In countries all around the world, acceptance of LGBTQ love is increasing. Time-honored LGBTQ travel destinations have remained gay-friendly, and as times change, new destinations are always being added to the list. For our 2019 favorites, we made a point of including destinations within regions that aren't as well-known for being friendly to LGBTQ love--like Africa, the Caribbean, and South America--so that you could find lovely, gay-friendly destinations even on continents not reknowned for high levels of LGBT acceptance.
Without further adieu, in celebration of LGBT History Month, here are our picks for the top LGBTQ honeymoon destinations of 2019!
Malta - Europe
Europe is known for its liberal attitude toward LGBTQ people, but even by European standards Malta is still way ahead of the curve. Gay couples will probably feel more universally welcomed and comfortable here than in more culturally "macho" countries like Italy, and Malta was rated #1 on the Europe Rainbow Index for LGBTQ acceptance. Belgium was the runner-up, but still fell way behind Malta. Visitors of all stripes will love Malta's stunning beaches, historic towns, and vibrant gastronomy. It's more affordable than a lot of other European destinations, too!
Toronto - Canada
Canada has always been known as a welcoming place, and there's no exception for LGBTQ couples.It ranks up there with San Francisco and New York as proudly and openly gay. In fact, it has been called "Canada's New York City" -- except it's smaller, friendlier, and more affordable than the five boroughs of NYC! There are tons of specifically gay-friendly bars, restaurants, hotels, and attractions, but here, the sentiment is universal enough that even places that aren't specific about it will still welcome you with open arms. Enjoy the parks and beaches, have romantic dinner dates, hold hands at the museum, and kiss during the final song of the concert -- the good people of Toronto just adore the fact that you've taken your love to their city!
New York City - USA
Speaking of New York City, the Big Apple has an endless list of things to see and do, and you won't have to worry about being judged for your love at any of them. Catch a Broadway show, explore Central Park, experience the Bronx's world-famous zoo and botanical gardens. See NYC from the top of the Empire State Building, laugh your butts off at an improv comedy show, soak up some culture at a museum, shop 'till you drop, and dine at the world's best restaurants. New York is a honeymoon dreamland, especially if you're ready to spend big!
Cape Town - South Africa
In a continent not known for its gay-friendly attitude, South Africa is a unique gem. The country is one of the most progressive in all of Africa, and is the only one to have fully legalized gay marriage. However, be forewarned that public displays of affection aren't generally a culturally common sight here, regardless of if they're gay or straight. Hit up the nightlife scene, however, and you'll see couples getting much more comfortable showing off their love. In betweeb urban escapades, take a safari adventure at nearby Kruger National Park to see Africa's most wild and majestic beasts up-close!
Puerto Vallarta - Mexico
LGBTQ couples will discover why Puerto Vallarta has been dubbed the "Gay Beach Capital of Mexico," but it's far more than just gay-friendly beaches that put this town on the global gay getaway map! The thriving dining and nightlife scenes will make you feel warmly welcomed, meaning that classic Mexican hospitality is all yours with no sense of discrimination or discomfort.
Buenos Aires - Argentina
Known as "The Paris of South America," Buenos Aires is rippling with European charm. Their attitude toward LGBTQ relationships is part of that reputation, evidenced by the fact that the country legalized same-sex marriage back in 2010--when even Hillary Clinton was only just coming around to the idea. The cosmopolitan "Porteño" culture still has a bit of a macho bent, like many in Latin America, but it hasn't stopped it from becoming a place where acceptance of all kinds of love has made it an LGBT honeymoon hotspot.
Barcelona - Spain
Barcelona's progressive culture means that seing same-sex couples can feel free to walk hand-in-hand without worrying about feeling unsafe. Tolerance is widespread in this Spanish city, and the wide variety of gay bars gives you lots to choose from. The lesbian scene is definitely a bit less active here than the scene for gay men, but tolerance is just as high. Transgender tolerance has increased as well, meaning that no matter your sexual preference or gender identity, you'll be able to take advantage of all the wonderful sights and experiences this Spanish city has to offer.
Curaçao - The Caribbean
For LGBT couples hoping for a honeymoon in the Caribbean, look no further than Curaçao. Many other islands in the region are less than totally ideal in their levels of LGBT acceptance, making Curaçaothe perfect place for Caribbean honeymoon bliss. Located in the southern end of the Caribbean, Curaçao has more businesses in the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association than any other Caribbean destination.
Reykjavik - Iceland
In Reykjavik, you can express your identity--and your love--without worrying about any backlash. See the dazzling northern lights, soak it up in a volcanic mineral spa, explore glacial lagoons, and raft across rapids in this Icelandic LGBT adventure dreamland. Cruises are a special treat here, getting you up-close with glaciers, penguins, the aurora borealis, and all kinds of stunning natural wonders.
Christchurch - New Zealand
Christchurch has a strong, tight-knit gay scene. While many of the gay establishments were tragically wiped out in the 2010 earthquake and still haven't recovered, the city is revitalizing its offerings for LGBT couples, giving you an opportunity to be in on an historic new redevelopment that very few get to witness. Gay meccas like Auckland are an easy flight away within the same country, but Christchurch is just as gay-tolerant as ever, and there's something special about being part of supporting a rebuilding effort that will result in a re-established gay scene in the progressive city of Christchurch for decades to come. Better yet, tourism revenues help give money to the local economy, and with literal decades of repairs and other challenges the area is still facing post-earthquakes, every cent counts.
Bora Bora - French Polynesia
The tiny island of Bora Bora is paradise -- no matter your gender or orientation. It's a tropical island with super-luxury resorts offering overwater bungalows and to die-for indigenous spas. The "gay scene" here is unique, as the sight of female-presenting but male-born service staff is common. The island is a quiet paradise where noisy nightlife takes the backseat to the sounds of the waves lapping on the white sands, but you can still find drag shows and a wide acceptance of people all over the gender spectrum. This is thanks to the "rae rae" culture, where effeminate and female-presenting (but still male-identifying) individuals are a common sight, especially when it comes to service and domestic professions.