Puerto Vallarta Continues to Grow Options for LGBT Travel
Puerto Vallarta, a stepping stone for the LGBT market in Mexico, is still widely described as the “gay capital of Mexico.” Agents and operators Travel Agent spoke with cite the city as the first LGBT-welcoming destination in Mexico, going back at least 15 years, while the destination’s tourism board says it’s been welcoming these travelers for more than 60 years.
As other Mexico destinations have felt the ripple effect and gone after this lucrative and loyal market, Puerto Vallarta continues to up its game to hold onto its share. ACT LGBT A.C., whose stated mission, in part, is to “promote and advocate for the interests of the LGBT community in Puerto Vallarta and support the growth of its members,” recently announced that it and a group of 16 tourism service providers from Puerto Vallarta and the region were granted LGBT certification by the Jalisco Tourism Secretariat and Talento Consultores, bringing the current total to 21.
The newly certified hotels in this group include Blue Chairs Resort by the Sea, Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive Adults Only, Grand Miramar All Luxury Suites & Residences, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, Puerto de Luna Pet Friendly & Family Suites, Villa Mercedes Petit Hotel and The Westin Resort & Spa.
Grand Fiesta Americana recently concluded a successful two-month “Hot Summer Extravaganza,” with live entertainment (including 24 live DJ events), 34 themed pool parties (e.g., circus, rock ‘n’ roll, cabaret) and five fashion shows with noted designers. We were told that guests loved it and made numerous social media posts about it. Management is reviewing how the hotel might extend some of the activities through the year. There are also plans to repeat it next summer.
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Meanwhile, Casa Cupula, which became Mexico’s first high-end LGBT property when it opened in 2002, is marking its 15th anniversary by unveiling a new Frida Suite. It pays tribute to bisexual artist Frida Kahlo’s love for Mexican traditions and culture. The suite will debut as part of a three-month “quinceañera” — a traditional Mexican celebration to present a 15-year-old into society — at the now 18-room resort, beginning November 24.
LGBT travelers and other guests staying at Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta can now take a complimentary art gallery tour. The adults-only boutique hotel is offering a two-hour guided tour in downtown Puerto Vallarta focusing on Mexican culture through art. Guests will explore modern local art to traditional indigenous displays. The tour ends with nightcap at the Café des Artistes amidst murals by Federico Leon de la Vega, the resort’s resident artist who leads weekly art workshops, complemented with Mexican wine tasting every Monday.
Vallarta Pride 2018
Preceded by the early evening International March Against Homophobia, which starts at the Sheraton Buganvilias Resort & Convention Center and ends at Los Arcos on May 15, Vallarta Pride 2018 runs May 19-27. Events include a Rainbow Pride Run, International Sunset Memorial Candlelight March, Rocky Horror “Live,” Pride Parade, Wet & Wild Boat Cruise and Pulpito Drag Derby, as well as a health fair, fashion show, film festival and parties.
Vallarta Pride overlaps Puerto Vallarta’s MayoFest 2018 in late May, commemorating 100 years as a municipality and 50 years as a city, with cultural, artistic and sporting events for locals and tourists alike.