Puerto Vallarta has been a well-established Mexico gay travel destination for many years. This “beyond gay-friendly” city has all the amenities sought by the LGBT community, featuring a vibrant nightlife with a wide variety of gay bars and clubs, fabulous restaurants, gay and friendly hotels and vacation rentals, activities, shopping, and a well-developed arts and culture scene. The warm tropical weather and the famous gay beach in the Romantic Zone near Blue Chairs has made Vallarta a well-recognized gay travel destination for both national and international gay travelers. Experience for yourself how beyond gay friendly Puerto Vallarta can be!
The gay life is centered in the Romantic Zone, the “Zona Romantica” During the day the LGBT are in front of the hotel Blue Chairs and Mantamar Beach Club. At night, the gay life is centered at the corner of Lazaro Cardenas/Insurgentes Street. See the map here.
For more than 25 years, Mexico has been top-ranked as one of the hottest destinations for LGBT travelers, with Puerto Vallarta leading the trend. Condé Nast magazine calls Vallarta “the friendliest city in the world” and it’s that warm and open atmosphere that makes the city one of the most desirable resort destinations in the world.
Located on the Pacific Ocean, Puerto Vallarta is the premiere gay beach destination, listed as the number one–and only–gay beach destination in Latin America by Travel and Leisure Magazine. And with more than 300 days of sunshine per year and only a 5°C fluctuation in average temperature between summer and winter, Vallarta offers gay and lesbian visitors from all over the world a uniquely safe, friendly and welcoming environment as well as a huge array of adventure tours and activities, haute cuisine, high-end shopping and a wild nightlife scene.
LGBT Information (Sexual consent, gay areas, marriage)
What is the age of sexual consent in Mexico and how do I verify it?
The age of sexual consent in Mexico is 18. The common sense way is to see his or her voter registration card or credencial para votar issued by the Instututo Federal Electoral because they must be 18 to get one.
Does Puerto Vallarta have a gay beach and where is the gay life centered?
Most of the gay life is centered in the Romantic Zone, the “Zona Romantica” During the day the LGBT community is found in front of the hotel Blue Chairs and Mantamar Beach Club. This is not a “nude” beach but it is where you will find most of the LGBT tourists and locals hanging out and socializing. At night, the gay bars are centered on Olas Altas and its side streets with more bars and the dance clubs on Lazaro Cardenas Street. See the map here.
When is the best time to visit the beach and bars/clubs?
The beach in the day is normally busiest from 2pm until 5pm. Most street bars open at 4pm, the strip clubs at 9pm and the dance clubs at 10pm. The street bars and strip clubs are busiest at 9 to 12 pm and the dance clubs busiest after midnight.
· Can I get married in Mexico?
Yes it is now legal to have a gay marriage in Jalisco. However, foreigners must have your birth certificate apostilled (certified) and take marriage counseling courses. That is a complex issue so please consult a qualfied wedding planner for details.
· Is Vallarta a safe place to be gay?
Sure it is. Vallarta may well be the gay capital of Mexico! The local government is accepting of gay tourists, and businesses all over the city are more than eager to welcome you! Puerto Vallarta is very accepting of gay tourists. Holding hands is fine, and a peck on the cheek or a nice kiss is not uncommon. The beach and streets, however, are not places for sex. Basically, don’t do anything in public that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see.
Do’s and Dont’s
· Public Displays of Affection
While Mexico is very conservative and Catholic, Mexicans are very accepting of gay tourists. Holding hands is fine, and a light kiss is not uncommon, but playing tonsil-hockey with Pedro on the corner isn’t kosher. The beach and streets are not places for sex. Basically, do not do anything in public that you would not want your grandmother to see.
· So you’ve met your Latin Lover…
Be careful. First, make sure he’s 18. That’s the legal age here in Mexico, and he’ll have his IFE federal voter card to prove it. No need to check the age, because he won’t HAVE one unless he is 18. Make sure the photo matches his face! No ID? Then for your own safety just say ‘adios’ to the young fella.
· What is the legal age in Mexico for consenting to sex?
The legal age of majority in Mexico is 18. Anyone who is 18 will have a federal-issued voter’s card. INSIST on seeing it if you are taking him home or going to his place. The legal consequences of sleeping with a minor are not anything you want to be a part of. This is what an IFE voter card looks like:
· Can I drink on the beach or street?
Legally speaking, no. Realistically speaking, yes. You are not going to be arrested or fined for simply drinking a beer on the street or at the beach. Puerto Vallarta is a resort community and some regulations tend to be a bit more ‘relaxed’ for tourists. You should not drink beer out of a glass bottle while on the street, though. Simply request a plastic ‘to go’ cup from your bartender or waiter, and you’re off and running with your beer or margarita! Open liquor here is generally not a big issue as long as you are polite and well-behaved.
· Traveling with Pets? Puerto Vallarta has very pet friendly with many hotels, condos and bed and breakfast places pet friendly. Please review the current information to enter/exit Mexico with your pet. The website is here
Puerto Vallarta – Activities
Whether you’re looking for a hot party scene, extreme adventures or a relaxing tropical get-away, Puerto Vallarta offers it all. World class restaurants, wild clubs and sophisticated lounges, tours and adventure activities, live theater and music, galleries, spas, shopping…the list is literally endless. Here’s just a sample of some upcoming Events.
Getting around town
· Is Vallarta safe?
You’ll feel completely safe here. Statistically, Puerto Vallarta is safer here than many US or Canadian cities. There is very little crime here and the tourist police are friendly and helpful. Use your common sense, and be careful – just as you would anywhere else. Don’t parade around with fancy jewelry, don’t flash big wads of cash around, stay on main streets after dark, walk with a friend or two. Thomas Dale Associates in El Segundo, California was contracted in February 2012 to do a Tourist Risk Assessment of Puerto Vallarta.
·How do I get from the airport to the Gay Zona the “Romantic Zone?”
As of July 1, 2017 Uber is operational in Puerto Vallarta. There are also white airport taxis, but you will pay less if you cross the street (there is a pedestrian bridge which crosses over the highway from the airport) and take a yellow local taxi. There are no meters; rates are determined by zones. You can also take local buses which are quite fun and only cost around $1 USD.
· Buses, Taxis & Car Rentals See our map with main bus routes.
Many car rental services are available (with offices in the airport or across the street from PVR) and buses and taxis abound. Before you take a taxi there are a always note the taxi number (generally printed on the exterior of the back seat doors) and the “sitio” number – contained within a circle on the driver’s door. This will help you in the very rare chance that you encounter problems or leave something in the cab.
Traveling by bus in Mexico is very inexpensive, educational and fun. You can travel pretty much anywhere on the bus for 10 pesos one-way. Buses go to the Hotel Zone, Marina Vallarta, the airport, south to Mismaloya and Boca de Tomatlán.