San Juan - A gay paradise in Caribe

Puerto Rico

Posted On: 

21 July 2022, 07:27:40

Welcome to the most gay-friendly island in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico! Nonstop flights from Miami provide affordable access to San Juan. Puerto Rico has four unique locales to enjoy: the Northside in San Juan, The South Side in Ponce, The Western surf shore, and the Eastern rainforest towns.


The locals are friendly, speak both English and Spanish, and love tourists and LGBTQ+ people. Now fully recovered from the hurricane in 2017, they have rebuilt its exceptional nature tourism, housing market, and has one of the largest concentrations of Crypto businesses in the western hemisphere.


Beaches and Weather


Puerto Rico’s climate is year-round tropical. It’s humid and between 80 - 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless you're by a pool or beach, stay inside during mid-day. The best beaches for swimming are on The South and Western side of the island.


San Juan has the most beaches, and while the “Gay Beach” is Condado Beach the waters are extremely rough. Try Ocean Park, Atlantic, or Isla Verde Beaches for calmer waters.


Where to Stay Lodging


San Juan and Ponce are the best places for gay tourists with an abundance of gay-friendly hotels and rentals. San Juan is is a party town with drag clubs, bathhouses, gay beaches, and dancing you’ll find excitement both day and night. Ponce is a quieter city with beautiful resorts, chill beaches, family tourism, and an exquisite food scene.

For lodging in San Juan, book a stay at the gayest hotel in Puerto Rico, the Coqui Del Mar Guest House. This clothing-optional resort boasts two pools, a hot tub, daily brunch, and Taco Tuesdays to mingle with fellow guests and other gay travelers. In Ponce, you’ll love the 60’s club aesthetic of The Fox Hotel.

The western towns are laid-back beautiful beaches on the island, with amazing surfing, horse rides, fresh seafood, and a wildlife refuge. The Eastern rainforest towns are surrounded by natural beauty in the mountains and are very local, and family oriented. If you’re the adventurous type, explore all of Puerto Rico’s beauty and culture in a luxury camper van.


Costs


Lodging is the most expensive part of a Puerto Rico holiday. After that, you can find all your creature comforts at significantly lower prices than in the US like groceries, gym memberships, restaurants, drinks, theater, tickets, haircuts, and clothes. Daily living costs $50-$90 a day per person.


Whether you stay in San Juan or travel to the coasts the best way to get around is by car. There are plenty of Ubers and taxis, but you might save money by renting. Weekly rentals at the airport can run as low as $100 right at the airport.


It’s advised to not drink tap water in Puerto Rico, so plan to spend $20 a week on bulk water bottles.


Places to Visit


The Yunque Rainforest is a treasure on the east side of the island. Book a private tour with Antonio through Coqui Del Mar and he’ll take you to the secret waterfall where gay men come to swim and play.

From there visit the natural wonder of Mosquito Bay, where at night the bioluminescent organisms provide amazing streaks of blue in the water.


In San Juan, the best areas to visit are Santurce and Old San Juan. Santurce is the gay epicenter full of clubs, bars, drag shows, and a good place to meet a special friend from Grindr. The all-night party at the open-air Las Placitas Mercado cannot be missed.


Old San Juan transports you to a magical world of colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and 500 years of history. Nearby is Escambaron beach, which hosts diving and snorkeling adventures as well as the “Be a Mermaid for a Day” excursion.


As the Rum capital of the Caribbean, no trip is complete without a tour and tasting of the Bacardi Distillery, a quick drive from San Juan.

If you’re a current or aspiring Circuit Queen, book your tickets for the Hydro Carribena Festival located in San Juan each July. And because the weather is tropical year-round, grab your harness for Winter Pride Fest in December.


No matter if you want to be an Instagram Mermaid for the day, hike the majestic rainforests, party on the beach, or gogo in the streets, Puerto Rico has so much to offer gay travelers. Diviertete!


Have a fun holiday!


Articole wrote by Jordan K (member of our community, own experience in Puerto Rico).


Recommendations

Hotels

Coqui del Mar Guest House


The gayest hotel in San Juan with pools, a hot tub, an on-site masseur, Taco Tuesdays, and a resident gay tour guide. 4/20 Friendly and has a resident dog onsite as well as daily breakfast.


Casa Flamboyant Bed and Breakfast


This queer owned bite of paradise is located in the lush Yuenque rainforest. Adult Only fun with the most romantic and nourishing views on the island.


The Dream Catcher


Looking for the vegetarian/vegan friendly gay experience in the tropics? The Dream catcher is a stunning and spiritual experience for anyone seeking rejuvination through food, yoga, and community.


Andalucia Guest House


A quaint, gem gay-owned establishment right in Candado.


Numero Uno Beach House


Located right on the beach with a vibrant restaurant right down stairs. Tourists, business people, and locals come to play at this casual and sleek spot.


La Botanica Hotel


Beautiful Ayurvedic hotel with LGBQT+ friendly staff. They host San Juan community dinners on Fridays, offer morning Yoga for free to guests, and it’s only a quick walk to Ocean Park Beach. The on-site spa is heaven!


Tryst Hotel


Beach front hotel right in Condado (the gay beach) and on Sundays LGBTQ+ locals and tourists congregate and mix it up right outside on the beach.

Misterbnb San Juan


FreedomHouse


Three separate bedrooms and coliving space in this clothing-optional stay with an amazing couple. We stayed with them for a month and had a blast.

Ponce


The Fox Hotel


The swankiest hotel in Ponce with vintage 60’s art plastered all around, a nostalgic soundtrack, and a dozen restaurants and cafes connected to it. Located in the middle of Ponce downtown.

Bars/Clubs/Saunas

La Placita de Santurce


The largest night party in San Juan! While a modest fruit market by day, when the sun goes down hundreds of people come to the bars and clubs surrounding La Placita to dance and socialize. Live music, hot food, and good drinks abound!


Oasis Bar 


Tiny bar to meet other LGBTQ+ tourists right on Condado beach.


Tia Maria’s Liquor Store and Bar


Chill gay bar to loosen up before a night in Santurce. Enjoy authentic Puerto Rican food, and drinks, and indulge in some karaoke.


SX


El Purgatorio


Toxic NightClub


Kweens Club


Amazing club featuring drag shows, pageants, and talent competitions. Plus LatinX night and weekend Queer nights this space is safe and eccentric enough for everyone.


Xsteamworks


The best little bathhouse in San Juan is the only one, but it has a very clean and fun vibe with patrons of many ages. Dark rooms and play areas are thrilling.

Transport

The best way to arrive is to connect in Miami and take one of the many non-stop three-hour flights into San Juan. From the airport you can pick up a rental car on-site or take a shuttle to one of the nearby companies in San Juan:

- Avis

- Budget

- Hertz

- Enetprise

- Payless

- SIXT

- Alamo

- National

- Charlie Car Rental

- EZ Rent-a-car


Uber and Taxi are some of the best ways to get around. There is also a scooter and bike.

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