Bocas del Toro: Safe for Gay Couples? – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , January 11th, 2018

Bocas del Toro - Nomadic Boys

Two gay boys hanging out on Bluff beach with no one around, except a few friendly Golden Retrievers, the palm trees and the gorgeous backdrop of the Caribbean.

We celebrated Stefan’s birthday in Bocas del Toro in Panama, an area with a wide mix of people who do not care about your sexuality. We found it to be very relaxed, with an incredibly tolerant and friendly vibe. Many LGBTQ expats have even chosen Bocas as a place to live or set up a new business, so there’s a handful of gay owned places here to check out.

We absolutely loved our holiday at Bluff Beach and definitely recommend it to other LGBTQ travellers looking for a private and very romantic slice of Caribbean paradise.

Where is Bocas del Toro?

Bocas del Toro province is in northeast Panama on the Caribbean coast and next to the border with Costa Rica. It includes a chain of 9 islands, each with its own unique charm and character. Temperatures here rarely drop below 20 degrees (68 Fahrenheit), and when it rains, it’s just a quick tropical burst of showers before it quickly clears.

Bocas is the main town and transport hub into the region, located on Colon Island. You can reach it via daily flights to/from Panama City (45 mins) or overland by bus from Panama City to Almirante (around 11 hrs), followed by a boat from Almirante (30 mins).

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Panama Gay Travel Resources

Gay Panama City – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , January 2nd, 2018

gay Panama City - Nomadic Boys

Panama City is often nicknamed The Dubai of Latin America because of its immense economic growth in recent years and impressive dense skyline. But unlike Dubai, this mighty Latin American metropolis has a far more welcoming gay life, in a country where although culturally conservative, is pushing towards civil union equality for gay couples.

Most will associate Panama City with the famous canal, which is a reason alone to visit. The city is also the gateway to some gorgeous tropical beaches within Panama, like San Blas and further afield – Bocas del Toro.

We stayed in Panama City for a week and found it to be a lot of fun, full of things to do, plenty of trendy bars, but most importantly, we left with a thirst to return. This is our gay guide to Panama City following our experience here during our big Latin America trip.

Gay Panama City

Panama a very conservative Catholic country, with a strong influence from Opus Dei. As such, the gay scene in the country is pretty underground in quite dodgy neighbourhoods, with places frequently closing down/changing. When we visited, there were no gay bars and only one official gay club (see below) in Panama City.

Warning: when going out to a gay club in Panama City, doormen are very strict and will only admit you if you have your original ID, preferably your passport. Most LGBTQ locals we met preferred to have private parties, or attend one of the the monthly gay rooftop parties hosted at venues like the Hard Rock Hotel.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Panama City Travel Resources

Meet the Nomadic Boys in Person at Whistler Pride!

Author: , December 29th, 2017

Whistler Pride

We’re excited to be heading to the Whistler Pride gay ski week on 21-28 January 2018. This is one of the biggest and best LGBTQ ski weeks in North America.

WHAT IS WHISTLER PRIDE?

Every January, Whistler hosts the biggest LGBTQ piste-party in Canada, and the second largest in North America. It’s a week of skiing, snowboarding and parties. This will be the 26th year of the Whistler Pride and Ski Festival.

A few highlights from the Whistler Pride 2018 include:

  • Margaret Cho: the Emmy and Grammy nominated comedian will be performing at the Night of Comedy on Wednesday 24th January.
  • Splash Pool Party: DJ Rafael Calvente from Brazil will be heating things up on Thursday 25th January
  • The Furrocious Military Ball: your chance to party it up in your favourite uniform whether it’s army, police, leather or sports kit with Superstar DJ/Producer GSP (Greece) on Friday 26th January 2018.
  • The Cube Guys Closing Party: mega sounds, mesmerising visuals, all in a massive space, tricked out and teched to impress on Saturday 27th January 2018.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Whistler Gay Travel Resources

It’s All About Gay Colombia – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , December 9th, 2017

gay Colombia - The Nomadic Boys

Most people will have heard about Colombia because of the Narcos Netflix series about the drug cartels that brought the country to a standstill in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s.

The country has since undergone a massive transformation to become an incredibly safe place to visit, especially for gay travellers. We spent 4 months here during our big trip in Latin America, visiting mainly Cartagena, Medellin and the big capital city, Bogota. We discovered a very diverse country, with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet.

These are our 10 interesting facts about Colombia, a country which completely fascinated and captivated us.

gay Colombia - The Nomadic Boys

The Heart and Soul of Latin America

All our friends across Latin America agreed that if you want to experience the true essence of the Latin soul, then you need to visit Colombia. The Colombians love to party. Music is at the heart of everything they do, and they are good at it. Some of the most famous Latino singers are Colombian, like Shakira, Maluma, Juanes, Carlos Vives, J Balvin and many more.

The Colombians also know how to move. Everyone, male and female, all ages, will know how to bust out a few salsa, champeta and cumbia moves. Each region has its own dance specialties, usually with a large festival to celebrate it. The most famous and talked about is the salsa festivals of Cali, which starts on Christmas day.

Other popular music and dance festivals that take place in Colombia, which are worth planning your visit around includes the big carnival in Barranquilla in February/March and the Flower Festival in Medellin in August. Watch our vlog about the Flower Festival to learn more about it.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Gay Colombia Travel Resources

The South American Top Ten – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , December 6th, 2017

South America - The Nomadic Boys

South America is a destination that will make you fall in love with life. The Latino soul is addictive, with music and dance so deeply ingrained at the heart of everything.

After our big trip in Asia, we spent a further 15 months travelling in South America and absolutely loved it. We found it an enthralling destination, with something to capture everything we love when travelling. Most countries are extremely gay friendly, with places like Bogota in Colombia having the largest club we’ve ever been – Theatron, and Sao Paolo Pride attracting over 3 million people making it the largest pride event in the world.

As foodies, we loved the culinary scene of Argentina and in Lima, Peru. For culture, indigenous traditions can be seen everywhere, particularly from the Incas in Bolivia/Peru, as well as the Maipuche Indians in Chile. And finally, for trekking adventures, Patagonia is a must. These are our 10 favourite highlights from South America following our big trip there in 2016/2017.

#1 The Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)

The Galapagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, around 600 miles (1,000km) from Ecuador’s coast. This is one of the few places in the world where you can get so close to wildlife. There’s also a rich underwater world to discover – we saw sharks, rays, turtles and many tropical fish each time we went snorkelling.

The islands here also have some very dramatic landscapes, which are crying out for a space in your Instagram gallery. We loved the Galapagos Islands so much, we visited twice during our big South America trip. Check out our video from our trip here:

#2 Trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (Peru)

For us our Inca Trail to Machu Picchu was a definite highlight of South America. It’s a tough 4 days trek through the Sacred Valley, reaching altitudes of up to 4,215m (13,828 ft).

The Inca Trail is one of the most famous treks in the world. It is 27 miles (44km) long, and was initially part of a highly advanced network of around 40,000 trails built by the Incas to connect the distant corners of their kingdom. It also had religious and ceremonial importance to the Incas as it was part of their route of pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.

The real highlight of course is on the final day when you finally reach Machu Picchu.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

South America Gay Travel Resources

Madame Tussauds London: Take a Selfie With These Gay Icons -Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 27th, 2017

Madame Tussauds London - The Nomadic Boys

“OH MY GOD Stefan are we really going to see BEYONCE and BRITNEY and MADONNA and LADY GAGA and RIHANNA..and and THE Queen?”

We were so excited to visit the Madame Tussauds waxwork museum in London, a place where some of the most famous gay icons in the world have been immortalised as wax sculptures.

Following our visit to this iconic museum in Baker Street, we’ve put together our top 10 gay icons at Madame Tussauds you need to get your selfie with.

TRAVELLER TIP: this is one of London’s top tourist attractions so it’s always super busy with huge queues. We therefore strongly recommend going early in the day on weekdays to avoid the crowds and to book your time slot in advance to minimise waiting time. We used PlacePass who also do a bunch of other super cool tours in and around London.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

London Gay Travel Resources

Famous Colombian Foods – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 25th, 2017

Famous Colombian Foods

Colombia has a rich and diverse cuisine with a strong influence from the highlands as well as the Caribbean.

During our trip in Colombia, we spent the majority of our time split between the tropical coast in Cartagena, the Eternal Spring city of Medellin, and in the cooler highlands climate of Bogota. Each serves up its own unique dish, from the coconut inspired dishes from the coast, to the rich homely soups from the cooler regions.

These are our 10 favourite drinks and foods from Colombia you need to try.

Bandeja Paisa: the Colombian heart attack

The bandeja paisa is the signature dish of Medellin and the surrounding Antioquia region. People from this area are referred to as paisas, and bandeja means a tray in Spanish. The bandeja paisa is a large plate with a hearty mix of rice, ground beef, red beans, chicharron (pork rinds), chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), fried egg, avocado, arepas and plantains.

Phew!

And all that’s just 1 person! The origins of this highly calorific meal comes from the days when the peasant field workers would consume it to provide them with a full day’s worth of energy and nourishment to keep them going throughout the entire day. One thing’s for sure, after devouring an entire bandeja paisa, you won’t feel like eating else for the rest of the day.

Gay Colombia: Interview With Jesus From Barranquilla – Nomadic Boys

Author: , November 16th, 2017

Gay Colombia

Despite its sordid history with the drugs cartels, Colombia has undergone a huge transformation to not only become one of the most gay friendly countries in Latin America, but in the world.

Catholicism is still strong here and society largely conservative, but despite this, same sex marriage was legalised in April 2016, with the first gay wedding taking place in Cali on 24 May 2016. In addition, Congress passed a law banning discrimination on sexual orientation in 2011, adoption was legalised in 2012 and the right to change legal gender has been in place since 1993.

Bogota and Medellin each have a thriving fun gay neighbourhood, especially Chapinero in Bogota where you can find the mega-club Theatron – the largest gay club in Latin America. As a gay couple travelling in Colombia, we were so pleasantly surprised by how gay friendly Colombia is. We felt extremely welcome and never had any problems anywhere.

In Cartagena, we met Jesus, who is an artist and a guide, who told us more about his gay life in Colombia and what it’s like growing up by the coast in Barranquilla.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Five Things About Gay Montreal – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , October 30th, 2017

Gay Montreal - Nomadic Boys

“Diversity is the engine of invention. It generates creativity that enriches the world”

…spoken by one of Montreal’s most famous (straight) residents, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who led the gay parade when the city was hosting Canada’s first nationwide Fierte Pride.

Canada has always been at the forefront of LGBT rights, being one of the first countries to legalise gay marriages and with one of the most progressive transgender laws in the world. Gay Montreal, in particular, has always been a bedrock of acceptance and cultural diversity, to the point where it has developed the largest gay village in North America, and hosts many gay events throughout the year. Here are our 5 interesting gay facts about Montreal, celebrating its evolution as a haven for the LGBTQ community in North America.

Le Village Gai: Montreal’s huge gaybourhood

Montreal’s gaybourhood, otherwise known as Le Village Gai or just The Village is famous for being the largest gay neighbourhood in North America. It’s literally an entire district of the city, officially recognised in tourist city maps and searchable in social media location tags.

This is the heart of the city’s LGBTQ community, based along the mile long Saint Catherine street, bordered by St Hubert Street to the west, De Lorimier Avenue to the east, Sherbrooke Street to the north and René Lévesque Boulevard to the south.

The Gay Village dates back to the 1980s when it used to be a poor working-class neighbourhood. It was first occupied by gay and lesbian businesses after they were forced out from downtown Montreal. Over the years, the area gentrified massively to become the pink bubble of fun it is today.

During May-September, St Catherine Street is closed to cars, allowing the cafes, bars and restaurants to spill out onto the pavements to create outdoor terraces, giving the village the exciting buzzy atmosphere we love about it. It also has a rainbow crossing to mark its starting point. You can read more in our gay guide to Montreal.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Montreal Travel Resources

The TraveLibro App – Nomadic Boys

Author: , October 27th, 2017

TraveLibro App - Nomadic Boys

Montreal gay Pride was simply incredible! We had such an amazing time and it was definitely one of the best gay pride festivals we’ve ever been to. We met Nelly Furtado, hung out with a few of the Ru Paul drag queen superstars and saw the handsome Canadian Disney Prince, Justin Trudeau, as he led the parade.

We had a whole bunch of selfies, video clips, recommendations, reviews and more, which we uploaded and recorded all in one place in the TraveLibro app and can now re-live it all again whenever we want. This is one of the reasons we love TraveLibro and highly recommend it as a way to document all your favourite travel memories.

A complete timeline of your trip

If like us you’re of the generation that recalls those old fashioned film cameras, you’ll no doubt have experienced the excitement of developing your travel photos, then collating and organising them into a photo album for future admiration.

Things have evolved a lot since, and today we do this all online via Facebook and Instagram, but after several hours, most of your social media posts are lost within the newsfeed. There is no place where you can put everything in one place to re-live all the different online memories in a way which we did over 10 years ago.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys