When you arrive in Puerto Vallarta, make sure to pick up a copy of the excellent Gay Guide Vallarta for a wealth of information on Puerto Vallarta’s many gay-friendly establishments and events. Also recommended is Discovery Vallarta, one of the city’s best websites for gay travelers.
There are plenty of free palapas in the general area of the famous Blue Chairs resort at Playa los Muertos, the stretch of sand most popular with the gay community. Most hotels and beach clubs are happy to let you use their lounge chairs and facilities with a minimum food or drink purchase of about $20 worth of pesos. Whether you are looking forward to making new friends or just people-watching, Playa los Muertos is the place to be.
Hotels catering to gay travelers can be found all over Old Town. Gay-owned Casa Fantasia B&B offers a soothing haven from the busy streets and beaches of the Zona Romántica. This three-house hacienda-style B&B is spacious yet welcoming.
One of the most beautiful and eccentric of all Vallarta hotels is Casa Cúpula, contained in three side-by-side houses and a modern new lobby building, joined by winding stairways and paths. Casa Cúpula is considered one of the best gay-friendly guesthouses in Puerto Vallarta. It’s also home to Taste, one of Puerto Vallarta’s finest gourmet restaurants.
There is nightlife aplenty in gay Vallarta. For a wild time of it, check out C.C. Slaughter’s, which has an ambient martini lounge on one side and a raucous, multilevel dance club on the other.
For a low-key night, check out the neighborhood piano bar Garbo, a popular after-work place for locals that has cheerful waiters and a friendly, mixed crowd.
Try one of the neighborhood bars in the Zona Romántica, such as Frida, Diva’s, La Noche—or all of them. Frida is a nice, quiet hangout with cheap drinks and a fun atmosphere. Relaxed Diva’s is a great place to go alone or with friends early in the evening before hitting the nearby dance clubs. La Noche offers quiet corner booths for conversation or a romantic drink as well as more central seating for more social groups.
Ocean Friendly Whale Watching is a good choice for trips catering to the gay community. The whales come to Puerto Vallarta every year to either mate or give birth, and it’s likely that you’ll get to see some amazing mating behavior from these massive mammals.
If you really want to experience gay life on the water, choose one of the gay tours available, perhaps to one of the private beaches along the south coast. Diana’s Tours has always focused on and catered to gay and lesbian tourists, but its “straight-friendly” tours remain open to everybody.
Excerpted from the Ninth Edition of Moon Puerto Vallarta.