Gay Valparaiso – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Valparaiso - The Nomadic Boys

Santiago might be home to a large gay scene in Bellavista, but for our money, Valpo is even more tolerant, open-minded and downright fabulous!

Valpo (for short) is one of the country’s most popular draws, famous for its magnificent street art and unique architecture. Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet, loved Valpo so much he set up one of his homes here. UNESCO was so impressed, it added Valpo’s Historic Quarter to its World Heritage List in 2003, and The Guardian described Valpo as a “mini Berlin by the seaside“.

As Chile’s capital of culture, Valparaiso is packed with art, nightlife and creativity of every kind. This makes the city a hub for the nation’s gay community and we felt more at home in Valpo than anywhere else in Chile.

We fell in love with Valpo’s stunning seaside location, it’s amazing works of art and, of course, the drop-dead gorgeous locals. It goes without saying that by this point, Valpo is one of our favorite cities in Latin America.

To show you how great Valparaiso for LGBTQ travelers, we decided to create a comprehensive gay guide to the city and its neighboring gay resort town Viña del Mar. From the most gay-friendly places to stay to the wildest gay bars and clubs, we will cover it all in our guide to Chile’s coolest city.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources

Gay Santiago – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Santiago - The Nomadic Boys

Fresh out of Santiago’s International Airport, excited to practise our Spanish which we’d spent months perfecting, only to encounter…Chilean Spanish…

As our sweet smiley taxi pickup driver tried to welcome us in Spanish we both looked at each other wondering if we’d arrived at the right place…What was this strange language?!

Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but Chilean Spanish is the hardest Spanish dialect to pick up. Even native Spanish speakers have trouble understanding Chileans. For example, they cut off the end of every other word, connect words together so you don’t know when one word starts/finishes, and they speak at such a rapid pace… Then there are the Chilean slang words thrown in to confuse you even more, especially “weón” – randomly placed in every other sentence! It’s actually quite a beautiful sing-songy dialect to listen to. 

Santiago is certainly the perfect base to get your head around this quirky dialect. The gay scene here is massive, particularly in the Bellavista neighbourhood – probably the largest in all of South America outside of Sao Paolo. The city is also home to an exciting wine culture with world-class wineries to visit, lots of impressive city street art to awe at, tons of outdoor adventures like paragliding to try out, and natural hot springs to relax in – remember the city has the Andes mountains right on its doorstep.

And then there are the boys! Smokin’ Hot gorgeous Latino looking Chilean studs everywhere you look…

Trust us when we say you WILL have a fantastic time in Santiago! 

And we’ve got you covered right here with our detailed gay guide to Chile’s capital city. We’ve put together all our practical tips from our firsthand experience travelling in Santiago as a gay couple, including the latest info on the best gay hotels, bars, clubs, parties and events, which we always keep updated thanks to the help of our local gay friends in Santiago.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources

South American Gay Beaches – Travel Pulse

South American Gay Beaches - pixabay

With wintertime approaching here in the Northern Hemisphere, what’s a gay beachcomber to do? Why not flip the seasonal script and head south of the equator, where summer will be here before you know it? Here are six fun options for the beach-loving queer traveler to consider checking out in the coming months.

1. Punta del Este, Uruguay. The scenic coastline in this small South American country is a popular short trip from Buenos Aires, located a short flight or a ferry ride away. Queer travelers have been drawn to this well-to-do area of the country for years, but they also head west to the quieter Playa Chihuahua beach, located not far from the airport. This is also a nude beach, a testament to the open-minded society here (Uruguay legalized gay marriage back in 2013). And check out the male-only gay hotel located here, Undarius, if you’re looking for some fabulous lodging.

2. Praia Mole, Florianopolis, Brazil. Florianopolis, located between Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, is a stunning island hugging the southern Brazilian coastline. The city is legendary for its nightlife and its beaches. Praia Mole may be one of the most beautiful — and while it’s not an exclusively queer beach, it’s a very popular gathering spot for the local LGBTQ community.

By Paul Heney – Full Story at Travel Pulse

South America Gay Travel Resources

The South American Top Ten – The Nomadic Boys

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

Ten Famous Foods in Chile – Nomadic Boys

Foods in Chile

In Chile you have to try the seafood!

This was one of the many foodie tips we were given before visiting this incredibly long country. With a coastline measuring 4,270km (2,653m), you can expect to find some of the best and varied sea food.

Of course, there’s a lot more to discover, such as different types of pies, stews and Chilean Pisco. This is our 10 favourite and traditional famous foods in Chile you need to try, based on our experience travelling from San Pedro in the North all the way to Patagonia in the breezy south.

Foods of Chile - HUMITAS: Chilean tamales#1 HUMITAS: Chilean tamales

Humitas are a popular Andean street food snack eaten all over the country. They consist of fresh corn mashed together with onion, basil, and butter. It is then wrapped in corn husks and baked, held together during cooking with a thread or twine.

On our morning market day visits to buy fruits and vegetables, we’d often see a man with a large tub selling freshly made humitas for 900 Chilean pesos ($1.4/£1) each. They make for a tasty and filling morning snack. They are quite similar to tamales, but do not contain any type of dough.

Foods of Chile - MACHAS A LA PARMESANA#2 MACHAS A LA PARMESANA

This is one of many famous Chilean seafood inspired foods. Machas a la parmesana are razor clams baked in their shell, mixed with cheese, wine and more, depending on the recipe. They’re incredibly easy to make: try out our machas a la parmesana recipe and impress your friends.

It was created in the 1950s in Viña del Mar by Italian immigrant, Edoardo Melotti Ferrari, who took his inspiration from French gratin style dishes. He tried it with razor clams, which was so successful, the dish was born.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources

El Chalten or Torres del Paine? – Nomadic Boys

EL CHALTEN OR TORRES DEL PAINE

Patagonia is synonymous with adventure, mountaineering and wallpaper-like landscapes. If you love trekking, this should be high up on your bucket list of places to visit.

We love our trekking adventures, having spent ample time discovering the Himalayas during our Annapurna Circuit in Nepal, trekking to the Rinjani volcano crater, the 4 days Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and trekking to Ella Rock in Sri Lanka.

Patagonia has two trekking highlights to add to our list: Torres del Paine in Chile and El Chaltén in Argentina. Both offer stunning vistas, images to decorate your Instagram gallery and satisfying trekking adventures you’ll never forget. If however your time is limited, we compare the two to give you an idea of which is best to choose.

Trekking in Torres del Paine: Chile

Torres del Paine is one of the highlights of anyone’s Patagonia itinerary. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was voted one of the 8 Wonders of the World by VirtualTourist.com in 2013 beating off 300 entries from 50 countries.

The trails
The most popular trail is the famous W Circuit, so named because the trail on the map is in the shape of a W. This is normally done in 5-7 days. The climax is reaching the base of the famous Paine towers.

If you don’t like camping, you can instead stay in a nearby hotel and still visit the highlights of the W Circuit as part of day trips. Popular day trip treks include Glacier Gray, the French Valley (Valle del Frances), Mirador Los Cuernos, Mirador Condor, trails around the picturesque Pehoe Lake and the big one, the Base Torres trek.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Chile Gay Travel Resources

Ten Facts About Chile

Torres del Paine Chile - Nomadic Boys

There are so many unique things about Chile, a country with one of the longest coastlines in the world, stretching 4,620 km (2,647 miles) from the Northern border with Peru right to the very tip of the Americas.

This is our 10 interesting facts about Chile as we travelled from the dry San Pedro desert in the North all the way to Torres del Paine in the breezy snowy Patagonian south.

#1 THE CHILEAN ACCENT: a new way of speaking Spanish!

Just when you thought you’d mastered the Spanish language, you arrive in Santiago totally confused, wondering what on earth anyone is saying to you…

Meet: the Chilean accent! It’s like nothing else you’ve encountered before and by far the most unique across Latin America. It’s fast, with a strong almost sing-song-like sound, with specific letters and phrases cut off from words and new ones thrown in for good measure.

For example, in Chilean Spanish, the letter s is usually avoided, so in a shop, “200 pesos” (dos cientos pesos), becomes do ciento peso. The word for thank you, gracias sounds like gracia and mas o menos (more or less) is pronounced ma o meno.

Chileans also take off the d from words ending with ado, so words like supermercado become supermercao and the Spanish word for fish, pescado sounds like pecao as both the s and the d are dropped. And for good measure, random words like po are randomly thrown in every other sentence, even after a simple yes or no: si po or no po.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources

Five Gay Friendly Chile Hotels – Nomadic Boys

Gay Friendly Chile Hotels

Chile is one of the most developed countries in South America with a large gay scene in the capital city of Santiago. We travelled from the Northern tip of this long thin country in the San Pedro desert all the way to Torres del Paine in the South. These are our 5 favourite Gay Friendly Chile Hotels that we tried along the way, which we loved and felt completely welcomed as a gay couple.

#1 Alto Atacama: San Pedro de Atacama

Alto Atacama is the gay friendly place you need to base yourself in San Pedro. As well as being extremely welcoming to LGBT travellers, it’s a luxurious, exclusive resort with the backdrop of the Salt Mountain Range. It offers full board packages with guided tours tailored to each guest. It’s the best way to discover the landscapes around San Pedro, which rank as some our favourite computer screen backgrounds.

Meals at Alto Atacama are delicious and unique, with gems like ostrich carpaccio with raspberries. They also make delicious Pisco Sours, which is even more heavenly when enjoyed at one of their outdoor plunge pools. To find out more, read our about our stay at this gay friendly hotel in San Pedro.

All inclusive packages at Alto Atacama start from $650/£520 per person per night. You can check availability and read more about Alto Atacama on Tripadvisor.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Other Gay Travel Events

Gay Patagonia: Top Ten Highlights – Nomadic Boys

Gay Patagonia

Planning a trip to gay Patagonia is overwhelming. It’s a massive chunk of land: some 1.043 million km² to be exact. This sparsely populated region lies across Argentina and Chile at the southern end of South America, with a mix of Andes mountain landscapes, desert, grasslands and ocean. We spent a month travelling across Chubut, Santa Cruz in Argentina and Torres del Paine in Chile. To help inspire your trip, we’ve put together our 10 favourite experiences and things to do in Patagonia.

Stay in a yurt in Torres del Paine

Since our travels in the Gobi desert in Mongolia where we got to stay with nomadic families in their yurts, we really wanted to do this again, but in a luxurious way. Staying in a yurt at the Chile Patagonia Camp is a unique and memorable way to experience the Torres del Paine National Park. Located near the entrance of the Torres del Paine National Park by the shores of Lake Toro, the camp is surrounded by spectacular landscapes. The yurts are absolutely lush. They have a private bathroom, comfy king sized beds and even central heating. You can read more about our yurt glamping experience in our 5 gay friendly hotels to stay in Chile.

Have a conversation with a penguin

Punta Tombo on the coast of the Chubut province in Argentina is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins in Latin America. They are around half a meter tall and absolutely adorable! Around 1 million Magellanic penguins gather in Punta Tombo between mid September and mid April where they come to nest, mate, breed and molt (shed their feathers). Interestingly, between April-September they migrate to the warmer climates in South Brazil, where they stay in the water the entire time, even when sleeping. When you meet them, they study you in a way where they turn their head from side to side. This is because their eyes are located on the sides of their face so they need to do this to maximise their field of vision.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Chile Gay Travel Resources

Argentina Gay Travel Resources

Gay Patagonia Hotels – Nomadic Boys

Gay Patagonia Hotels

Gay Patagonia is the place to come if you love adventure and are passionate about wildlife.

We spent 1 month travelling across Patagonia on both the Argentinian and Chilean side in Esquel, Puerto Madryn, El Calafate, El Chalten and Torres del Paine. Along the way, we stayed in some pretty unique places, which most importantly of all, welcomed us as a gay couple.

This is our top 8 favourite gay Patagonia hotels, which we tried, loved and recommend to all LGBT travellers.

#1 Dazzler Hotel in Puerto Madryn (Argentina)

We are one of the many who’ve been dazzled by the Dazzler. It’s a classy and modern hotel located by Las Ramblas, the fun sea front promenade of Puerto Madryn, which is always buzzing with life. When you see the eye candy waiting for you at reception, you appreciate just how gay friendly this place is!

It’s worth spending a couple dollars extra to get the ocean facing rooms so you can enjoy some killer sunrise views. Dazzler is also minutes walking distance from some of the best restaurants in Puerto Madryn, such as Nautico Bistro de Mar and En Mis Fuegos. For more information, check out our gay guide to Puerto Madryn.

Rooms at the Dazzler Hotel start from $65/£52 a night. You can check availability and read more about it on Tripadvisor.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Gay Patagonia – Chile Gay Travel Resources

Gay Patagonia – Argentina Gay Travel Resources