Uruguay is a country you cannot afford to skip from your Latin America itinerary. It has so much to offer, whether it’s surfing beaches, good wine, stunning scenery, delicious steaks and of course marijuana.
Ever been to a club with 5,000 other gay boys with 13 rooms spread across 5 floors?
Neither had we until we went to the huge Theatron gay club in Colombia’s capital city, 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 is certainly the largest gay club we’ve visited.
Fresh off the plane, our Porteño friends Pablo and Gustavo welcomed us, and took us straight to the Pepo Pepona, a gay restaurant in Palermo so we could have our first taster of the famous Argentinian steak.
Just as we were tucking into our bife de chorizo, the restaurant’s entertainment started: a handsome (extremely well endowed!) Argentinian lad came gyrating from table to table, quickly losing all his clothes…
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The famous Iguazu Falls are a bucket-list item for many travellers, both gay and straight. This amazing sight is the largest waterfall system in the world and absolutely breathtaking up close as you watch thousands of gallons of water plummeting into the foam.
The falls straddle the border between Argentina and Brazil, which means you can stay in either country if you want to visit the waterfalls. It can be confusing to figure out which side is best, or even how to understand the differences, but don’t worry, ’cause we’re here to help!
This is our gay travel guide to Iguazu Falls and the surrounding area. Here you can find out our personal top picks for gay friendly accommodation, gay bars, clubs and restaurants around Iguazu Falls.
The two sides of the Iguazu Falls
So, first things first, these spectacular waterfalls have a few names. In English, we call them “Iguazu Falls” and the surrounding area, the “Iguazu National Park”. Both Argentina and Brazil have cities very close by, each of which are the perfect base when visiting the falls. In Brazil, the city is “Foz do Iguaçu” whereas in Argentina it is “Puerto Iguazú”.
Travelling between the two towns over the border is easy. You can either go by taxi or public bus. The entire trip shouldn’t take more than an hour. Remember to have your passport with you and to have already organised any visa requirements you may need for Brazil and Argentina.
Are you wondering where the best place in Argentina is to find young, gay Argentinian boys? Well, the answer is Córdoba! The city is famous for having Argentina’s oldest university and as a result, there is a large student population which means a vibrant nightlife including a small but exciting gay scene.
As well as the nightlife, Córdoba offers plenty of beautiful architecture, particularly the many religious buildings such as the popular Cathedral of Córdoba. Another popular sight is the Jesuit Block, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which contains the old headquarters of the university, the National School of Monserrat and the Domestic Chapel.
Cordoba has a decent offering of gay friendly accommodations. Having spent a few months travelling across the country, we had ample time sampling the best places to stay in Cordoba. Here’s our roundup of our 5 favourite gay friendly Cordoba hotels, for all budgets.
Where to stay in Córdoba
Córdoba is the second most populous city in Argentina after Buenos Aires and is located on the banks of the Suquía River. There’s no metro system as of yet, but you will be able to get around the city easily using buses or trolleybuses. Here’s a quick summary to the best gay friendly neighbourhoods to stay in.
Güemes: Güemes is our favourite gay friendly neighbourhood, it’s bohemian and lively with a more alternative nightlife scene than the city centre. This is where you will find the majority of Córdoba’s gay bars, discos and clubs as well as a craft fair (The Paseo de las Artes) during the daytime. If you want to be right in the heart of the gay area in Córdoba, stay at the lovely Windsor Hotel & Tower.
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.
We love Argentina. Yes it has some of the sexiest guys on this planet, and some delicious culinary highlights, but above everything else, it’s an easy country for gay travellers.
Despite the strong influence by the Catholic Church, Argentina is one of the most gay friendly countries in Latin America, and arguably, the world. It was the first country in the continent to legalise gay marriage in July 2010, which also included full adoption rights. This made it the 2nd in the entire continent (after Canada) and 10th in the world. The right to change legal gender has been in place since 2012, and in the same year, legislation was introduced adding life imprisonment to hate crimes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
We were also love the fact that most of the big cities in Argentina have fun gay scenes, particularly in Buenos Aires, Rosario, Córdoba and Mendoza. Even smaller cities like Puerto Madryn are popular gay hotspots. This is our country guide to Argentina for gay travellers, based on our experience travelling here during our big trip in Latin America.
When to Visit Argentina
Argentina is a 365 days’ destination because despite the time of year, there is always something going on. It is a huge country – the 8th largest in the world, therefore has varied landscapes ranging from the sub-tropical in the Northeast (Igauzu Falls), desert in the centre (Mendoza), the mountainous Andes climates along its west side, coastal along its east side, and of course the extreme cold in Patagonia.
The Amazon rainforest is a lot more than creepy crawlies and humidity. It’s incredibly lush, it features a staggering amount of wildlife (monkeys, jaguars, dolphins, macaws, etc), and most importantly – since we are gay, after all – you can travel there in luxury. ‘Cause let’s face it, it’s a lot more fun watching wild apes while holding a glass of champagne.
You don’t have to travel in 5-star style, of course. You can camp along the Amazon, sleep in a pool of sweat, bathe in bug spray and experience nature in ways both charming and terrifying. But if you’re someone who appreciates both a skiff and a steak, perhaps a company like Brand g Vacations – which offers all-gay, all-inclusive land tours and rivers cruises – is right for you.
For starters, the Amazon can be warm and humid, no doubt. But Brand g specifically operates its tours in the cooler spring months. And on these cruises, wildlife excursions occur in the very comfortable morning and evening hours. During the warmer part of the day, you can enjoy the air-conditioned luxury of the river ship. And what a ship it is (we’ll get to that).
Many people think of the creepier, scarier forms of wildlife (snakes, spiders, etc) in the rainforest, and assume any Amazon vacation will be chock full of GROSS. But there are many charming, adorable animals, as well, like turtles, the capybara (pictured below), the river dolphin, etc. The Amazon is a veritable panoply of creatures great and small, and there’s something for everyone.
Fortunately, on a Brand g trip. our expert naturalists are well-accustomed to squeamish Americans, and will get you only as up close and personal with wildlife as your own comfort level allows. So, you can swim with river dolphins and let tarantulas crawl up your sleeve, or you can just watch as somebody else does. It’s all up to you.
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.
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.