Category Archives: Island Life

Curaçao embraces the Gays and Lesbians

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With exceptional gay friendly hotels and attractions, the Curaçao Tourist Board encourages gay and lesbian travelers to visit the island and experience its ‘Live and let live’ atmosphere for themselves.

“It is important to us that it’s known to the gay & lesbian community that everyone is welcome in Curaçao. Our island offers diverse culture, art galleries, beaches, museums, fine accommodations and exquisite cuisine that are enjoyed by all visitors to the island.” commented the Executive Director of the Curaçao Tourist Board.

curacao gay lgbt

They have  worked  hard  the last few years to make the island a destination  for the LGBT community. They just  presented the third edition of the Curaçao Pride.  A  5- day long event filled with parties and activities.

The dedicated destination website www.gaycuracao.com  lists the gay-friendly weekend hot spots, citing Floris Suite Hotel’s Rainbow Lounge every Friday, with the “Spoil Me” Happy Hour, Otra Cosa Curaçao’s gay bar along with gay-friendly places to visit as Mambo Beach as the place to be every Saturday night while Cabana Beach on Friday night and Wet & Wild on Sunday night.

Curaçao, located just two and one half hours from Miami, is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and is perfectly situated just outside of the hurricane belt.
This tropical island boasts an eclectic mix of history and culture, which has served to create a Caribbean experience unlike any other.  Also known for its eco-tourism and pristine diving conditions, Curaçao attracts the adventure traveler as well as those looking to unwind and enjoy its perfect climate.  Visitors to Curaçao will enjoy the more than 30 white sand beaches, 18-hole championship golf course, amazing dolphin interaction program, casinos and much more.

more information on Curaçao or to receive a free destination DVD contact 1-800-3-CURACAO (1-800-328-7222) or visit www.curacao.com

 

 

Gay Marriage in The Virgin Islands

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The Virgin Islands are the western island group of the Leeward Islands, which are the northern part of the Lesser Antilles, and form the border between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Politically, the eastern islands form the British Virgin Islands and the western ones form the Virgin Islands of the United States. The British Virgin Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom comprising approximately 60 islands and cays including Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is one of five inhabited insular areas of the United States, along with American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico. The territory comprises a number of islands including St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and Water Island.

Previously, Virgin Islands Senate President Neville James raised eyebrows for his statement issued after the SCOTUS ruling saying “I’ve always known marriage to be an act between a man and a woman. Notwithstanding the Supreme Court decision, that is how it will remain. Call me old-fashioned, but it is what it is.”

Seems the islands  have had a change of heart….St Croix Source reports….Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp on Thursday signed an executive order bringing Virgin Island’s law into conformance with the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality, Government House announced. The measure now awaits the signature of Senate President Neville James, who is acting lieutenant governor while Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter is out of the territory.

Mapp announced June 30 the Virgin Islands law defining marriage as only a union between a man and woman was null and void, and promised to issue an executive order to the effect.

“This ruling does not require any minister or person of faith to marry anyone they do not wish to marry or to change any religious documents in any way,” the governor said. “But the ruling does affect the behavior of civil society and, as governor of the Virgin Islands, I am responsible for the conduct and behavior of the public sector.”

“Accordingly I will be issuing an executive order which will set forth the parameters that will allow any and all legitimate marriage licenses in the nation to be recognized in the Virgin Islands.”

Gay Travel Belize and El Secreto

romantic romance gay travel belize

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.

gay-travel-belize-central-america

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!

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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-beach-resort

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.)

belize-gay-travel-places-to-stay

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!

gay belize Lake Villa night

best-gay-belize

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.

 

award-winning--LGBT-places-belize

A member of Design Hotels.

Award Winning El Secreto.

LIKE them on Facebook!

Browse rooms and pricing today for your luxurious getaway!

GETTING  TO BELIZE  is outlined on this page.

 

 

 

 

Sitges Spain Gay Pride BEST IN THE WORLD

sitges-barcelona-gay-pride
BIGGER is not always better.

While Sao Paulo has the BIGGEST  GAY PRIDE in the world – I think  SITGES has the BEST GAY PRIDE in the world!

 

 

Sitges is a fantastic gay-friendly beach town less than an hour away from Barcelona. The city’s seafront promenade, (often called Spains answer to the French Riviera) art deco architecture and nightlife make it a popular tourist spot, especially in the summer, where it is often hard to book a room.

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THIS is what PRIDE is supposed to be.  Thousands of people having fun, dressing up and partying.

This 10 minutes of fantastic footage  will make Sitges  the #1  Pride in the world!

Official Video Coverage of the International Gay Sitges Pride 2014 – Including all of the parades, tribute acts, pool parties, events and more. Come Join us in 2015 – June 18th to 23rd.

 

Gay Travel to Jamaica? Not for me!

Jamaica-Anti-Gay-Rally-travel

I had a friend recently say he was going to Jamaica with some girl friends because it was a cheap get away. FOR ME, you could not pay me to go there!

A “very frightening” mass of about 25,000 protesters rallied in support of Jamaica’s so-called “buggery law” — a colonial leftover in the civil code that criminalizes sodomy — in a demonstration organized by religious leaders in Kingston on Sunday, according to BuzzFeed.

Sunday’s rally comes less than a month after pro-LGBT organization Human Rights First embarked on a new effort to make the island nation a safer place for its LGBT residents, and as Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has reportedly been working with the government to introduce legislation to repeal the colonial-era antisodomy law. It’s unclear what impact — if any — the rally will have on those efforts.

Gay travel Guide to Havana Cuba

gay cuba havana

A new revolution has quietly been  brewing in Havana, Cuba which could make it the next great gay travel destination.

The gay scene in Havana is beginning to sizzle after years of repression. Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela, has even participated in a gay rights march and Brokeback Mountain has been seen on government television.

While gay life is still largely underground, one of the most amazing scenes occurs every night in Havana starting at about 11:00 pm where La Rampa Street and the Malecon, an ocean front walk, intersect. On weekends you’ll see hundreds of guys strolling, chatting, and playing guitars all night until the sun rises. Talk to the right people and you’ll get an invitation to one of the private home parties that pop up in different locations throughout the week.

Travel blogger, Ryan C Haynes, offers his advice on staying safe and having fun in the Cuban capital’s gay scene….

There are certainly areas in the Vedado area (the downtown and a vibrant neighborhood in the city of Havana, Cuba)  where you will find a thriving gay community. Calle 23 is the centre of gay life, near the Cine Yara (cinema). This street is frequented by gay people night and day – but don’t expect it to be anything like major cosmopolitan cities.

The one gay venue on this street is more like a canteen than a party establishment, though get talking to one of the locals and they will invite you to the official gay party that evening. If you want to join in the official parties you need to put faith and trust in the local Cubans who will order a taxi and take you to the chosen event. However be aware that you will most likely be expected to pay the taxi fair, entrance fee and possibly a drink for the guideRead More  Here.

havana-cuba gay LGBT

HAVANA  CUBA – Before the Communist revolution, Havana was one of the vacation hot-spots of the Caribbean, and since Cuba reopened to tourism in the 1990s, it has become a popular destination once again.

The capital of Cuba, Havana is the largest city in the Caribbean, and one of the most culturally rich urban centres in the world. The city’s appreciation of its glorious colonial past is on display at a dizzying array of castles, cathedrals, mansions and museums. The historic neighborhood of Vieja Habana (Old Havana) is a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage site, with over 900 landmarks, including the Presidential Palace and Cathedral Square.

Plaza Vieja of Havana cuba

 

IN the Plaza Vieja of Havana, is a quaint independent gay friendly apartment for rent! Bohemia Boutique Apartment.

It has been listed by the Guardian as one of the top 10 places to stay in Havana.  The apartment is fully furbished, plenty of light and very well ventilated.

1 living room with kitchenette, 2 balconies (facing the Patio of the Palace), 1 spacious bedroom with air conditioning, 1 bathroom.
Daily rent 80 CUC (66 EUR or 80 USD)   SEE MORE   HERE

PLUS  the owners have just opened CAFE BOHEMIA  in the same building.

gay-apartments-vacation-havana-cuba

On the renovated and luminous Plaza Vieja in Old Havana, Café Bohemia was recently opened in loving memory of Cuban journalist Ricardo Sáenz, member of the prestigious group that founded Prensa Latina, and which included Jorge Ricardo Massetti, Gabriel García Márquez and other icons of journalism in Latin America.

gay-cafe-bohemia-cuba-havana

Thanks to its location in the cool inner courtyard of the colonial building, Café Bohemia is perfect for taking a break from long walks and seeking shelter from the stifling Cuban heat as you explore the Havana’s Historical Center.

Entering the cool inner courtyard where Café Bohemia has set up shop you feel your temperature gauge go down a few notches. More than an escape hatch from Cuba’s sometime stifling heat this is meant to have a Bohemian vibe. A meeting place for Cuban musicians, singer-songwriters, authors and journalists, despite its touristy locale.  READ MORE.

Gay Friendly Nevis Island Romantic Getaways

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Talk about hidden gems!

Nevis is one of the most unspoilt and relaxing islands in the Caribbean. Vividly green with blue skies, clean air and long empty beaches, Nevis has a pace of life that encourages you to stop and appreciate all the natural beauty around you.

It’s a very special place famed for its charm and the easy-going genuineness of its people.

Nevis is a small island in the Caribbean Sea that forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands chain of the West Indies. Nevis and the island of Saint Kitts to the northwest form the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. The two islands are separated by a shallow two-mile (3.22 km) channel known as “The Narrows”. Nevis is conical in shape with a volcanic peak known as Nevis Peak at its centre. The island is fringed on its western and northern coastlines by sandy beaches that are composed of a mixture of white coral sand with brown and black sand which was eroded and washed down from the volcanic rocks that make up the island. The gently-sloping coastal plain (0.6 miles/1 km wide) has natural freshwater springs as well as non-potable volcanic hot springs, especially along the western coast.
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ONLY 400  rooms on the entire island – making it very quaint and private and appealing to the upscale traveler. Four Seasons has about 200 rooms and the rest are made up of colonial style inns, superb villas and contemporary condos. This is a place you come to unplug and relax. 36 square miles of beauty, beaches and picturesque scenery.

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The locals will tell you that the best beaches on Nevis are on the northern and western shores. But all the beaches are well-cared-for, public and free. And because they are never crowded, you might have an entire beach to yourself!

The island takes a live and let live attitude and treats everyone with respect and courtesy. Times have changed and the Caribbean is not the homophobic place it once was.

HOWEVER, Jamaica is  still the most homophobic island in the Caribbean, with harsh anti-gay laws, even though there is a large local gay population.

 

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First Ever Gay Pride on southern Caribbean island of Curaçao

Everyone got into the spirit of Curaçao Pride week and looks forward to next year’s events.

 

Hundreds of Curaçao visitors and
residents celebrated the island’s very first Pride Week, September 25-29th,
2013. The Caribbean island of Curaçao has always been welcoming to the
LGBT community with great accommodations, events and attitude, but Gay
Pride Week took the island’s commitment to the LGBT community to another
level.

 

Hundreds of people showed up at The White Affair event at the Floris Suite Hotel,
host property of Curaçao’s first Pride Week, transforming the hotel
into “Pride City” for the week. In addition, hotels and restaurants
contributed with gourmet food and drinks in support of Pride Week. They
included the Hilton Curaçao, Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Santa
Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Kyoto Restaurant, Tempo Doeloe
Restaurant, Pirate Bay, Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel and others. There
were also events at the Rainbow Lounge, neighborhood bar, Williwood, and
after parties at The Gallery Lounge in Punda, with almost 700 people in
attendance across all events. Parties, street fairs and educational
seminars rounded out what organizers called a very successful Pride
Week. Curaçao encourages travelers to save the date and start planning
for the South Caribbean Pride Week in Curaçao, Wednesday, April 30 to Monday, May 5, 2014. It is expected to be one of the biggest LGBT celebrations in the region. Please visit www.GayCuracao.com for more information.

 

About Curaçao
Selected as one of The 10 Best Caribbean Snorkeling Spots’ for 2013 by Frommers, Favorite Caribbean Destination’ for 2012 and 2013 in About.com Reader’s Choice Awards and a2012 Honeymoon Hot Spot’ by Condé Nast Traveler,
Curaçao is a unique Caribbean island paradise, boasting 35 uncrowded
beaches, and an eclectic mix of history and culture. Explore the
vibrant, culturally diverse capital city of Willemstad – a UNESCO World
Heritage site – with its distinctive architecture, museums, monuments
and world-class shopping. Indulge in Curaçao’s vast selection of
flavorful restaurants, with a mix of sophisticated international and
tasty local cuisines. Discover Curaçao’s abundant natural beauty,
pristine dive sites and spectacular snorkeling at secluded beaches.
Curaçao offers idyllic weather, situated on the outer fringes of the
Hurricane Belt. To learn more about Curaçao please visit www.curacao.com, call toll free 1.800.328.7222 or download our newest information brochure at www.Curacao.com/brochure

CURACAO LGBT Honeymoon Paradise

The island of Curaçao embraces the Gay and Lesbian community

With exceptional gay friendly hotels and attractions, the Curaçao
Tourist Board encourages gay and lesbian travelers to visit the island
and experience its ‘Live and let live’ atmosphere for themselves.

“It is important to us that it’s known to the gay & lesbian community that everyone
is welcome in Curaçao. Our island offers diverse culture, art
galleries, beaches, museums, fine accommodations and exquisite cuisine
that are enjoyed by all visitors to the island.” commented the Executive Director of the Curaçao Tourist Board.

Joining the millions who support LGBT marriage and the recent U.S.
Supreme Court decision to overturn the “Defense of Marriage Act,” the
southern Caribbean island of Curaçao
has always embraced the LGBT community with a “‘Live and Let Live”
philosophy and attitude.  

Today, Curaçao’s progressive environment,
UNESCO World
Heritage city of Willemstad, world-class diving sites, beautiful
beaches and luxury hotels and restaurants make the island the ideal
destination for Caribbean commitment ceremonies and honeymoons for all
the LGBT couples who have, or plan to, tie the knot.

What makes Curacao special among Caribbean islands? Authenticity. “For centuries, we have forged a vibrant and rich culture rooted in history and hospitality. Our heritage is both European and African – representing more than 50 nationalities. We speak Dutch, Spanish, and English – as well as a local language, Papiamentu, a colorful Creole dialect.

Exploring Undiscovered Curaçao

The best part of exploring Curaçao is that it feels undiscovered, like an exclusive hideaway. One of the tiny “ABC Islands” – Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao – this secluded slice of paradise is the Caribbean’s best-kept secret. The Curacao tourism board wants to help you uncover its many wonders. There are no “tourist traps” here. Locals and visitors mingle in harmony throughout the island. Relax and unwind amidst Curacaoäns working, playing, and enjoying life to its fullest – the same as they have done for generations. We love to socialize, so don’t be surprised if someone waves and tosses a friendly “Bon Bini!” (Welcome!) or “Kon ta bai?” (How’s it going?) your way.”

Curaçao’s current promotion –
Every 4th Night Free

– includes many LGBT-welcoming properties, ideal for honeymooning
couples celebrating in Curaçao.  The offer gives guests one
complimentary night for every three nights booked.  INFO   HERE

 

Many properties are also offering special upgrades for newlyweds, including:

 

-In-room mimosas at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort.

-Sparkling wine and chocolates upon arrival at the Hilton Curaçao.

-A 15%  spa treatment discount, along with complimentary champagne at JanThiel Villas.

-Daily complimentary breakfast buffet, plus a
$75 food and beverage credit at the Sandton Kura Hulanda Hotel &
Spa and sister property Kura Hulanda Lodge & Beach Club.

-A complimentary upgrade (subject to availability) and a bottle of sparkling wine at the Renaissance Curaçao Resort.

-A VIP picnic basket with snacks compliments of the Floris Suite Hotel.

-A 20% discount on spa treatments at the
Papagayo Beach & Lounge Resort on-property spa as well as a $50 food
and beverage credit.

-Complimentary champagne at both the Sunscape Beach Resort & Casino and the Lions Dive & Beach Resort. 

This is Why Gay Travelers Should NOT go to Jamaica

 Jamaican LGBT News posts this news clip to its YouTube page about a
group of five gay men trapped and barricaded by a mob at their home late
last week. The gay men had to be rescued by police.

From the news report’s transcript:

One of the angry residents stated, “we have young youth
growing up, and what they (gays) want to do is take them and put them in
a different direction. When we can bear the hunger and don’t stoop to
certain level, the youth really cannot do that. That is what really
started all of this.”

One shall question the rationale behind
the residents fear; and possibly conclude if their fears are plausible.
In what way did the alleged homosexuals earn the mob’s fury? What were
the alleged action and statements made by the accused homosexual man?
These critical questions remain unanswered. Yet still, the actions taken
by the mob were justified in their own regards. 

The fear,
ignorance and misconceptions of homosexuality are the primary causes of
rampant anti-gay violence and pervasive intolerance towards gays living
in Jamaica. The church sows and nourishes this seed of hatred within our
society. Clearly, to impede the cycle of hate and misconception of
homosexuals in Jamaica, education and sensitization outreaches are
necessary and imperative. Hence the role of the church and family are
critical in the fight for tolerance and equality.

Read more at Towleroad and see video.

Gay Travel Warning – Jamaica is ANTI GAY Still

NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN JAMAICA!  

A “cross-dressing” teen was allegedly “chopped and stabbed” to death
by a mob in Jamaica earlier this week, according to local media reports.

Dwayne Jones, a gender-nonconforming 17-year-old,
was attending a river party in St. James on the night of July 21 when a
mob allegedly set upon him, according to radio station Irie FM. He was
dressed as a woman and was dancing with a male when another female
attendee told a group of partiers that Jones was actually a man, the
report notes. One of the men went up to Jones and groped him,
discovering he was a male. 

Jones was chased and later “chopped and stabbed” to death, Irie FM reported.

Explosions were also heard, and police were called. Authorities eventually found Jones’ dead body on a nearby road “with multiple stab wounds and a gunshot wound,” according to the Jamaica Gleaner.   More  at  Huffington Post

CHICAGO is VERY  GAY  and GAY  FRIENDLY!

Stay at one of these hotels in the heart of BOYSTOWN!


Use CODE BGC When Booking!

CITY SUITES HOTEL

THE WILLOWS

MAJESTIC HOTEL

Gay Travel to Zakynthos Island Greece

How Beautiful is that water?

 

The island of Zakynthos, the beautiful green island in Greece, surrounded by the clear blue water of the the Ionian Sea.
Zakynthos (Zante), the third largest of the Ionian islands, lies on the
west of Greece, promising unforgettable holidays in its magical
landscapes, beaches and villages!

Over the past few years, Zakynthos has become quite popular among gay
visitors, even though there are still no exclusively gay and lesbian
bars or clubs. However, you will feel more than welcome in this
beautiful Greek island, almost everywhere you go! The famous gay nudist
beach of “Vrontonero”, just a few steps away from Dafni bay, is probably
the place where you ‘ll meet many gay people, both locals and visitors.

The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches, with the most popular of
them, “Navagio”, being one of the most photographed places of the world!
In Zakynthos you will enjoy excellent food, intense night life, amazing
landscapes and relaxing moments by the beach. 

Being Gay and Gay Travel in Costa Rica

GAY TRAVEL to Costa Rica has dramatically increased over the last 10 years.  However, it’s NOT in the top 10 gay friendly places to visit!

While certain politicians, such as former president Óscar Arias, have
expressed some support for LGBT-rights, Costa Ricans tend to be socially
conservative when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity
issues, in large part due to the strong influences of the Roman Catholic
Church and cultural traditions about machismo.
Gay friendly? Gay tolerant? Is their really such a thing as GAY Costa Rica, and are the Ticos really THAT accepting of the gay traveler. The answer is “YES,” but with a few caveats. First, the Tourism Board here understood a long time ago, that GAY people have plenty of cash to spend, and after all, ‘Green’ is ‘Green’ no matter who’s spending it. Costa Rica doesn’t CARE if you’re GAY, but they damn sure don’t want to see GAY.  Don’t Ask, don’t tell, don’t hold hands. Don’t act GAY!  They do not want to see it!  So, here’s a  take on traveling Costa Rica as a gay person or couple and what you may or may not be able to get away with. Check out our video on Gay Travel in Costa Rica .

The CostaRican Times did a great article about BEING GAY IN COSTA  RICA




Whale Watching in Maui Hawaii

WHALE OF A SEASON!

 

It
doesn’t take much for most people to recognize that Hawai’i is a special
place. But did you know that Hawai’i is home to what is believed to be
the largest seasonal population of humpback whales anywhere in the
world?  

 

Each
winter, from November to May, visitors, residents, and ocean users in
Hawai’i share the ocean with thousands of humpbacks that migrate
thousands of miles from their northern feeding grounds to the warm,
shallow waters of the Hawaiian Islands where they mate, calve, and nurse
their young. For this reason the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale
National Marine Sanctuary (sanctuary) was designated to protect humpback
whales and their habitat in Hawai’i.

 

The
population of humpback whales (central North Pacific stock) that uses
Hawai’i’s waters as their principle wintering ground likely lies between
10,000 and 15,000 animals, although not all of these animals are in
Hawai’i at the same time during the season. The lower number represents a
population estimate determined by a comprehensive research effort done
between 2004 and 2006. The upper number represents a conservative
approximation of growth based on annual rate of increase determined in
2006 and observation of other population indicators indicating that the
population is likely still increasing.

 

During
whale season it is commonplace to see humpback whales resting near shore
as well as performing acrobatic displays that can be seen from miles
away. On one recent peak season day, researchers observed twenty
different mother calf pairs just in Maalaea Bay (the Maui Sunseeker is
located on the coast of this Bay).  

 

There is
no doubt that Hawai’i offers some of the most unique whale watching in
the world and that has led whale watching to become very popular among
both visitors and residents alike. There is nothing like experiencing
the breaches and tail slapping of humpback whales whether from boat or
shore, and, although populations seem to still be increasing the whales
still need our help! They are threatened by injuries caused by
collisions with vessels and by entanglement in fishing gear and marine
debris. 

This season, four whales have been
reported and confirmed entangled and at least ten whales were confirmed
to have been involved in a collision with some type of vessel.  

 

On
Monday, March 11, 2013, the sanctuary led a response effort to free an
entangled male humpback whale and the animal was successfully
disentangled in waters surrounding Maui. The entanglement involved
several wraps of small gauge line around the animal’s tail, which was
already cutting into the animal, making the entanglement life
threatening. In total, over 200 feet of line, and 2 buoys were recovered
from the entangled animal that swam off quickly once cut free. After
some investigation the animal appears to have been entangled in local
fishing gear.  

 

The
objective of the rescue program is not just to free animals but to also
gain information to reduce the future threat of entanglement.  

 

You can
help support this work and other work of the sanctuary by donating to
the Hawai’i National Marine Sanctuary Foundation or by supporting the
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s Kohola Campaign.

 

 http://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/

http://hawaiinmsf.org

 http://www.nmsfocean.org

  

Enjoy the whales and help protect them for future generations!

 

Christine Brammer, Communications Coordinator

 

Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary

The
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was designated
by Congress in 1992 to ensure the protection of humpback whales and
their habitat in Hawai’i.  

 

The
sanctuary is managed jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Land and
Natural Resources. The sanctuary focuses their management efforts focus
on education, outreach, research, and resource protection.

 

Visit us in person at:

Humpback Whale Sanctuary 

Kihei, HI 96753

1.800.831.4888

   

SPONSORED   BY   :  MAUI  SUNSEEKER  LGBT RESORT

At the Maui Sunseeker we’ve taken every opportunity to make our studios,
rooms and suites especially inviting and comfortable. Our private
lanais with either garden or ocean views welcome you with true Hawaiian
spirit.  

MAUI  SUNSEEKER.

Enjoy Oahu Without The Car Rental Expense


With
gas prices what they are, renting a car on your vacation can prove to be one of
the larger expenses that you’ll face. Fortunately, you have options when
visiting Oahu, and you’ll quickly find that getting around without a rental car
is simple. The island features public transportation methods that can deliver
visitors to every corner, while renting bikes and cruising along one of the
many palm tree-lined boulevards to one of the many attractions around Waikiki
is also a great way to scratch things off of your itinerary. If you’re hoping
to keep travel costs down, consider the following options when visiting the
Gathering Place to make sure you’re able to see all that this dynamic island
has to offer on the cheap!


Staying Around The Capital

Picking a central location, such as the Ewa Hotel  in the thick of
Waikiki, will ensure that you’re never far from a good time. With beach
activities, historical sites, and fantastic hiking just minutes away, hoofing
it won’t be a problem, helping you cut down on those gas expenditures and
giving you the opportunity to walk off that dinner while being bathed in the
light of a Hawaii sunset. Don’t miss Kapiolani Park, Waikiki Beach, or the
Honolulu Zoo while you’re making your way around one of the preeminent vacation
spots in the world.


Heading East To Kailua

Headlining the marquee for things to do on the Windward (Eastern) side of the
island is the charming city of Kailua. Home to some of the most pristine and
sought-after beaches, getting to this slice of paradise by bus from your hotel
in Honolulu or Waikiki is a breeze. The Bus system can carry you and your group
out to Kailua from Ala Moana on the Route 56 bus for $2.50 each way! Pack
yourself a picnic, hop on some eco-friendly public transportation, and go have
yourself a time at Kailua Beach.


Making It To North Shore

You won’t want to head back home without first heading to Oahu’s North Shore.
The promised land for surfers due to its absolutely awe-inspiring waves of
incredible force, watching people zip back and forth across these faces of
water will definitely give you a thrill. Once again, relying on the bus system
is no problem; it may take a bit longer, given the distance, but the ease of
the trip and the views that will accompany you along the way make this ride a
breeze. Bus 52 will get you there in no time so you can see what all of the
fuss is about!

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 Maui: The Gay Side of the Valley Isle

Paradise is a strong word.

 But  ask anyone who has been to Maui, Haawii and they say it 
is truly a paradise in every way.

For the gay/lesbian couple seeking a romantic haven, the island of Maui is waiting to welcome you with bright rainbow leis.

From snorkeling to whale watching and lounging and relaxing on a remote gay beach, Maui is paradise found.

With a population of less than 150,000 people, the gay scene is much smaller on Maui than in Oahu but there’s a small, tight knit LGBT community and a lot of great activities geared toward the gay tourist. The gay population  is mainly concentrated
around the Kihei area in South Maui, but gay people live all over the
island.

Whether you want to surf, canoe or kayak, opportunities abound on gay Maui for the outdoor enthusiast.  (which I am not!  However, Maui was the perfect place for me, to unplug, and RELAX!). There are several companies that offer visitors outdoor equipment and training.

 If you’re looking for something lower impact, Maui is the leading whale-watching center in the Hawaiian Islands. Head to the beach and try to spy a Humpback, dolphin or sea turtle. Stick around and be sure to catch one of the most amazing sunsets you’ll ever experience. No Ka Oi Adventures offers nature-based excursions organized for LGBT  travelers. The operator specializes in nature-based excursions and offers the queer traveler small group tours featuring off-the-beaten-path destinations on the island.

The first step in planning your memorable jaunt to the Valley Isle is finding the right accommodations. Luckily there are several gay and lesbian owned or friendly hotels and resorts on the island. Some of these properties, like the Maui Sunseeker, offer LGBT specific packages and host commitment ceremonies. In 2012, Hawaii became the seventh US state to legalize civil unions. What better place to be married and have your honeymoon at the same time?!


Industry insiders have said they expect that the law legalizing civil
unions, which took effect Jan. 1, 2012,  will lead to a boost in tourism among
same-sex visitors. Hotel executives said they’re actively reaching out
to the gay and lesbian community with promotions and packages aimed at
couples who are eager to make their commitment official.

The amazing coastline is one of the main reasons to visit Maui and Little Beach is the most popular gay beach on the island. You’ll find this nude beach in Makena State Park, South of Wailea at the end of Wailea Alanui Road.  It’s a little tricky.  You’ll have to walk past the Big Beach and over the lava-flow trail to get there. It’s a great place to meet and greet the local gay set and gay tourists from all over the world.

After a day of fun in the sun, you’ll want to experience the local gay nightlife. Don’t expect to a wide variety of dance clubs and other gay venues like you’d find in Honolulu, but you’ll definitely have a great time.

One of the most popular bars for gays and lesbians on the island is Ambrosia. Named by Maui Time Weekly as best bar (two years in a row), Ambrosia offers daily entertainment and eclectic décor. If you want to try some exotic local drinks, you’ll fall in love with Ambrosia. Their wide varieties of specialty martinis are extremely popular and are the perfect way to cap off an adventure-packed day. There are also great drink specials and a happy hour every night from 6pm to 9pm.

Betty’s Beach Café is also a great place to eat, drink and be Mary! Their Sunday brunch is out of this world, featuring amazing omelets, egg scrambles and signature cocktails. No trip to this tropical venue would be complete without trying one of their “Betty” drinks. From the Bettie Paige (red wine, peach schnapps and pineapple) to the Betty Rubble (a Blue-beri Hawaiian), there’s truly a vice for everyone. Happy hour is always a blast at Betty’s. Every afternoon from 2pm to 5pm enjoy $3 Mai Tais and $4 Longboard Kona Beers. Stay or come back later in the evening for Betty’s evening happy hour, from 9pm to 11pm every day.

October is a great time for gay travelers to experience Maui. Maui Pride is October 5-7, 2012 and it’s always a celebration to remember. The festivities begin that Friday with an Aloha Reception at the Maui Sunseeker. This mixer is a great opportunity to get to know the local queer community and hobnob. But space fills up fast! Book as early as you can.

The main event will be held at the Maui Tropical Plantation on Saturday, October 6. Entrance is free and there will be a wide variety of vendors and activities. That morning the Pride committee will also be sponsoring drag races and other fabulous events. Saturday night, return to the venue to hula your ass off! DJs will be spinning and live performances (including the local Deborah Vial Band) are scheduled to entertain the masses. The final day of the Pride festivities kicks off at Stella Blues for breakfast (8am to 10am). Cap off the final day with a snorkel tour or hidden waterfall hike.

Before you leave Maui, during Pride or any other time of the year, you MUST take a helicopter ride overlooking the island. Air Maui and other operators offer flights for tourists and it’s only about a 45-minute flight. The sea cliffs are breathtaking! The waterfalls, awe-inspiring.

When the luau is over and you’re depressed that you have to leave the dream vacation of a lifetime, take solace, when you say “aloha” it means goodbye and hello. The friendly islanders will be there to welcome you back with sweet, sun-kissed smiles!


 Guest Author Jon Fairbanks – Gay Travel Team Member

For more information about Maui or other LGBT destinations please visit www.gaytravel.com

 Photo credit Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson 

Ideas for Exploring Hawaii

Hawaii attracts visitors of all kinds throughout the year,
and with the vast array of shops, nightclubs, and activities forming a
conglomeration of possibilities, it is not a stretch to suggest that there
truly is something for everyone. The island of Oahu’s LGBT community has built
a particularly active and thriving scene, which has made it one of the most
popular gay friendly tourist destinations over the years. Waikiki, with its
buzzing beach and active nightlife, features a large array of gay friendly Hawaii
hotels
and plenty of gay bars and clubs waiting to be explored. The rest of
the island follows suit, with plenty of gay friendly
activities that are aimed at locals and visitors alike, ensuring that the Aloha
spirit is felt regardless of where you’re from! And with the recent recognition
of same-sex unions in Hawaii, why not come and celebrate under the island sun.
As is the case with any vacation, the problem is finding time to take it all
in, and for someone hoping to experience the vitality and energy of Hawaii,
here is a list of some of the favorite LGBT activities and hangouts so you can
streamline your schedule while meeting fun and interesting people from all
over!

 

The Right Starting Point

A close proximity to the sights and sounds of this dynamic island
will ensure that your schedule is fast and action packed. A series of boutique,
LGBT-friendly Waikiki hotels offering
comfort and luxury just minutes away from the best spots are there for your
choosing, and are a great place to call home during your island visit.

 

Bars and Nightclubs

Honolulu features a host of gay bars and nightclubs that,
depending on your mood, can either energize you or help you unwind after a long
day. In Between, a karaoke bar near the famous Kuhio and Kalakaua Avenues, is a
favorite for those hoping to relax, have a drink, and sing in a very casual,
friendly environment. Locals and tourists mingle here in perfect harmony.
Fusion, on the other hand, is a high-energy, buzzing night club that promises a
late night of fun and dancing. Open till 4am, this locally-owned club is sure
to entertain with its drag show, loud music, and diverse crowd.

 

Beaches

While all beaches on Oahu promise a fun time in the sun,
Queen’s Surf Beach has emerged as one of the best-loved gay beaches on the
island. Work your tan to a state of perfection while enjoying the warmth and
endless bliss of the water!

 

Hiking clubs, shops, and other gay-friendly ventures help
make Oahu the accepting, diverse paradise that it is. Come forge memories and
friendships that you’ll never forget!

Gay Key West – Island House Celebrates 35 Years with Sweepstakes

Island House Key West,
the longest continuously operated gay guesthouse in the world, proudly announces its 35th anniversary in business and its 10th anniversary under its current owners, Jon Allen and Martin Kay, who transformed it into a leader among the world’s premier gay guesthouses.
 
To mark this milestone, Island House is offering all 39 rooms at $13, the price it charged when it opened in 1976, for the night of June 25, 2012. The special offer is available exclusively through a special sweepstakes. 39 winners will be chosen randomly among those who complete the entry form at http://apps.facebook.com/sweepstakeshq/contests/141910. Sweepstakes participants are also encouraged (but not required) to “like” Island House Key West at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Island-House-Key-West-Gay-Hotel-Resort/56402142064 and post a comment with the phrase “35 and fabulous.” The offer is valid through midnight on Labor Day (September 5, 2011).
 
Island House Key West began operating as a modest, 16-room all-men’s guesthouse in 1976. When Allen and Kay took possession in the late ’90s, the ramshackle 39-room guesthouse sprawled languidly across several dilapidated buildings, sorely in need of abundant TLC.
 
“We are honored to have served more than 125,000 guests in more than a third of a century,” says Allen, “We’ve never rested on our laurels. We pride ourselves on our focus on customer satisfaction and professional, attentive service. We’ve invested well over two and a half million dollars since purchasing the property. If you haven’t visited us recently, come see all that’s new at Island House Key West.”



 
After a massive investment of capital and time, they unveiled the new and much improved Island House Key West in 2001, transforming it into Key West’s most luxurious and pampering oasis for men. Having spent $2.5 million in award-winning upgrades over the past decade, Island House is unmatched in its class. Recent upgrades and renovations include:

Transformed rooms with new ceilings, walls, floors, furniture, bathrooms and beds;
The poolside Café and Bar, including an extensive wine list, serving continuously 24/7;
A well-equipped gym and health club with Jacuzzi, steam room, and sauna;
Spa services available at the resort or en suite;
An extensive clothing-optional sundeck on the 2nd floor with a refreshing misting system; and
One of the highest staff-to-guest ratios among any resort in Key West.
 
With rates ranging from $124 in low season to $529 for the largest suite in high season, the resort is packed with upscale amenities at rates far less than comparable mainstream hotel properties, including: WiFi throughout the property, parking (as available), coffee, tea, an evening social hour (with wine and cocktails) and purified water – all available on a complimentary basis. The luxurious value offered by the resort has been noted in the foremost LGBT travel media, which has bestowed the following accolades:
“Best gay resort in the world” (OutTraveler.com)
“Gay travel’s first five-star resort” (Passport Magazine)
“Four Crowns,” their highest rating (Spartacus Hotel Guide)
 
In parallel with Island House’s stunning transformation, Key West has also undergone a quiet metamorphosis. America’s most beautiful tropical island is becoming a must-stop destination for connoisseurs of sophisticated yet relaxed tropical getaways boasting dozens of casual yet topnotch new dining spots; urbane wine bars and cocktail lounges; new galleries and performance spaces; and luxurious new mainstream hotel resorts.
 
“Come experience the new-and-improved Key West,” says Steve Smith, Sales Manager at Florida Keys Tourism. “Just be sure to sample a little of what makes this a special destination for LGBT visitors, like our hot gay bars and clubs, snorkeling and kayaking adventures, Fantasy Fest, Gay Spring Break, Key West Gay & Lesbian Visitors Center and Tennessee Williams Museum, the AIDS Memorial, and more.”
 
To book, call 800-890-6284 or visit IslandHouseKeyWest.com.
 
Join the online discussion with Island House Key West:

Sweepstakes entry form
FACEBOOK PAGE 
Twitter     @IslandHouseKW

Curacao Jazz Fest in September 2011

Selected as one of the ‘Top 21 Places We’re Going in 2011’ by Fodor’s, one of the ‘Hottest Destinations for 2011’ by AOL Travel and one of the ‘Destinations to Watch in 2011’ by SmarterTravel, Curaçao is a unique Caribbean island paradise, boasting 35 uncrowded beaches, and an eclectic mix of history and culture. Explore the vibrant, culturally diverse capital city of Willemstad – a UNESCO World Heritage site – with its distinctive architecture, museums, monuments and world-class shopping. Indulge in Curaçao’s vast selection of flavorful restaurants, with a mix of sophisticated international and tasty local cuisines.


Time is running out for travelers to reserve a spot at the hottest concert series of the season, the highly-anticipated second annual Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, September 2-3, 2011! This year, the star-studded line-up already has many hotels across the island almost completely booked, but some limited rooms and packages are still available at hotels, including the Plaza Hotel Curaçao & Casino, Atlantis Diving & Apartments, Royal Sea Aquarium Resort and Breezes Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino.
 
Acclaimed Jazz musician Branford Marsalis and his quartet have been added to the A-list line-up of musicians performing this year. Marsalis will join 16-time Grammy award-winner Sting and 25-time Grammy award-winner Stevie Wonder, who are headlining the sizzling, soulful event.
Marsalis, a three-time Grammy award-winner and brother of famed jazz artist Wynton Marsalis, will bring his world-renowned sounds to the World Trade Center Curaçao in Piscadera Bay, where the event will be held. Two of the Branford Marsalis Quartet albums, Braggtown and Eternal, have been nominated for Grammys.

“Our incredible line-up of iconic award-winning artists, including Stevie Wonder, Sting and now the Branford Marsalis Quartet, will be a huge draw for this year’s Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival,” says Curaçao Tourist Board Marketing Manager North America André Rojer. “Building on the success of last year’s Festival, this year’s event is sure to heighten awareness of Curaçao as the hottest island in the Caribbean, as evidenced by the many hotels that are already fully booked for the Festival dates.”

Having recently been named one of the ‘Best Islands in the Caribbean for Bar-Hoppers’ by The Huffington Post, it is no surprise that Curacao and its Festival have attracted so many followers.  Living up to its title, the island’s popular party spot Mambo Beach will transform into a week-long music-inspired, social extravaganza, with pop-up concerts and events happening every day until the kickoff of the Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival.

The first-class jazz and blues concert series will also incorporate soul, rock and Latin music this year with performers including Dionne Warwick, Earth, Wind & Fire, Ruben Blades, Roberto Fonseca, Juan Luis Guerra, Terence Blanchard, Chic featuring Nile Rodgers, Poncho Sanchez, Danilo Perez Trio, Levi Silvanie, Chucho Valdes Afro Cuban & Messengers and Ronchi Matthew.

Day passes for this year’s event are priced at $185 and may be ordered online at www.curacaonorthseajazz.com. For more information on Curaçao or to book your trip to the 2011 Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival, please visit Curacao.com.

Discover Curaçao’s abundant natural beauty, pristine dive sites and spectacular snorkeling at secluded beaches – including Cas Abao Beach, selected as one of the ‘Top 10 Beach Destinations for 2011’ by SmarterTravel. Curaçao offers idyllic weather, situated on the fringe of the Hurricane Belt. To learn more about the island of Curaçao visit Curacao.com. To request a FREE Curaçao information package click here or call toll free 1.800.328.7222.