It’s All About Gay Colombia – The Nomadic Boys

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

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

Famous Colombian Foods – The Nomadic Boys

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 Medellin, Colombia – Nomadic Boys

Gay Medellin

Medellin used to be considered the crime capital of Colombia. However, over the past 10 years it has undergone a huge transition to become one of the safest and most advanced places in the entire country.

Medellin is also a very gay friendly city. The paisas (people of Medellin) are very welcoming and there’s also a large gay scene here. What impressed us the most was a public sign we spotted, 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). Whether this is actually enforced is another matter entirely, but the very fact that this is even in place speaks volumes!

We spent 4 months in Medellin, using it as a home base during our big trip in Latin America and loved it. This is our gay guide to Medellin featuring our favourite gay bars, clubs, gay friendly hotels to stay things to do.

Gay Bars in Medellin

Poblado is the main touristy heart of the city, with all the best restaurants, bars and hotels. In the evening, around Parque Lleras, it’s an extremely fun place to be, full of life, atmosphere and a few gay bars.

Bar Chiquito: this was our favourite gay bar in Medellin. It has yellow twin flamingo statues outside to welcome you. The staff are gorgeous and extremely friendly here. They also make delicious cocktails and have a large outdoor terrace. We loved coming here for evening cocktails before heading to one of the gay clubs in Medellin. Bar Chiquita is open on Wednesday to Saturday from 6pm till 2am and is located at Carrera 37 # 10-37 Local 205.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Colombia: Interview With Jesus From Barranquilla – Nomadic Boys

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

RECIPE: Colombian Limonada di Coco – Nomadic Boys

Limonada di Coco

Colombian limonada de coco is a popular drink throughout Colombia which we loved and ordered with every meal when eating out.

It’s a lime/coconut smoothie, which is particularly popular by the coastal Caribbean region in places like Cartagena and Barranquilla. Our recipe for Colombian limonada de coco is extremely simple to make, using only 4 ingredients and a blender. This serves around 3-4 people.

Ingredients for Colombian limonada de coco

400ml (1 can) of coconut milk
3 limes, squeezed for the juice
4 tablespoons of sugar
14 ice cubes

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Recipe for Colombian Ajiaco – Nomadic Boys

Ajiaco - Nomadic Boys

Ajiaco is delicious Colombian comfort food. It is a chicken and potato soup, particularly popular in the capital city, Bogota.

A typical Colombian ajiaco soup contains 3 different varieties of potatoes and the galinsoga herb. Locally this herb is called guasca and interestingly in the USA this herb is considered a weed and referred to as gallant soldier or potato weed. In the UK it’s got an even cooler nickname – soldiers of the Queen.

The potatoes include white and red potatoes, as well as the Andean papa criolla potato, which is smaller and slightly yellow in colour.

Our recipe for Colombian ajiaco is good for 6-8 servings and is ideally served with rice and sliced avocado.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Highlights from the Medellin Flower Festival – Nomadic Boys

Medellin Flower Festival - Nomadic Boys

Pretty paisa boys everywhere, gorgeous weather and LOTS of flowers, what more could you possibly want?

Medellin’s Feria de las Flores is an annual festival that takes place end of July/early August and takes over the entire city. It started in 1957 as a party to celebrate and honour Colombia’s massive flower industry.

Today it has grown to become one of the country’s most popular festivals – a 10 days spectacle of parties, live music concerts, antique car parades, orchid competitions and more.

We came to the 60th Feria de las Flores in 2017 and absolutely loved it. If you’re heading to Colombia in the summer, we definitely recommend putting the Medellin Flower Festival on your bucket list. Here’s 5 reasons why…

A Parade Like No Other

The climax of the festival is the Desfile de Silleteros parade on the final day. It’s kind of like a gay pride parade, but instead of gays, it commemorates the labourers who used to hoist wooden silletas on their backs to transport their goods into town.

And it features flowers. Lots and lots of flowers!

Participants in the parade decorate wooden silletas with elaborate flower arrangements, which they carry on their backs for everyone to marvel at. Alongside it are commercial trucks, dancers and drummers.

The parade attracts thousands of people from all across Colombia who gather to watch this colourful procession pass through central Medellin. Everyone was smiling, euphoric and enjoying the party mood that reverberated across the entire city.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Gay Bogota – The Nomadic Boys

Gay Bogota

Ever been to a club with 8,000 other gay boys with 13 rooms spread across 5 floors?

Neither had we, until we went to Theatron club in Colombia’s capital city, gay Bogota. The gay scene here is all about this infamous mega club, which is the largest in Latin America. It’s like no other place we’ve ever been to and certainly the largest gay club we’ve visited.

Gay Bogota - StefanThere is of course more to the big city than Theatron club, with many different gay places to hang out. We’ve put together our detailed guide to the best gay bars and clubs in Bogota, the best gay friendly places to stay and our favourite sightseeing things to do.

Gay Bogota Bars

Gay Bogota has a really large gay scene, with many many gay bars. The majority are based around Carrera 9 street between Calles 58 to 60 in the Chapinero neighbourhood. There are far too many to list them all here, so we’ve highlighted the ones we visited and loved:

El Recreo de Adan: one of the coolest gay bars we’ve been to with a seating area where you can play classic boardgames like Connect Four and Uno with your friends. We love the atmosphere here, made sweeter by the super cute charming waiters. As a bonus, there’s not one, but two El Recreo de Adans, one in Chapinero on Carrera 9A #59-85 (open everyday from 5pm), the other in the Zona Rosa neighbourhood on Carrera 12A #79-45 (open Tues-Sun from 5pm).

Estacion: this is a more intimate gay bar in Bogota and ideal to come for a few cocktails before heading to the almighty Theatron! Estacion has a cover charge of 6,000 pesos ($2) and is open everyday till 3am, located at Calle 62 #7-13.

Brokeback Mountain: one of the popular karaoke gay bars of Bogota and a fun place to hang out with friends. Brokeback Mountain is open everyday till late and is located at Calle 60 on the second floor of #9-28.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources

Five Romantic Things to Do in Gay Bogota – Nomadic Boys

Gay Bogota

Bogota is Colombia’s diverse high altitude capital city, with over 8 million people living at around 2,640m (8,660ft) above sea level. We visited the big city as part of our big trip in Colombia, mainly to party at Theatron – the largest gay club in Latin America. We also discovered a whole array of different activities for couples ranging from adventure sports, romantic restaurants, boat rides and more. This is our 5 favourite romantic things to do in Bogota, following our trip here.

Trekking, Rafting and Rappelling Together

Bogota is nestled within the Colombian Andes, surrounded by canyons, waterfalls and pretty stunning vistas, making it ideal for couples who love adventure. We did a full day trekking, rappelling and rafting tour with GoBe, which we highly recommend. This included trekking through the Tiger Creek mountain range, rappelling down the Barandillas waterfall and rafting on the Rio Negro.

Rappelling was our most memorable experience from our trip to Bogota. As first timers, it was initially quite daunting, especially when you look down at the drop beneath you. But as the adrenaline kicks in, your confidence quickly grows and you push on ahead, just like Spiderman. It’s absolutely awesome! The tour we did with GoBe included all transportation from our hotel in Bogota as well as all equipment, lunch and an English speaking guide.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at the Nomadic Boys

Colombia Gay Travel Resources