WESTERN MEXICO´S PACIFIC COAST
The traditional charming Mexican beach town of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Jalisco, is already a popular LGBT destination, with its second annual Vallarta Pride festival recently having taken place May 22-26.
The destination also has more than a dozen gay-friendly hotels, including boutique property Casa Cupula, the newly-renovated Villa Mercedes, Olas Altas Suites and the 43-room Blue Chairs Resort by the Sea - the first in the city dedicated to gay and lesbian travellers located on the beachfront.The week-long celebration saw beach parties, parades, fashions shows, live music and even mass commitment ceremonies taking place – last October, civil unions were approved in the state of Jalisco for same-sex couples. The resort's Romantic Zone offers gay beaches, cruises, bars and clubs, including the luxurious adults-only, LGBT-friendly Mantamar Beach Club, Bar and Grill, which hosted the opening party for Pride.
A long-standing member of the IGLTA (International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association), Puerto Vallarta will be co-hosting Latin America's fourth LGBT Business Expo in June (12-14) with neighbouring resort Riviera Nayarit.
The event will feature workshops, seminars and conferences aimed at forecasting and shaping the future of LGBT travel within the region. Companies that will be taking part include Google, American Airlines and American Express, while the latest research from Out Now Global's LGBT global research initiative LGBT2020 will also be released.
The expo will be held at the Marriott Casa Magna Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, and will be in partnership with Riviera Nayarit – a burgeoning hotspot for LGBT travel, located along the north coast.
Riviera Nayarit is keen to follow its southern neighbour, Puerto Vallarta’s lead in tapping into the "pink pound". A number of hotels in Riviera Nayarit in the state of Nayarit have recently been accredited as "LGTB friendly”, including the top-end Four Seasons Punta Mita and the all-inclusive Hard Rock hotel.
The hip and happening Riviera Nayarit is less touristy and more refined than its glitzy friend to the south, but is an equally fabulous holiday paradise with a visible, relaxed gay community. There are numerous beachside towns to explore by car, waves to surf and tantalising food to eat.
Gay-owned establishments include Billy Bob's bar in the historic port of San Blas, whose surroundings are the prime bird watching spot of the northern hemisphere, and the Xaltemba restaurant gallery in the town of La Peñita. The “hippy chic” town of Sayulita with its eclectic mix of cultures and surfing attracts the LGBT market year round. But it's the area's pristine beaches and wide-ranging activities – from whale watching to spa experiences – with its luxury properties and diverse coastal towns, which are the biggest draw. It’s an ideal place for anyone looking to be close enough to the LGBT action without actually being in the thick of it.(Puerto Vallarta’s main LGBT scene, in the state of Jalisco, is between 30 to 45 minutes' drive away from southern Riviera Nayarit).
About Riviera Nayarit
Mexico’s newest destination, Riviera Nayarit, stretches along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just ten minutes north of accessible Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay. Riviera Nayarit offers countless activities, such as: PGA golf courses, luxury spas, whale watching, turtle release, zip lining, surfing, bird watching, international cuisine, and the local artwork from the traditional Huichol tribe. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” The region attracts and satisfies vacationers of all tastes and budgets with its wide range of accommodations including chic luxury resorts, eco-tourism boutique hotels and quaint B&B inns. For more information, visit www.RivieraNayarit.com or follow Riviera Nayarit's Fan Page on Facebook.