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Puerto Vallarta Gay Travel

wolfyy’s Puerto Vallarta gay guide to the best gay hotels, resorts, beaches, gay bars, clubs & things to do.

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The Gay Travel Experience: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Without a doubt, Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s most popular gay travel destination. Dozens of gay hotels, fun gay beach clubs and energetic gay bars have kept the LGBT community coming back for decades, especially in winter.

Puerto Vallarta gay travel
Puerto Vallarta gay travel
Puerto Vallarta gay experiences

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 gay experiences

Puerto Vallarta is also relatively inexpensive for the American and Canadian tourists who are so often thee. Plus the region has fantastic weather through the winter season

playa de los muertos
gay couple in Puerto Vallarta

Even with all the English-speaking tourists though, Puerto Vallarta maintains an authentic Mexican charm you’ll love.

gay couple in Puerto Vallarta

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.

gay friendly Puerto Vallarta
gay friendly Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta oceanfront

Puerto Vallarta Gay Hotels, Resorts & Where to Stay

The majority of Puerto Vallarta gay hotels and resorts are in Zona Romántica and Amapas, the two neighborhoods that comprise the city’s gay area. Most gay travelers prefer gay hotels or luxury villa rentals here, which I’ll mention below!

Puerto Vallarta gay area
Puerto Vallarta gay area
Puerto Vallarta luxury villa

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.

Puerto Vallarta luxury villa

Gay Resorts in Puerto Vallarta

Almar Luxury LGBT Resort is the most upscale gay resort in Puerto Vallarta that’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.

Almar gay resort rooftop

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.

blue chairs gay resort
Almar gay resort rooftop

Keep in mind that Blue Chairs Resort is an older hotel with a reputation of 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.

blue chairs gay resort

For tranquility and five-star service, I’d instead recommend checking out one of the smaller boutique gay hotels below.

Gay Hotels in Puerto Vallarta

Casa Cupula 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.

Puerto Vallarta gay area

Piñata PV is a popular Puerto Vallarta gay hotel known for their rainbow-striped swimming pool. Gay guys love this property for being clean, modern, located in the center of the gay area, and an overall fun time. They also have a popular clothing-optional hot tub!

Puerto Vallarta gay area
Puerto Vallarta gay hotels
Puerto Vallarta gay hotels

One of the most affordable gay hotels in Zona Romántica is Hotel Mercurio. 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.

Luxury Villa Rentals

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.

villa with private pool

You can find some truly stunning Amapas – Conchas Chinas villa rentals 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.

view of villa
villa with private pool
view of villa

Villa rentals here on the mountainside are only a five-minute drive from the gay area. They’re ideal for group of friends too. It’s pretty easy to find villas with anywhere from three to six bedrooms.

Jet’s Gay Hostel

A ton of gay travel websites mention Jet’s Gay Hostel, and since I hadn’t met anyone who actually stayed there, I booked a few nights to give it a try.

Jets gay hostel
Jets gay hostel
Jets gay hostel

Jet’s Gay Hostel is one of the most inexpensive places to stay in Puerto Vallarta. While it’s definitely not a luxury accommodation, it does satisfy a niche. It’s a relatively standard hostel with bunk beds, privacy curtains, electronic code entry and a small fridge.

Jets gay hostel

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.

Centro 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.

Hotel in Centro

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 hotel
Hotel in Centro
Puerto Vallarta hotel

A couple of LGBT-friendly Centro Hotels to consider are Hotel Rio Malecon and Suites Plaza del Río. Both are extremely affordable.

Puerto Vallarta Gay Travel Experiences

Experience the most vibrant part of Puerto Vallarta by walking the streets of Zona Romántica and Centro. You’ll find other gay tourists all around Zona Romántica. 

Over in Centro, Los Arcos is the main, bustling part of town. It’s worth walking through in the morning or early afternoon.

Puerto Vallarta gay travel experience

Before you relax at the beach clubs and bars, here are two quick local sightseeing experiences. First, stop by Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The structure is particularly pretty while lit up at night.

Guadaloupe Church Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta gay travel experience
Guadaloupe Church Puerto Vallarta

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.

wooden suspension bridge

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.

Puerto Vallarta gay beach

It will be obvious when you arrive, with everyone in their sexy swimsuits socializing and splashing around in the waves.

Puerto Vallarta gay beach
gay beach in front of blue chairs resort
Plenty of men park themselves in the sand between the Blue Chairs Resort and the Mantamar Beach Club. I personally like Ritmos Beach Café for their kind servers and fast service.
gay beach in front of blue chairs resort
The beach is generally busiest between 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM. After 5:30, the area quickly empties out as everyone heads to dinner.

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 very relaxed, but there’s definitely a fun energy with background lounge/house music playing all day.

gay men at mantamar beach club
gay men at mantamar beach club
Puerto Vallarta Gay Lounge

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.

Puerto Vallarta Gay Lounge

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.

remote beach in Puerto Vallarta

First, you’ll stumble upon the picturesque Playa Amapas. Waves crash over rock outcrops along the shore, leaving lovely little channels of flowing water.

Puerto Vallarta gay traveler at beach
remote beach in Puerto Vallarta

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.

Puerto Vallarta gay traveler at beach
The shoreline pathway continues southward, leading next to Playa las Estacas before the farther remote areas occupied by private resorts.
beachfront resort Puerto Vallarta

If you plan on making the journey over to these local beaches, a sweat-absorbing handkerchief and some cleansing skin wipes will definitely come in handy.

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.

gay traveler
beachfront resort Puerto Vallarta
gay traveler

For something more upscale that offers 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 slush bar
Blondies slush bar
gay friendly bar in Puerto Vallarta

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. 

gay friendly bar in Puerto Vallarta

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.

gay friendly restaurant

Don Chava Taqueria Cantina

You absolutely have to eat at Don Chava Taqueria Cantina. I had some of the best tacos al pastor here. The food was so good I came back twice! 

taco restaurant Puerto Vallarta

They’re super inexpensive, have friendly service and they’re centrally located. Don Chava’s sidewalk seating is great for people watching, too.

don chava Puerto Vallarta
taco restaurant Puerto Vallarta
don chava Puerto Vallarta

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 (about $1 USD per taco) and undiscovered by tourists, Mariscos el Guero is definitely a restaurant worth trying. Note they’re closed on Wednesdays.

seafood taco restaurant in Puerto Vallarta

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!
apaches martini bar drinks

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.

Apaches Martini gay Bar in Puerto Vallarta
Apaches Martini gay Bar in Puerto Vallarta
apaches martini bar drinks

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 through my own Puerto Vallarta travels, I can definitely help you pick a few.

Puerto Vallarta gay nightlife
Puerto Vallarta gay traveler
Puerto Vallarta gay nightlife
Puerto Vallarta gay traveler

Mr. Flamingo

You can party any day of the week at Mr. Flamingo, the most popular Puerto Vallarta gay bar. Perfect music selections, an open-air feel and space for dancing always attracts a crowd. They have one of the earliest happy hours in Puerto Vallarta, usually starting at 2:00 PM.

Mr Flamingo gay Bar Puerto Vallarta
Mr Flamingo gay Bar
Earlier in the evening, Mr. Flamingo is calmer as vacationers casually grab drinks. Later on, this hangout packs in with a great mix of English and Spanish-speaking partiers.

CC Slaughters

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.

CC Slaughters Puerto Vallarta gay club
CC Slaughters Puerto Vallarta gay club
palm tree

While CC’s is not the most prominent gay club in town, I certainly wouldn’t skip it!

Paco’s Ranch

The only gay bar in Puerto Vallarta that’s open until 6:00AM is Paco’s Ranch, and it’s definitely a crowd favorite. 

There’s a pretty steady crowd throughout the evening, but get ready for a wild night after 4:00 AM when the late-night partiers fill in.

Pacos Ranch gay bar
Pacos Ranch gay bar
dancing at Puerto Vallarta gay bar

Abundant 20 Peso Jell-O shots also make it easy to dance all night. Paco’s has pretty good drag performances, too. They’re usually on the shorter side, with the last performance at 3:00 AM.

dancing at Puerto Vallarta gay bar

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.

Colorful laser lights, a dark interior and a fantastic bar attracts lots of guys, especially those who love a good circuit party. Wear your best gay party gear!

Industry gay Nightclub entrance Puerto Vallarta
Industry gay Nightclub entrance Puerto Vallarta
Industry Puerto Vallarta gay bar

Industry tends to be much busier on weekends, but you’ll still find dancing on weeknights. It just won’t be jam-packed. Cover charge for entry is 60 Pesos at the door.

Industry Puerto Vallarta gay bar

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. 

sparklers at Code gay nightclub
gay traveler with friends at gay club
sparklers at Code gay nightclub
The sound system, special effects, attentive staff and entertainment makes 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.
gay traveler with friends at gay club

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.

Code gay club
Code gay club
gay Puerto Vallarta friends
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. General cover charge to enter is 100 Pesos.
gay Puerto Vallarta friends

Divas Bar

Sing along to entertaining drag performances at Divas Bar. Briefly stopping into Divas felt like being at a miniature drag show at a gay bar in New York.
Divas Bar drag show
Divas Bar drag show
Puerto Vallarta gay tourist

The crowd at Divas Bar is quite diverse, so you’ll find more than just gay men. The LGBT crowd along with some allies attend for a night of dinner, drinks and shows.

Puerto Vallarta gay tourist

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 make conversation. The lighting is cozy and there are plenty of areas to lounge. 

In my opinion, La Noche is a fantastic spot for solo travelers to go out to make some new friends!

La Noche gay bar
Puerto Vallarta drag shows
La Noche gay bar

During the week they have some of the most popular drag shows in town. Entry cover fee is 60 Pesos.

Puerto Vallarta drag shows

La Chachalaca

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.

La Chachalaca happy hour
La Chachalaca happy hour
cantina margarita

You can’t miss La Chachalaca with their 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 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 margarita

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.

gay bars in Puerto Vallarta gay area
gay bars in Puerto Vallarta gay area
strobe light in nightclub

Wet Dreams is a subdued gay bar where you can watch gorgeous go-go dancers while perched on a bar stool. They don’t accept credit cards and have a minimum spend amount. It never seemed too crowded whenever I passed Wet Dreams.

strobe light in nightclub

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 what Americans are used to. Restaurants fill up starting around 6:00 PM and most do not stay open past 9:00 PM. If you tend to eat late like I do (or even later like Spaniards in Barcelona), don’t let yourself miss dinner!

gay Puerto Vallarta
gay Puerto Vallarta
wooden suspension bridge

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.

Puerto Vallarta beach
Playa Amapas
beach zone romantica
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.
high season Mexico
beach restaurant Zona Romantica
high season Mexico

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.

beach restaurant Zona Romantica
I’d definitely avoid any pub-like restaurants For example, places like Los Muertos Brewing & Pizzeria that play sports while serving overpriced pizza and pasta are not ideal.
palm tree

Local Gay Events

Gay events in Puerto Vallarta happen all times of year. Gay Guide Vallarta’s Event Calendar lists local activities for the LGBT community. See what’s going on while you’re visiting.

They show events ranging from drag shows and karaoke to horseback riding, bird-watching breakfasts and boat tours. Another popular option is a luxury yacht snorkeling tour.

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.
car in street
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).
car in street
playa de los muertos

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 the case you’re staying somewhere more remote.

playa de los muertos
If you’re frugal or simply prefer to use Uber, then walk across the footbridge that goes over the adjacent highway. This area is a bit dodgy, so be smart and avoid getting pickpocketed.

Aside from the airport pickups, Uber is widely available throughout Puerto Vallarta. Rides are inexpensive and come quickly.

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Explore more of Mexico’s best gay travel destinations, including Playa del Carmen and the paradise island of Holbox.

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