Through the Panama Canal – The Washington Blade

Author: , June 23rd, 2018

Panama Canal - pixabay

Most of us have some things on a bucket list we want to do during our lifetime. One of mine was to travel through the Panama Canal. Fascination with, and dreaming about going through the canal began for me in elementary school when I saw a film on the building of the canal.

Last week, the dream became a reality in a spectacular way on Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship Bliss. This spectacular ship only came out of dry-dock for sea tests a few months ago. It is the largest passenger ship to ever traverse the canal. I am on the Bliss for a cruise from Miami to Los Angeles. The Bliss is an amazing 19-deck ship with everything from a go-cart race track to an upgraded spa with ice room. It has eight specialty restaurants and the Observation Lounge, the most beautiful room I have ever seen on a ship. It was designed for Alaska cruising to allow passengers a 180-degree view while relaxing in total luxury. On our cruise it is the nightly meeting place for the LGBTQ+ happy hour or as NCL still lists it on its daily newsletter “Friends of Dorothy.”

Our fifth day at sea was Panama Canal Day. I was up at dawn and out on my balcony. There was a real feeling of excitement. The ship began to come to life at 5 a.m. and by 6 the sun was trying to break through the clouds as we passed Gatum Dam and headed into the lake where there were a least a dozen other ships, most looked like oil tankers, waiting to traverse the canal. The Amsterdam, a ship that had been by our side in Cartagena the day before was just ahead of us. She is a much smaller ship and was going through the old canal while we were headed to the new one.

By Peter Rosenstein – Full Story at The Washington Blade

Panama Gay Travel Resources

Vista Oceana – Gay Owned Villa in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Author: , June 16th, 2018

Vista Oceana - Gay Owned Villa in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

CASA VISTA OCEANA: Luxury Ocean View Closest to Manuel Antonio National Park

Vista Oceana is unique among the Luxury Vacation Rental Homes in Manuel Antonio. The design and name of this incredible multimillion dollar house were inspired by the unmatched 180-degree panoramic ocean views it commands. The villa was designed and built by the original owner to give every room in the main house as well as the two story guest house unobstructed ocean views, including bathrooms.

The villa is located 1000 ft from the ocean and sits atop a small bluff elevated 200 ft. above the beach allowing you to hear the waves breaking as you watch the surfers below. The panoramic view stretches from the world famous Manuel Antonio National Park across the long public beach and up to the rocky shoreline of the Mariposa Peninsula to the north. You will find abundant space and privacy for your entire group to enjoy in this 6000 square foot climate controlled house, which includes 7 elegant master suites which sleeps 18 people.

See the Vista Oceana Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Costa Rica Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Queer Granada: Best Restaurants – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , May 17th, 2018

Queer Nicaragua - The Globetrotter Guys

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary this year in Granada. This was a great excuse to visit lots of incredible restaurants during the week and enjoy being wined and dined.

We are self-admitted food snobs. We rarely go to a restaurant unless we have scoured TripAdvisor first and it has highly rated feedback. Both of us love food, and if we are going to blow our travelling budget eating somewhere ‘fancy’, it better be worth it!

Luckily, Granada has a lot to offer, both in terms of budget and type of cuisine. If you visit Granada, be sure to visit the following restaurants that have made our list, you won’t be disappointed!

Ciudad Lounge

We ate here on our anniversary and had high expectations based on their TripAdvisor reviews. They took our expectations and went above and beyond!

Ciudad Lounge is run by a couple: Noemi, who runs front of house, and William, who is the chef. Located 5 minutes out of the centre of Granada, they class themselves as a ‘destination’ restaurant, somewhere people are recommended to visit, where you make the effort to go, rather than a restaurant you stumble across by chance. Here is a place where the focus is really on the ‘experience’ of dining, as well as the food and drink.

We did not quite understand what they meant by this until we tried it for ourselves, and we loved the concept.

Initially, you are taken to sit comfortably in the lounge area where you can enjoy some of the best cocktails we have had in a while, (see below what we tried). This is where you can also enjoy your appetisers, before being taken to your table in the main part of the restaurant just as your mains are ready. This felt seamless and we enjoyed breaking up the meal into different parts of the restaurant.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Nicaragua Gay Travel Resources

 

What to Do in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , May 5th, 2018

Lake Atitlan - The Globetrotter Guys

When we started our blog, we wanted to make sure that we documented the best in “adventure activities” in as many places as possible. Naturally, this means we have to try as many of these activities out ourselves as we can! One of our favourite places in Central America both in terms of beauty, but also for things to do, is Lake Atitlan. It’s the ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts, with so many activities to choose from. Here are our top picks for what to do in Lake Atitlan!

Where did we stay?

It’s worth us starting off by saying that we chose to stay in San Pedro la Laguna. We found a beautiful AirBnB (read here exactly why AirBnB can be the cheapest and best option!)

There are towns and villages spread out on all sides of the lake, but we had read that San Pedro has a little more to offer in terms of bars, restaurants, and shops. It is also a good place to base yourself whilst enjoying one of the many activities, as there are lots of travel agencies where you can book what you want to do.

What to do in Lake Atitlan?

1) Hike Volcan San Pedro: Volcan San Pedro is a dormant volcano, located off the shore of Lake Atitlan. It stands 3020 metres / just short of 10,000 ft looming above the village of San Pedro la Laguna which sits at its base. This was the first volcano we had ever attempted, so we opted to book through one of many agencies in San Pedro to include the round-trip transport, our national park entrance fee, and a guide all the way to the summit.

ByFull Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Guatemala Gay Travel Resources

Gay Belize – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 19th, 2018

Caye Caulker - The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Belize. Not two words we have ever heard put together. As for every destination, we do a quick Google search to see what is available for the LGBTQIA community in that country. Whether this be nightlife, beaches, accommodation or events. However, when we googled ‘gay Belize’, very little came up at all.

We knew there was a community, statistically there must be. We even found a Gay Belize Pride Page on Facebook which has 59k followers. Who knows better about the LGBTQIA community in Belize than an LGBTQIA local? We were lucky enough to find someone willing to answer the questions we had about gay Belize and they provided a very insightful picture.

Read our interview below with Rob*, a 23-year-old local gay male from the Cayo region of Belize.

TGG: What is the stereotypical view on the LGBTQIA community in Belize?

Rob: ”The normal stereotypical view is that many straight men assume that gay guys are feminine. I’ve heard people talk about guys who are not “masculine” enough. Those who embrace femininity are “labelled” gay (it’s just jokes nothing as in physical abuses and stuff like that, although it’s something to not joke about because you can never know if the person is gay and is having a rough time).

Even myself, sometimes I see a guy wearing a pink shirt and I go “ooo interesting”. But that doesn’t mean he’s gay. There are also many gay guys who aren’t feminine. You wouldn’t consider them gay because they are giving you some butch realness, but they are. The same concept and ideologies can be seen with lesbians I would say.”

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Belize Travel Resources

Gay Nicaragua – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 11th, 2018

Gay Nicaragua

Gay Nicaragua? Again, like most countries we have visited in Central America, we knew very little about gay Nicaragua. During March we took a 9 day tour through Central America with STFLY. It was incredible, made our lives a lot easier and during the tour we were taken to some beautiful places including Laguna Beach Club which sat by the side of a volcanic crater lake.

Outside of the beach club we noticed the rainbow flag! We had to investigate further and managed to track down the owner for an interview to learn about gay Nicaragua.

Please introduce yourself to our readers:

My name is Stefan, I run a LGBTQ friendly hostel near a beautiful crystal clear freshwater lake in Nicaragua, my home country. I’ve lived in my workplace for around 2 years now and have greeted hundreds of visitors each day. The place is called “Laguna Beach Club”.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Nicaragua Gay Travel Resources

Gay Guatemala – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 9th, 2018

Gay Guatemala - The Globetrotter Guys

Gay Guatemala? We had not been able to find much about ‘gay Guatemala’ at all on Google. However, when we were in Flores, Guatemala, we received an Instagram message from a gay couple living in Guatemala City, Maikel and Jorge. They invited us to take a guided tour of the city and then offered to drive us to Antigua. At first, we were slightly wary as your parents tell you not to meet strangers off the Internet! However, we are very glad we did, and as a result we gained two new friends!

Maikel and Jorge were a lovely couple and we had a great day with them. We learnt a lot about Guatemala City and had a fun tour of the bars with them once we arrived in Antigua. We are very glad that they messaged us! During our day out we asked Maikel and Jorge if we could interview them to learn about being LGBT in Guatemala, here is what they had to say:

Firstly, would you like to introduce yourselves?

We are Jorge and Maikel. We are a gay couple and got married 10 months ago in México City. The marriage ceremony was great and we had all our friends and family there. We have been together for 2.5 years and it has been great so far!

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Guatemala Gay Travel Resources

Gay El Salvador – The Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 5th, 2018

Gay El Salvador - The Globetrotter Guys

Gay El Salvador. We had never heard anything about being LGBT in this part of the world. What we found out was very surprising, in a very positive way! We recently took a 9 day organised tour called ‘Guatemala and Beyond’ which we booked through ST FLY. This took us from Antigua in Guatemala, through Honduras, El Salvador and finished in Nicaragua.

We spent 4 nights in El Salvador and were lucky enough to meet a local gay couple called Pascal and Joaquin who run a successful (and beautiful) hotel called Los Almendros De San Lorenzo in Suchitoto. Pascal and Joaquin have been together for 35 years and have been running Los Almendros for 13. They got married 3 years ago in France as same sex marriage is not legal in El Salvador.

Pascal is originally from France and Joaquin from El Salvador. Joaquin was also the Ambassador for El Salvador in Europe. We found Joaquin and Pascal by typing ‘gay El Salvador’ into google and then ‘gay Suchitoto’. The results showed their hotel being listed on Spartacus and when we looked on the map it was 30 seconds walk from our hotel! We went across to the hotel and found Joaquin who made us feel very welcome. He invited us back later that evening to learn more about gay El Salvador.

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

El Salvador Gay Travel Resources

Skeletons and Xunantunich in San Ignacio – Globetrotter Guys

Author: , April 2nd, 2018

San Ignacio - The Globetrotter Guys

After leaving Caye Caulker, we didn’t really know what to do in San Ignacio, our next destination. We knew it was an up and coming place in Belize for backpackers, and somewhere full of activities. But we never expected to see a 1,400 year old skeleton fully intact deep in an underwater cave!

San Ignacio is definitely an adventure activity hot-spot, and many travellers find themselves getting ‘stuck’ here for longer than intended! You could spend the day horse riding through the stunning hills, tubing the crystal clear rivers or swimming through caves to find lost civilisations.

The town itself is relatively small and very colourful. Most hostels/hostels are in the same area, which is where you can also find restaurants, markets and places to book your trips. Read on to find out what we did and how we got there, and take a look at our YouTube video to see what we saw whilst in San Ignacio.

Getting to San Ignacio

You can get here easily by a transfer bus from Belize City which takes 3-4 hours. We booked through Mundo Maya travels for $20. Alternatively, for those on a tighter budget, you could go to the local bus station (taxi drivers will know where this is) and look for a bus whose final destination is Benque. This would cost up to $4 instead but takes much longer, with more stops, no A/C, and you may have to keep a closer eye on your belongings!

Full Story at The Globetrotter Guys

Belize Gay Travel Resources

Casitas LazDivaz – Costa Rica Lesbian Bed & Breakfast

Author: , March 23rd, 2018

Casitas LazDivaz - Costa Rica Lesbian Bed & Breakfast

Playa Samara is a four-kilometer stretch of gorgeous beach on the Pacific coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, a National Geographic-designated Blue Zone, one of five areas in the world where people live longer, healthier, and happier lives than anywhere else on this planet.

Welcome to Casitas LazDivaz B&C, and experience the Rainbow Zone!

Enter our adults-only oasis through our whimsical driftwood gate, under the billowing rainbow flag, and find yourself in a serene tropical garden, where we celebrate diversity, welcoming guests from all walks of life.

Shaded by a full canopy of mature, indigenous trees teeming with wildlife, Casitas LazDivaz is a secluded compound of three cozy, private stand-alone cabins, outside of busy Samara Center, yet still within a five-minute beach stroll to the restaurants, shops, and entertainment in the lively Costa Rican village. Upon arrival, we will give you our annotated map to lead you to the activities and restaurants that we recommend

LazDivaz was conceived, designed, and lovingly built at the turn of the century by a couple of lesbian dreamers–an architect from Munich and a graphic designer from Boston. The European-standard construction is complemented by distinct, hand-crafted furniture and fixtures throughout.

Your comfort is our priority: the queen-size bed has an orthopedic mattress and high-count cotton sheets; ceiling fans supplement the ventilation in the breezy, open-air design; and the strong shower rains unlimited hot water.

Two casitas, Marlene Dietrich and Farinelli, each have a small refrigerator. WiFi is available throughout the premises.

Casita Tina Turner has a kitchen, with fridge, stove, microwave, toaster oven, blender, and all necessary utensils. Tina is larger than the other two, and is the most private, with an elevated porch that overlooks the garden.

Each morning we serve rich, steamy, high-altitude Costa Rican coffee, and offer fresh squeezed orange juice to get your day off to a healthful start.

On the beach just beyond the gate, under the shade of coconut palms, we hang colorful hammocks, an enticement to while away the hours reading, floating in a reverie, sharing a double hammock with your love, or just chilling to the music of the waves as they lull away your cares. Some call that state of static bliss “nirvana.” We call it “Samara Syndrome.”

Protected from strong currents by a barrier reef, Playa Samara is one of the safest swimming beaches in Costa Rica. The gentle waves are perfect for beginning surfers, the wide strand excellent for running, and the hills above prime hiking spots. The protected wildlife refuge on Isla Chora, just a few hundred meters from shore, is accessible by ocean kayak.

At twilight, we gather on our rustic driftwood bench, sipping libations and communing with the dazzling spectacle of light and color that unfolds as sunset fades into night, after which we sometimes light a fire pit to extend both our time on the beach, and the sense of community that often evolves among our guests.

See the Casitas LazDivaz Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Costa Rica Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals