Mexico is a big country and has so much to offer. Stunning beaches, (active) volcanos, mountains, incredible sea life, cenotes, Mayan ruins, waterfalls, cute magic towns and much more. It isn’t strange Mexico is a popular destination for tourists, it has something for everyone!
In this ultimate travel guide to lesbian Mexico, we will tell you everything about where to go, practical Mexico information and also very important: about safety and LGBT rights in Mexico. As Mexico is such a big country, you will notice differences within the country. Some areas are more conservative than others. Though luckily there are many places in Mexico known for being very gay-friendly, like the gay beach capital Puerto Vallarta. Below, we will tell you all about where you should go for your lesbian vacation in Mexico.
Why should you trust our information? We have traveled for over 6 months in total as a lesbian couple in Mexico and met queer locals nearly everywhere we went. Mexico is easily one of our favorite countries in the world. It’s such a diverse country with welcoming and passionate people. We love the ‘mi casa es tu casa‘ concept of Mexico and it’s easy to meet people everywhere. We are in love with this beautiful country and hope you will be too!
IN THIS ARTICLE
Lesbian Mexico Map
Lesbian Mexico Map
Lesbian Mexico – Where to Go?
No matter if you are looking for a relaxing holiday on the beach, an adventurous vacation, a cultural or city trip, it’s all possible in Mexico. And we will tell you the perfect spot for every type of holiday!
Mexico City – also known as CDMX – is the capital city of Mexico and is enormous. Or well, especially for us Dutchies as Greater Mexico City has over 21 million inhabitants. That’s more than the entire population of the Netherlands, how crazy?!
Many LGBT people live in Mexico City. Locals from the countryside move to gay Mexico City as it’s a big and welcoming city, where you can find anything you want. Mexico City has an exciting gay scene and many LGBT nightlife opportunities.
Mexico City Gay District
Zona Rosa, pink zone, is the gay district in Mexico City and here you will see many same-sex couples walking hand in hand. Other neighborhoods where you can find many same-sex couples are Condesa and Roma. Condesa is considered the hipster/ex-pat neighborhood of the city. Condesa is full of cute coffee shops, cervezerias, restaurants, and parks.
Fun gay bars in Mexico City to go to are Kinky Bar (formerly Lipstick, Thursday nights are supposed to be more lesbian-themed), Rico Club (they also organize great drag shows, expect a line to enter the club) and La Purísima.
Mexico City Gay Pride
Mexico City Gay Pride is held yearly in June and is the second-biggest gay pride in Latin America, after Sao Paulo. Gay Pride in Mexico City is held since 1979.
Cultural City Trip
There’s a lot to see and do in Mexico City, and it’s a perfect city for a city trip. Or as a start/ending point of your holiday. We usually don’t hear many people talking about Mexico City and that’s a shame because it’s a great city to visit, especially if you are a city person.
Mexico City is an important cultural city in the world and there are many things to see and do. There are over 150 museums and a visit to the Teotihuacan pyramids is a must.
Mexico City Safety Tips
We will talk about safety in Mexico later in this article, though we also want to talk a little bit about safety in Mexico City. There are some neighborhoods you shouldn’t go to, Tepito and Iztapalapa for example, though the touristic areas should be fine. The historic zone is a little rougher than the areas of Roma and Condesa.
Use common sense and don’t walk alone at night (especially not in unfamiliar places), keep your stuff safe (especially in public transport), and don’t get involved with drugs. We stayed in Mexico City for 3 months and never felt unsafe. You can easily use Uber (super affordable in Mexico) to get around safely at night.
Where to stay in Mexico City?
Take a look at the neighborhoods Condesa, Roma, Escandon, Coyoacán or Polanco. We recommended the following places to stay (for different budgets): Casa Moctezuma, Maria Del Alma Guest House, Hotel Parque México Boutique, La Casa de la Roca, Hotel Histórico Central, Hotel MX Roma, and Hotel Marbella.
The translation of Isla Mujeres is women island. So this paradise island shouldn’t be missed during your lesbian Mexico vacation! Isla Mujeres is named after Ixchel, the Mayan Moon Goddess.
At Isla Mujeres, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea come together. It’s a peaceful and dreamy island just 20 minutes away by boat from Cancun (later more about Cancun!). As it’s located so close to mainland Mexico you can reach Isla Mujeres in a day trip from Cancun, though we highly recommend staying here longer.
Read about the things you can’t miss when you visit Isla Mujeres here + all about the best spots to eat and how to reach the island!
The island has many things to do but it is especially famous for its white-sand beaches and blue waters. Snorkeling with whale sharks, diving to underwater sculptures, driving around on a golf cart and enjoying the most delicious Mexican dishes are a few of the things to do on Isla Mujeres. On Isla Mujeres, there isn’t much gay nightlife, but there is plenty of nightlife in Cancun.
Gay Yucatan Peninsula
The state Quintana Roo, where Isla Mujeres is located in, is very popular under tourists. That’s why the whole province is known as a welcoming state. The entire Yucatan Peninsula (states of Quintana Roo, Campeche, and Yucatan) is amazing to visit and easy to get around, as the distances aren’t too much.
Where to stay in Isla Mujeres?
A very unique place to stay at is the Shell House. Especially if you want to make some Instagrammable shots, this is the place to go to! Other places we recommend are Mia Reef Isla Mujeres, Lotus Boutique Hotel, Zoetry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres, and Isla Mujeres Palace.
As mentioned before, Puerto Vallarta is the gay beach capital of Mexico. Gay Puerto Vallarta is hot and happening for LGBT travelers, especially for gay men. This beautiful beach town is super gay-friendly and has great beaches, fun nightlife, boutique shops, many things to do and is surrounded by mountains. LGBT travelers from all over the world come to Mexico to visit Puerto Vallarta.
Gay Beach Mexico
We must say, Puerto Vallarta is mainly focused on gay men, therefore most bars and parties are for gay men. But it’s perfect for your lesbian vacation too. Especially if you want to relax at the beach, visit art galleries and are looking for some fun things to do (ready to jump on a jet ski?).
The area to go to in Puerto Vallarta with LGBT bars and many restaurants is Zona Romántica (the Romantic Zone). Many tourists and ex-pats come here and the cutest area in the city.
Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta?
Puerto Vallarta has some amazing hotels and resorts to stay at, some are even straight friendly. We recommend the following places to stay (for different budgets): Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beach Front Experience, Garlands Del Rio, La Casa Del Descanso, Hotel Rio Malecon, Luna Liquida, Casa de Chayo, Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta All Inclusive & Spa, San Trópico and Casa Cupula Luxury LGBT Boutique Hotel.
Looking for hipsters cafes, luxurious resorts or a gorgeous beach to relax on? Tulum is the place to go to. And don’t forget about the amazing cenotes! Cenotes are magic to visit. Whether you want to see, jump/swim in, or snorkel and dive in them: it’s all possible.
Not sure which cenote you should visit? Find it out here!
Tulum has something for everyone. You can relax, be adventurous, or take as many Instagram shots as you want. There isn’t a big gay scene in Tulum, though Tulum town has one LGBT bar called Fruity Cocktail bar. Nevertheless, it’s a very LGBT friendly place to go to with very open-minded vibes.
Good to know: Tulum town and Tulum beach are a 15-minute car ride from each other.
Two hours South of Tulum you can find the very unique lake Bacalar. The lake is also called Lagoon of Seven Colors, and the colors are stunning!
Where to stay in Tulum?
Tulum has some fantastic resorts, yoga retreats, and party hostels. As ‘Instragrammable’ is an important word in Tulum, many places put a lot of effort into making their place as picture-perfect as possible. We recommend the following places to stay (for different budgets): Azulik (architecture and vibes are amazing at Azulik), Ahau Tulum, Casa Malca, Solera Tulum, Tata Tulum (Adults Only), Coco Tulum, Lucky Traveler Party Hostel and the Weary Traveler Hostel.
Traveling from Cancun to Tulum? Make sure to check out how to get there.
Guadalajara is also known as GAYdalajara! Some people say Guadalajara is the gay capital of Mexico, while others say that’s Mexico City. Both Guadalajara and Mexico City are big, open-minded and welcoming cities with a large LGBT community and many gay nightlife opportunities. After Mexico City, Guadalajara is the second biggest city in Mexico. Though, Guadalajara feels calmer than Mexico City and is a very authentic Mexican city.
Guadalajara has two neighborhoods where the LGBT community is concentrated. The Historic Center and Avenue Chapultepec are the places to go to. The old center of Guadalajara is beautiful, but please take caution when walking here at night. There are many gay bars and most welcome lesbians too. If you want to dance, then go to Club Envy! Every June, there are Pride celebrations in Guadalajara.
The neighborhood Tlaquepaque is amazing. Tlaquepaque used to be a city on its own, now it’s part of Guadalajara. And Tlaquepaque is a ‘magic town’ (pueblo magico)!
The Mexican Government named over 100 special towns in Mexico Pueblo Magico (magical town). And Tlaquepaque is one of those magical towns and it will give you a magical experience. The center of Tlaquepaque is super pretty and colorful. Wander around and stumble upon churches, craft shops, galleries and you will probably hear Marachi music when walking around.
Fun fact: Tulum and Ilsa Mujeres are also magic towns!
And close to Guadalajara, you can go to Tequila. Is Tequila a town?! Yes, it isn’t just a drink, it’s a whole town where they make tequila. Tequila is located about 1.5 hours from Guadalajara and is super fun to visit if you want to learn about tequila. We recommend going to the distillery Fábrica La Rojeña to see the entire process of tequila-making, and to try different kinds of tequila.
If you like city trips, definitely add Guadalajara to your lesbian Mexico itinerary.
Where to stay in Guadalajara?
The area of Chapultepec, Tlaquepaque and Zapopan Centro are great places to stay at. We recommend the following places to stay (for different budgets): Hostel Hospedarte Centro, Casa Habita, Posada Margaritas, Bungalows Demetria, Casa Pedro Loza, Quinta Real Guadalajara, and Demetria Hotel.
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a beach city in between Cancun and Tulum. It’s known for its relaxing beach vibes, in combination with fun nightlife and water activities.
Cancun is definitely a lot wilder dan Playa del Carmen, and Tulum feels a bit more hipster than Playa. Playa del Carmen fits everybody! As the three aren’t far away from each other (Cancun to Tulum takes two hours, and Playa del Carmen is halfway), you can add all three to your lesbian Mexico holiday.
The center of Playa del Carmen isn’t big, so it’s easy to get around on foot. 5th avenue is a famous pedestrian street with many shops, bars, and restaurants, and is located close to the beach. Many tourists love to visit Playa del Carmen, especially since it’s calmer than Cancun.
The city is very tolerant and open-minded, though there aren’t many LGBT spots in the city. Like the rest of Mexico, gay Pride in Playa del Carmen is held in June.
Where to stay in Playa Del Carmen?
Want to watch a lesbian movie during your relaxing holiday? Make sure to watch one of these!
Cabo San Lucas & La Paz
‘Cabo’ is famous among American tourists. Many Americans love to visit Cabo San Lucas in Baja California Sur. We personally didn’t fell in love with the city but the scenery is stunning. The rocky cliffs are beautiful and it’s amazing to go on a boat trip to explore the area.
Many celebrities go to Cabo San Lucas too, as it’s famous for its luxury and parties in combination with relaxing on the beach and water activities. We can definitely see why so many like to go here but we simply missed the Mexican authenticity.
There are many resorts and all-inclusive hotels that will make your lesbian vacation as relaxed as possible. The nightlife in Cabo San Lucas is hot and happening, though there aren’t many specific LGBT spots.
Diving in Mexico
For sealife lovers, the east side of Baja California Sur is the place to go to. The marine life of the Sea of Cortez is incredible. Therefore diving is a popular activity on this side of Mexico. La Paz is a quieter city than Cabo San Lucas and is only a 2-hour ride away.
If you decide to drive to La Paz, make sure to stop in Todos Santos in the west, another magic town well-known for surfing!
The Sea of Cortez is also known as the aquarium of the world. Whales, whale sharks, dolphins, orcas, hammerhead sharks, and sea lions, are a few of the animals you can see and swim with, in the waters of the Sea of Cortez. We traveled to La Paz to see mobula rays jumping out of the water and swim amongst them, and it was one of the most magical things we have ever done. See the pictures below.
And in La Paz, you have to visit Balandra Beach. It’s one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever seen!
Where to stay in Cabo San Lucas and La Paz?
Especially Cabo San Lucas has some amazing luxury hotels and resorts to stay at. We recommend the following places to stay (for different budgets): The Cape, Paradisus Los Cabos All-Inclusive, Cabo Surf Hotel, Mayan Monkey Hostel Cabo, Hotel Catedral La Paz, Hotel Mediterrane (gay-owned hotel in La Paz) and Hostel Casa Esterito.
Merida is a beautiful city in the Yucatan state and is the biggest city in the whole peninsula. It’s a great base if you don’t want to stay in a beach town or city like Tulum, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. From here, you can easily visit many cenotes and Maya Ruins. But the city itself is also great to visit. It’s famous for its food and it is an authentic city with colonial vibes. The city is known as the ‘White City’, though you can find many very colorful buildings in Merida.
Merida was named American Cultural capital a number of times! The city has many museums, theatres, boutiques, and art galleries. During the weekend we recommend going to the Zocalo (central square) for the market and for cultural activities.
Merida is an open and tolerant city, people are very friendly here and there are relaxed vibes around the city. There are a few gay bars and clubs spread throughout the city. Gay Pride in Merida is in June too and is one of the biggest events of the Yucatan Peninsula.
From Merida, it’s 1.5 hours to the famous Chitzen Itza. And please also visit the Ik Kil cenote close to Chitzen Itza. Both are amazing to visit, though often very busy.
Where to stay in Merida?
We recommend the following places to stay (for different budgets): Hotel Hacienda Merida, Hotel Caribe Merida Yucatan, Nomadas EcoHostel, Viva Merida Hotel Boutique, Hotel La Piazzetta and Casona Hostel Boutique.
As Cabo San Lucas, Cancun is a popular holiday destination for Americans and many other tourists from all over the world. The hotel zone in Cancun is located at the beach and has many luxurious hotels, parties, and restaurants. Cancun is great for a relaxing holiday at the beach, but there’s so much to do in the area. Having fun at one of the water parks or amusement parks, a day trip to Isla Mujeres, visiting the cenotes and Chitzen Itzen are some of the top things to do!
The party scene in Cancun is big. Coco Bongo is a famous place for its parties. At Coco Bongo, the parties can get very wild and there are often great shows. Many gay people like to go here and there are a few gay bars in Cancun too! Be aware that the entrance fees are high in most places.
Pride in Cancun isn’t as big as in Guadalajara and Mexico City, though every June there’s a Pride parade and some parties!
Where to stay in Cancun?
Cancun has many luxurious hotels and resorts. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday at the beach, definitely book a stay in the hotel zone. We recommend the following places to stay (for different budgets): Nomads Hotel Hostel, Secrets The Vine Cancun All Inclusive – Adults Only, Nizuc Resort & Spa, Eco-hotel El Rey del Caribe, Sun Palace – All-Inclusive, Aloft Cancun, Mayan Monkey Hostel Cancún, and Mezcal Hotel Hostel & Bar.
Best Time to Visit Mexico
Mexico is a great country to visit all year round. It’s a big country, therefore the weather varies per area. Some months have their advantages. December, January, and February are in general the cooler months in all of Mexico. Though, in the Yucatan Peninsula, that is still hot, just a little less hot!
Between December and April, there’s the least chance of rain while May to October has the most chance of rain. Good to know: June to November is hurricane season in the Carribean.
Planning on visiting more lesbian-friendly countries?! Head to Thailand, the land of smiles!
Is Mexico Safe to Visit?
Did we feel safe traveling through Mexico as a lesbian couple? Yes! We always feel very welcome in Mexico, and we traveled to both touristic and non-touristy areas.
Mexico is often portrayed badly in the news. And yes, there are some bad things going on in the country, especially related to the drug war. When traveling to Mexico you need to be aware of the areas to avoid. All the destinations in Mexico we talked about above are touristy, some a bit more than others. It’s recommended to go to these areas instead of to the countryside of Mexico and some random villages you’ve never heard about.
Use common sense when traveling (to Mexico) and you’ll be fine!
- Don’t wander off in unfamiliar places at night
- Always keep your stuff safe
- Don’t get involved with drugs
Bad people are everywhere around the world, though you will be a lot more likely to meet many good people in Mexico. And the people in Mexico are amazing and so welcoming!
LGBT rights in Mexico: how are things for the local LGBT community
In many countries, the rules are often different for tourists than for locals. And because of the deep roots of religion in Mexican culture, it’s not always easy for locals to be gay in Mexico, especially in the countryside. But in the bigger cities and tourist areas, there are many safe spaces!
Let’s dive into the LGBT rights and laws of Mexico. Like many other countries in the world, a lot has changed in the past years.
Same-sex intercourse in Mexico has been legal for a long time, since 1871. Gay marriage in Mexico is recognized in the whole country, but it’s only possible to get married in Mexico City and 18 states (at the time of writing this article, hopefully, the whole country will follow soon). There are 31 states in total in Mexico. In 2010, Mexico City was the first place where you could get married as a same-sex couple.
Since 2014 there’s a gender identity law that allows people to change their gender and name legally. Though, this depends per state. This is now possible in Mexico City and 10 states. Since 2003, there are discrimination laws regarding sexual orientation that protect LGBT people in the whole country.
In 16 states and in Mexico City it’s possible to adopt as a same-sex couple. And in 2013, research showed 61% of all Mexicans support the same rights for LGBT people!
In Southern Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca, we can find an interesting gender identity in Zapotec cultures: muxe. It can be seen as a third gender, it is sometimes seen as transgender, but a muxe is someone assigned male at birth but who dresses and behaves in ways otherwise associated with women. The word muxe comes from the Spanish word mujer, meaning ‘woman’.
Mexican Events You Can’t Miss
We already talked about many Pride events happening in June all over Mexico. There are also some other festivities you can’t miss in Mexico:
- Dia de Muertos aka Day of the Dead (November 1-2): this time of year Mexicans celebrate and honor passed relatives and friends. Don’t expect overwhelming sadness, as it’s a celebration too. People go to cemeteries to decorate graves, to dance, play, listen to music, and even to drink. Make sure to watch the movie Coco to get inspired. Festivities are mainly held in Central and South Mexico. Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Michoacan are great places to go to. In the Yucatan Peninsula, they have a very different way of celebrating. In Mexico City and some smaller places more north, there are amazing parades!
- Independence Day: 16th of September is Independence Day in Mexico. This day you will hear ‘Viva Mexico’ everywhere you go. Depending on where you are in Mexico, there are will be parties, fireworks, and parades.
- Cinco de Mayo: this is actually NOT a big celebration in Mexico! There might be some festive events going on in the state of Puebla, where the battle took place, but for most Mexicans, this is a normal day and not a federal holiday whatsoever.
Practical Mexico Information
- Language: Spanish (in the touristy areas many people speak English, but it’s helpful to speak a bit of Spanish)
- Currency: Mexican Peso $
- Visa: Many countries, like the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands, can travel to Mexico visa-free for 180 days.
- Vaccinations: It’s recommendable to get a Tetanus, Typhoid, and Hepatitis A before traveling to Mexico.
- Food: Mexican food is super delicious but if you are a vegetarian or vegan, it’s a bit more difficult to eat in Mexico – make sure to try nopales (cactus) and for vegetarians: Mexican queso (cheese) is delicious. For the adventurous eaters: you can eat street food but be careful with the salsas (sauces), they can be very spicy. And you don’t want Montezuma’s Revenge! We also did a cooking class in Mexico and absolutely loved it! Watch our Mexican cooking video here.
- Budget: Mexico isn’t expensive, but there are big differences between regions. Cancun and Cabo San Lucas, for example, are a lot more expensive than Guadalajara or Oaxaca.
- Transportation: traveling in Mexico is very easy and convenient. There are many buses that go everywhere. And the buses are often very well maintained, equipped with air-conditioning and some even have tv screens. There are not many trains in Mexico, so for long distances, the options are bus or plane. Domestic plane tickets aren’t expensive. And car rental is often cheap in Mexico (mind the insurance though)! We traveled around by car multiple times and absolutely loved it.
- Sim card: we always get a Telcel sim card, they often have great deals (Amigo Sin Límite is amazing) with unlimited social media internet. It’s better not to buy your sim card at the airport, as it’s always more expensive.
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Together we can help each other travel the world!
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