Gay Vacations in Caribbean

Caribbean Highlights

  • Puerto Rico is the best spot for gay Caribbean travel, with a gay beach, gay hotels, gay bars, and the island of Vieques arising as a popular hot spot for gay travel as well. And it's Ricky Martin's home island!
  • One of the best gay ways to see the Caribbean is on one of the many LGBT cruises. It's the one sure-fire way to visit the Caribbean in an all-queer environment.
  • Fall means great deals to the Caribbean—because it's hurricane season. And watch out for mosquitoes during the wet autumn months. November is the Caribbean's best month because hurricanes (and the cloudy season) are generally over, but prices are still low.
  • Anywhere in the Caribbean, be careful of public displays of same-sex affections. Locals generally react strongly against them.
  • Charter a boat. Rounding up some friends and renting a fully crewed yacht to explore uninhabited isles is the quintessential Caribbean experience. The U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands are especially good spots to charter.

Yeah, mon! For gay travel, Caribbean islands are among the most popular destinations, despite the lack of queer businesses or attractions in the region. The islands come in a rainbow of flavors, from cactus-arid to rainforest-lush—each with a strong heritage of Dutch, French, English or other influences. Although many people think this "eighth continent" is homogeneous, the variety of cultures and terrain in the region will surprise you.

You'd think an expanse of laid-back tropical isles would be a nirvana for LGBT travel, but gay and lesbian cruise ships have been turned away from some island nations, and others have protested their arrivals. Other islands are simply overflowing with heterosexual all-inclusive resorts. But don’t let that stop your quest for premium gay travel: The Caribbean has some of the best diving, fishing, and beach-bumming in the world, with a sophisticated tourist infrastructure and value for the dollar.

The handful of gay travel establishments in the Caribbean are found on islands ruled from abroad, particularly American territories such as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and Dutch colonies such as Curacao. Cuba has a huge underground gay and lesbian scene, but the country’s laws are anti-gay. The Cayman Islands, once famous for its homophobia, has changed course and is now courting LGBT travelers, and the influential Caribbean Tourism Organization is beginning to see the potential of gay travel as well, so expect more lavender changes to happen in the region.

Published: 17 Jul 2008 | Last Updated: 8 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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