Gay-Friendly Cancun and The Riviera Maya
A Guide for LGBT+ Travelers
Cancun and the Riviera Maya are without a doubt favorite destinations to all in Mexico and the world. Over the last few years, they have become places that every traveler must go at least once in their lives, but what about the gay community? What do these destinations offer us? Are they considered Gay Friendly?
Being an LGBT + person and assuming it in society is not easy, everyone has their story and everyone lives it very differently. In Mexico, significant progress has been made in accepting sexual diversity and reducing discrimination, although it has not yet been achieved as in Canada or Spain, we are on the right track. In 2007 Mexico City became the first city in Latin America to approve same-sex marriage and to date, 11 more states have joined. The case of Quintana Roo State is a special one, since, due to legal loopholes, same-sex marriage has always been allowed.
You might know that Puerto Vallarta, Guadalajara, and Mexico City are the most gay-friendly cities in Mexico, however, Cancun and the Riviera Maya are not far behind. I remember that the first time I came to Cancun on vacation with my friends, I had a great time. I liked it so much that 7 years ago I decided to stay and live. On this blog post, I will tell you my recommendations so that you can enjoy these destinations to the fullest.
The local LGBT + community is very diverse, most of us came looking for opportunities. Some stay only for a season, others stay for several years, as it is a great place to live. However, the reality is that everyone comes and goes, making it sometimes difficult to maintain friendly and / or caring relationships for long. This is one of the reasons why we like to meet people and make friends with tourists. Many like to party, and if you go to the club on the weekend you will surely find lots of them. If you are looking, just open your favorite app.
Although there are some times with more tourists, here all the year is high season and no matter when you come, I am sure it will be one of the most fun trips of your life. It’s hot all the time, so bring sandals, tank tops and your best swimwear with you. I recommend that you also bring biodegradable sunscreen, it is important to take care of your skin and at the same time the nature of this paradise.
In Cancun and Riviera Maya, you can be yourself, if you come as a couple or with friends you can feel calm. As a destination, we are used to receiving all kinds of people and we always want them to get a good impression of us, it is important that all tourists feel at home, so don’t worry.
Where to Stay
There are endless options to stay; If you are looking for an Airbnb, I recommend starting by googling “LGBT+ / gay-friendly Airbnb in Cancun”; If you want to play it safe, search on Mrbnb, the vacation rental site focused on the LGBT+ community. Speaking of hotels, the majority are gay friendly, especially if they are only for adults, however, the most popular ones for fun are Oasis Cancún, Temptation Cancún, Hotel Xcaret Casa Fuego, Viceroy Riviera Maya, Hard Rock Riviera Maya, Playa Palms, and Le Blanc. If your budget is low or you plan to meet people, I recommend Couchsurfing, look for the profiles of gay hosts.
All the beaches are beautiful, no matter which one you go to, but if you like a crowd, music and maybe flirt a little, I recommend going to Playa Forum / Chac Mool (especially on weekends) and Playa Delfines in Cancun. If you are in Riviera Maya, go to Playa Mamitas in Playa del Carmen or Playa Paraíso and Playa Santa Fe in Tulum.
If you like history, go to the archaeological sites of Cobá, Tulum, or Chichén Itzá, but don’t leave without taking a day to go to Isla Mujeres if you are in Cancun or Cozumel if you are in Riviera Maya. Go snorkeling, you will be fascinated by the colors of the water and the fish under the sea.
If you come to party, then you chose the right destination; at least that’s the way it’s been since I’ve known it. I hope that when the health situation allows it, everything will return to how it was.
The clubs in the party center of the Cancun Hotel Zone are full of tourists and locals on weekends, you must go to at least one. Most of these are open bar and the music is the trendiest. To go to an LGBT + club I recommend Japi in Puerto Cancun, a place with style, incredible music, and the party is non-stop until dawn. You can also go to 11:11 in the city center, this place has been in Cancun for years and has two music rooms: electronic/circuit and pop.
If festivals and electronic music are your things, I recommend you come to the gay Arena festival in Playa del Carmen. It takes place every year in the month of January.
The Mexican Caribbean is perfect for weddings of all kinds, getting married in front of the sea is an emotional spectacle. The most popular beaches are Playa Maroma in Riviera Maya and Isla Pasión in Cozumel.
In these destinations, I have always felt free to be who I am, to be the way I am, and to live without fear. When we are looking for a gay-friendly destination, we are really looking for that freedom, a place where we feel safe and happy. Definitely Cancun and the Riviera Maya are.
If you’ve been here, tell me, what was your experience?