I’d been intrigued by Colombia’s Lost City ever since I had heard about it a few years ago: a fabled city of an ancient civilization hidden deep in the jungle, comparable to Machu Picchu in neighboring Peru, but much older (650 years older, to be precise) and far off the beaten tourist track, compared to the famous Lost City Of The Incas.
When the lost city of Teyuna was discovered in 1972, much of it had been taken back by the jungle, overgrown by trees and ferns, the centuries-old rocks covered in green moss. Only in the past decade tourists have started to discover this trek, but only few dare to make their way to the ‘Ciudad Perdida’.
That is because it isn’t easy to get to Teyuna – it takes a 2-day walk through the jungle to get to the bottom of the mountain on top of which the city sits, followed by a 2-day walk back to civilization, and the hike isn’t an easy one: steep mountains need to be ascended and descended, rivers need to be crossed, jungle forests need to be traversed – and all of this in temperatures in the 90s (33C), coupled with the humidity of the rain forest.
POP CULTURE: Gay Couple Seek Revenge on Homophobic B&B Owner in New Thriller (Pink News) A film about a gay couple who plot against a b&b owner who turns them away has found funding. full storyPOP CULTURE: Trailer for Gaycation (Joe.My.God) VICELAND, VICE’s new TV network, launched the first trailer for GAYCATION, a brand new series hosted by Ellen Page and Ian Daniel. full storyABU DHABI: The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi (Keep Calm and Wander) The Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi is where you should stay—if you have the cash to burn. This hotel spells luxury and opulence of the Emirati world. “Everywhere around”, as my brother said, “is pure magnificent!” full storyAUSTRALIA: Hot Aussies Having Fun In The Sun At Midsumma Festival In Melbourne (Gay Star News) Midsumma Festival is officially back with a bang.
full storyDUBAI: Desert Sunset (Keep Calm and Wander) Desert sunset is breathtakingly magical. Behind the sea of sand, the orange ball goes down like a ball of fire, leaving an impression that makes us all sigh, hoping to see again the next day. full storyEUROPE: 8 Best LGBT Events & Festivals in Europe 2016 (Travels of Adam) February is traditionally the UK’s LGBT History Month. Over the past few years as LGBT individuals have gained more and more equal rights, there’s been a shift in traditional gay culture. full storyFRANCE: Three reasons to visit Paris in 2016 (Gay Star News) If you’ve never been to Paris before there is an enormous list of must-do tourist essentials that will easily fill your time during your stay – climb the Eiffel Tower, wander around the Louvre, stroll along the Seine, sit in cafe and look intellectual. full storyICELAND: 10 Reasons Not to Miss Rainbow Reykjavik (Gay Star News) It started as an experiment by then-new LGBTI travel company Pink Iceland – with support from Icelandic industry heavy-hitters, including national carrier Icelandair. full storyRUSSIA: Gus Kenworthy and His Boyfriend Weren’t Allowed to Share a Bed in Russia (Towleroad.com) Gus Kenworthy says that while attending a competition in Russia ahead of the 2014 Sochi Olympics he and his then-boyfriend were denied a room with a double bed by a Russian hotel. Hotel staff reportedly told Kenworthy, “Two guys can’t be in the same bed.” full storyUSA, CALIFORNIA: Dinah’ 2016 Lineup Revealed (LGBT Weekly) Club Skirts has revealed its entertainment line-up for The Dinah 2016. The Palm Springs, California-based all girl party and music festival will again take place over the span of five days (March 30 through April 3, 2016) at the Hilton Hotel, the PS Convention Center and Zeldaz Nightclub. full storyUSA, WASHINGTON: Inside Starbucks’ Massive Seattle Roasting Facility (Shermans Travel) Less than two miles away from Starbucks’ original Pike Place Market store sits its latest Seattle location: a 15,000-square-foot-plus café, roastery, and packaging facility perched on Capitol Hill. full story]]>
Photo: Taya Gray[/caption]
What’s abundantly obvious is Palm Springs is a popular destination for gay male tourists. What’s maybe less well known is the region is not so sought out by lesbians. In fact, Palm Springs tied with New Orleans and Miami for the No. 15 spot for top gay male travel destinations in the United States and Canada, ranking ahead of Denver, Portland, Oregon and Toronto, according to a November 2015 survey conducted by Community Marketing & Insights, a gay and lesbian marketing research firm.
The survey polled 3,772 self-identified members of the LGBT community and 412 respondents said they had come to Palm Springs for leisure travel.
While among lesbians, Palm Springs barely ranked in the top 20 with only 7 percent of gay women reported having visited Palm Springs for an overnight trip in the last 12 months. “Women are more likely to be traveling in rural America and national park America,” David Paisley, senior research director at CMI, told the Desert Business Association recently. “They tend to not be so urban focused.”
After checking out some of Colombia’s fabulous Caribbean beaches, it was time for a break from the heat. We had heard lovely stories about a nearby mountain village in the Sierra Nevada, which promised coffee plantations (a huge draw for two coffee lovers!), waterfalls, a giant hammock with mountain views, and last but not least: cooler temperatures.
We didn’t need much more to convince us to take the detour before returning to the coast. We quickly realized that ‘cooler temperatures’ were a relative term – it was still in the high 80s (around 30°C).
The other things the tiny village had promised didn’t disappoint, though: the waterfalls made for wonderfully refreshing hiking destinations, the family-run coffee plantation gave us a great tour to learn how they make the coffee (still with the original over 100 year-old machines!), and the giant hammock?
Most people travel to Las Vegas for the infamous strip and glittering nightlife that never ends. But what about Downtown Las Vegas? That tiny little core city where the story all began? I travel to Vegas twice a year for business and while I’ve stayed at a lot of hotels on the Strip (Trump, Vdara, Wynn, Caesar’s), I always make a trip downtown. It’s seedy, a little ugly around the edges and just being there can make you feel better about all your choices in life – but it’s an experience you can’t get anywhere else in the world. And it can be a lot of fun if you’re traveling with the right crowd.
A trip from the strip to downtown Vegas will cost you $30 – but the drinks are cheaper here and so is the food. And while you won’t get the glitz of the strip, you’ll get a slew of stories to tell when you get home.
Strolling the Fremont Experience can be ridiculously cool and depending on the time of night, make you happy – or a little sad – for humanity. There are no filters here and you’ll see all kinds of street entertainment vying for your attention and spare change. Please note, even though you’ll see lots of families, this is no place for young children (or anyone under 20 for that matter).
I made it to Colombia! I can’t believe that after all these years, I’m finally here. To give you a bit more background: when I (we) started traveling in 2010, I started in the U.S. and made my way south through Mexico and Central America. The goal was to go all the way down to Tierra del Fuego, taking a catamaran from Panama to Colombia via the San Blas Islands, which is supposed to be a beautiful trip (proven by the photos I’ve linked to!).
However, by the time we made it to Panama, we had been traveling through Latin America for 9 months and were ready for a change of scenery & culture. So we hopped on a plane to Europe instead of a catamaran. When we returned to South America, we timed it so that we’d be in Argentina and Chile for their summer and flew into Buenos Aires. And never made it further north than Peru.
Now, nearly five years after my first attempt to visit Colombia, I’m finally here. Admittedly, the trip didn’t start without hiccups (I’ll be talking more about them in my monthly roundup), but I am slowly easing back into the ‘Latino way of things’…
Welcome to our weekly series on the blog and our Facebook travel groups – City Sundays. Each week we’ll select a different LGBT friendly city to talk about, and we’ll invite our innkeeper and travel agent/tour operator friends to come talk with us about it as well.
Today, Rio – a sprawling city at the edge of the Baia de Guanabara where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city is one of the most popular gay travel destinations in the world, and the annual Mardi Gras is a huge draw. With miles of beaches and a huge LGBT scene, Rio’s a fantastic LGBT travel destination.
Have you ever been? What did you do while you were there?
Do you wanna go?
Let’s chat! Join the conversation here:
Gay (Men) Travelers: Gay Travel Club
Lesbian Travelers: Lesbian Travel Club
Transgender Travelers: Transgender Travel Club
Bisexual Travelers: Bi Travel Club
LGBT Families: LGBT Families Travel Club
Check out our Brazil/Rio page here:
And our Rio de Janeiro articles on the blog here:
It is a well-known fact that Stockholm is an open-minded and progressive city but some say that Stockholm is also expensive. What is lesser known is that the city offers an abundance of gems that provide great value for your money. With the strong US dollar and with the low-cost carrier Norwegian adding Las Vegas to their growing repertoire of gateways, there has never been a better time to visit the Swedish capital. That is why a number of American travel agents and journalists set out to discover the hidden treasures of tolerant Stockholm.
Over the course of four days, the travelers got to experience many sides of Sweden – from the traditional to the new and modern. Between hotel inspections and museum visits, there was plenty of time to shop innovative Swedish design and experience a traditional Lucia celebration.
One of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the island of Soedermalm and the bustling, queer-friendly SoFo (South of Folkungagatan) area in particular. SoFo is known for being one of the trendiest areas in Stockholm, with a high number of vintage shops, boutiques, bars and restaurant. Also, the nightlife is known for being among the best in Stockholm.
I spent five weeks traveling around Sri Lanka just before the main tourist season started, still enjoying the bargain deals of the low season and seeing prices go up in the high season – this applies mainly to accommodation, however. I am breaking down all of my expenses in the country to give you an idea of what costs to expect when you budget for a trip to Sri Lanka.
Overall, it has been one of the cheapest countries I’ve been to and it is possible to travel the country on $20 – $30 per person a day (on a shoestring), or around $50 per person per day in nicer accommodations. Read on for the full breakdown of food, transportation, sightseeing, accommodation and other costs.
A visa is required to enter Sri Lanka. Luckily it is easy to apply for a Sri Lankan visa online. The cost of a visa for Europeans, North Americans and Australians is US$35. The visa is valid for 30 days, if you’re planning to stay longer, you’ll have to get an extension in Colombo, which is LKR3,600 /US$25 (make sure to have a passport photo on you for that).