Medellin used to be considered the crime capital of Colombia, this is the city where drug lord Pablo Escobar reigned during the 70s and 80s. However, over the past 15 years, it has undergone a huge transition to become one of the safest and most advanced places in the entire country.
Medellin is a very gay-friendly city. The paisas (people of Medellin) are very welcoming and love to meet foreigners. Whilst its gay scene is not as big as Bogota’s, there are still loads of gay hangouts, largely based in Poblado. What impressed us the most was a public sign we spotted in our hotel, which sets out the various police fines you can get: one of them was for homophobic abuse, which carries a fine of 657,000 Colombian pesos ($224). The fact that this is so prominently displayed in a public area speaks volumes about safety here for LGBTQ travellers!
We spent 4 months in Medellin, using it as a home base during our big trip in Latin America, and we loved it. This is our gay guide to Medellin featuring all our favourite gay bars, clubs, gay-friendly hotels to stay at and things to do.
Is Medellin safe for gay travellers?
Medellin is Colombia’s second-largest city. It is very modern and extremely progressive. While Colombia is a majority Catholic country, and quite conservative in some ways, big cities like Medellin are becoming very accepting towards its LGBTQ community. Nowhere is this more evident than during Medellin’s gay Pride festival where the entire community takes part to celebrate and support gay rights in a truly Latin fiesta style!
We never felt unwelcome or experienced any hostility from the locals during our time in Medellin, although be aware that some areas of the city should be avoided, particularly at night time, whether you are gay or straight.