When you’re a member of the LGBTQ community, just getting married can be a process. Then you try to book your honeymoon.
The fact is, some countries simply are not LGBTQ-friendly. The good news is, that there are fantastic destinations that are perfect for LGBTQ couples – where they can feel comfortable and revel in some true romance.
Below are some wonderful places where romance and adventure blooms for the queer community.
French Polynesia is a collection of 118 breathtaking islands that include Tahiti and Bora Bora. This paradise is one of the most gay-friendly honeymoon destinations, with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Bora Bora is famed for its romantic over-the-water bungalows, the whitest sand, the bluest waters, spectacular marine life, and black pearl farms. Before you even arrive, you won’t believe the view of Mount Otemanu from the plane – just a promise of things to come.
Accommodations on Bora Bora
All resorts in Bora Bora are gay-friendly. Let’s take a look at some of the best.
The Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora is an excellent choice among many LGBTQ-friendly choices, with its private beach loungers, cabanas, and pool. Guests can enjoy 2 tennis courts, 4 restaurants, and a 24-hour fitness center. The large over-the-water suites are luxury and pleasure made real.
Breakfast each morning is included. There are four restaurants, plus a bar at the beach and poolside. In addition to watersports such as snorkeling, guests can take yoga classes, play volleyball, and arrange for ecotours. Or they can indulge in a couples’ massage at the spa.
Tahiti is French Polynesia’s largest island and is the site of its capital, Papeete. Like Bora Bora, Tahiti has its own fabulous hiking mountain, Mt. Orohena, which offers a great view from the top. Tahiti’s famous past residents include painter Paul Gauguin and writer Robert Louis Stevenson.
Neither Bora Bora nor Tahiti has specific “gay” bars, as the islands are overall gay-friendly. While in Papeete, visitors can visit the Piano Bar, which attracts a strong gay crowd and has regular drag shows.
French Polynesia does have exciting gay cruises of varying lengths departing from Papeete, some for an entire week. These catamaran cruises explore the neighboring islands, their volcanos, unique landscapes, scuba diving, snorkeling, as well as allowing for the hospitality of local Polynesians. This is a true adventure for gaysailers. As an aside, the Franc Pacifique is the accepted currency on these islands.
Accommodations in Tahiti
Tahiti has many LGBTQ luxury accommodations, but The Brando, on the nearby private island of Tetiaroa, can be considered unsurpassed. It is named after the famed actor, who once owned the property, which can only be reached by private plane. The Brando may be one of the most luxurious getaways anywhere. It consists of 35 stunning villas lining the beach and offering privacy and breathtaking beauty reflecting genuine Polynesian culture. Guests can enjoy whale-watching from July through October.
This is where Barack Obama vacationed, and Pippa Middleton, the future Queen of England’s sister, honeymooned. There is nothing ordinary about the Brando; everything here is extraordinary. Take advantage of the Polynesian dance lessons, music lessons, or weaving lessons offered by the resort.
Don’t miss private dinners by the spectacular beach or after-dinner entertainment in its outdoor lounge. Tours of the island are available upon request.
It is sophisticated and cosmopolitan while being a part of ancient Mayan heritage, such as the Chichén Itzá ruins.
Accommodations in Merida
The Wayam Mundo Imperial is a welcoming resort for everyone. The 52 suites, all in contemporary style, offer private balconies and room service. The Cuna Café is available throughout the day for meals. The rooftop, with its pool and bar, has a magnificent view of Merida. The spa keeps its guests buff and fit.
While not specifically gay, Casa Chica attracts a large gay clientele. They serve excellent food and drinks.
The popular Blue Gay Club is a disco with regular drag shows that attract both a gay and straight crowd.
While in Merida, take in the local Mayan culture at the Museum of Contemporary Art. For more about Mayan culture, visit the Museo de Antropologia with its ancient artifacts.
Go to the Plaza Grande and take one of the super-romantic carriage rides and enjoy the sights of the city, such as the parks and the stunning Monumento a la Patria.
For a romantic dinner, head straight for the Parque Santa Lucia. Restaurants pop up after sundown and offer al fresco dining under the stars.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico promises an outstanding romantic honeymoon experience, and its capital, San Juan, is very LGBTQ-friendly Here, visitors can soak up the rich culture and enjoy great adventures available to couples in love. San Juan’s Santurce neighborhood is especially inviting to the guy community.
Accommodations in San Juan
The Coqui del Mar hotel is gay-owned and a safe place for LGBTQ. A stay includes a delicious tropical breakfast with coffee. Although it is just a few steps from the beach, the Coqui del Mar has its own pool and jacuzzi. Kayak, bikes, and lounger rentals are free.
The ground floor here is clothing optional. The rooms range from a studio to two bedrooms.
The La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort is a luxury getaway by the Condado Beach in the Isla Verde district which prides itself in having plenty of LGBTQ guests. It is the winner of the 2021 Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Hotel Award. Many of the suites have an ocean view and balconies. The sophisticated Solera restaurant, with its ocean view, serves mouth-watering tapas.
LGBTQ-friendly Bars in San Juan
The San Juan’s neighborhoods of Condado and Santurce are clustered with gay bars.
The Kweens Klub in Santurce is the major LGBTQ nightclub in San Juan. Their cocktails are famed, and their Friday night drag shows are well-attended.
The Oasis is the only gay bar on Condado Beach.
San Juan also has a diverse underground queer scene at venues such as El Local, El Hangar, and Rio Piedras.
Fun in San Juan
San Juan is a vibrant city with lots to do. Enjoy an exquisite culinary tour led by Spoon. Stroll Condado’s unofficial gay beaches, Atlantic Beach and Ocean Park Beach. Rum lovers probably know that 70 percent of US rum is from San Juan. Tour Casa Bacardi by the Bay and enjoy a mixology class for preparing that perfect drink.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro is one of the most gay-friendly cities anywhere. Around 25 percent of tourists here are gay, and Rio aims to raise that number.
Rio de Janeiro Accommodations
The Praia Ipanema Hotel is gay-friendly with the most stunning location that has a rooftop view of the Christ the Redeemer Statue, Arpoador Beach, and the Freitas lagoon. All rooms have balconies, and breakfast is included. The hotel also has an outdoor pool.
The hotel is steps away from the Farme Gay Beach, where much of Praia Ipanema’s gay nightlife happens. The beach is clearly marked with rainbow flags.
The upscale Marina Palace Rio Leblon, which is LGBTQ-friendly, is located by Leblon Beach. It is a high-rise with a view of the ocean. Breakfast is complimentary, and guests can enjoy the rooftop bar and pool. The convenient neighborhood provides access to restaurants, bars, and upscale shopping.
Rio’s active gay nightlight can be savored at the Rainbow Kiosk, a popular LGBTQ hangout on Copacabana Beach. Savor a drink and some tasty noshes.
The Week, located by the waterfront, is the premier gay dance club in Rio. The club is huge, with two stages, several bars, and a swimming pool. There is a DJ on the weekends, which is an invitation for some great dancing.
Romantic Activities in Rio de Janeiro
Visiting the Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado Mountain is a must while in Rio. The great white statue has been protecting Rio de Janeiro and beyond for generations. It is on the 2007 New Wonders of the World list. The statue has a chapel at its base.
While car or cab services to the mountain are available, adventurous visitors will climb up what feels like a hike straight to heaven. It is far less crowded during the week, so that is the best time to come, instead of joining the weekend crowds.
While Rio has its foggy days, on a clear day, the view from Corcovado Mountain is incomparable.
Rio de Janeiro’s Botanical Garden
Visitors can spend the entire day strolling through Rio’s magnificent botanical garden. The garden includes wildlife such as monkeys and toucans and more than 8,000 plant species and huge trees.
The garden spans over 350 acres, so strolling through the site can take a while. Riding carts are available at the entrance.
The Sensory Garden contains aromatic and herbal plants.
The greenhouse holds over 2,000 different types of orchids.
The Japanese Gardens is filled with amazing koi fish, cherry trees, bonsai, and delightful bridges.
It is truly a feast for all the senses.