We spent almost 2 years travelling in Latin America from Mexico all the way down to Patagonia.
Latin America is a fantastic destination to explore for gay travellers, with a range of beautiful natural sceneries, classic world wonders, some of the best gay parties in the world, and the hottest guys you’ll ever meet.
Although most countries in Latin America are very Catholic with a socially conservative outlook, we found that most are quickly evolving to embrace their LGBTQ communities. We particularly saw this in Uruguay, Argentina, the big cities of Colombia, parts of Mexico, south Brazil and Santiago in Chile.
These are our 10 favourite gay friendly Latin American cities where we felt the most welcome, have the best gay scene and most prominent pride festivals.
Santiago – Chile
We start this list with the capital city of Chile. Whilst Chile as a country is still very conservative, Santiago is definitely one of the most gay friendly places we visited. It has a huge gay scene in the “Bellavista” neighbourhood, with many bars, clubs and restaurants.
Our favourite place to start a gay night out in Santiago is at the large resto/bar called “Station”. Then we’d head to either “Bar 105” or one of the drag bars like “Burdel”. On weekends, there are a handful of large gay clubs to check out. Our favourite was “Barcelona at Bunker”, which always has a large crowd. Also worth nothing is that nearby to Santiago is one of the largest gay clubs in the South America called “Il Divino”, located in the nearby resort town of “Viña del Mar”. Read more in our gay guide to Santiago.
With regards to gay rights, Chile has certainly come a long way since the dark days of the oppressive Pinochet years. Today, marriage equality is still on the cards, and soon may become law. One of our favourite things about the city is that as a sign of solidarity towards the LGBTQ community, the Moneda Palace (the formal offices for the President) in Central Santiago is lit up with rainbow colours on 17 May for the International Day Against Homophobia Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOTB) – every year without fail. Read more in our interview with Ivan from Santiago about what it’s like growing up gay in Chile.