Category Archives: Gay Vacations

Gay Travel to Greece – Skiathos Gay Weekend July 2012

Unfortunately, we just discovered this – or we would have shared it earlier. It’s a little late to book now – but maybe next year!

While Mykonos
has long been considered to be the most gay-friendly island in Greece,
with a tradition of welcoming gay holidaymakers stretching back to  the early 1960s, other islands also welcome gay travelers.

 The
popular island of Skiathos, perhaps better known as one of the locations
for the movie version of “Mamma Mia!”, is presenting its first Gay
Culture Festival July 12th-15th, 2012.

The 1st International Gay Culture Festival will take place on July 12th to 15th on the cosmopolitan island of Skiathos Greece. This festival is organized with the initiative of the Hoteliers Association of Skiathos. Young artists from all over the world will join their forces for the G Festival and various events will take place, from beach parties to poetry reading.

You can watch a little video teaser online.

They have an official website as well Skiathos Gay

Gay Travel to Maui – Airfare Prices Drop

AIRFARE TO MAUI  

CONTINUES TO PLUMMET!   

You Can Now Fly Roundtrip from the West Coast for  $500 bucks OR LESS!!!!   

As you may know, earlier this year, the major airlines were charging outrageous fares to Hawaii.   

 

We could not believe
roundtrip airfare from LAX to OGG (Kahului, Maui) for mid-week flights
in July, 2012 ranged from $950 up to an outrageous $1,400 roundtrip in
economy class.  

 

Then we got the great news,
the three major airlines (United, American and Delta) all cut their
fares from the West coast cities down substantially down to about
$600-700. 

Well now Hawaiian and Alaska Air have undercut the major airlines, forcing them to cut again. 

 

We just went online and here are some sample fares for these cities for travel in the fall (8/21 to 11/14):

 

 

LAX to OGG  $462 Roundtrip

SJC to OGG   $499 Roundtrip

OAK to OGG  $519 Roundtrip

SFO to OGG   $439 Roundtrip

SAN to OGG   $509 Roundtrip

SEA to OGG   $478 Roundtrip 

PDX to OGG  $475 Roundtrip

Be sure to book your room at the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort at our already low rates for the fall!! 

Gay Travel to Umbria Jazz, Lake Como Italy and East African Safari

Where will you go in 2012??
3 exciting LGBT tours!!

Love To Travel With Pride
Lake Como 2012
An Exclusive LGBT Vacation Event

Together We Welcome
Gay Men, Women and Friends
to join us on Lago di Como, Italy,
Summer 2012

We are offering this vacation on
2 separate weeks.

The choice is yours:
May 26 – June 2      or      August 25 -September 1

Villa Stupenda is a stunning 9-bedroom Hotel and combined fully furnished apartment complex situated directly on Lake Como:   A completely refurbished 19th Century Villa

Our enticing itinerary will introduce you to the culture  and beauty of the Lake Como region of Northern Italy with:
Wine tastings,
A private estate BBQ,
Travel to St. Moritz, Switzerland,
“Sfilata Privata” (reception & private fashion display) in the
House of Armani, Milan, Italy
Spa Day in Bormio, Italy,
An intimate evening boat tour of the Villas of Lake Como,
An unforgettable unique dining experience at  Locanda dell’Isola Comacina on Lake Como
As your on-site English Speaking hosts we ensure you a high level of personal service.

Tour Price:    € 2199,00 per person dbl*
*With early booking discount of € 200,00 per person if deposit is received before 31 January 2012.
Non-refundable deposit of €200,00 is required to confirm your space at the time of booking.

Contact us now to book this Italian adventure:
1-800-565-2238 (North America)
+39 338 897 7965 (Italy)
“Passionately delivering a unique travel experience”
 


UMBRIA  JAZZ FEST 
       in Perugia, Italy. July 2012!

One of the best Music Festivals in the World

Your  one or two weeks in Umbria offers you the sights and sounds, the foods,
the music, the enchantment of Umbria and Tuscany.
7 – 14 July 2012
One Week – Umbria Jazz
EUR €1999 pp

7-21 July 2012
Two Week – Umbria Jazz Extended with
Tuscany & Umbria Touring
EUR €2999 pp

Prices include:
* Private Transfers from Rome or Florence
* 7 or 14 Nights accommodation at Il Borgo Torale
* Tickets to 5 Umbria Jazz events with transfers
* Private Day Tours in Umbria and Tuscany: Wine Tasting, Sightseeing, Food experiences
* On site Canadian Hosts
* Always stay in touch Italian Mobile Phone during your stay
* Included Special Events
Prices are in EURO’s (€) and are based on 2 people sharing a one bedroom, king size bed, apartment.
Studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments are available: Please enquire about pricing.
Contact us today to assist you with
booking your perfect holiday in Italy

1 800 565 2238 (toll free North America)
001 39 338 897 7965 (Canada to Italy)
0039 338 897 7965 (Europe)

Our Events are Unique Vacation   Experiences Personally Designed for the  Inquisitive World Traveller.
“Passionately delivering an   exceptional travel experience”
 
Visit with us and Feel the Difference!


East Africa Safari
03 October 2012

This LoveToTravel exclusive East African Safari includes all the famous Tanzania and Kenya Safari highlights and attractions.

Explore East Africa on this relaxed
lodge and tent-camp safari adventure.

This is a small group, six (6) member, 15-day safari.

Highlights Include:

Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Masai Mara, Nairobi and Amboseli National Park

Price: USD $6100 per person, Single Supplement: USD $710
Included in the price:
-14 nights in lodges / permanent tented camps with en-suite bathrooms
-all transport in fully kitted out 4×4 safari vehicle
-game reserve drives as mentioned
-meals and activities as mentioned in itinerary
-accommodation
-park entrance fees
-experienced local guides

Tour Code: 2Y12P5900
Contact us today to Book this Exciting   East Africa Safari Event

1 800 565 2238 (toll free North America)
001 39 338 897 7965 (Canada to Italy)
0039 338 897 7965 (Europe)

We would love to hear from you: jclement@lovetotravel.ca

Our Events are Unique Vacation Experiences   Personally Designed for the Inquisitive World Traveller.

Wallabyway.com Releases Awesome BURNING MAN Videos




The 25th annual Burning Man festival recently wrapped up in the middle of the Nevada desert, and 50,000 folks braved the dust and heat at the world’s most epic festival where people  create Black Rock City, dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.

Pictured –  Meet Garet and Dusty, Seattle’s adventure seeking (sometimes nudist) boyfriends who go by “The Scenic Boys”, who with a dozen friends built The Emerald City Glam Cocks camp, a 20-foot structure completely with disco ball dance club on which to survey the land …and the guys.

Watch what happens as three Aussie Burning Man virgins travel halfway around the world to take on the world’s most epic festival. This is some awesome video footage in the links below!





5 minutes  Inside Burning Man 

NSFW  17 minutes   Welcome Home – Burning Man Adventure

WallabyWay  on Facebook


Hocking Hills…SouthEast Ohio’s Hidden Gem of Nature and Waterfalls


(Photo Left-Joe Braun)

Hocking Hills Ohio,
where waterfalls, remarkable hiking trails and amazing wildlife await!

We just discovered this hidden gem last month –  and WOW!  What a treat!
This is a photographers paradise. Hikers will love it. Take a deep breathe of fresh air….and just relax with nature.

Whether it’s antiques, fine art, breathtaking scenery, a hike to Old Man’s Cave or a getaway in a woodland cabin, you’ll find it all just outside Logan in southeast Ohio.
Just 60 minutes from the beautiful city of Columbus!

 There is so much that makes Hocking Hills State Park unique. Cascading waterfalls, breathtaking cliffs, deep recess caves and forestland as far as the eye can see are just a few distinctive features of the region. And everything to see is FREE.


Located in the picturesque sandstone region of Southeastern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park encompasses some of the most scenic areas in the entire state.  Rock outcrops, deep cool gorges, and waterfalls are found throughout the 6 main park areas.  The pristine beauty of the area is enhanced by the abundance of wildlife found throughout the Hocking region. Visitors to the park can almost bet they’ll see Ohio wildlife such as white tailed deer, wild turkey or even the cumbersome box turtle.


The natural history of this region is as fascinating as the caves are beautiful.  Here, in these sandstones and shales, one can read Ohio’s history from the rocks. The scenic features of the six areas of the Hocking Hills State Park complex are carved in the Blackhand sandstone. This bedrock was deposited more than 350 million years ago as a delta in the warm shallow sea which covered Ohio at that time. 
Subsequent millions of years of uplift and stream erosion created the awesome beauty seen today.


And of course, you can still see the erosion at work when the spring rains fill up Queer Creek near Old Man’s Cave and she pours her excess into what is  called Cedar Falls. 

The Cedar Falls area is where we stayed.  The 
Inn  and Spa at Cedar Falls is recognized by SELECT REGISTRY, as one of the distinguished Inns of North America.


Surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Parks, The  Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, in Logan, Ohio, features a setting that puts guests in tune with the harmony of nature, the peace of solitude and the simple joys of the Earth’s beauty.  It was beautiful!  And they have been   green certified, by the Hocking Hills Tourism Assoc.

Mammoth rock formations, caves and waterfalls native to the Hocking Hills, Ohio region share their breathtaking beauty with the Inn’s charming cottages,  log cabins and antique filled bed and breakfast rooms.





The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls is THE place you want to make sure you stay at! It is the original, in this area. Over the years, many mom and pop inn’s have sprouted up, but this one is THE BEST. And it has a wonderful history.

It is ran by Ellen Grinsfelder and her husband Terry Lingo.  It was Ellen’s mother,  Anne Castle who had a vision in Hocking Hills. Anne was  a well respected businesswoman who gave up her corporate life to establish a place where the ever-growing number of urban dwellers could retreat to a natural setting.


After two and a half years in the making, the vision became a reality when The Inn opened in 1987. Those two plus years were not without struggle. Located in each room at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls, is a brief history of The Inn. It states: “This is not a Pollyanna-glad-girl story, however, the struggle to withstand backbreaking work, mind-bending discouragement, seemingly countless physical, emotional and financial blocks, is a long tale…” A story not unlike many great entrepreneurs.


The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is distinguished by the 1840′s log houses that are homes to The Inn’s gourmet kitchen, dining rooms and tavern. Constructed with 18-inch wide logs and the original plank floor, the main dining room offers a romantic setting. Outside dining on the gorgeous and lush patio offers guests the opportunity to view hummingbirds at feeders and dine under the stars.


 




 


 


 The Inn is a barn-like structure housing 9  antique-furnished rooms each with its own private bath. The porch and veranda feature a spectacular view of the Hocking Hills. A large common room is available for guests or business meetings.

Over the years, 12  Cozy cottages were added and  nestled into the woods, affording privacy and tranquility.

For large groups or just more space, 5 larger renovated, fully equipped 19th Century log cabins feature privacy and cooking facilities. So you really have 3 choices when selecting your place to stay.



 

 Ideal for a tranquil romantic getaway, each Hocking Hills Cozy cottage is situated on two acres of natural wooded beauty and has the charming ambiance of a gas log stove and private deck. Relax and unwind in a whirlpool hot tub for two after a day of hiking the Hocking Hills. Sit on the back deck and sip a glass of wine and admire the brilliant evening sky full of stars.


Plush robes, fine soap, lotions, and lip balm add an extra touch  for cottage guests. Towel warmers and hair dryers are also provided. Fresh baked cookies await your arrival in the cottages.

The Sumac Cottage is handicap accessible. Two Dog Friendly Cottages are Trillium and Yarrow. Children of all ages are welcome in some of the  cabins. The rooms and cottages are not set up to accommodate them. Additional features offered in the Supreme Cottages.

And what about a commitment ceremony?  The Hilltop Garden is simple, but beautifully landscaped with local flowers, fruit trees and benches. Couples desiring an outdoor wedding make this an ideal setting. It offers sitting or standing room for up to 50 guests.

The new Rooftop Garden is a 1000-squarefoot rooftop herb and flower garden with walking paths. There is a small gazebo and it is ideal for smaller weddings of up to 20 people. The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls provides the PERFECT romantic backdrop for ceremony/dinner/honeymoon. Owner Ellen says, “We’ve created an environment that makes the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls an ideal place for your ceremony. The Inn’s 75 acres is perfectly suited for small, intimate gatherings of up to 50 people. Make your day unique and unforgettable by allowing us to help you envision, create, plan, and fulfill your special day. Your every last wish is delightfully anticipated!”



 


 A unique dining experience awaits Hocking Hills guests in the double log cabin. The open kitchen is the heart of this bed and breakfast inn, where guests may chat while watching gourmet meals being prepared from scratch. Fine American cuisine is the specialty and in-season patio dining is available. Executive chef Anthony Schulz creates  Wonderful food!  In a casual setting.



Each season, the Inn, presents a new menu. “We have incorporated Ohio’s vast cultural influences into our style of preparation. Local Ohio products inspired by classic, culinary traditions yield a delicious way to explore our national heritage.” – Breakfast, lunch and dinner’s available. Full bar and extensive wine list.




SPA!  AHHHHHHHH.    A quiet retreat awaits those seeking the luxury of spa services gently balanced with a closeness to nature. There’s a moment when it all comes together — when you discover the best in yourself. In the middle of your busy schedule, it’s easy to miss these special times that can awaken you to life’s possibilities. Open daily, the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls offers packages, treatments and gift certificates for men, women, couples and groups.





The Inn continues to grow and review its mission, constantly evolving. It’s idea has remained the same throughout 23 years of operation. Simply put, it says, “We are a Country Inn in a peaceful, natural setting, where people can connect with the earth and universe. We are dedicated to high standards — standards of Excellence. We have committed ourselves to quality food, quality surroundings, quality service and quality employees.”


WHEN TO GO?  Pretty much anytime during the year. In the winter it’s like a wonderland, in the summer it looks like something us city dwellers, only see in magazines. Witness the fall colors in Autumn or the magic of the holiday season.

Insider hint –   WEEKDAYS are better than weekends, in my opinion. It  is less busy.

Editors note – No TV or computers here. This is about GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL!   ESCAPE! There is wi-fi available in the main building, should  you absolutely  feel the need to check in with the rat race!

Hocking Hills Official site
Hocking Hills State Park

Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls
Inn’s  and Spa’s Special Event Calendar


 

Gay Travel to Amsterdam Pride Discount Packages

Gay Pride Amsterdam is the yearly highlight for gay Amsterdam. This year the main Amsterdam Pride weekend will be  from August 4-7th, 2011.

Amsterdam Pride is one of the biggest and most special gay prides around the globe! With street parties all weekend long, the best club circuit parties and of course the famous Canal Parade on Saturday.

Last year Amsterdam Gay Pride drew in a record amount of visitors. Some 500,000 people watched the Canal Parade, where a record 80 boats took part.

Our friends at Travel Leaders have negotiated amazing rates for an 8-day/6 night package  running from August 1-8th.





Roundtrip airfare from Boston (other departure gateways available, pricing upon request)
            6 nights hotel – a deluxe  hotel in the city center near all attractions
            Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers
            All taxes and surcharges
            Local escort from Travel Leaders to show you around
           The price is $1998.00 per person based on double occupancy.

This is an awesome way to experience Amsterdam and Pride! 
Call David for all of the details  1-800-942-1280  or 
email him.




Join DAVE for an unforgettable 8-day/6-night getaway to exciting and beautiful AMSTERDAM, a city that is easy to get  around by bike, canal boat or on your own two feet! You will be impressed with its eclectic architecture, excellent museums,  mazes of canals, great shopping and its SERIOUS PARTY SCENE! The mix of people and cultures is like no other in Europe.




Come with me and be introduced to the unique history, PARTY SCENE and spirit of Amsterdam – from the historical city  center to the heart of the famous RED LIGHT DISTRICT to the many “COFFEE SHOPS” to the AMSTERDAM PRIDE  festivities – you will be amazed at its unique, laissez faire attitude. You won’t be disappointed.

$1998!


AUGUST 1 – BOSTON – AMSTERDAM: Depart Boston’s Logan International Airport aboard your overnight, transatlantic
flight to Amsterdam with full meal and beverage service available. (other departure cities available).


AUGUST 2 – AMSTERDAM: Morning arrival at Schipol airport in Amsterdam where we board our private motor coach for
the drive into Amsterdam. We will check into deluxe hotel in the heart of Amsterdam.


AUGUST 3-7 – AMSTERDAM: Buffet breakfast is included at our hotel each day and all other meals are on your own. All days
are at leisure to explore Amsterdam. Dave can assist you in choice of activities. Enjoy the many Amsterdam PRIDE festivities
– throughout the city and the famous Canal Parade on Saturday, August 6. Thousands from around the world flock to
Amsterdam for the many parties, street festivals and other special events.


AUGUST 8 – AMSTERDAM-BOSTON: Buffet breakfast and hotel check-out. Transfer to the Amsterdam airport to board our
return flight to Boston with full meal and beverage service.

This is an awesome way to experience Amsterdam and Pride! 
Call David for all of the details  1-800-942-1280  or 
email him.






Spirit Journeys Announces Gay Vacation to India for 2012

 


Spirit Journeys’
offers a chance to experience
 India as it was meant to be experienced.

This is an extensive 16 day exploration of some of the best that India has to offer in October of 2012. From Delhi to Haridwar, Rishikesh to Jaipur, Pushkar to Varanasi and so much more!

Participants will of course visit sites of incredible historical, archItectural and spiritual significance, staying at some of the finest hotels available. Even more importantly they will explore and experience the spiritual roots of this magical land and culture.

As with all Spirit Journeys’ adventures, the joys and benefits of gay vacations are provided but with a “stop and smell the roses” kind of attitude. Conscious travel in this manner allows ample personal time for play, reflection, relaxing and appreciating the beauty of India. This adventure holds the possibility for you to reconnect to, or discover, your own spiritual roots and at the same time experience all the flavors and fun of India.

Throughout this journey there will be daily optional yoga practice (usually in the mornings) led by world famous yoga instructor David Moreno. David has studied extensively in India and he will share his in depth knowledge and understanding of India, the Hindu spiritual traditions and mythology, as well as Ayurvedic medicine. These times with David are an invaluable addition to your time in India.




David Moreno is a long time Spirit Journey’s facilitator and has lead men’s workshops, retreats, and international travel trips worldwide – including several to India. He is recognized internationally as a senior yoga instructor and has taught at international yoga conferences, and universities.  His commentaries on yoga have been published in various yoga journals and his recently released yoga DVDs are featured on Amazon and as electronic books through iTunes and iBook.


David began practicing yoga in the late 70’s studying the Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, and Bihar styles of yoga, currently studying the primordial tantric roots of the yogic tradition.  When not traveling, David teaches in the San Francisco bay area.


Howie Holben is also a co-guide for this journey with David Moreno. Howie is the owner and caretaker of Spirit Journeys. Since early childhood, he has been drawn to indigenous peoples and their spiritual teachings, traditions and practices.  His personal journey through addiction and recovery has spawned in him a genuine interest in assisting others on their own spiritual path and he takes great pleasure in introducing people to practices, sacred ways and cultures to help them “step outside their box”. A Reiki/Karuna Ki Master, Quantum Touch and Breathwork Practioner, his desire is to help others uncover their potential and set their hearts and minds free.

The Magic of India – 2012
Sixteen Days Exploring Some Of The Best India Has to Offer!
October 25, 2012 to November 10, 2012   Limited  to  16 people.


Spirit Journeys Mission:
To create opportunities for participants to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually; to create environments where they can feel safe enough to grow and move towards living a freer, more joyous life.


For additional information on Spirit Journeys’ special gay vacations and gay retreats, contact Howie Holben at (800) 754-1875 or visit SpiritJourneys.com.

Mekong River Cruise and Vietnam Tour 2012



The Mekong River is located in China. It runs through Burma, Thailand, Yunnan, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. The Mekong is the 11th longest river in the world and the 7th longest in Asia.

The river is said to be about 2,703 miles long. Because of the seasonal changes that cause variations in flow as well as the appearance of rapids and waterfalls in the river, the Mekong is extremely difficult to navigate.

This river so strong that the level of the river located in Cambodia is lower than the high tide at sea! In 2000, the river’s rapids and tides became so overwhelming that it flooded, killing about 90 people.

LOVE TO TRAVEL is a gay travel service who plan unqiue travel excusions around the world.
Feb 9 – 25, 2012, they will take 16 guests with them to Vietnam and the Mekong River aboard the new JAHAN boat.



The brand new flagship:  The JAHAN brings river cruising on the Mekong River into a new realm. The singular touches of a luxury boutique hotel, the leisurely pace of a river cruise, and the opportunity to collect new experiences, are the signature style of First Choice. –  This boat is still being constructed! The maiden voyage will happen this fall!

This new boat is said to spearhead a new trend in luxury river cruising!


Deposit must be received by April 21, 2011 

Visit  LOVE TO TRAVEL   for all of the details.

Gay Maui Hawaii SunSeeker Getting Bigger and Better

GROWING BIGGER
AND BETTER
THAN EVER!

You may remember, when we reported that  the staff and owners of  Maui Sunseeker  were ecstatic because they had bought the property behind the three buildings we all know and love as the current Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort, pictured here.

That ‘new’ property is known as ‘Serenity’, located at 20 Wailana Place. At one time, Serenity was a ‘wellness center’ and rumor has it that even Whitney Houston stayed there at one time. (OK, so you say she’s been in and out of so many places, that any dive can make that claim…..point taken).

But hang in, the story continues.

We talked of great dreams of spas and even an outdoor jacuzzi.
We also asked for  opinions in the last newsletter. Some said… ‘We want a 24 hour jacuzzi!’ Others said ‘We want a pool!’ And yet others said, ‘Build us a SPA!’
‘  says a spokeperson for Maui Sunseeker.

We can now say that the property behind Serenity (which is behind Sunseeker) known as Sugar Beach, a property located at 26 Wailana Place, is in escrow to be bought by Maui Sunseeker!  We are just as thrilled!!”

Imagine a contiguous 1 acre gated compound of adults-only property right on the North Kihei shore that is fully dedicated to the LGBT Community!

 “If all goes according to plan, we will close escrow in THIS MONTH  and hope to have the ‘Sugar Beach’ property online in May with 4 poolside full suites, upstairs is a 2,000 sqaure foot Penthouse unit with an adjacent junior suite. The addition of these two properties will literally double the amount of land that currently comprises the Sunseeker resort.

Most exciting….in addition to giving the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort much more land, we will now have, most importantly, a pool!! Many guests just want a place to relax on property without all the Little Beach brouhaha, now they will have it.”

When all is complete, we will increase from a 17 room resort to a 31 room resort with breakfast service, a pool, an in-ground outdoor jacuzzi and a total of 6 buildings on one acre of land with much more planned.

We would like to hear what your thoughts are for what’s important in our design and policies as we go forward. Please take a moment to complete our development survey.   We want to know what you think of our clothing optional policy and what amenities YOU want to have. Your opinions matter to us, so please share them now as we go through our design.”

It’s going to be an AWESOME 2011 at    MAUI SUNSEEKER

Italy All Gay Travel Event June 11-25th




  Wanted…………16 Men Who Love To Travel,  Savour Food, Experience Wine
& Want to do it all in Italy!  

The Italian Lakes & Umbria/Tuscany      June 11-25th, 2011
This 15 day holiday combines   The lakes and vineyards of Northern Italy
With the hill towns of Umbria & Tuscany!


Just half an hour from noisy, bustling Milan, Lake Como is a jewel-like oasis of tranquillity, a magical combination of lush Mediterranean foliage and snowy alpine peaks. One of the best vantage points for this breathtaking view is in Piazza Cavour, on the banks of the lake in the town of Como.



Most people speed through the Veneto on their way to our favorite Italian city, Venice. From the train, the landscape sometimes looks flat and unappealing, yet its small cities are fascinating treasure troves of art and beacons of fine living, and only a few miles to the north the Alps begin, their foothills dotted with charming towns and lined with picturesque world-class vineyards.


If Tuscany is a legend, Umbria is a little-known medieval fable, its green heart beating in the shadow of its more famous neighbor. Beautiful Tuscan hills, vineyards and Renaissance cities with a journey through the bucolic landscapes and enchanting lakes of Umbria.


Savor private tastings of Chianti and Sagrantino wine, olive oil and honey, explore the glories of Siena, Assisi and Orvieto, discover awe-inspiring frescoes and visit the hill-top treasures of Cortona and Montefalco.





 Holiday Includes….

–   Private Airconditioned Vehicle and Driver
–     Transfers

–      7 Nights Umbria – Double Room 
         
Apartment Accommodation Torale

–      4 Nights Lago di Como –
Double Hotel Room Villa Stupenda

–      3 Nights Veneto –
Double Room Corte dei Soave

–  Specialties of the region Umbrian Dinner
–         Veneto Dinner Villa Perez-Pompei-Sagramoso
–         Private Boat Tour Lago di Como
–         Dinner and tour Isola Comacina, Lago di Como
–         7 Breakfasts Lago di Como & Veneto
–         Private BBQ Lago di Como
–         2 Hands On Cooking – Dining Experiences
–         Wine Tasting in Montefelco (Brunello Wines), Chianti, Soave
           and Valpolicella (Amarone Wines)

–         Complimentary Italian Mobile Phone for your personal use
–          Tour hosted and escorted by Jack Clement,  Love To Travel With Pride 






EARLY BOOOKING  BONUS  RIGHT NOW!
Save $200.00 per person   
Pay Your Deposit By 31 March 2011



 Join us on this small intimate tour of Italy!Call today  for
 your  perfect holiday

1 800 565 2238    or email   jclement (at) lovetotravel.ca



 


 


 

Gay Travel to Cancun Mexico

The Mayan Riviera (Riviera Maya) is the coastline from Cancún down to Tulúm. It is fast becoming the vacation destination of choice for the international LGBT gay community. They are all the same reasons that heterosexual families flock to the Méxican Caribbean – the paradise setting; the tropical weather; the beautiful beaches; the Mayan archaeological sites; the party atmosphere; the food, drink and fun. However, there is the added benefit that, unlike many other countries, México welcomes them. The gay vacationer can enjoy the same civil rights as at home or, in some cases, even exceed them.

For years Puerto Vallarta has been a haven for gays, but now many other areas like Cancun are becoming hotspots.

In 2009, federal law legalized same-sex marriage, though it was up to the individual states whether they wished to allow this under state law. So far, México City and the state of Coahuila have signed up, but Quintana Roo can’t be far behind. It is also legal in México for transgender people to officially change their name and gender; and for homosexuals to adopt children.





The Riviera Maya isn’t awash with exclusively gay resorts and clubs, though they do exist. This is mainly because it’s not seen as that big a deal. Gay men and women just merge with their heterosexual counterparts, simply eyeing up a different gender in the clubs.

Nightlife in Cancun doesn’t really get started until 10pm or later, and lasts until 5 in the morning. Looking for addresses in Cancun can be tricky, but the cab drivers know most of clubs by name. Buses run frequently between El Centro and Zona Hotelera and El Centro is walkable.


Cancún traditionally hosts an International Gay Festival in May and a smaller festival in the fall. There is a Pride Parade in the city during June.



But there is another reason to go to Cancun. On a recent visit there, I ran into some gay guys on the beach who said they were visiting from Palm Springs. For vacation, but also for dental work! 

Besides the white sandy beaches and gorgeous water (the Caribbean has 7-different colors of turquoise!), cosmetic surgeries and dental procedures  can be had with huge savings. Sometimes as much as 70% off what you pay in the United States.

This couple were having Porcelain Veneers done while vacationing 9 days in Cancun! How great is that! And what they saved in Mexico on the work, more than paid for their entire trip!

Of course you want to choose a doctor or dentist that has all of the proper accreditations.  And check references and testimonials.  This particular couple was using Cancun Dentistry .  And they couldn’t say enough good things about the doctor and his staff.

While in Cancun you won’t want to miss a trip to the Mayan ruins at Ruinas del Rey and Yamil Lu’um, both in the Zona Hotelera. Whatever you do while in Cancun, you are sure to have an amazing tropical vacation. And you can even walk away with a new smile!


Read  More  at  ENDLESS CANCUN .


New Gay Travel Guide



Gay Travel…What Does It Mean To You?

 GAY TRAVEL…..what does it mean?

Everyday I scan countless news headlines, blogs and story leads, looking to see who is saying what, and looking for things that are interesting.  Today I discovered  LANDLOPERS . It is a general  travel site written by Matt Long, who happens to be gay. It’s not a “gay travel” site, like this one. He says, “My site brings a unique perspective that is hard to find online. I am not a backpacker, nor am I super wealthy. I am just an average person who has managed to travel the world efficiently and without spending a fortune.”

His post today No Respect for the Gay Traveler , really got me thinking about how my partner and I travel, compared to how other gay people travel. 

When I travel, I look for “gay friendly” signs and symbols.  Rainbow flags. That way I know, they are accepting and are not give me strange looks if I kiss my husband in public. I can safely assume the staff is going to be accepting of us and they welcome my gay dollars.

Matt  says, “why do we need separate things? Expedia recently launched a GLBT Travel Lounge offering gay friendly travel options. That sounds fine on the face of it, but why does there need to be a GLBT search listing? Would you have a separate search criteria for African-Americans or Christians?  That’s absurd. Furthermore, the gay city guides on Expedia seem to highlight a lot of clubs, bars and design stores. Not feeding into any stereotypes there, are we? If they advertised stereotypical listings to other minorities, there would be a national boycott.

I do not need to be segregated with other gay people. I am an independent traveler and am quite capable of handling myself in most situations around the world and can interact with people of all backgrounds. I’m not looking for everyone to get who I am and do not need to travel in a homogenized bubble.” –  I disagree with Matt. I WANT separate listings. And to compare  us with African-Americans or Christians does not make any sense. Of course, you would not have separate listings for those groups. But what about separate listings for  families? or seniors? It comes down to a group having certain needs and wants.

And as gay travelers, I think many of us want different things.  Some people want the gay, gay, gay experience. While others just want to blend in.  Matt says, “Drop the rainbow flags and instead educate your staffs that 1) gay people do exist and 2) that you treat them like any other guest. This revolutionary concept would go well beyond any promise of techno parties or the excessive use of glitter. The same goes with gay-friendly itineraries. I don’t even know what this means: clubs and brunch only restaurants? We don’t need that, our travel interests are usually the same as anyone else when visiting a new place. When I go to Paris I want to visit Montmartre or the Louvre, not a drag club. What we need is respect and not segregation.”

 

 

The rainbow flag is like a big welcome sign. You can’t drop that. It demonstrates that a place is gay or at least gay-friendly.  Matt says our travel interests are usually the same as anyone else when visiting a new place. I disagree.  When I was in Paris last year I went to the Louvre sure, but I also hung out every night in the le Marais, the gay district and went to a drag bar, a sauna and gay restaurant!  I think we all want different things when we travel. And while Matt isn’t necessarily looking for the “gay experience” when he travels, many of us are.

I was out with a gay friend last night who commented he loves to go on cruises, but has never taken a gay cruise. I asked what he liked about it, and he said he enjoys picking up the bi-married men! That’s not my thing. It’s too much work for one thing. I would rather be on a boat with all gay men!

This whole  issue brings into question just how gay friendly are certain countries that tend to be popular with gay tourists? No doubt if we boycotted every country that didn’t have a Clone Zone or gay club we’d be limited to a very dull itinerary. But many gay people may not be aware that their well-earned holiday dosh is going into the coffers of governments who oppress homosexuals and refuse them to live their lives openly, and in some cases in fear of imprisonment.

Egypt
It’s got plenty to recommend it on the romantic front; cruises down the Nile, sun basked shores and experiencing the Pyramids at sunset etc. But Egypt also happens to be one of the most unsympathetic countries relating to human rights especially over homosexuality. Recently gay websites were closed down by the authorities and used as evidence to secure jail sentences for Egyptian gays.

Morocco
 Like many Islamic / Muslim societies that view homosexual acts strictly as precursors to marriage, being openly gay and in love with someone of the same sex is a big no, no. Algiers may appear wild and louche but it’s unlikely you and your lover will be able to sign a ‘civil partnership’ there for many years to come.

Jamaica,  Dubai….do I really  want to go there that bad?  Not so  much.

So I am curious,  how do  you travel.  What do you want? What do you look for?

Leave us your comments!

Derrick Sorles
Michael  Snell

New Gay Travel Guide   and  Best Gay Cities

Gay Hawaii and Maui Sunseeker Resort

Gay Travel to The Hawaiian Islands!

Located in the central Pacific Ocean, are the most remote chain of islands in the world. Three hundred sixty-five days of the year, the islands of Hawaii promise magic and romance. Pleasant tropical weather year round, a laid-back Aloha attitude, and natural beauty will inspire you to keep the romance going beyond your island time.

Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands with a land area of 729 square miles with a variety of sights and experiences. The views from atop 10,000-foot Mt. Haleakala  (especially popular at sunrise and sunset) are well worth the winding drive past fields of protea and other exotic flowers. The long, winding road to the village of Hana is lined with waterfalls and lush tropical foliage. The quaint old towns of Lahaina and Wailuku are fun for exploring, shopping, and dining. During the winter months, the waters surrounding Maui are ideal for whale-watching.

The gay population is second only to that on Oahu. The biggest concentration of our community is in the Kihei area of South Maui, although we’re everywhere on the island!

Most resort destinations really have two gay communities, and Maui is no different. The local community tends to socialize in their own ‘family’ in private homes, informal groups or a weekly excursion to the beach. Although the local community is typically low-key, there are fundraisers and social events happening often, and visitors are always welcome.

The other gay group on Maui is made up of vacationing singles or couples, many of whom return to the island every year. The scene on Maui isn’t focused so much on high energy or heavy cruising but more on enjoying the incredible beauty found here.

Whichever group you identify with, you’ll find lots of opportunities to have fun, participate in activities and mix with the locals. Information on current local gay activities can be found online at Maui Gay Info  and Pride Maui .

 

Maui Sunseeker  is our favorite place to stay!  It is the place on Maui where you can feel free to be yourself. Welcoming all, but catering primarily to the gay and lesbian traveler.  It is the largest and most known gay resort. A beautiful 17-room gay-owned and operated resort hotel located on a secluded beach in Kihei. It is a boutique hotel for adults only. The suites are spacious, many with their own kitchens, there’s a clothing-optional rooftop area complete with hot tub and massage services, you get free Internet access, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.

Kihei is known for its beaches, so you’ll want to make at least one trek to the stupendous Big Beach and its neighbor, the gay- and clothing-optional-friendly Little Beach. Glassy turquoise waves, caramel-colored sand, and the best bodysurfing ever await you.

 “Our location is convenient to Maui attractions such as Little Beach, the Iao Valley, Hana, Lahaina and the volcano, Haleakala. The hotel has long been a fixture in South Maui; always offering a welcoming home away from home for travelers. Acquired by the current owner in 2008, the Maui Sunseeker remains Gay owned and operated. Fostering an atmosphere of quiet elegance, acceptance and aloha, guests truly become a part of our Hawaiian ohana or family. The Wailana Inn became a part of Maui Sunseeker in September 2004. An extensive renovation of the building, guest rooms and gardens was quickly accomplished. The unification of the two diverse properties resulted in an exciting and new haven to lose all cares and feel free to be yourself. Maui Sunseeker welcomes the diversity that is our community.”

Maui Sunseeker has an amazing staff that will help you plan your stay. Their in-house concierge service will help you plan and book your activities on Maui. There is an endless list of possible activities  they will coordinate for you!  Everything from wine tours and cooking classes  to spa tratements, and  water and air activities. They will even help plan your special day,
if you’re looking to exchange vows and have a romantic honeymoon.

“As our resort is LGBT clientele and owned/operated, we wanted to find the best activity providers on the island that are either gay owned/operated or are supporters of the gay community. We have worked hard to be sure our guests feel as welcome and comfortable at any activity we refer them to, as they do at home at the Sunseeker. We promise the loving Aloha spirit of these providers will welcome all and promises a fabulous time. “

Once you stay at Maui Sunseeker, you’ll come back again and again! Everyone agrees!

“My partner and I have stayed at the Sunseeker about 6-8 times. We love the atmosphere and the hotel staff. Maui is great; but staying at the Sunseeker is the vacation.”

“I have stayed here for 15 years (half the property used to be the Wailana Inn), and it is perfect for my needs: gay friendly staff #1, comfortable rooms (I always stay in one with access to the garden lanai), hot tub on the roof, wi fi  and MORE!”

“Friends recommended I stay at the Maui Sunseeker for my first trip there. Looking at prices on the internet, it was great value compared to more expensive hotel rooms and vacation rentals that have gone up a lot recently. Also, it was very easy to book online. When I arrived, the staff was very friendly and I felt very comfortable…

Hawaii truly exudes romance and peacefullness. Beaches, sunsets, stargazing, come to Maui Sunseeker  and see what you have been missing!


New Gay Travel Guide

Gay Travel Guide Question…What Does a Gay Vacation Mean to You?

WHAT IS A GAY VACATION?

AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?
 
It can mean different things to different people.  Some gays like to travel in June to Gay Pride’s around the world every year. While some gays  prefer Circuit Parties or Gay Cruises. Some LGBT folks go to very  LGBT towns like Provincetown  and San Francisco, while others are choosing  Las Vegas  and New York . Some gays don’t care if there is anything gay going on at all –  they make their own fun and blend in with the locals.

I was at a conference recently and a lady, who I presume was heterosexual, said to me, “I don’t understand why you run gay travel sites.  We  don’t  run heterosexual travel sites…” – uh,  that’s because MOST of the world is geared towards heterosexuals!

Gay men and women often feel as though they are out of place when they go on vacation. They want to enjoy their time away from home without having to deal with any ignorant attitudes. Sometimes this can be hard. As much as I would love to see Dubai …I don’t think I am rushing there anytime soon.  

 Today with so many gay vacations available to book onto gay men and women can vacation without encountering prejudice. But what can you expect on gay vacations ?

 These vacations can offer people who are gay the chance to take a break without facing the usual prejudices they may experience in everyday life. It can be very upsetting to have to deal with non-friendly behaviour and that is one of the reasons why these vacations are so popular. So if you want to take a vacation with likeminded people, you want to plan smart and do your research or have someone help you plan your trip.

You might be surprised to learn that there is a large and growing  choice of tourist destinations to visit. As more travel operators realise that they should cater for a more diverse customer base, more destinations are added worldwide that welcome the gay dollar. This means that you will not have a limited choice when it comes to booking your vacation.

As well as being able to choose from many different destinations there are plenty of types of gay vacation  to go on. Twenty years ago this choice was very limited. But things have changed. Today however there are package holidays to beach side destinations, adventure vacations and even all gay cruises. So if you were thinking that your vacation would have to be quite dull, think again, you can go on the type of vacation you love.

At certain times of the year various countries hold gay Pride events and these are some of the highlights of the year. Vacations can be taken to coincide with these events and are really great fun to meet lots of new people. So if there is an event you would like to attend, why not incorporate it into your next vacation?

For those of you who like to feel as though they are in the lap of luxury while on vacations there are some great all inclusive deals. Here you can eat and drink as much as you like when you like. Not only that but the majority of all inclusive hotels are 4 or 5 star, so they are such a pleasure to stay in.

If you are single or coupled and want to go on a vacation aimed at gay people you will have lots to choose from. You can go alone or in a group of friends, the choice is yours. The one thing that you can be sure of is that you will have a fantastic time!

Howie Holben runs Spirit Journeys , a gay vacations company that concentrates on personal growth tours. Howie has travelled the world learning from indigenous peoples. You can read  more about Howie, his work and gay tours with a spiritual flavor at Spirit Journeys website.

Gay Travel in Sao Paulo Brazil…Biggest Gay Pride in the World June 3 – 7 2010

 

It doesn’t matter what you like, São Paulo is big enough to welcome every kind of people  and she really does it with  a wide-ranging  of entertainment options. The largest city in Latin America and the fourth in the world, it is the cosmopolitan center of Brazil, from where all innovations and ideas are spread to the rest of the country. For that reason, the government and private institutions give some support to sexual, and also religious, ethnical and cultural diversity. Welcome to the heart of Brazil, welcome to the city that never sleeps, at least she does not do it alone, did you get it?

 

 

Through the blood vessels of this heart which carries all the Brazilian diversity with a social seasoning of foreigners from all over the world who come to the city for different reasons, and are able to realize the Brazilian receptive way and in addition, the importance of treating everybody well on a globalized world. The city has over 17 thousand kilometers of streets and avenues where there is a flow of 3.5 million people every day. The city looks like a worldwide metropolis and is part of a circuit which includes London, Paris, New York, Tokyo and Berlin due to the fact of being a cultural melting pot.

 

Important museums are located in the city and there are ten of them in  Ibirapuera Park . Such museums are seen as significant spaces to divulgate arts and cultural production, e.g, Modern Arts Museum (MAM), Afro-Brazilian Museum, Contemporary Arts Museum and Astronomical Observation Planetarium. MASP, São Paulo Arts Museum, is one of the main museums of the city and the country, located on Paulista Avenue, it is a rendezvouz spot of musicians, poets, dancers, writers, actors and actresses and all kind of people as many as its free space can shelter.

Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo  is a prominent headquarters of arts, located in the surroundings of Luz Station and a venue of great exhibitions such as Tarsila do Amaral, Henri Matisse. Estação Pinacoteca, close to the main Pinacoteca building, hosts an Andy Warhol exhibiton until the end of May, his largest exhibition in Latin America. Across the street you have the Portuguese Language Museum, information center of Brazil’s mother tongue and a place of Brazilian writers and poets exhibitions who contributed to what is so called Brazilian Portuguese nowadays. The masterpieces are presented in a creative and intriguing way, making use of LED, screens, interactive models placing the audience into them in an updated dynamic.

Its cultural variety can be seen in its many theaters and drama spaces in the city. Being the cradle of the most renowned Brazilian theater groups, such as Centro de Pesquisa Teatral  (CPT), Teatro Oficina, Os Satyros, and Parlapatões. The convergence point is Roosevelt square, known as a place where the biggest concentration of theaters per square meter in the city is located. It is a microcosm with its characters, stories, dramas.

 GLBT network is in charge of much of the tourist business in the city, mainly during the Pride Parade, which takes place every June on a Sunday after Corpus Christi celebration. That is the second largest event of the city and over R$ 189million are circulated in less than a week, behind the Formula 1 race competition which income is more than R$ 200 million. That is the result of a partnership between government and militancy.

There are over 100  Gay Pride Parades and celebrations each year in Brazil – but the biggest in the WORLD takes place  in  Sao Paulo June  3rd – 7th, 2010 .  (3.1 million people  in 2009!) 

 

The whole city  supports  Gay Pride.  Through the Coordenation of Sexual Affairs (CADS), the city hall guarantees R$1 million funds in infrastructure. The state government through the Sexual Diversity Policy Coordenation aids on the structure and schedule carrying out. The Federal government backs up the initiative with a sponsorship of R$ 320 thousand.

 The private sector also makes investments due to the income provided by those who take part of the parade and it is not only on the parade week or day, but all over the year. Hotels located on Paulista avenue have an increase of 20% of occupation during the parade, increasing the general occupation to 90%, according to SPTuris. In order to organize all that flow, the city hosts Brazil GLBT Business Chamber, an organization founded to help entrepreneurs make their services and products to GLBT customers better and better, putting up bars, pubs, nightclubs, saunas, restaurants, NGOs and press together. Aiming to offer good service and products, being all set to receive tourists.

 

When a visitor goes for a tour in the city, he/she can count on a LGBT Tourist Information Center established since the beginning of 2010. The service network includes 17 tourist agencies, a change and exchange office and a gay hotel – the 155, located downtown.

 According to SPTuris (São Paulo Tourism Office), the official Tourist Office, during the Parade, around 350 thousand people visit the city – 70% of them come from the state of São Paulo, 25% from other states and 5% are foreigners. They guarantee an income of R$189 million in just a week.

 

The city watches new ideas in different areas popping up, such as a Brazilian LGBT Sports Committee, in charge of arranging gays, lesbians and transsex volleyball and soccer championships. The organization carried out the first Uniliga with volleyball and indoor soccer matches with the city hall’s support, promising to export the idea to other Brazilian states such as Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina and Rio de Janeiro.

 

Want to dance?

There are also two GLBT samba schools . One of them is the brand new Monalisa Paulistana that first appeared during 2010 Carnival and aims at a place on the special samba school group. The other one is Arco-Íris, part of the main group and has its show with a lot of transsex, gays and lesbians taking part of it, and also friendly people who love the festival.

 

 

Another group which makes the city more exciting is one organized by drag queens from a nightclub called Blue Space , known as the best nightclub for drags’ shows. Every year on São Paulo’s anniversary there is a soccer match on the street – drags X employees of the nightclub, a dispute which has the
objective of making people laugh and strengthen the relationship with the neighborhood.

 
When traveling to any big city that is strange to you, be cautious and use common sense.

Don’t take the risk of having fake beverage, known as “bebida batizada”. It is better to buy the ones you know with sealed bottles. Buy them at establishments and not from people who sell them on the streets.

Don’t take much money when you leave your hotel and don’t forget your ID. In case you are stolen, the damage will not be that big.

 Leave backpacks and purses at home. Only take them if they are really indispensable and keep on the front of your body in order to watch them.

Brazil has a hot weather, so use light clothing.

Prefer to be with a group of people. Bad intentioned actions may be avoided. The hint is also worthwhile if you want to take shots or record something. Be careful with your electronic devices.

If you have any unpleasant problem, call the Police. They are able to protect you and give you some advice on what to do.

The subway (Metrô)  is the safest means of transportation. Buy your tickets in advance in order not to handle money many times.

 If you drive somewhere, give preference to park in private parking lots. Car keepers on the street are not reliable.

Keep your wallet into a pocket or in a difficult place to be found.

Pay attention when using the cell phone. Most cases of robbery occur when a person is making use of a cell phone.

Be careful with beggars on the streets asking for help or talking about some of their diseases.

São Paulo has an excellent gay life. Over 40 bars, clubs and saunas.
Please note, that some saunas are frequented by rent boys so agree a price before you have fun.

Play Safe!  Wear  condoms!

Thanks  to  Alex Bernades  of  Revista Via G  Magazine  in Brazil,
our Guest Author and Travel Partner this month!

New Gay Travel Guide

Gay Pop Art – Pop Life Exhibit Brings Warhol and Haring to Ottawa Canada this Summer!

National Gallery of Canada
in Ottawa  welcomes Pop Life!

From June 11 to September 19, 2010, the
National Gallery of Canada will be home
to the controversial exhibit Pop Life: Art in
a Material World
featuring works by Andy
Warhol, Jeff Koons, Keith Haring
and many
more.

It has been shown at the Tate Modern
in London, and Ottawa will be the  ONLY North
American stop on the tour
.

Pop Life: Art in a Material World explores the complex relationship between contemporary art, marketing, and the mass media that has evolved since the 1980s when Andy Warhol’s uttered his provocative maxim that “being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.”

The National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is the sole North American venue for this unprecedented exhibition, which features more than 250 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, videos, installations, multiples and other ephemera produced over the past three decades.

The exhibition begins with Warhol’s notorious provocation that “good business is the best art.” Marketing and publicity provided a means for Warhol to engage in modern life beyond the confines of the studio, the gallery and the museum.

Rather than simply representing or commenting on mass-media culture, Warhol deliberately infiltrated the publicity machine to cultivate an artistic persona. By performing as a partygoer, model, television personality, paparazzo and publisher, he harnessed the power of the celebrity system and expanded his reach beyond the art world and into the wider world of commerce.

Pop Life then looks ahead to the work of a number of artists who, like Warhol, have openly engaged with the cult of celebrity and unashamedly championed the idea of turning public attention into aesthetic notoriety and financial reward.

Ottawa is an open, friendly and welcoming destination for gay and lesbian travelers. And August 20-29,  is their Capital Pride/Gay Pride celebration week which attracts about 50,000  people! 

Plan to visit then and enjoy Gay Pride and the  Pop Art showing!

POP  LIFE is Organized by Tate Modern, London,
 in association with the National Gallery of Canada
.

Please note that some rooms contain explicit
and graphic material not suitable for children.

More about  POP  LIFE

(Grace Jones by DOUGLAS  KIRKLAND  PHOTOGRAPHY)
 

  Gay  Travel Guys   @  New Gay Travel Guide

Bogota Colombia Attracting More LGBT Travelers

Beaches, Nightclubs and Fashion!

The next big vacation spot for gays?

Colombia is now just behind Brazil and Argentina on the South American travel “gaydar,” according to the Miami Herald .

Colombia is  a rather scary mystery for many. Colombian kidnappings and violent drug wars are so ’90s. The  dangerous internal struggles that for decades so gripped Colombia have been on the wane. Colombia’s tourism drought has finally eased, revealing surprises and delights for modern visitors.

Colombia’s capital and, with about 7.5 million people, by far its largest city, Bogotá has the country’s biggest gay scene, one that’s surprisingly established and palpably still booming. South America’s first dedicated LGBT center, Colombia Diversa , opened here in 2006, and just received the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights  Commission’s 2010 Felipa de Souza Award for its groundbreaking work in improving the lives of the country’s LGBT citizens.

Progressive homosexual rights laws are among the reasons American LGBT travelers are making the trek there. Great shopping and beaches, plus an awesome fashion scene, are drawing tourists, too, and Colombia’s just three hours from Miami.

Gayborhood

Gayborhood Located on the city’s north side just south of Zona G, Chapinero Alto (aka Chapinero, or “Chapigay,” or “Gay Hills”) is Bogota’s booming gay district, filled with bars, cafes, and even a gay-cruisy grocery store. 

Someone at Lonely Planet  said,”I have just stayed at a great gay hotel in Bogota called the High Park Hotel. It is the first, and only gay hotel in Bogota and bills itself as 100% Gay an Lesbian. Ironically it is run by a very charming and nice older straight couple. They make you feel entirely at home and you will do everything to help make your stay wonderful-though the proprietor speaks only limited english and his wife doesn’t speak any. They will arrange for an english speaking guide if you like–but I didn’t use this service I and got around Bogota just fine on my own with my very limited Spanish.”

Others at Trip Advisor  also say it’s  OK and more of a guesthouse, not really a  hotel.

Colombia offers a wealth of diverse non-gay-specific but still-gay-appealing travel possibilities, including wilderness trekking to the ruins of Ciudad Perdida, extreme adventure mecca San Gil, and sun-basking on stunning Playa Blanca. Playa Blanca is a beautiful isolated beach on an island off Cartagena.  Cartagena, is an old colonial city with a beautiful historic center and an impressive castle.

I have been told, if you go here, pack lightly!  Shopping in Zona Rosa is a must. You will find all the top labels, and for much cheaper than in the US or Europe—Diesel jeans go for half price! Shops and boutiques line the streets, but you should also go into the Centro Commercial Andino and the Rápido shopping centers.

Whether you are gay or not, Bogotá is a wonderful city. But it is especially welcoming to gay and lesbians travelers who have little choice in the historically macho Latin society.

Aside from the gay popular scenes of colorful Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, word on the street is that Bogotá, with its friendly chicos and chicas, cheap and accessible shopping, and unlimited number of cultural activities, is home to the third largest gay culture scene in South America. AND GROWING!

 

LGBT Travel – What’s Hot? and What’s Not? in Gay and Lesbian Tourism

Top Ten Findings
 from CMI’s 14th Annual
Gay & Lesbian Tourism Survey

For the past 14 years, Community Marketing, Inc.  (CMI) has been conducting its Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Study, the most comprehensive and longest-running such survey in the LGBT marketplace.

Many of the questions are asked in consistent ways to a similar study panel, in order to identify LGBT travel trends and changes over time. The following “top ten” list presents findings that the CMI research team views as important changes or observations from the past year. For those new to CMI’s research, all the questions provide important insight into the travel motivations, preferences and interests of gay men and lesbians.

1) Gay Men and Lesbian Booking Patterns
Gays and lesbians are primarily booking their travel directly via airline and hotel websites (56%) or through online travel agencies such as Travelocity or Orbitz (34%). Direct booking is significantly more important than web-based travel services, so for travel suppliers, developing relationships with the gay and lesbian community to encourage direct booking through your own website is extremely important.

2) For the First Time in 15 years of sampling — A Decrease in LGBT Travel
For the first time since our first study in 1994, CMI has seen a decrease in LGBT travel due to the deep and wide-reaching recession.  In the 2009 survey, nearly all travel categories saw some loss (except for regional travel). Business travel and cruise travel were the hardest-hit categories. That said, far more LGBT travelers took cruises in the past year than their mainstream counterparts (as in previous years), indicating that LGBT travelers are a viable cruise market even in down economies.

3) Recession-Influenced Travel Decreases Affecting Small and Medium-Sized Markets Worse than Big Markets
Every major city in North America except for Washington DC (perhaps an Obama effect) saw a decrease in gay and lesbian travel over the past 12 months. That decrease affected cities very differently. Major markets, including New York City, San Francisco and Las Vegas saw only small leisure travel decreases, usually less than 5%, while medium sized cities, destinations that are geographically isolated, and some resort towns saw more significant decreases over 10%, and for some, over 20%.

 

4) Staycations
Staycations were the only travel category to see an increase in 2009. When asked to specify how many regional drive vacations (i.e. including at least one night in a hotel) were taken, 66% indicated taking a longer regional drive vacation of more than two hours; 42% took a regional drive vacation where the drive was two hours or less; 14% took a trip where they stayed in a hotel in their own city. This trend should benefit some metropolitan markets. Cities such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC, which are all close to each other, will probably “trade” stays among LGBT residents.

 

5) How to Reach the LGBT Community
CMI has been tracking advertising trends for LGBT travel marketing for over a decade. In general, the survey shows substantive increases in the influence of traveler reviews on travel websites and blogs, a softening of the influence of banner ads on mainstream and LGBT websites, and a remarkable resilience of the influence of travel articles in LGBT and mainstream print publications.

6) Interest in Health and Fitness While Traveling is Down
CMI has seen a trend over the past few years showing that health and fitness while traveling are becoming less important to the LGBT community. In this survey, when given a long list of potential motivators, health and fitness-related responses were near the bottom of the motivators, and often last on the lists. From hotel gyms to health and fitness vacations, they all scored poorly. This is not to say that health and fitness are not important in the day-to-day lives of gay men and lesbians, but bringing these healthy habits with them on leisure or business travel has shown less importance over time. It could also indicate that with tightening budgets, LGBT travelers prefer to spend more time enjoying the sights and experiences of the destination, rather than spend limited time in a gym.

 

7) Pride Events are Important
Unaffected by recessionary influences, nearly a quarter of the respondents reported traveling to another city and spending at least one night in a hotel to attend a Pride event; same as previous years. Nationally, Pride events continue to move millions of hotel nights in the Unites States, and Pride remains an important motivator for LGBT travelers under 35.

8) Strength of Local Neighborhoods
Further confirming other recent research conducted by CMI, gays and lesbians tend to be especially interested in visiting city neighborhoods and experiencing local, non-chain restaurants. In fact, going to neighborhood restaurants and visiting the gay neighborhood were the top activities enjoyed by gays and lesbians when visiting a destination.

9) Top Travel Brands
As an unaided question, survey participants were asked to fill in a blank for in the destination, hotel brand, and airline that they felt had done the best job in outreaching to the LGBT community.

Of the total sample, 3,800 responded to the destination question. The top destinations indicated were: Las Vegas: 11%, San Francisco: 10%, Fort Lauderdale: 7%, Philadelphia: 6%, Provincetown: 5%, and London: 5%.

Of the total sample, 2,800 responded to the hotel question. The top hotel brands indicated were: W Hotels: 11%, Kimpton Hotels: 11%, Hilton: 9%, Hyatt: 8%, and Marriott: 7%.

Of the total sample, 3,287 responded to the airline question. The top airlines indicated were: American Airlines: 38%, Southwest: 15%, Delta: 11% and Virgin: 3%.

10) Top Destinations
CMI’s list of top destinations remains amazingly consistent from year to year (based on the question of where did you travel in the past 12 months, and spend at least one night in a hotel). The following lists are reflective of the 4,726 American LGBT survey takers, who traveled to the city in the past 12 months and spent at least one night in a hotel:

Top  US Destinations for American LGBT Travelers, with percentage who visited and spent a nigt in a hotel (as Combined Leisure & Business Travel Ranking)

1) New York City: 32%
2) San Francisco: 27%
3) Las Vegas: 26%
4) Chicago: 25%
5) Los Angeles / West Hollywood: 24%
6) Washington, DC: 23%
7) Fort Lauderdale: 17%
8) San Diego: 15%
9) Orlando: 14%
9) Seattle: 14%
11) Boston: 13%

Community Marketing, Inc., the world’s #1 resource
for gay and lesbian market research, strategic consulting, and dedicated marketing and communications services.

New Gay Travel Guide   and  Best Gay Cities

LGBT Travel to Gay Friendly Ottawa Canada – Tulip Festival

AHHHHH  SPRINGTIME!  For those of us who endure cold dreary winters, the first blossoms that start to pop up from the grounds renews our excitement in our cites!

OTTAWA  CANADA draws a very large crowd for their Captial Pride / Gay Pride every August (20-29, 2010). But year round, this gay-friendly cultural city has amazing things to see and do! 

Ottawa is blessed with a natural setting offering boundless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Paved recreational paths welcome cyclists, inline skaters and joggers across the region and on Sunday mornings from May through September, several streets are closed to cars for Sunday Bikedays. The region’s many waterways are ideal for kayaking, canoeing and boating, and the upper Ottawa River offers some of the best whitewater rafting anywhere. And nearby Gatineau Park offers hiking, rock climbing, camping, exciting zip line aerial experiences and more.

THIS YEAR  marks the 65th Anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands, in which Canadian soldiers played such a large role. The Dutch Royal Family spent the years of World War II in Ottawa, and the current queen’s sister, Princess Margriet, was born here. So when the war ended and the family went home, they sent a gift of 100,000 tulip bulbs to the people of Canada, via Ottawa, in a gesture of respect and friendship.

Those tulips form the basis of what evolved into the Canadian Tulip Festival and in fact, a tulip gift continues to be made each year!

This year, the iconic festival will run May 7 – 24 , and will honour veterans by hosting many special events, including an opening day afternoon tribute at the National War Memorial. The tribute will be followed by the Liberation Street Party that recreates the spontaneous street party that took on VE Day—party like it’s 1945!

300,000  tulips at Commissioners Park near Dows Lake are always the focus, and, as of May 14, activities begin in Major’s Hill Park as well. Tour the world at the International Pavilion, grab a brew at the Liberation Beer Garden, and catch an event at Celebridée (the “festival of ideas”).

Celebridée events are held in the 

“Cabaret Libre” Mirror Tent, a weatherproof setting with hardwood floors, dramatic brocade and festive cheer. You can also check out the Liberation Swing Band and a late-night concert series of Ottawa performers.

 

Admission to both festival sites is free, though some events at the Mirror Tent will require tickets

 

 Ottawa Tourism’s Tulip Celebration Package  provides accommodation, a Tulip Passport with savings at restaurants and spas, and a selection of museum admission, city tour, or concert at the National Arts Centre.

CANADIAN  TULIP  FESTIVAL

GAY TRAVEL GUYS   at  New Gay Travel Guide

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Gay Travel – Luxury Style to Turks and Caicos! Where the Boys Are…Ooh la la!




Turks & Caicos is one of the best-kept secrets in today’s luxury vacation market! 


This stunning haven of over 40 islands boasts some of the most exquisite beaches in the world.There are miles of coral reef close to shore, making it the ideal vacation paradise for the modern eco-tourist. Professional and amateur divers alike will explore the most beautiful reef structures and exotic marine life in the world! 


In between dives you may also wish to enjoy the 18-hole golf course at the Provo Golf Club, rated among the top ten courses in the Caribbean.   


 


 

 


 

If golfing isn’t your forte, there are still countless activities to enjoy at your leisure. Turks & Caicos is also known for its cave exploring, humpback whale migration, fishing, sailing, ocean kayaking, parasailing, kite boarding, and horseback riding.

You can even try your luck at the American casinos! 

The island welcomes all people, including the LGBT traveler.  Looking to travel to the Turks & Caicos?

 StraightOut Adventures Inc. is the premiere vacation provider for gay men who pursue the world of unique adventure and pampered luxury. May 8 -15, 2010 the company offers a weeklong vacation to the Turks & Caicos. The trip combines the hot trend of villa vacations with a top Caribbean destination, taking gay travel to the next level in service and luxury.


 


Their team is dedicated to your personalized holiday experience. You’ll be taken care of for the duration of your vacation. With a full staff to attend to your every need, there is nothing that they haven’t already thought of! The luxury begins with personally escorting you from the airport to your gorgeous hilltop villa. Unwind and take in the 360-degree panoramic view of turquoise seas and tropical gardens. Sit back and relax.


Your private chef, classically trained in French Cuisine prepares all your favorite foods, and tempts your palate with fine Caribbean cuisine found only on the islands. Enjoy full-service, open bar with unlimited premium spirits and wines.

Sapodilla Bay Beach is the most beautiful and peaceful beach on the island.
And guess what! It’s only a two-minute walk from your villa.  

 


Your week will be chock full of activities and entertainment – including a catamaran eco boat tour, where you will sail historic landmarks and snorkel the barrier reef. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in a gourmet cooking class with wine tasting, as well as a welcome party with authentic island entertainment. 

In addition, StraightOut Adventures has announced they will be teaming up with Ben and Dave’s Six Pack ,the premiere online talk show. The show stars Ben Harvey, a New York City radio DJ and Dave Rubin, 12 year stand-up comedy veteran. The Six Pack is a new-school blend of what it means to be gay today and fears no topic from politics to sex and everything in between.


The duo is all about having fun, getting to know everyone and exploring great vacation destinations, starting with the gorgeous Turks and Caicos, May 8-15.



 


Ben and Dave will be blogging about their trips, doing shows on-location, featuring interviews with celebrities who live and vacation on the islands! 

So whether you vacation with a loved one or simply want to have an adventure with a friend, this vacation package is for you!Relax, be entertained, and discover the best that life has to offer.


Have we piqued your interest?

Head on over to
StraightOut Adventures today to
find out more about the trip May 8-15, 2010.


Take your vacation from ordinary to extraordinary!


Straight Out Adventures is the premier vacation provider for gay men who pursue the world of unique adventure and pampered luxury.Service is our top priority! The Straight Out Adventures team is dedicated to your personalized holiday experience. Relax, be entertained, and discover the best that life has to offer.


New Gay Travel Guide