Starlight Sailing Charters – Gay US Virgin Islands Sailing Tours

Author: , January 26th, 2018

Starlight Sailing Charters

Starlight Sailing Charters provides friendly and fun private sailing vacations aboard the large, modern, and luxurious sailing yacht, Starlight. Starlight sails November through May in the wonderful Virgin Islands and Eastern Caribbean.

During Summer Months, Starlight sails from Sag Harbor, New York on exquisite Hamptons day charters and sailing vacations. A Starlight vacation is wonderful for a special occasion, or a fantastic way to relax and escape in paradise. Starlight accommodates up to six guests, but is also appropriate for smaller groups and solo travelers.

Captain Toby Stull is your host for charters exploring paradise in the Virgin Islands, St Maarten and St Barths, Antigua and Lower Caribbean. With a lifetime of sailing experience and a decade chartering in the Caribbean, Capt. Toby knows exactly where to bring guests and how to tailor your experience depending on your desired activities aboard.

Our vacations can be booked as “captain-only,” on which guests eat half their lunches and dinners at local Caribbean restaurants, or “all inclusive” where a chef joins to prepare all meals. Either way, Delicious onboard meals can be suited to all types of dietary restrictions. Also, the Captain’s adorable yet unobtrusive boat dog, “Bamboo,” joins on all charters.

See the Starlight Sailing Charters Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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Panama: Ideal Destination for Discerning Travelers – EcoCircuitos

Author: , September 22nd, 2017

Panama

Located at the heart of the Americas, Panama City is the most cosmopolitan of the Central American capitals; overflowing with trendy new clubs, cool boutique hotels and gay friendly neighborhoods and attractions. As a long established hub for international business, trade and transportation the City has developed into a modern, busy metropolis attracting visitors from around the world.

LGBT travelers may find Panama City more gay friendly than other Central American countries; many of the main destinations throughout the country are friendly to all visitors and will make LGBT families and travelers feel at home.

PanamaPanama is a safe, stable and friendly country of almost four million inhabitants and 75.517 square kilometers. It is among the most biologically diverse countries on the planet and features a variety of unique ecosystems. With a total of over 2,500 km of coastline on two oceans, 15 national Parks and seven distinct indigenous cultures there is much to explore. Five UNESCO World Heritage sites wait to be discovered.

This short guide will direct you to the best spots in town but keep in mind that nightlife in Panama does not really start after midnight. Have Fun!!

WHAT TO DO IN PANAMA CITY

PanamaPanama City is a cosmopolitan city, a delightful combination of the historic and modern. It is also one of the safest cities in Latin America. There are three Cities: the historical ruins of the 16th Century city named Panama Viejo, the 17th Century Spanish Colonial Casco Antiguo area of the city and the modern skyscraper city with the business district.

Day tour of Panama City – Visit the three cities in one day: the ruins of the 16th century original city, walk the Casco Antiguo colonial city and admire the modern city. Walk the Casco Viejo – Old Quarters at night for bar hoping and amazing gastronomy. There are several roof top bars that will offer an amazing view of the City. Our suggestion: Tantalo, Barlovento, Casa Casco and Casa Jaguar.

The Panama Canal – City tour includes a trip to the Panama Canal. A must-do is a visit to the Visitors Center at Miraflores Locks. And if you want an unforgetable experience, go dining to Atlantic and Pacific Co. Overlooking the Miraflores locks.

The Panama Canal Transits – Only on special schedule, this is a great option for those that interested in the complete history of the Panama Canal and experience crossing the locks in a mini cruise. This is a great adventure with friends.

PanamaAmador Causeway and Biodiversity Museum – A visit to the Amador Causeway is also a good option to admire the spectacular views of the Panama City’s skyline and the Panama Canal. You can bike or walk the area or just enjoy a Panama bear at the restaurants in the Marina. A must to see is the Biodiversity Museum, an architectonic jewel design by Frank Gerhy.

Panama Canal Railway trans-isthmus – Ride the historic Panama Canal Railway, the original transcontinental railway inaugurated in 1855. In special observation cars, the trip takes you across the scenic Isthmus from Panama City on the Pacific, to Colon on the Atlantic Side.

PanamaThe Rainforst Discovery Center in Soberania National Park – The Discovery Center in the Panama Canal Rainforest is open every day from 6.00AM to 4.00PM Climb this 100-foot Observation Tower for a breathtaking view above the forest canopy and hike the trails around the center. You will learn about sustainable practices in this fantastic place. Ideal for couples and families. Our guides are naturalist that will amaze you with great interpretation of the neotropical forest.

Portobello: A picturesque bayside town of with the ruins of Spanish forts and a restored Spanish Colonial treasure house. In Spanish colonial times the Portobello Treasure House was the center for trans-shipment of all the Peruvian gold and treasure taken from Latin America to Spain. Spanish galleons came and went constantly and many fairs were held. That easy heyday ended with the arrival of English pirates like Sir Francis Drake who repeatedly looted Portobellos treasures and brought about its eventual demise. The Portobelo Ruins are a pillar of Spanish colonial times, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PanamaFort San Lorenzo: A well preserved fort ruin perched high on a stunning promontory above the Chagres River as it meets the sea. Sir Henry Morgan attacked the fort and made away with booty in 1666. It is essential to go with a tour operator since to date this unusual site has no signs or tourist info of any kind.

Embera Cultural Encounters, Chagres National Park – An unforgettable encounter with a living Indian culture in Panama’s rain forest. Panama is the only place in the world where you can have this experience in a day trip from a major metropolitan city.

PanamaThe tour begins less than 2 hours from Panama City, where you’ll take a motorized canoe up a scenic rainforest river, the only means of transport in the jungle, to an authentic Embera Indian village on river bank deep inside the rainforest. The village consists mostly of the rough wood and palm homes on stilts typical of the jungle Indians. Embera indians will perform a tribal dance offer authentic body paintings, exquisite handicrafts, share a typical meal and explain their way of life, traditions and beliefs.

Handicrafts and shopping – Beautiful boutiques and amazing brands in Casco Antiguo. Try el Valle Sunday Market, the Artisan’s Market and don´t miss the city’s shopping malls, ideals for those looking for brands. Check Multiplaza a high end shopping mall.

Optional day tours from Panama City: kayaking, biking tours, arts tours, sailing tours in San Blas, Beach Escapes to Bocas del Toro and the Gulf of Chiriqui, Azuero and the highlands. For more information click on our website: www.ecocircuitos.com

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Gentle Tours – Mexico City, Mexico

Author: , April 3rd, 2017

Gentle ToursPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Guided tours in Mexico City and environs, taking you to beautiful places, tasting different kinds of food, immerse in daily life and enjoy fantastic works of art and architecture.

Aztec & Hispanic Heritage Tour

Discover the wonders of the Aztec Capital City in the Main Temple and the splendor of New Spain in the glitter of Mexico City Cathedral. After visiting Main Square you’ll have four routes to choose to enjoy Colonial Mansions, Artistic highlights and hidden treasures.

See the Gentle Tours Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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GaySail: Gay Tour Operator in Amsterdam

Author: , December 21st, 2016

GaySailPeriodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly tour operatorsy:

At GaySail we organize about 50 gay sailing cruises a year, all over the world, for single gay men, -couples, -friends and private gay groups. We sail in Greece, Croatia, Ibiza, Virgin Islands, St. Martin & St. Barth, Bahamas, Brazil and Thailand.

With our team of 22 fully licensed gay skippers and gay cooks/co-skippers we can offer you a wonderful one- or two week gay sailing vacation. We offer regular GaySail sailing cruises but also a lot GayNudeSail sailing cruises and GaySail Exclusive luxury sailing cruises, both monohull- and catamaran yachts. Cruises with gay skipper only, or skipper and cook for breakfast and lunch. Something for everyone!

No sailing experience needed. If you like, you can take the wheel and learn to sail and navigate, if you just want to relax, soak up in the sun on the front deck, watch out for the dolphins, it’s your holiday!

We usually sail about 6 hours a day. Most of the time we anchor for lunch and swim. At night we dock in little in local harbor and have dinner in the local restaurants of we stay overnight in a bay under the stars and have dinner on board.

See the GaySail Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in the Netherlands

Tru Bahamian Food Tours: Gay Friendly Bahamas Food Tours

Author: , May 25th, 2016

Tru Bahamian Food Tours

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Tru Bahamian Food Tours offers unique and innovative local culinary experiences to visitors of The Bahamas in a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible manner. Our mission is to connect visitors with authentic local food items, the stories and traditions behind these foods, and the Bahamian entrepreneurs that prepare and preserve them.

Travel off the beaten touristic path to explore the intoxicating flavors of Nassau, Bahamas on a guided food tasting and cultural walking tour through this charming island city. Sample 6 delicious specialties (enough for a hearty lunch) as you follow your knowledgeable and friendly local guide from one eatery to the next.
Discover colonial Nassau, traveling away from busy Bay Street in search of authentic Bahamian flavors. Youa[euro](TM)ll eat your way through locally adored Nassau establishments, family-owned restaurants, and speciality boutiques as you stroll through Downtown’s storied neighborhood with your culinary guide.

See the In addition to our regular travel articles, we’re starting a regular travel round-up, for those stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we didn’t have time to add. Enjoy!

See the Tru Bahamian Food Tours Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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Carlos Melia – Eiffel Tower Behind-The-Scenes Tour By Gustave Eiffel

Author: , September 5th, 2015

Eiffel Tower - Carlos Melia

Most of us, that have been to Paris before, have like other many millions, gone to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Now, there are other sides of this iconic landmark to explore, living an off the beaten track experience of the Eiffel Tower like you’ve never seen it before! and after that, enjoy a fast track access to the top of the tower, to enjoy panoramic bird eye views of Paris.

This is what I planned and curated for my recent VIP Group to Paris, being that I had a mixed crow of first timers and regular Paris visitors in my company. (Re) discover the Eiffel Tower by the hand of no other than Gustave Eiffel.

Eiffel Tower - Carlos MeliaExperience the epic of the Eiffel Tower, this feat of iron and daring, iconic landmark of Paris, in an original, innovative, educational and friendly way through a new guided visit brought to life by an actor, impersonating Gustave Eiffel among others.

Who has not dreamt of exploring the hidden facets of the Eiffel Tower and go behind the scenes like a real VIP. Accompanied by a guide who will narrate numerous anecdotes during the tour, you will have privileged backstage access to this amazing monument.

An unusual tour that enables you to discover restricted areas inaccessible to most visitors: The amazing original machinery room which still operates the lifts and the former “bunker” concealed underneath the Champ de Mars.

By Carlos Melia – Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog | Paris Gay Travel Resources

Gay Los Angeles on Foot

Author: , July 14th, 2014

Los AngelesForget the urban legend (and hit ’80s anthem) which suggests that only a nobody walks in Los Angeles. It’s time to trade those expensive designer loafers for your most sensible walking shoes, and hit the streets.

Touring gay L.A. on foot is the best way to get an insider’s look at the city, and allows you to see more than you might on a double-decker bus that creeps, crawls and honks through gridlock. Plus, you can gain a gay-perspective that goes beyond the rainbow power of legendary Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. Explore off-the-beaten-gay-path queer locales with guided tours of Hollywood and Downtown L.A. and venture out solo to explore the Wilshire district.

Hollywood Walking Tour

Be aware that there’s much more to Hollywood than the Walk of Fame and the famous courtyard at the Chinese Theatre. Start at the old Max Factor building in the epicenter of Hollywood (it’s located on Highland just south of Hollywood Blvd.), which now houses the Hollywood Museum. It features the most extensive collection of memorabilia from Old Hollywood anywhere — and, incidentally, this structural gem was named for the man who created unique make-up blends for our most gay-adored stars, such as Joan Crawford and Jean Harlow.

By Matt Baume – Full Story at Queerty | Los Angeles Gay Travel Resources

Image via Apple Maps

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Passion in the Sonoma Wine Country

Author: , June 6th, 2014
Email Donald & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

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Sonoma Wine Country - Don and Ray

When we are traveling around the country we always try to take full advantage of everything and on our last trip to San Francisco we drove on up to the Sonoma wine country and took a “wine tour” with “Out in the Vineyard” which is a company that is owned by Gary Saperstein and Mark Vogler. They offer luxury travels and exclusive adventures for the LGBT community in regards to wine.

Iron Horse WineryOur day tour with them began at the Iron Horse Ranch and Vineyards. Our tour guide, David has been there a number of years and is extremely passionate about the making of wine. He gave us an excellent history lesson about grape growing, wines, bottles and even the corks.

In our travels from coast to coast, he was the most interesting and knowledgeable tour guide that we have ever encountered. Brent Burch, the Accounts Manager at the Winery was extremely helpful and professional as well. They are located in Sebastopol. Check them out at www.ironhorsevineyards.com

La CremaOur next stop was La Crema Winery and we went first to their tasting room where we were hosted and entertained by two VERY passionate people, Brandii and April. They LOVE wine and being around people and they are truly remarkable and FUN !!!!! It is located in downtown Healdsburg at 235 Healdsburg Ave. You can check them out at: www.lacrema.com/tasting-room-overview

After tasting several wines, we went a few doors down the street and had a fabulously delicious lunch at their restaurant, Partake by K J., which is Kendall-Jackson’s tasting lounge and restaurant. We indulged in their “Chef’s Tasting” which included food and different wine pairings.

PartakeAmong some of the exciting things we had were, Oysters, Estate Fava Beans and strawberries, a fine selection of cheeses, whole vine Tempura Maitake mushrooms, Smoked loin of lamb, heirloom beans, spring vegetables, beef and Pomegranate relish. All with wine pairings of course! Our server was exceptional and so professional ! They are located at 241 Healdsburg Avenue and you can check them out at www.partakebykj.com/

Mercury WineryOur next stop was in Geyserville visiting the Mercury Wine tasting room at 21015 Geyserville Avenue. You can visit them for a complimentary tasting of small-lot Pinot Noirs, Bordeaux-style blends and esoteric white varietals. The owner, Brad and his brother Grady are two great guys. They love what they are doing and have “the passion”. You can check them out at www.mercurywine.com

If one were to try to take in the wineries at their own schedule it would be a nightmare. Gary and Mark do it the right way and take care of everything. Their itineraries are designed to provide intimate and exclusive wine country experiences and are strictly limited to small groups. They are offering a special South Africa Wine Safari in October which will be an intimate wine journey thru South Africa. If we were not going to be attending parties in the Hampton’s at that time, we know that we would want to go with them.

That trip is limited to only 12 guests, so book now ! Out In The Vineyard has lots of activities year round so be sure and check their website: www.outinthevineyard.com to see their upcoming events. Thanks Gary and Mark for having such a great tour company ! We highly suggest that if anyone is going to the Wine Country north of San Francisco to be sure and take one of their tours.

We seldom get to use the word “passion” when it involves our travels but the people that we met in the wine country all have PASSION and that is a good thing! It is extremely enjoyable being around people with passion who are so enthusiastic about what they are doing.

When in that area, be SURE and stay at the Village Inn Guesthouse in Monte Rio. It is THE best. Owner Mark and his staff also have “the passion” and that is why guests keep returning year after year after year. Their website is: www.villageinn-ca.com/

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

Donald and RayTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Sonoma County Gay Travel Resources

Uganda Tour Cancelled After Anti Gay Bill Signed

Author: , February 26th, 2014

Uganda

Uganda

Many in the tourism industry consider the country of Uganda a jewel, often describing it as “the pearl of Africa.” Wildlife abounds and gorilla tracking is prime. At Oblogdee we warned that notwithstanding the perfection of the safari destination, if the new Anti-Homosexuality Bill became Ugandan law, tour operators would likely start to withdraw business and discontinue to support the Country’s thriving tourist trade. Our prediction was well founded, as before the ink on President Yoweri Museveni’s odious Bill could dry, one world class and renowned tour operator cancelled its Uganda Great Apes safari and condemned the draconian law.

Immediately upon hearing about President Musveni’s assent to The Anti-Homosexuality Bill today, Jody Cole, renowned adventurer, philanthropist and human rights advocate, and founder of Wild Rainbow African Safaris, which specializes in guided safaris to East and Southern Africa, issued a statement to OBLOGDEE expressing disappointment in the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, while noting how the new legislation makes it almost impossible for tour operators to guarantee the safety of guests in Uganda:-

“We (Wild Rainbow African Safaris) are very troubled by the Ugandan Parliament’s passage of its notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill. This bill is an affront on human rights as well as on the respect and dignity of LGBT Ugandans and their allies. As great lovers and supporters of the wildlife, culture and spirit of Africa, we are very disappointed and saddened by the passage and signing of this draconian law. While our trips are first and foremost about seeing and experiencing the amazing wildlife of Africa, we must reconsider whether we can go forward with future trips to Uganda in light of these latest developments. The safety and comfort of our guests is our number one priority, and we must be able to ensure the safety and comfort of all our guests regardless of sexual orientation.”

Authored By Melanie Nathan – See the Full Story at O-blog-dee-o-blog-da

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Behind the Scenes at Grand Central Station

Author: , September 28th, 2013

Grand Central Station - NYCIf there is something that always intrigues and interests me about iconic landmarks and destinations, is to dig deep into their apparent facade and learn about the myths and legends behind them.

You saw my recent post on Buenos Aires, from my visit last week, and now New York. Invited to join this exclusive group of luxury concierges of Manhattan, by my friend Michael Romei, I took part of this exclusive behind the scenes 3hs tours of Grand Central Terminal and Beyond. The tour was conducted to detail and perfection, by Docent-in-Chief Daniel Brucker, who not only is an erudite in the subject, but also is known and referred as “The Keeper of Grand Central’s Secrets”.

Grand Central Terminal is “the world’s number six most visited tourist attraction”, bringing in approximately 21,600,000 visitors annually. The first tip to learn about Grand Central, is that it is a “Terminal” and not a Station. Grand Central is the point the end and the beginning of the rail line into and out of New York City. Our tour guide, made strong emphasis on this, and demanded respect alluding Grand Central Terminal, is the biggest train terminal in the world.

From there on, we immersed into a behind the scenes and secrets tour, which took over 3 hours. I must say it felt like just one. We started with a brief introduction. while seating at the stunning and breathtaking Vanderbilt Hall. This room is very important, and you will be able to read the plaque placed there. The Grand Central was the first building in the United States to be saved under the Landmark Act by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. In 1975, when Grand Central was threatened with demolition, Jacqueline Onassis lent her support to the preservation cause.

Facts: Grand Central Terminal is the biggest terminal in the world. New York’s biggest basement. The entire population of San Francisco passes by and uses the GCT everyday (750K people). 700 trains daily. 44 platforms with 67 tracks. 99% punctuality. 80% Lost and Found rate. 1200 passengers per train formation.

Have you ever tried the Whispering Gallery? There is a section of the Terminal on the lower concourse, next to the Oyster Bar and Restaurant. The acoustics of the low ceramic arches, covered of Guastavino tiles, can cause a whisper to sound like a shout. I looks like I am confessing, but no. This is how it works. Stand at opposite corners with a friend. Let your friend whisper something, facing the wall. You will hear it loud and clear on the other opposite corner, you were right next to them.

The Grand Central Terminal Clock, is a stunning true jewel. Urban legends say, it is worth between 10 to 20 million dollars. Each of the four clock faces is made from opalescent glass; the story that the faces are made of opal and that both Sotheby’s and Christie’s have estimated the value.

The ceiling over the Main Concourse, one of Grand Central Terminal’s most famous features, displays a massive celestial piece of art. This remained covered for many many years, with grime and dirt, result of millions of cigarettes smoked by waiting commuters. However, if you look carefully, you will notice the great mistake made by the artist. The zodiac on the ceiling is depicted backwards. The Vanderbilt, never recognized this mistake, claiming the painting was made as if God would be looking from the skies.

Also if you look carefully, next to Pisces you will find a hole in the ceiling. This hole was pierced by a Redstone rocket, which was place on display at the Main Concourse to show Americans and the world the supremacy over the Soviet Union and the Sputnik Satellite.

But this was just the beginning of our behind the Scenes and Secrets for Grand Central Terminal. Till this point, we had seen same as any other regular visitor. But of histrionic guide, had a few more surprises of us, which are only accessible to a few.

First we went down to New York City’s deepest and largest basement. There we saw and learnt about the very soul and power of this iconic station. We explored the tunnels under GCT, with rock formation that date 600 million years. Did you know that the Grand Central Terminal and the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, are linked by a secret train platform and track “Track 61\0x2033 ? which allowed VIPs to enter the hotel in a more private manner, and was always fueled and ready for the use of presidents. Even Andy Warhol was popular for throwing parties in this train, called “The Underground Party”.

From there we move to the higher floors of the Terminal, where we visited the “Situation Room” and the “Headquarters of Operations”.

But I must say, that the most exciting part of our tour was reaching the highest point of the building, and seeing Grand Central Station at full splendor, from the city windows of the ceiling. What I called “the eye in the sky of Grand Central Station”. Little windows located right on top the 100 years sign.

What an amazing way to explore Grand Central Terminal, and learn more about such an iconic building, which in many ways has transformed the life of Americans and most closely New Yorkers. After over 3 hours walking along, up and down, was time for lunch. For this which better option than walking to the lower level and enjoying some great fresh dishes at the OYSTER Bar & Restaurant (I strongly recommend the Manhattan Clam Chowder, and the Tuna Steak, with a chilled Chimay Belgian beer).

Hope you enjoyed my report. I do not want to say much, not to spoil your own experience. Once again BIG THANK YOU to Michael Romei, Les Clefs d’Or organization and Metro-North Railroad.

Till next adventure in full luxury. Follow my next to Riviera Maya, Mexico. Rome, Florence and Venice, Italy. Scotland.

Carlos Melia is a Travel Expert, Blogger, Niche Marketing Consultant, Jetsetter, and Bon Vivant, who travels around the world discovering what’s new and cool in Luxury Travel and Hospitality. His reviews on hotels, restaurants, destinations, and attractions, based on his own experiences as an OUT Gay Traveler can be found a www.carlosmeliablog.com