—better to choose one country and focus on it.
  • Watch out for reverse high seasons. Summer vacations for South Americans happen during our wintertime, when prices can be high. Prices for straight and gay travel alike also bump up in July, when locals take their winter vacations.
  • Don’t forget about skiing. Chile and Argentina have incredible and affordable Andean resorts where you can ski when it’s summer back home.

A cruise down the Amazon. A hike up the ancient Inca Trail. Gazing at the Mayan temples at Tikal. South and Central America are as fascinating as they are friendly and affordable. From ice fjord cruises in Chile, to Caribbean resorts in Venezuela, to the wildlife tours of the remote Galapagos, you can have just about any kind of vacation you choose to in the region. And Latin America is becoming one of the most fascinating regions for gay travel, thanks to a budding LGBT rights movement.

Homosexuality is now legal in most Central and South American countries, and many countries in the region have anti-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians. Gay travelers flock to Buenos Aires and the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, which both have legalized civil unions; a form has also passed in Colombia. The idea has been officially proposed in Chile, where LGBT identity is growing quickly.

The classic destinations for gay travel in Latin America (apart from Mexico) are Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Costa Rica—all very gay-friendly and with large, established scenes. Up-and-coming gay scenes worth exploring include Santiago, Chile; Brazil’s northeastern coast from Salvador to Fortaleza; Montevideo, Uruguay; Quito, Ecuador; Guatemala City; and Lima, Peru. Off-the-beaten-path countries like Bolivia and Paraguay offer some great opportunities for gay adventure travel.


Published: 17 Jul 2008 | Last Updated: 7 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

Best Hotels in Central America

$96
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Volcano Lodge and Springs
$193
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Costa Rica Marriott Hotel San Jose
$408-$434
Average/night*
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The Westin Golf Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal
$128-$171
Average/night*
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Pumilio Mountain and Ocean Hotel

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