The Ultimate Gay-Friendly Travel Guide to Puerto Vallarta

Travel Advisor Robert Love in a gray t-shirt and blue glasses, standing on a red road.
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Robert Love

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  • Mexico

  • Puerto Vallarta

  • Beaches

  • Couples Travel

  • Group Travel

  • LGBTQ+ Travel

  • Gay-friendly

  • Outdoors

  • Relaxing

overlooking mountains and the ocean during sunset
Curator’s statement

Puerto Vallarta is widely considered the ideal vacation spot for the LGBTQ community thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, vibrant nightlife and stunning beaches. With its rich history of LGBTQ tourism and progressive attitudes, the city has long been a top destination for gay and lesbian travelers seeking a relaxed and inclusive environment. From gay-friendly hotels and bars to lively festivals and cultural events, Puerto Vallarta offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to our community.

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Insider knowledge

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Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta

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Villa Verano

Offering spectacular views of the Pacific, Villa Verano's fully staffed beachfront villas are an excellent choice in Puerto Vallarta.

Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beach Front Experience

From luxury suites to famed pool parties, this stylish LGBT Resort on the bustling Zona Romantica of Mexico's Pacific coastline boasts beachfront amenities and top-notch restaurants and bars.

Casa Cupula

Hip gay-owned, LGBTQ-friendly hotel offering luxury amenities, chic rooms and spectacular views of Banderas Bay.

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Travel Advisor Robert Love in a gray t-shirt and blue glasses, standing on a red road.

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Best (gay-friendly!) things to do in in Puerto Vallarta

people on the beach next to tall building during daytime

Bikes and Bites Tour: This is a hybrid experience by Vallarta Food Eats Tours and one of my personal favorite things to do.

ATV Tour: You can find many ATV tour providers in Puerto Vallarta. I personally prefer Wild Trek Adventures. I loved the Rancho Las Vegas tour. This tour really takes you outside the city and the best part, you get to stop for a tequila tasting. Pro Tip: Bring a face covering and do not drive/ride in the back of the pack... I think I coughed up dust for two days.

Rhythms of the Night: This is a Cirque de Soleil-type show which includes a sunset boat ride and open bar. That said, this whole excursion takes about five hours. If you are someone who does not want to spend a whole night on one thing, this may not be the right choice.

Wet & Wild Cruise: Do it once, just to say you did. This is a clothing-optional cruise, packed with like-minded travelers. They do have an open bar on board and they make a stop for a beach party. Pro Tip: Don't plan anything special for the night you go on this cruise. The drinks are strong and food is scarce. You will probably need a nap when you get back.

Act 2: What a place... here you will find theater productions, celebrity drag tributes (think Dolly, Selina and Whitney), concerts and comedy shows.

CC Slaughters: If you are up for some late-night dancing and great music, this is the place for you. Good times all around and one of (if not the largest) dance clubs in PV.

Lastly, if festivals are city-wide parties are your thing... Make sure to check the dates and book early for world-class festivals such as Vallarta Pride and Beef Dip Bear Week.

Places to eat & drink in Puerto Vallarta

tables and chairs overlooking the ocean during sunset

You might come to Puerto Vallarta for the beaches, but this beautiful coastal town also has a thriving food scene. Here are some of my favorite gay-friendly restaurants & bars to enjoy while in PV.

Ocean Grill: This over-water beachfront restaurant off the beaten path is located on Los Colomitos Beach. To get here, you will need to head south from Puerto Vallarta to a small fishing village named Boca de Tomatlan. Once you arrive, a water taxi will take you to the restaurant. Don't forget to bring cash, the restaurant and water taxi do not accept cards. Pro Tip: They only offer three seating times a day, so reservations are required.

La Cappella: I know, Italian food in Mexico isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Trust me, you will not regret going here. This open-air restaurant overlooking the city is a must-see. If you time it right, you can view one of the most amazing sunsets over Banderas Bay.

El Dorado: With seating right on the water, you can't go wrong. El Dorado has fantastic seafood, sourced locally. Pro Tip: Order the Patron Espresso Martini.

The Top Sky Bar: Located on the roof of Almar Resort, you can always find something going on here. Whether you are looking for good drinks, good food or great drag shows, you will find it here.

Mantamar Beach Club: We stop here several times during a trip to PV. Located right on the beach, they have an amazing open terrace seating area, a large pool with cabanas, and a private full-service beach. Pro Tip: If you want to reserve a cabana by the pool, be prepared to spend some cash.

Xocodiva Artisan Chocolate: Puerto Vallarta boasts many different shops to get artisan chocolate, but something about this place hits different. It is very much off-the-beaten-path and you may walk by it several times without knowing. I highly suggest seeking this place out. Pro Tip: Try the chili truffle.

Blondie's Loft: I would say PV is not known for craft cocktails, but Blondie's seems to be changing things up. If you go upstairs to the loft, you will find a great martini and craft cocktail menu. Also, the design and atmosphere make this a fantastic happy hour spot before dinner.

Mr. Flamingo: This is a hard one to explain, but trust me... go! The ultimate gay-friendly spot in Puerto Vallarta, Mr. Flamingo gives you tiki-bar vibes during the day and circuit party vibes at night.

Need to Know

Looking for more travel trips in Puerto Vallarta? Check out Fora Advisor Lindsay Rawitscher's guide, The Best of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Travel Advisor Robert Love in a gray t-shirt and blue glasses, standing on a red road.

Travel Advisor

Robert Love

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Mexico, and our continuing series on LGBTQ+ travel.