Puerto Vallarta Gay Travel
Puerto Vallarta gay guide to the best gay hotels, resorts, beaches, bars, clubs & things to do.
The Gay Travel Experience: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Without a doubt, Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s most popular gay travel destination. Dozens of gay hotels, one of the world’s most popular gay beaches, and energetic gay bars have kept the LGBT community coming back for decades, especially in winter.
Another reason why Puerto Vallarta is so popular is the city’s high density of gay hotels, bars and other venues. The local gay scene is super concentrated, making the city a convenient destination for groups of gay travelers.
Puerto Vallarta is also relatively inexpensive for the American and Canadian tourists who are so often there. Plus the region has fantastic weather through the winter season
Even with all the English-speaking tourists though, Puerto Vallarta maintains an authentic Mexican charm you’ll love.
Is Puerto Vallarta Gay Friendly?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta is absolutely gay-friendly! I’d even say it’s the most gay friendly city in Mexico. You’ll see gay flags everywhere.
With literally dozens of gay bars and clubs, it’s easy to see how welcoming the city is to the LGBT community.
Puerto Vallarta Gay Hotels, Resorts & Where to Stay
I love Zona Romántica, especially for its convenience. Hotels here are close to the gay beach and a short walk to most gay bars and restaurants.
Almar LGBT Resort
Almar Luxury LGBT Resort is the most upscale gay resort in Puerto Vallarta. It’s directly in the heart of the gay area. They have a modern and consistently updated interior.
Associated with the Mantamar Beach Club, they’re pretty much the hub of Puerto Vallarta gay life. It’s best to book Almar Resort as far in advance as you can since this popular hotel fills quickly, especially on weekends!
Blue Chairs Resort
Blue Chairs Resort by the Sea is the other iconic oceanfront gay resort. Everyone loves their easily accessible beach bar that’s accessible right from the street.
Keep in mind that Blue Chairs Resort is an older hotel with a reputation for being a bit noisy. If you’re always ready to party and want the best location in town for an affordable price, then Blue Chairs will be perfect.
For tranquility and five-star service, I’d instead recommend checking out one of the smaller boutique gay hotels below.
Casa Cúpula Gay Hotel
Casa Cúpula Boutique Gay Hotel is a highly-rated 19-room hotel in the Amapas neighborhood. The hotel is perched above the seaside, offering incredible views.
Amenities include a pool club, spa, fitness center and complimentary rides down to the local beach.
Piñata PV is a popular Puerto Vallarta gay hotel known for its rainbow-striped swimming pool. Gay guys love this property for being clean, modern, located in the center of the gay area, and having an overall fun vibe. They also have a popular clothing-optional hot tub!
Hotel Mercurio is one of the most affordable gay hotels in Zona Romántica. Their location is unbeatable and their staff is incredibly friendly. The hotel is on the smaller side, but this makes it so much easier to meet friends around the pool bar.
The food at Hotel Mercurio’s poolside restaurant is fantastic and the drinks are strong, too! Locals and travelers both stop by for happy hour, which is from 3 PM to 8 PM Monday through Saturday. On Sunday, the hotel hosts a Beers, Boys & Burgers event from 4 PM to 7 PM, which is a popular hangout after a day at the beach.
Luxury Villas for Gay Travelers
Does a secluded, natural retreat sound like a better option? Luxurious villa rentals in Puerto Vallarta are hugely popular with travelers who prefer to be away from the denser areas of town.
Truly stunning Amapas – Conchas Chinas villa rentals are available on VRBO. You’ll be able to get a ton of space, private pools, and phenomenal views. I booked one of the most epic house rentals this way.
Villa rentals here on the mountainside are only a five-minute drive from the gay area. They’re ideal for groups of friends too. It’s pretty easy to find villas with anywhere from three to six bedrooms.
Amaria Villas is another fantastic option if you’re looking for some seclusion in a high-end gay resort. Spectacular mountainside views, a large outdoor pool, and a fantastic restaurant on an outdoor terrace are a few highlights of the property.
The resort frequently hosts special gay parties, too. Even if you’re not staying at Amaria, you can attend one of their poolside events with sexy dancers, drag entertainment, unlimited beer, and grilled food for only $350 pesos. It’s also a fantastic way to meet gay locals.
Jet’s Gay Hostel
Jet’s Gay Hostel gets a lot of attention from gay travel websites, and since I hadn’t met anyone who actually stayed there, I booked a few nights to give it a try.
Jet’s Gay Hostel is one of the most inexpensive places to stay in Puerto Vallarta. While it’s obviously not a luxury accommodation, it does satisfy a niche. The hostel is relatively standard with bunk beds, privacy curtains, electronic code entry and a small fridge.
My experience at Jet’s was great. The staff member who tidied up every day was kind and eager to learn about the guests. Other guys in the hostel during my stay were polite. I felt completely safe sharing the space with them.
More Puerto Vallarta Hotels
If you’re finding Zona Romántica hotels to be a bit expensive or already booked, hotels in the neighboring Centro neighborhood are a good alternative.
Hotels in Centro, also known as downtown Puerto Vallarta, tend to be a little cheaper than those in Zona Romántica. The walk from Centro to the Playa Los Muertos gay beach area takes about 15 to 20 minutes.
Puerto Vallarta Gay Travel Experiences
Los Arcos is the main bustling part of town over in Centro. It’s worth walking through in the morning or early afternoon.
Before you relax at the beach clubs and bars, here are two quick local sightseeing experiences. First, stop by the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The structure is particularly pretty while lit up at night.
Browse Cuale Island Flea Market, a cluster of outdoor shopping stalls between Zona Romántica and Centro. I love walking across the little wooden suspension bridges.
The Puerto Vallarta Gay Beach
Gay guys love to spend their days at the Puerto Vallarta gay beach. It’s located at the very southern tip of Playa Los Muertos, a long stretch of the most popular beachfront.
It will be obvious when you arrive, with everyone in their sexy swimsuits socializing and splashing around in the waves.
Plenty of men park themselves in the sand between the Blue Chairs Resort and the Mantamar Beach Club.
Lounge at Mantamar Beach Club
Mantamar Beach Club & Bar is a staple of the Puerto Vallarta gay travel experience. Everyone spends at least one afternoon lounging by the iconic glass-walled pool or visiting for evening cocktails.
The vibe at Mantamar is relaxed, but it still has an upbeat feel, with background lounge/house music playing all day.
Making reservations for Mantamar is best to secure a specific number of chairs or to rent a stylish cabana. If you would rather not commit ahead of time, you can put in your name and then chill on the beach until space is available.
Local Beaches: Playa Amapas & Conchas Chinas
Seaside serenity is easy to find away from bustling Playa Los Muertos. If you’re comfortable climbing some steep pathways, continue walking south from the gay beach.
First, you’ll stumble upon the picturesque Playa Amapas. Waves crash over rock outcrops along the shore, leaving lovely little channels of flowing water.
Even farther south is the dreamy Playa Conchas Chinas. You probably won’t find a tourist in sight at this beach. There’s plenty of open sand to claim.
The shoreline pathway continues southward, leading next to Playa las Estacas before the farther remote areas occupied by private resorts.
Gay Gyms & Spas
Squeeze in a quick workout or spend an afternoon at one of Puerto Vallarta’s gay fitness centers or spas.
The Fit Club is the most well-known local gym in Zona Romántica. It’s popular for incredibly cheap daily and weekly rates in a convenient location. While The Fit Club isn’t marketed specifically as a gay gym, you’ll find that the majority of the men there are gay.
For something more upscale with more of an experience, try the Casa Cupula Gym & Spa. They’re a luxury gay gym in Puerto Vallarta that offers massage treatments, spa dining, and a pool.
Daily, weekly and monthly rates are available. If you’re a Casa Cupula Hotel guest though, everything is included!
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Grab Slushies at Blondies
The alcoholic slushies at Blondies Loft + Slushbar are perfect. Sit down or just grab them to go. In the humid heat, you’ll be glad you stopped by.
Blondies has tables along the sidewalk as well as an indoor loft space seating. Ordering to go is simple as well since the bar is right on the sidewalk.
Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
Here are some of my favorite Puerto Vallarta restaurants where you can get the most authentic experience, tasty food and avoid tourist traps.
Don Chava Taqueria Cantina
Don Chava Taqueria Cantina is a must. You absolutely have to try this little restaurant, specifically their tacos al pastor. The food was so good I came back twice!
They’re super inexpensive, have friendly service and they’re centrally located. Don Chava’s sidewalk seating is great for people-watching, too.
Mariscos el Guero: Seafood Tacos
Mariscos el Guero is a superb alternative to traditional tacos, serving delicious seafood tacos and other traditional Mexican entrées.
Super cheap (at about $1 USD per taco) and undiscovered by tourists, Mariscos el Guero is definitely a restaurant worth trying. Note they’re closed on Wednesdays.
Apaches Martini Bar
I love the upbeat ambiance of Apaches Martini Bar. They’re one of the most popular casual gay restaurants in town. The owner is a sweetheart, too!
Rowdy dinnertime crowds at Apaches take over the sidewalk with chatter you can hear from a block away. If you’re traveling in a larger group, this restaurant is definitely the place to be.
Fredy’s Tucan Restaurant
Fredy’s Tucan is a delicious LGBT-friendly restaurant in Zona Romántica. They serve breakfast and lunch, offering authentic Mexican food and traditional items like pancakes and egg dishes.
You might be tempted to think Fredy’s Tucan is a bit of a tourist trap. But their tasty food, fantastic ratings and convenient location make this restaurant an easy pick. Plus, everyone there is gay, too!
Puerto Vallarta Gay Bars & Clubs
There are so many gay bars in Puerto Vallarta that finding which suits you best can be difficult. Having tried almost all of them myself, I can definitely help you pick a few. Here are all the best Puerto Vallarta gay bars and clubs you should check out.
Mr. Flamingo is the most popular Puerto Vallarta gay bar. You can party any day of the week here. Perfect music selections, an open-air feel, and space for dancing always attract a crowd.
Earlier in the evening, Mr. Flamingo is calmer as vacationers casually grab drinks. They have one of the earliest happy hours in Puerto Vallarta, usually starting at 2 PM. Later on, partiers pack in.
My favorite part about CC Slaughters is dancing in the thick clouds of the fog machine. CC’s is quite a popular bar with more of an intense ambiance with dim lighting. The venue is medium-sized, so it doesn’t take too many people to feel full.
While CC’s is not the most prominent gay club in town, I certainly wouldn’t skip it!
Paco’s Ranch is the only gay bar in Puerto Vallarta that’s open until 6 AM, and it’s definitely a crowd favorite.
There’s a pretty steady crowd throughout the evening, but get ready for a wild night after 4 AM when the late-night partiers fill in.
20 Peso Jell-O shots at Paco’s also make it easy to dance all night. The bar has pretty good drag performances, too. They’re usually on the shorter side, with the last performance at 3 AM.
Industry Gay Nightclub
Industry is definitely the best place to go if you like house/electronic music. This is one of Puerto Vallarta’s bigger gay clubs. Expect pulsating beats in a warehouse-style space with high ceilings.
Industry tends to be much busier on weekends, but you’ll still find dancing on weeknights. It just won’t be jam-packed. The cover charge for entry is 60 Pesos at the door.
CO-DE Gay Club
CO-DE is the biggest Puerto Vallarta gay club and it’s my personal favorite. The multilevel balcony-style venue is remarkable. I don’t often get the “travel chills”, but this awesome nightclub experience (with my local friend Luis), really impressed me.
The sound system, special effects, attentive staff, and entertainment make CO-DE one of the most unique clubs I’ve been to in a long time. On weekends, the staff concertedly hands out hundreds of sparklers during a monumental song as the time approaches midnight.
For those who dislike typical gay clubs, CO-DE will probably be a great experience. This isn’t a club where everyone takes their shirts off. People here dress quite stylishly.
Expect a mixed crowd of LGBT travelers and our straight allies. I would consider CO-DE to be more of a “straight-friendly” club since it’s technically a gay club. The general cover charge to enter is 100 Pesos.
The crowd at Divas Bar is quite diverse, so you’ll find more than just gay men. The LGBT crowd along with some allies come for a night of dinner, drinks, and shows.
La Noche Gay Stripper Bar
La Noche is a pretty popular gay club and stripper bar in Puerto Vallarta. I love their rooftop terrace, which is quiet enough to have a conversation. The lighting is cozy and there are plenty of areas to lounge.
During the week they have some of the most popular drag shows in town. The entry cover fee is 60 Pesos.
La Chachalaca is a perfect happy hour spot with a relaxed, casual vibe. It’s great to visit after the beach, but before dinner. The bar is less than a five-minute walk from the central part of Playa Los Muertos.
You can’t miss La Chachalaca with its gay pride flags lining the bar’s facade. They have some nice open-air seating and offer cheap happy hour specials. I recommend this gay bar for groups since there’s a lot of space and seating.
La Cantina Margarita
La Cantina Margarita is a calmer option, directly adjacent to Mr. Flamingo’s. It’s a small gay bar with seating and some of the friendliest bartenders in Puerto Vallarta. I ended up laughing and talking with the bartenders here.
Cantina is also a good meeting point if you’re traveling with a group of friends. You can sit down with a drink while waiting for your crew.
More Gay Bars in Puerto Vallarta
The bars described above are the mainstays of gay nightlife in Puerto Vallarta, but that is certainly not all of them. Here are a few other notable places.
Wet Dreams is a subdued gay bar where you can watch gorgeous go-go dancers while perched on a barstool. They don’t accept credit cards and have a minimum spend amount. It never seemed too crowded whenever I passed Wet Dreams.
Antropology Gay Dance Club is exclusively a nude male strip club in Puerto Vallarta. It’s the go-to spot to drool over some male dancers. This place gets mixed reviews, which is typical for most strip clubs, no matter where.
Puerto Vallarta Travel Tips
Dinnertime in Mexico is similar to what Americans are used to. Restaurants fill up starting around 6 PM and most do not stay open past 9 PM. If you tend to eat late like I do (or even later like Spaniards in Barcelona), don’t let yourself miss dinner!
Grab Some Gay Swimwear
Haven’t had a chance to buy new gay swimwear before your trip? There are a few spots LGBT travelers can find some fun swimsuits and beach accessories.
Platinum Boutique Man is adjacent to the Blue Chairs Resort beach bar. They’re oriented toward the LGBT community and also carry towels if you forgot one.
Alternatively, you can shop at Liquid Men, a small boutique in the center of Zona Romántica. They have a wide range of clothing types.
When is Puerto Vallarta Busiest?
Puerto Vallarta is most popular from November to June, especially over holiday weekends. The rainy season is from July to October, there’s much more rain as well as the chance of tropical storms.
I’ve visited during the rainy season before and even though there’s less sunshine, it’s still relaxing and tropical. You’ll just need to keep a travel umbrella handy.
Gay nightlife is noticeably busier Thursdays through Sundays. This is mainly because of an influx of weekend travelers.
Avoid Tourist Trap Restaurants
Since Puerto Vallarta is such a popular tourist spot, you’ll encounter tourist trap restaurants and bars that charge high prices for low-quality food. You will generally find better, more authentic restaurants away from the waterfront.
Some of the restaurants with seating directly on the sand of Playa Los Muertos are an exception in my opinion. Sometimes nothing beats a stylish beachfront dinner.
I’d definitely avoid any pub-like restaurants. Places that play sports while serving overpriced pizza and pasta are not authentic.
Local Gay Events
Gay events in Puerto Vallarta happen all times of the year. Gay Guide Vallarta’s event calendar lists local activities for the LGBT community. See what’s going on while you’re visiting.
Airport Taxis & Uber in Puerto Vallarta
Licenciado Gustavo International Airport (PVR) is about a 30-minute drive from Zona Romántica. Along the ride, you’ll pass through the Marina Vallarta, Las Glorias, and 5 de Diciembre neighborhoods.
It’s best to take a taxi cab from the airport since Uber rides are not allowed to pick up riders in the immediate area (drop-offs however are allowed).
You can pre-pay for your destination according to the fixed rates right before you exit the terminal. They will write your price on a slip of paper.
I recommend having a local landmark in mind to help orient the driver in case you’re staying somewhere more remote.
Aside from the airport pickups, Uber is widely available throughout Puerto Vallarta. Rides are inexpensive and come quickly.