Wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, the tiny and eclectic country of Belize has become one of the most popular eco tourism destinations in Central America. The weather is mild, the beaches are spectacular, the history is rich, and yes, it is a land of swaying palm trees, azure waters and colorful sunsets.
This is an absolutely fascinating country and the only English and Spanish speaking nation immediately south of Mexico with which it shares a land border.
I have some dear friends that have been going to Belize for over 20 years. In recent years Belize has been garnering major international buzz and for sure there is no signs of it slowing down. With its amazing flora, fauna; breath taking natural resources; the quick accessibility to both a rain forest and a Caribbean beach complete with palms and white sandy beaches are all reasons why people return to these shores year after year.
While the country is experiencing more tourists, and thus more diversity in recent years, it’s still very much a conservative democracy. Public displays of affection of all kinds are generally discouraged. Some people will be shocked by gay PDA, so be discreet and mindful of the country’s attitudes. Just be respectful and enjoy the natural scenery; you’re sure to have a wonderful time.
Belize is a romantic and adventuresome destination where you can lounge in luxurious accommodations with a lover, or explore caves and go deep-sea diving with friends. The beautiful tranquility of the natural Belizean geographical features will leave you breathless though, so don’t let that small setback keep you from visiting this idyllic land!
WHEN TO GO? Anytime! The average yearly temperature is 84° F (29°C), which means that it is pretty much near perfect all year round.
WHERE TO STAY? There are more than 200 islands in Belize that are known as cayes (pronounced “keys”) that are easy accessible and can serve as ideal bases for fishing, snorkeling and diving. For me personally, I don’t care for the big international hotel chains – I prefer smaller, quaint and romantic places to stay.
El Secreto nestles 13 exclusive individual thatched roof villas with a smart combination of contemporary and traditional elements. This beautiful gay friendly, Boutique Resort sits on the Caribbean beaches of Ambergris Caye, Belize.
(Temptation Island was filmed nearby on Ambergris, 36 miles north of Belize City, and the caye is the country’s liveliest, with open-air bars and restaurants spilling into the white sand in the main town, San Pedro.)
Appointed with fine Belizean tropical woods, marble finished bathrooms with a tandem bathtub, outdoor private jacuzzi and shower patio. All the villas are equipped with a King size bed, a state of the art led lighting system, air conditioning, iPod dock station, LCD TV, mini bar, safe, hair dryer, Melita coffee maker, 400 thread Egyptian cotton Vivenda linens and Malin & Goetz amenities. They have made many TOP 10 lists and won many awards for luxury experiences!
Enjoy a unique dining experience at El Secreto Restaurant. A romantic setting where you can “feel” the breeze and admire a beautiful ocean view. It doesn’t get much better than this!
GET PAMPERED with Spa services. Ikal meaning “spirit” in Maya, will reconnect you to the essence of life. A wonderful natural setting where you will indulge to a peaceful atmosphere enjoying Island rituals with the benefits of the sea, bamboo, tropical fruits, spices and aromatherapy.
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GETTING TO BELIZE is outlined on this page.
GAY TRAVEL HOT DEAL!
Hosted every Labor Weekend, Southern Decadence is the 5th largest event in the city following Mardi Gras, Jazz Fest, Essence Fest, and French Quarter Fest. 2014 brought in over 160,000 participants.
It’s not to early to start planning for the giant 44th Southern Decadence celebration of LGBT life, music and culture. CALL David now FOR THE BEST DEALS! 1-800-942-1280!
SUMMER $99 SPECIAL
(not available during holiday weekends).
The May 5th 2015 update to the US Department’s Travel Warning and the June 1st Travel Advisory by the Canadian Government to Mexico do not include a warning to the city of Puerto Vallarta.
There is no travel warning to Puerto Vallarta. The U.S. Department’s Travel Warning as it pertains to the State of Jalisco highlights rural highways and areas that border states to the south, almost 250 miles from Puerto Vallarta or the distance between New York and Boston; or Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
Similarly, Canada’s Travel Advisory asks that visitors to the State of Jalisco “Stay in tourist areas and follow local media closely. If you do venture outside urban areas, exercise extreme caution, including on major highways. Avoid traveling at night. It is not safe to travel near the border with Michoacán.”
Read more here.
Airlines offering discount flights to gay people!
An airline has infuriated Republicans – by offering to fly gay people to Pride events across the US for a discount.
Alaska Airlines – which carries the name of the state known more for being the home of anti-gay politician Sarah Palin than for inclusiveness – made the offer as part of an ‘LGBT travel’ stunt.
Though it doesn’t exclusively apply to LGBT people, the airline has discounted flights to Pride events in a number of cities across the US.
It offers flights at a discount to Pride events including LA, New Orleans and Boston – in a move that has infuriated conservatives in the country.
Alaska Air said: “At Alaska, we have been longtime supporters of the LGBT community and remain committed to a more equitable society. We were elated when the State of Washington expressed the same commitment by legalizing marriage for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
“To show our continued support we are encouraging the LGBT community to travel, not only to Seattle, but to Pride events and gay friendly destinations all over the country.
“With that aim, we have put together this section of our site to highlight destinations that support marriage equality, Pride celebrations, and other things of interest to the LGBT community.”
Some have decried it as “discrimination” in favour of LGBT people, with one right-wing blogger claiming: “The establishment campaign to promote disease-spreading and culture-corroding perversity has reached the point that Alaska Airlines now implies discounts for homosexuals.
A gay couple is accused United Continental of “extreme and outrageous” conduct over an alleged incident involving a sex toy taped to their luggage, which the men say caused them severe emotional trauma. Back in 2011.
Christopher Bridgeman and Martin Borger of Norfolk, Va., are seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, invasion of privacy and negligence in a lawsuit filed in 2012.
The incident allegedly happened on May 21, 2011, as Bridgeman and Borger were returning from a vacation in Costa Rica. The men — who have been together for almost nine years — were flying back to Norfolk on Continental with a 90-minute layover at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. (Continental merged with United in 2010.)
Once they landed in Houston, the men collected their checked bags, went through customs, rechecked their luggage and boarded their flight to Virginia without incident.
But when they arrived in Norfolk and went to the baggage claim area, the couple discovered a sex toy had been taken from one of their bags, covered in a “greasy foul-smelling substance” and “taped prominently” to the top of the bag, according to the lawsuit.
United countered that it has conducted a thorough investigation and determined that there is no support for the allegations, spokeswoman Christen David said in a statement.
A district judge initially dismissed the case, but it was reinstated by an appeals court. Continental’s new parent company — United Continental Holdings — has continued to unsuccessfully attempt to get it thrown out. So now it goes to trial!
Cuban gay rights activists led by the daughter of President Raul Castro planned a mass symbolic wedding TODAY to promote acceptance of gay and transgender Cubans in a country once notoriously hostile toward them.
The ceremony was part of an annual gay pride parade and will be symbolic because same-sex marriage is illegal in Cuba, Mariela Castro told reporters. She had said it would also be low key because Cuban society is still uneasy about full rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
“We can’t do a wedding, but we wanted to have a very modest celebration of love with some religious leaders,” said Castro, head of the National Sex Education Center and a member of Cuba’s National Assembly. “In the future we’ll see what more we can do.”
The ceremony was inspired by the mass wedding of more than 100 couples at the World Pride event in Toronto last June, Castro said.
VIDEO FOOTAGE HERE
Make copies of your passport and leave one with friends and another tucked into your bag. Or, better yet, scan your passport and email a copy to yourself. (I make copies of my credit cards also).
Always put a second luggage label on. A suitcase is easily parted from its luggage label. I always use a second one complete with details of your flight and destination clearly listed.
The second you think of packing something, PACK IT. If you wait, you may forget. Packing for a trip is infinitely easier when you’ve just done laundry.
Try not to pack everything you own, EDIT. Pack for the best-case scenario. Think in terms of what you can do without. When in doubt, leave it out. Minimize by bringing less. Experienced travelers try to bring only things that will be worn repeatedly, complement other items, and have multiple. Pack with color coordination in mind. Neutral colors (black, navy, khaki) dress up easily and can be extremely versatile. The website www.butlerbureau.com has video instructions on how to fold a T-shirt and pack a suitcase. Go to YouTube to see Mr. Bean demonstrating how NOT to do it.
Pack more underwear than you could ever conceivably go through. They don’t take up much room, and after a few days on the road, you will feel super sexy when you put on a fresh pair in the morning and again in the afternoon and another in the evening.
Rolling items before shoving them into your suitcase really does save space. Backpackers swear by this method. Rolling works well with pants and sports shirts. Lay the item face down, fold back the sleeves and then roll from the bottom up.
Ironing. Try not to pack anything that requires ironing. Choose fabrics that resist wrinkling or look good wrinkled.
Shoes. Don’t take 5 pairs of shoes. I always try to wear a pair and take a pair. Think universal.
Never check any of the following: expensive jewelry, your toothbrush, your prescription medications, contact solutions, or your deodorant. Airlines mislaid 42.4 million suitcases last year, reason enough never to put anything you would hate to lose in your checked luggage.
Snacks. Wherever you are, wherever you are going, bring snacks.
You will inevitably forget something, either at home or while on your trip. Accept this reality, and pray it is not your passport. Or your partner!
A woman aboard a Southwest Airlines flight Thursday afternoon couldn’t stand the snoring of a man sitting nearby, so she stabbed him with a pen.
Passengers aboard the already delayed Flight 577 out of Chicago’s Midway Airport were perturbed when the pilot was forced to circle back to the gate where Chicago Police escorted the woman off the plane. Other passengers tweeted their experience, noting the woman was “just smirking” as the flight was stalled.
The snoring passenger who suffered the hard poke, named Lenny, suffered ”deep bruise marks” but no blood, according to a friend via Twitter, who said he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Southwest gave Lenny free gin-and-tonics for his troubles.
Two Transportation Security Administration employees have been fired and two others reassigned after they allegedly set up a system to allow a male screener to pat down attractive men going through security at Denver International Airport, authorities said.
The employees were not identified, and there will be no criminal charges because no victims have come forward, according to a police report.
The male screener would give a signal to a female employee when a male passenger arrived that he thought was attractive, and she would falsely enter the sex of the passenger as female, so the machine would report an anomaly that triggered a pat down of a passenger’s groin, police said in a report.
She told the TSA investigators she did this for the other officer at least 10 times in the past, according to the report.
A TSA investigator observed the scheme in action at 9:25 a.m. on Feb. 9, when he saw a screener give a signal to another and then pat down the passenger’s groin and buttocks using the palms of his hands, which is forbidden by TSA rules, according to the police report.
More @ MSNBC
This black flamingo is one in several million—and perhaps, the only one in the world.
On April 8, it was spotted during a flamingo count along a salt lake at the Akrotiri environmental center on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. This same flamingo may have also been seen in Israel in 2014, when a 70-year-old man captured what could be the world’s “the one and only black flamingo” on camera, the photographer told the Monterey Herald. Read more @ Audubon
FOUR Reasons why you should go to Palm Springs Spring/Summer….
April 30 – May 4, 2015
MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
May 20 – May 26, 2015
$99 room deals!
When you arrive at PVR airport, you head south through the Marina Vallarta Hotel Zone to get to Puerto Vallarta. If you head north instead, that takes you to Riviera Nayarit which begins at Nuevo Vallarta and continues north with 200 miles of coastal beauty framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains that more and more LGBT travelers are now discovering.
A number of hotels in Riviera Nayarit have recently been accredited as “LGBT friendly,” including the top-end Four Seasons Punta Mita. (above).
From Punta Mita, a secluded beach oasis known for luxury resorts, to peaceful Mexcaltitán Island*, the birthplace of the Aztec civilization, Riviera Nayarit offers traditional and friendly seaside villages, lush jungles, colonial history and quiet beaches. With an array of gay-friendly hotels, bars, restaurants, spas, stores and tourist excursions, LGBT travelers can choose a vacation that best fits their style and mood. (*You’ve never seen anything like it. Mexcaltitán Island, located northwest of Santiago Ixcuintla, is quite literally a magical place.)
Riviera Nayarit is less touristy and more refined than Puerto Vallarta, 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 tantalizing food to eat.
Gay-owned establishments include Billy Bob’s bar in the historic port of San Alas, 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.
Ultimately 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. Many of Hollywood’s celebrities have been coming here, because it is less touristy and there many 5 star resorts. Riviera Nayarit’s luxurious accommodations, top restaurants and chefs, matchless nature, and growing number of attractions for cosmopolitan visitors have led Riviera Nayarit to be one of the new top tourist destinations in Mexico for members of the LGBT community.
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. Riviera Nayarit is recognized as a “Virtuoso Preferred Destination.” In 2015, Riviera Nayarit was recognized by Travel Weekly as “Mexico’s new holiday destination on the Pacific coast,” by Yahoo! Travel as “Mexico’s New Playground” and on Conde Nast Traveller UK 2015 Hot Destinations List.
It’s an ideal place for anyone looking to be close enough to the LGBT action without actually being in the thick of it, as Puerto Vallarta’s main LGBT scene is between a 30 to 45 minute drive away.
Contact Dave for all your LGBT travel needs worldwide:
GAY WINE WEEKEND 2015
Come Out In The Vineyard at GAY WINE WEEKEND 2015, a weekend of wine & celebration in California Wine Country – Featuring TWILIGHT T Dance & Gay Wine Auction benefiting Face to Face, Sonoma County AIDS Network.
Enjoy 3 Full Days of LGBT events in Northern California’s magnificent Sonoma Valley – home to some of the world’s most prestigious wines and wineries. Celebrate with world class wine and culinary delights, music and dancing in a private estate vineyard, VIP Receptions, wine tasting excursions, passport wine tasting, champagne brunch, wine auction and pool party in one of the most famous luxury wine destinations in the world.
Located only 45 minutes north of San Francisco it is truly an amazingly breathtaking place to gather and show your Pride, Out In The Vineyard.
For US Travelers, Europe is a great DEAL! For the last 10 years, I avoided countries that are on the Euro. Instead, I would go to Prague, Budapest and Croatia – it was always a better deal. But now with the Euro dropping…..
A few years ago 1 Euro = $1.50. This week, 1 Euro = $1.08
Analysts say, The euro is going down because several of the key economies of Europe are heading into deflation, which is always a greater fear than average inflation. European leaders are planning to apply quantitative easing strategies in March that will probably work to reverse the deflation but will likely not strengthen the euro relative to the dollar as QE increases the supply of euros. The fact is that a weak euro will hurt the USA more than it will hurt Europe as it impacts tourism from Europe and lowers the cost of imported products and services from Europe.
It’s a “Catch 22″ I guess; Americans are expected to pour millions of dollars into the Old World as the value of goods and services decreases overseas. But there is only so much money to go around…U.S. could see a shortfall of tourists, which could wreak havoc on cities that depend on income from their vacations. Among those metropolises is New York City, which could experience a drop off of up to $30 billion in tourism dollars in the next year, or 50 percent of the current total, according to the New York Post.
Have you ever seen a GREEN FLASH at Sunset?
I heard about this for the first time last year in a movie that mentioned it.
Green flashes and green rays are optical phenomena that sometimes occur right after sunset or right before sunrise. When the conditions are right, a green spot is visible above the upper rim of the disk of the sun. The green appearance usually lasts for no more than a second or two. Rarely, the green flash can resemble a green ray shooting up from the sunset (or sunrise) point. Green flashes occur because the atmosphere can cause the light from the sun to separate out into different colors. Green flashes are a group of phenomena which stem from slightly different causes, and therefore some types of green flashes are more common than others.
Green flashes are enhanced by mirage, which increase refraction. A green flash is more likely to be seen in stable, clear air, when more of the light from the setting sun reaches the observer without being scattered. One might expect to see a blue flash, since blue light is refracted most of all, and the blue component of the sun’s light is therefore the very last to disappear below the horizon, but the blue is preferentially scattered out of the line of sight, and the remaining light ends up appearing green.