At the end of January every year, gay bears converge on Puerto Vallarta for BeefDip, a week of fun parties, activities, and a way to connect with the friendly bear community. And the electric atmosphere at the two host hotels – Almar Resort or Blue Chairs Resort by the Sea – is an experience not to be missed. Queer travelers don’t have to just visit for the Bear week event, but it’s worth planning a getaway any time during the year just to explore the LGBTQ-friendly coastal city.
Puerto Vallarta’s natural beauty seems to have no end, and this diversity is precisely the host to an infinite variety of adventures. Whether you want to enjoy the beautiful beaches, snorkel, and dive in the region’s reefs, sail the bay till dawn to admire the stunning sunsets, or discover the local culture and the vibrant nightlife at the Malecon, one thing’s for sure: fun will know no limits.
Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant Malecon has been the town’s spirit since its foundation. The iconic Malecon is peppered with sculptures by renowned artists, art and crafts galleries, shops, and restaurants, and it is considered the meeting point par excellence.
Enjoy open-air performances and artistic expressions at Los Arcos amphitheater and all along its boardwalk; pamper your palate at the local and international restaurants with amazing views of the Pacific, and admire the emblematic Puerto Vallarta sunsets in front row seats.
Once the sun goes down, this boardwalk that runs from at Hotel Rosita – the oldest hotel in town, founded in 1948 – all the way to the Cuale River, is filled with life and color at its many bars and clubs.
On the other side of the Cuale River, you’ll find this fascinating, colorful, and cosmopolitan neighborhood, known as the LGBT area, with trendy restaurants, plazas, coffee shops, and a lively nightlife to enjoy sundown.
This area, also known as Olas Altas, attracts visitors with its authentic Mexican style, cobbled streets, and picturesque facades. Art and culture play an important role in this area, so you are sure to find galleries with more than a 60-year trajectory exhibiting local and foreign artwork.
The Lázaro Cardenas Park (also now known as The Tile Park) is a must-stop. Admire the unique mosaic designs embellished into its benches, columns, planters, and walls that turn it into an open-air gallery.
At this same spot, on Saturday mornings during high season, you can visit the Olas Altas Farmers Market, the first market in the bay with a handmade-homegrown concept, where you will find one-of-a-kind items made by local artisans, fresh produce, local and international delights, live music and so much more!
By day or night, the Romantic Zone will be one of your favorite hang-out spots to enjoy a coffee along with a traditional or international dish or trendy mixology by Los Muertos Pier with stunning views of the bay.
Marina Vallarta is a busy and important commercial, residential, and maritime area where some of the best hotels, shops, boutiques, cafés, art galleries, restaurants, and bars in Puerto Vallarta come together along its famous Lighthouse and dock designed to harbor 500 yachts and boats.
Golf professionals and amateurs can enjoy an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Joe Finger. Marina Vallarta Golf Club is filled with challenges that put the golfer’s skills to the test, like competing against the breeze in the holes close to the shore and six lakes that add certain difficulty to the game.
Vallarta Botanical Gardens
The Sierra Madre Mountain range has a generous diversity and tropical forests that make Puerto Vallarta an enchanting place way beyond its beaches.
The Vallarta Botanical Gardens welcomes you with a perfectly traced plan for you to explore its different sections: the Cactus Garden, with species of various forms and sizes; the Tropical Fruit Orchard with an amazing collection of oaks, wild palms, and agave plants; and the Conservatory of Orchids and Native Plants, with almost 300 species native to Mexico – out of 1000 found in the country.
When you finish visiting the greenhouses and gardens, you can walk deeper into the forest, cross the hanging bridge, and admire the magnificent trees that inhabit the area.
Make sure to visit after your hike its souvenir shop, and nursery to get your favorite plants, as well as its renowned restaurant with amazing views of the Sierra Madre.
Cuale River Island
A big part of Puerto Vallarta’s cultural and artistic scene takes place in its Cultural Center, located at the eastern tip of the Cuale River Island. Events, art exhibitions, musical evenings, poetry, and literature attract locals and visitors alike.
The Cuale Cultural Center offers painting, sculpture, dance, drama, and music workshops, as well as free access to the Cuale Archaeological Museum, exhibiting the archaeological findings in the area and general information on Mesoamerican history and art.
Visit Puerto Vallarta’s website for more information to help you plan the ultimate LGBTQ-friendly trip to the fabulous, sun-drenched city in Mexico.