Category Archives: Places outside US

Almar Luxury LGBT Resort in Puerto Vallarta

Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beach Front Experience is the only oceanfront gay resort in Puerto Vallarta situated in the heart of the Zona Romantica, Puerto Vallarta. And it is straight-friendly!

Almar Resort  is the haven you have been waiting for! An adults-only, gay resort set in the tropical landscape of Puerto Vallarta in the most exclusive Zona Romantica. Pamper yourself with a breathtaking ocean view suite, fully-equipped with everything your heart desires. Relax and rest assured with personalized service that will make your stay an unforgettable experience.

I recently spent a week here. The rooms were fantastic and the staff is friendly and helpful. 5 STARS! Puerto Vallarta may be known for a destination that never sleeps, but that won’t stop you from getting a pampering night’s rest while you visit.

Almar Resort’s 78 suites welcome you with a contemporary and luxurious style that encourages relaxation, besides fantastic views of the Mexican Pacific. Beds feature luxury cotton bedding and goose feather pillows; bathrooms are equipped with rain showerheads, L’Occitane bath products and microfiber vêtements. I had a great nights sleep every night on the fluffy pillows, listening to the sounds of the waves below. And it is so wonderful  to wake up and enjoy a cup of coffer (or bloody mary)  on the balcony.  Rooms  run different prices  at different  times of the year. I was there in January, high season and it was about  $180 a night.

While staying at Almar you are free to enjoy the classy Mantamar Beach Club/ Bar & Grill at Los Muertos beach, featuring a sparkling infinity pool, cozy oceanfront cabanas, lounge beds and gourmet fine dining.

The food delivery services is reinventing Puerto Vallarta Old Town’s eating ritual in a great way. This service is aim to people who care about eating fresh, home-cooked, chef-prepared meals; browse through our menu and enjoy your favorite food with your favorite people, from freshly-made sushi to delicious hamburgers and seafood sandwiches. And reasonably  priced as well! Ceviche, guacamole, shrimp dishes, salads, gourmet pizza’s,  lots to choose from! All excellent!

Mantamar Beach Club is THE place to be for the LGBT community in Puerto Vallarta. Mantamar  is all about lifestyle, offering comfortable surroundings, a gourmet menu, live entertainment and special events that will surprise you every time you visit. Here you will discover the definition of perfect relaxation, whether you enjoy it as a romantic moment on the silky sand beach or at the infinity pool with new friends and a margarita in hand. Resident DJ  keeps  the music flowing all day.

NEW ADDITION – Wine, dine and party at the hottest spot in Puerto Vallarta: our exclusive The Top Sky Bar. Relax at a sumptuous sauna table or along our plush seating with the most breathtaking panoramic view of the city.

Have it all by day or by night at The Top Sky Bar: fine dining, top shelf cocktails, happy hour, gourmet dining, DJs and the hottest shows in Puerto Vallarta.

Almar Resort Luxury LGBT Beach Front Experience is the only oceanfront gay resort in Puerto Vallarta considered an oasis for unique experiences, located just a few steps from the famous “Malecón” boardwalk and the gay bars in the Zona Romantica. Upgrade your vacation experience with a gorgeous getaway at Almar Resort!

 

Almar Resort
Amapas 380
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Mantamar Beach Club / Bar & Grill
Malecón 169
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
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Why You Should Use a Travel Agent

 

When the internet exploded, many travelers went out on their own, searching, looking for deals and bargains, booking things themselves – I never understood that. Why would I want to spend HOURS doing all the work – when a travel professional probably knows most of the answers! Plus,  if you are going somewhere for the first  time, it can be a daunting task to put the trip together on your own.

They know what deals are happening – they know how you can save money – there are over 100 REASONS to use a travel agent –

here are just a few…..

Convenient One-Stop Shopping
Travel agents can  handle every aspect of your trip from airline tickets to lodging,
ground transportation, activities, tours and more.

Consumer Advocate
If you should have a problem during your trip, travel agents can act on your behalf to see that proper restitution’s are made.

Expert Guidance
Travel   agents are experts in helping travelers get where they need to go and
in helping to create possibilities most people never would have dreamed
were possible.

Save Time
Avoid the headaches and let the travel agents call around and do all the time consuming work of planning a complex itinerary.

Choice
Travel agents offer you an array of options and price quotes from a variety of
travel suppliers, giving you the upper hand when making your final
travel decisions.

 

Less Stress
Planning a trip can be stressful. There are so many options and details to worry about.
Travel agents do the work, resulting in less stress for you.

Updated Information
Travel agents are constantly communicating with the travel community, thus
giving you the most up to date info on airlines, hotels, car rental
agencies, travel visas, and other travel services to consider as you
plan your trip.

Customer Service
Travel agents offer that “personal touch” to your travel planning experience-
Offering help and advice that a website cannot provide.

Travel Expertise
Many travel agents are considered experts in the area you are traveling to and have probably
already been to your chosen destination.

Best Value for Your Money Spent
Travel agents can help you to make your dollars go farther while you are
away. They have access to finding all sorts of deals ranging from
flights to hotels to dinner recommendations.

Location, Location, Location!!!!
Travel Specialists can help you to find a place to stay pretty much anywhere
you desire. If it’s a hotel with a view of the ocean in Hawaii or a
jungle hut in the Nilgiri foothills, a travel agent can help you make it
happen.

Knowledge of All the Ins and Outs
Travel specialists can help bring you up to speed on the local laws and regulations of wherever your travels take you.

Avoid International Flight Confusion
Travel specialists can help organize those confusing international flights that internet search engines don’t cover.

Personalized Trips
A travel agent can prepare you a personalized trip based on where you want to go and what you want to do.

Where to Go to Avoid Kids
Want to go somewhere without children running all over the place? A travel
agent can help you to find excellent retreats that are open to adults
only.

 

Local Traditions
Travel specialists can update you on all local traditions and customs of
places you are visiting, so you make a good impression. For example, in
Japan many people expect their visitors to take their shoes off before
entering their homes.

Complicated Itineraries Made Simple
Travel experts can take care of all the details for those complicated around
the world itineraries and all the extra headaches that go with them,
such as hotel and transportation along the way.

 

Special Deals Worked Out in Advance – Travel
agents may have a relationship with certain tour operators and could be
able to get you a special price that might not otherwise be available.

Difference in Days to Save Money
Instead of playing around with dates on the internet for hours, your travel
agent can advise you on any changes to your travel dates that might save
you hundreds of dollars.

Staying In-the-Know of Daily Promotions
Travel agents get emails and faxes of daily money saving promotions.

 

They Are Considered Travel Experts and Specialists – Wouldn’t you rather have a travel expert plan your trip rather than a pre-programmed website?

It just Makes Sense to Use a Travel Agent.
They’re Out There… Use Them
Why do the work if someone else like a travel specialist can.

Travel Agents Must Be Doing Something Right. They Sure Have a lot of Business

Travel agents still sell 51 percent of all airline tickets, 87 percent of all
cruises, 81 percent of all tours and packages, 45 percent of all car
rentals and about 47 percent of all hotels.

It Makes Traveling Easy
Once you find a good travel agent, your dream vacation is just a phone call away.

We highly recommend Dave at Donovan Travel!

 

Donovan Travel
Let Dave help YOU with YOUR next Trip!
800-252-2660    
E-MAIL THEM

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Barbados gives LIFE SENTENCE to Homosexuals

I have NO DESIRE to go somewhere, where being a homosexual is illegal!

Homosexual acts are illegal in Barbados, with a life sentence. The Society of American Travel Writers selected Barbados to host their next annual convention in 2018.

That law prohibits sodomy and has been in place for many years. The board heard those concerns when they were first aired last week and wanted to do more research and seek additional insight. We apologize for the delay in responding. We used the time to get a complete picture that we could share with our members.

The law against sodomy has not been enforced for years. THEN  WHY HAS IT NOT BEEN STRUCK  DOWN????  More than 70 other countries have similar laws, and the same laws remain on the books in 12 states in the US. There is even a sodomy law in Canada that has not been officially removed from the books.

Visitors – straight and LGBT – do not face any danger or prejudicial treatment in Barbados beyond what one might encounter from individuals in any country who harbor prejudicial tendencies. Barbados, like many places in the region, is moving forward on human rights issues, and the Board believes Barbados is a friendly, welcoming and story-rich island. 

“In the Eastern Caribbean, relationships and acceptance of gay persons has come a very long way. There are more conversations happening, organizations on the ground have done a lot, and we are in a place where a lot of tolerance exists. In Barbados, the LGBT community has been very expressive, and today transgender women are able to dress freely – the freedom to express yourself has come a long way. Yes, we still have ignorant people and challenges, but Barbados is learning to respect people as people.”

 

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NO MORE CUBA says Donald Trump

Donald Trump never liked President Obama’s decision to ease the US embargo on Cuba.  MANY  US  travelers FLOCKED  TO CUBA!~

Now his administration has decreed new restrictions on how its citizens can interact with Cuba’s socialist government, including a lengthy list of entities they are forbidden to do business with.

The push for normalization under president Barack Obama encouraged many more Americans to visit the island for ostensibly educational and people-to-people to purposes, though tourist trips remain technically illegal. Trump, while not closing off all new travel, has tried to make it more of a hassle. The new restrictions both limit what Americans can do and increase the responsibility of trip organizers to make sure the rules are followed.

These new rules don’t appear likely to kill travel to Cuba, but stays could get more expensive as demand shifts to hotels not on the list or the already popular privately-owned bed-and-breakfasts. That’s assuming Americans aren’t scared off by the Trump administration’s travel warnings, issued after a bizarre saga of alleged sonic attacks on American and Canadian diplomats.  (see more  at  QZ.com)

Under the new rules, most individual visits to Cuba will no longer be allowed, and U.S. citizens will again have to travel as part of groups licensed by the Treasury Department for specific purposes, accompanied by a group representative. Americans also will be barred from staying at a long list of hotels and from patronizing restaurants, stores and other enterprises that the State Department has determined are owned by or benefit members of the Cuban government, specifically its security services.

For more advice on Cuba, call our  Specialist  Dave  at  Donavan Travel 1-800-252-2660

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Puerto Vallarta Gay Hotel Turns 15

Casa Cupula Prepares
to Celebrate its Quinceañera!

Puerto Vallarta’s Luxury LGBT Boutique Hotel Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Casa Cupula, Puerto Vallarta’s legendary boutique resort hotel, is set to celebrate its 15th birthday with a three-month celebration of the property’s history, present, and future, culminating in a grand Mexican-style quinceañera celebration.

Casa Cupula gained notoriety in 2002 when it became Mexico’s first high-end LGBTQ property. In the years since the then-five-bedroom guesthouse and oasis for gay travelers has grown into an 18-room full resort complex and an integral part of elevating the reputation of Puerto Vallarta as Mexico’s gay vacation mecca.

“I don’t think anyone would have imagined how the LGBT community has gained so much acceptance over the last 15 years,” said Casa Cupula founder Don Pickens, who still owns and manages the property. “Back then, Puerto Vallarta’s reputation as a leading LGBT destination was not as well-known. Today it is celebrated by the city and is a major driver of Puerto Vallarta’s tourism-based economy.”

“We have been part of a great movement to modernize the image of Puerto Vallarta by showcasing the contemporary and luxurious offerings found in our Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta’s ‘gayborhood,’” Pickens added. “Today, Vallarta is proud to be one of the most important international gay destinations, and Casa Cupula is still rated among the top hotels of any kind in Vallarta.

During the property’s 15-year run, it has continuously updated its offering, adding rooms and suites of various sizes, as well as three pools; a Jacuzzi and sauna; full concierge services that refer guests to hand-selected LGBTQ-friendly activities; Pump Gym & Spa; and Taste Restaurant, one of the top dining venues in Puerto Vallarta.

Any 15-year-old deserves a great present and Casa Cupula is no exception. This year the new “Frida Suite,” will honor iconic early 20th century Mexican LGBT artist Frida Kahlo. Designed to reflect Kahlo’s love for Mexican traditions and culture, the suite’s debut will be part of the extended quinceañera celebration of Casa Cupula’s birthday.

A quinceañera is one of the most important Mexican celebrations, presenting a birthday girl or boy to society at the age of 15. Casa Cupula’s grand celebration of its own 15 years will include multiple events throughout the season, starting with a quinceañera party on Nov. 24. A drag queen contest at the event will see a brand ambassador crowned to represent Casa Cupula for the season. This will be followed by a banquet on Dec. 2 to celebrate the boutique property’s leading role in Puerto Vallarta’s thriving LGBT community, inviting both local leaders and Casa Cupula alumni to celebrate together. The festivities will culminate with a major event in January, to be headlined by an as-yet-to-be-named world-famous “hostess”.

Casa Cupula invites past and new guests to join in on the celebration, enjoying a fourth night free on stays from Nov. 27 to Dec.19. For more information and to book, please visit www.casacupula.com.

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Trump Travel Ban

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations Specialized Agency for Tourism, expresses its deep concern and strong condemnation over the recently announced travel ban by the United States of America (USA) to nationals of seven countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen).

 

The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and travel facilitation promoted by the international tourism community and will hinder the immense benefits of the tourism sector brings in terms of economic growth and job creation to many countries, including the USA.

 

“Global challenges demand global solutions and the security challenges that we face today should not prompt us to build new walls; on the contrary, isolationism and blind discriminatory actions will not lead to increased security but rather to growing tensions and threats”, said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

 

“Besides the direct impact, the image of a country which imposes travel bans in such a hostile way will surely be affected among visitors from all over the world and risk dumping travel demand to the USA” added Mr Rifai.

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Best Pools in the World

CHILE has some of the best pools in the world.

A pool by the ocean?

In 1997, Fernando Fischmann, Chairman and Founder, decided to develop a real estate tourism project: San Alfonso del Mar, in Algarrobo–a small town on Chile’s central coast. The waters of the Chilean coast are cold, inhospitable and dangerous (swimming is prohibited in the area), so it was difficult to imagine how a project could be successful and unique from ones that already existed.

(Photo above – The enormous man-made pool, set along the coastline, is larger than 20 Olympic-size pools and holds a whopping 66 million gallons of water, according to The Daily Mail. Crystal Lagoons, the creator of the pool, claims it’s six times bigger than its closest competitor, the Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco.)

To solve this dilemma, Mr. Fischmann dreamed of creating a large lagoon with crystal clear waters that would provide visitors the chance to swim and enjoy water sports in a safe, clean environment and warm waters. He travelled the world in search of the technology to turn his dream into reality. However, the technology did not exist. The only available option was to construct a very large conventional swimming pool, but this was neither technically nor economically feasible given its high costs.

His solution would result in a worldwide patent (reg. #43534) and a new company called Crystal Lagoons Technology.

 

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Gay Life Gay Bars Dubai

We have never been to Dubai, but would love to see it someday. But I find it a little scary!

Paul Ewart   from  news.com.au  says,”I arrived in the city during the height of summer to take a section editor job at a large glossy magazine. My friends back home in London joked about my forthcoming years of celibacy and, though I laughed along with them at the time, as the plane touched down on the tarmac of Dubai’s airport my bravado faltered.
From the get go, I’m under no illusions about Dubai’s official attitude to homosexuality. Soon after arriving in order to secure a working visa I’m tested for HIV (any expat with the disease is immediately repatriated, alongside anyone found to have tuberculosis).

On the surface conditions for gay Dubaiians might seem bleak, but thanks to some quickly acquired gay friends I learn quickly that, despite the legalities, a vibrant gay scene flourishes. In fact, thanks to a huge population of young professional expats, the scene is one of the most multicultural and diverse around.

I break my Dubai gay club virginity at one of the most popular hangouts. Entering via an underground carpark on a Saturday evening, my male friend and I encounter the uneven door policies that are rife throughout gay venues (a vague attempt to curb gay activity).

Men arriving solo or in all-male groups pay more, queue separately and are often denied entry altogether.

Inside, the place is packed to the rafters with a United Nations of men: butch Lebanese and their Asian playthings mingle with trendily dressed Europeans and a smatterings of Australians, Americans, Canadians, alongside Indians and Pakistanis.”

READ  MORE  HERE.

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San Miguel de Allende

About San Miguel de Allende
San Miguel de Allende, better known as “the heart of Mexico,” is considered the spot where national independence was forged, the birthplace of illustrious historical figures and a colonial urban jewel distinguished by the warmth and generosity of its people, rich history, and cultural and architectural heritage. On July 7, 2008, the city was named a UNESCO Cultural Heritage city, under the title of “Protective town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesús Nazareno de Atotonilco.” The United Nations agency awarded the city this distinction in recognition of its cultural and architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque style of art and architecture.

 
For more information, please visit: www.visitsanmiguel.travel

Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende closed a successful awards season today with the announcement that Conde Nast Traveler magazine has named the UNESCO World Heritage site fifth in the overall “Best City in the World” category at this year’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

The accolades come four months after the colonial city was named the No. 1 city in Mexico and Central and South America and No. 3 in the World’s Best Cities category at Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards 2016. Conde Nast Traveler readers also honored San Miguel de Allende’s accommodations infrastructure by voting three of its hotels into the Top 5 in Mexico: Hotel Matilda, in first place; Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, in second place; and Hotel Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, in fourth place. Hotel Matilda also ranked as #3 in the world listing.

“San Miguel de Allende is a top Mexican destination, attracting international travelers to our city because of its meticulous colonial architecture,” said Ricardo Villarreal, Mayor of San Miguel de Allende. “The fact that Conde Nast Travelers recognize the authenticity of our city is a sign that we are maintaining the city properly.

“We welcome all visitors to come and experience an authentic Mexican city, and continue to strive to provide a unique one-of-a-kind destination in Mexico and Latin America,” he added.

Located in the Bajio region of Mexico, in the state of Guanajuato, San Miguel de Allende has a mystical quality. Its picturesque cobblestone streets and colonial architecture — combined with colonial-era traditions both religious and secular, a spectacular natural setting and Mexico’s vibrant culture — are only enhanced by the embrace of all its many facets by both the friendly locals and the diverse, melting-pot population comprised of hundreds of expats, representing 63 nationalities, who have made San Miguel de Allende their home.

In 2008, the city was named a UNESCO World Heritage site, under the title of “Protective Town of San Miguel and the Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno de Atotonilco.” The distinction was granted due to the city’s cultural significance, its architectural contribution to the Mexican Baroque art and architecture movement, and also the role it played in the fight for Mexican independence.

Conde Nast Traveler readers took part in the 29th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey by submitting millions of ratings and tens of thousands of comments to help us create a list of winning favorites.

For a full list of Conde Nast Readers’ Choice Awards. click here

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BEST Travel Deals in Prague and Budapest

For years, I have raved about  Prague and Budapest as GREAT TRAVEL VALUES! Both BEAUTIFUL with amazing architecture, nice sampling of gay life, and fantastic food and lodging values.

In a survey that measured the cost of a dozen alcoholic drinks – from beer to wine to champagne and various cocktails – throughout 16 major European cities, Prague was named the cheapest according to a new article in The Telegraph.

Leading the pack with a £1.26 (45 CZK) beer, a £1.57 (55 CZK) wine, a £2.03 (70 CZK) brandy and a £2.83 (99 CZK) vodka and orange, the total cost of a dozen varied alcoholic beverages came to £28.74 (roughly 1000 CZK) in Prague.

In second place was Budapest, with a total cost of £30.20 (1060 CZK) for the 12 drinks. In a similar survey conducted a year ago, Budapest topped Prague as cheapest destination for alcohol.

 

  • Prague, Czech Republic – £28.74 (1008 CZK)
  • Budapest, Hungary – £30.20 (1060 CZK)
  • Krakow, Poland – £33.82 (1187 CZK)
  • Riga, Latvia – £49.95 (1753 CZK)
  • Tallinn, Estonia – £53.11 (1864 CZK)
  • Palma, Majorca – £56.72 (1990 CZK)
  • Berlin, Germany – £57.54 (2019 CZK)
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – £58.14 (2040 CZK)
  • Barcelona, Spain – £60.56 (2125 CZK)
  • London, England – £60.70 (2130 CZK)

This  is  from writer David Park, who  was born and raised in Baltimore and has been living in the Czech Republic since 2009 after studying journalism in Prague.

 

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Gay Married Couple Travel Tragedy

WOW – What a tragedy and horrific  story.

The husband of a British man who died while honeymooning in Australia says the moment he was told his partner’s death certificate would read “never married” was the “most humiliating” of his life.

David Bulmer-Rizzi, 32, died after falling down the stairs at a friend’s house in Adelaide — the last stop on his holiday with husband Marco.

Because South Australia does not recognise same-sex marriages from overseas, their marriage was not initially recorded on David’s death certificate and Mr Bulmer-Rizzi was not recognized as next of kin.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has since said the certificate will be changed to remove the “offensive description of ‘never married'”, and has made a commitment to put measures before State Parliament to stop a similar incident from happening again in the future.

“A man’s just lost his husband, someone he loves, someone he’s legally married to and treated with disrespect in my state,” he said.  (see more  at  ABC)

It gets  worse….

Trying to make his  way home, he was forced to hand over the ashes of his husband by officials at Hong Kong airport during his flight home from Australia.

He said an official spotted the ashes when they passed through the X-ray scanner and began to question him before confiscating them.

“I was taken to one side and she said, ‘What’s in this box?’” he told BuzzFeed.

“She wanted to open the box. And I said, ‘These are human remains. It’s my husband. My husband died while we were in Australia.’ She just looked at me and said, ‘I need to take this away.’”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi said the guard did not immediately take the container and asked again about the identity of the deceased.

“She said, ‘Who did you say died?’” he said. “I said, ‘My husband. And this is his passport.’ And she said, ‘No. I’m gonna take this [the ashes] away.’”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi said he went into a “meltdown” and put his hand on the container to prevent them being taken. He asked to see a supervisor, who asked to see documentation and eventually let him retrieve the ashes and fly to Britain.

“I felt like I was losing him again,” he said. “All I wanted was to be able to travel with David’s ashes on me so he wouldn’t have to travel back by himself.”

Mr Bulmer-Rizzi  had his late husband’s passport and a note from the funeral home but did not have official documentation from the British consulate.

He said he had asked British diplomats for documentation because he was worried about travelling through countries where same sex-marriage is illegal.

“The government could have simply issued me a letter saying I was David’s next of kin,” he said.

(source – The Telegraph)

 

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Euro Pride Amsterdam Pride Deals

 

EuroPride 2016

 

Europride is a pan-European international event dedicated to LGBT pride, hosted by a different European city each year. The host city is usually one with an established gay pride event or a significant LGBT community.

For up to a fortnight, numerous sporting and artistic events are staged throughout the host city. Europride usually culminates during a weekend with a traditional Mardi Gras-style pride parade, live music, special club nights, and an AIDS memorial vigil.

 

I will once again be hosting a group for one of the largest Pride celebrations in Europe when Amsterdam welcomes       EuroPride       August 3-8

Don’t miss this year’s incredible “Canal Parade”, the only Pride celebrated on water, and the parties, concerts, and celebrations.

 

Our package includes 5 nights hotel stay, buffet breakfast, Red Light District Tour, Canal cruise and my assistance services on location.

*Prices subject to change and depend on availability at time of booking. Central hotels sell out fast so make your reservations now!

**Price is land only

***Airfare is not included. Air quotes upon request.

Call Dave  1-800-942-1280

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Puerto Vallarta Fantastic Deals


16 REASONS WHY NOW IS THE BEST TIME
TO VISIT PUERTO VALLARTA
As the Peso lowers, bargain hunters
will find great deals in Paradise

 With the Mexican Peso at an all-time low, with average exchange rate between $15-$17 pesos to the US dollar, Americans and Canadians looking for last minute deals to Puerto Vallarta will find that this is a travelers market.

Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s top tourism destination. Known for its 100-year-old historic center, the heart of the destination, it is alive with authentic culture, art, nightlife and a range of award-winning traditional and international restaurants.

Beyond the downtown area, Puerto Vallarta makes for a vacation full of activities that all can enjoy. From strolling along Puerto Vallarta’s lively Malecón (beach boardwalk) while relishing in free outdoor live entertainment like the nightly Papantla flying dancers, to riding zip lines across tree tops or swimming with dolphins and sea lions, taking a cooking class at one of the traditional restaurants or enjoying a guided tour of the local art galleries, visitors of all ages can share memorable moments during their fun-filled visit.

FOLLOWING ARE 16 BARGAINS TO ENJOY NOW

  1. Dinner at Top Restaurants –  Puerto Vallarta is home to over 300 restaurants ranging from internationally renowned establishments to mom-and-pap eateries offering dishes that go back generations. Dinner for two, including a three-course meal and a bottle of fine wine, at top iconic restaurants like La Palapa, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton favorite beach-front eatery, where they brought all their celebrity friends to party, El Arrayan, famous for its exquisite traditional Mexican cuisine, or Barcelona Tapas, with its grand view of the Bay of Banderas and the city’s Downtown area, will cost less than $120 USD.
  2. Artisan Tequilas – Many ranches and haciendas around Puerto Vallarta offer half day and full day activities including horseback riding, hiking, quad bike excursions and a tour of the tequila plantation and distillery; including tasting of top artisan tequilas and the local raicilla, a spirit of pre-Hispanic origin made from the agave root. Top quality tequila and raicilla will set one back around $20 USD www.haciendadonaengracia.com / www.haciendaeldivisadero.com 
  3. VIP Beach Clubs – Enjoy the beach with plenty of pampering and luxury offered by one of Puerto Vallarta’s beach clubs. Mantamar Beach club has day passes for as low as $350 pesos ($20 USD), with $250 pesos (nearly $15 USD) counted as credit towards food and drinks.
  4. Learn Spanish – Puerto Vallarta is a college town, home to international universities and private schools. A two-week Spanish immersion class at one of the many language centers located in Puerto Vallarta, which also offers the opportunity to learn about Mexican culture and traditions, costs as little as $150 USD a week. www.spanishexperiencecenter.com 
  5. Artworks for Collectors – From the many sculptures that line its Malecon (beach boardwalk) to the fine art galleries that house national and international works Puerto Vallarta is known for embracing the arts. Visitors can explore the town’s numerous arts offerings on the guided ArtWalk tour which operates daily from October to May, making stops at 15 local galleries in the historic downtown area. The ArtWalk is free and most galleries; like Galeria Colectika have not adjusted the prices on art pieces; providing visitors a great opportunity to acquire amazing works of art for a steal.
  6. San Sebastian del Oeste – A 90-minute drive east of Puerto Vallarta sends visitors back in time to a 17th century silver mining village nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains. This sleeping town of 600 inhabitants is a colonial gem, filled with historic sites and great places to eat. Stoll around town at leisure or take guided tour. A round-trip taxi ride from Puerto Vallarta and back costs around USD $90.
  7. Your Own Private Beach – For travelers wishing to explore the natural oasis and warm Pacific Ocean waters in a secluded setting, Puerto Vallarta offers a variety of ways to enjoy their pristine secluded beaches. Take a round-trip water taxi ride out of Los Muertos Beach to secluded coves or isolated beaches like Colomitos, Las Animas, Boca de Tomatlan, Majahuitas, Quimixto, Playa El Caballo and many others. $20 USD per person.
  8. Charter a Private Boat. Spend the day at sea, snorkeling, fishing, swimming, island hopping or just sun bathing on your own private boat.  Prices start at $866 for 8 hours www.pvmikesfishing.com/fishing-boat-rental-rates 
  9. Viva Tequila Tour – Enjoy a Tequila tour and a live performance of traditional colorful Mexican folklore for about $60 USD a person. www.viviatequila.mx 
  10. Boutique Hotels – Puerto Vallarta’s Downtown and Zona Romantica area is one of the most charming and authentic locations along Mexico’s Pacific Coast, teaming with enchanting boutique hotels, each with its own charm, unique personality and history;  offering the warm and friendly personalized service Puerto Vallarta is reputed for. Rates are as low as $40 USD per night. www.visitpuertovallarta.com 
  11. Mex-Ology: Tequila, Tacos and Mexican Cocktails Tour – Enjoy authentic Puerto Vallarta culture and dining on a unique taco tour with Vallarta Food Tours. Also a fun way to see the Downtown area and a great start to a night of festivities.  www.puertovallartafoodtours.com 
  12. Become a Taco Expert – There are a couple of signs visitors must look out for before buying a taco. 1. Is the location popular? If you see a line of locals waiting to eat at the establishment that’s generally a good sign. 2. When buying tacos from a local street vendor make sure the food is served in plates covered with a plastic for hygiene. 3. There should always be at least two people working the stand, one to serve food and the other to handle payments. Try Ceviches el Güero or Tacos el Cunado where a taco costs less than $1 USD.
  13. Brunch at Canopy River – Take a ride to the middle of the Sierra Madre and enjoy a hearty Sunday Brunch amidst the varied and lush tropical flora and fauna of the rainforest surrounding Puerto Vallarta for less than $20 USD per person.  www.canopytourspuertovallarta.com 
  14. Walk the Malecon – The Malecon is Puerto Vallarta’s heart and where everyone, both locals and tourists, gather for morning jogs, open air yoga classes and daytime or sunset strolls. It also has features some of the most delicious traditional street food, from tacos to corn on the cob with mayonnaise and chili, each for less than $1 USD.
  15. Colorful Local Celebrations – Visiting Puerto Vallarta during any of its local festivals or celebrations that take place monthly, presents a culturally rewarding experience and a chance to see the city through the cultural traditions of its people. From the Day of the Dead to the Gourmet Festival, most celebrations have activities that are free of charge. www.visitpuertovallarta.com 
  16. Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board has been working with all its trade partners to offer exclusive discounts when booking is made on their site: www.visitpuertovallarta.com. Visitors can find discounts on activities and stays for as high as 50% off.
Additional information on Puerto Vallarta is available at www.visitpuertovallarta.com
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Gay News from Morocco

This is why I have NO DESIRE  to  travel  to countries where I have to walk on eggshells  and hide….

The men tried to escape police after they were caught together.

Two Moroccan youths have been jailed for one and a half years and fined 2,000 dirhams (£375) each on charges of homosexuality. The sentence was handed down by a court in the southern town of Tiznit on February 1.

The two men – identified in local media reports only as Hamza M and Osman A – were arrested by officers last week.

Although one the defendants – Hamza M – denied the charges throughout the trial, Osman A confessed that the pair were in a relationship and had slept with each other.

During their arrest, the men tried to escape by threatening the policemen with knives, however they soon apprehended.

Last month, two Moroccan men were arrested after a video of them kissing caused outrage online.

Moroccan law penalises acts of “sexual deviancy” between members of the same sex – a term that police reports and court documents use to refer to homosexuality more generally.

Gay sex is punishable by up to three years imprisonment and a fine.

Last year, campaigners condemned the jailing of two men accused of consensual same-sex activity in Morocco.

In May, three men in Morocco accused of homosexuality were jailed for three years each.

Ray Cole, a gay British man, was briefly jailed in the country in 2014 under Morocco’s anti-gay laws.

Mr Cole and his Moroccan friend were subsequently released following a high-profile campaign.

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Stefan and Sebastien of Nomadic Boys travel blog

GAY COUPLES  SHOULD SEE ASIA

Stefan and Sebastien, a gay couple traveling the world and owners of the Nomadic Boys travel blog,  spent 18 months traveling in Asia last year and absolutely loved it.

Although most Asian countries don’t have the best reputation when it comes to gay rights, here are their  five reasons  ( HuffPost  Gay Voices)  they think traveling to Asia is fun, romantic and above all, important for supporting and inspiring local LGBT communities.

 

Check out their site  and  their  social media  stuff! Nomadic Boys is owned by Stefan Arestis and Sebastien Chaneac.

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Fallen Icarus in Sicily

While Sicily is not a gay mecca –  slowly,  more  gay clubs and businesses  have opened  in the last few years.   There is a great article  HERE.

I just love this statue  and archaeological site!

The Valley of Temples in Agrigento (Sicily) is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world and a perfect example of Greek architecture used in the colonies of the Magna Graecia.
The Valley includes the rests of different temples, all in Doric style and built during the most powerful period of Akragasthe ancient city that was praised by the Ancient Greek poet Pindar, as “the most beautiful city the mortals have ever built”
From 2011 onwards in front of the temple is the bronze statue of Icarus, made by the Polish artist Igor Mitoraj.
Lots  of  photos  HERE!
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Gay Travel to Brighton


Brighton: totes British and gay!
By Sebastian Saenz @sebastiaenz


San Francisco, Mykonos, Puerto Vallarta, Sydney, Cape Town… a lot of countries have their own quintessentially gay city, and England is not an exception. Bohemian Brighton is Britain’s gay capital par excellence
, welcoming tons of sexually diverse tourists, not only from the UK, but from continental Europe and the rest of the globe too!

This seaside white city of East Sussex is protected by the UNESCO because of its natural beauty, but it is also culturally and historically rich. There has been found human remains from the Bronze Age, the Roman Empire, the Anglo-Saxon period and the Middle Ages. Currently, it’s a great stop from London to Paris or vice versa due to its healing sea bathing. Additionally, tourists can visit sublime Georgian and Victorian buildings, and enjoy cultural, artistic and, of course, LGBTXYZ activities.

Among the musts we can find the Indian inspired Royal Pavilion, the shop-a-holic Lanes, the relaxing spas, the precious beach and pier (even if it’s cold, the views from the Ferris wheel are magnificent), and the free Museum and Art Gallery (which portrays fine and modern art, fashion pieces, Brighton’s historic pieces, photographies, an LGBTQ Trail and more). Besides, its a great way to enjoy the beauty of English tradition without visiting the crowded London or the chilly Manchester. Every British thing to do can be done here: have tea and a substantial breakfast, or fish and chips and a pint of beer while watching rugby at a packed pub, and talk about rock, Harry Potter and the Queen with the cute and friendly locals over the Sunday Roast.

 

 

Awesome places to eat are English’s of Brighton and Foodilic.
Even though the whole city is pink (local service providers are more than used to us), most attractions for our community can be found on St. James’s Street in Kemptown. For a fun way to start the night with a few drinks, Revenge and Legends are among the most popular, and for dancing and a little flirting, tourists can either stay at Revenge, or make a stop at Envy.
Roughly, 11–15% of its population over 15 is thought to be sexually diverse, and Brighton also has the highest percentage of same-sex households in the UK, as well as the most popular Pride celebration of the island. Consequently, this gay mecca has to be on everybody’s bucket list.

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Gay Travel Warning – No Grindr London

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Gay Travel to Beautiful Barcelona

Magical Barcelona
By Sebastián Sáenz @sebastiaenz

There are very few paradises such as Barcelona. This city has everything you can ask for perfect holidays: beaches, warmth, friendliness, dancing, food, art, shopping, architecture, history and one of the broadest minded societies in Europe. An LGBTXYZ tourist is free to dress however s/he wants, and hold the hand of whomever s/he wants anywhere in the city. So, here’s the itinerary I have designed for the perfect rainbow brake:

One day should be dedicated to the splendor of Barcelona. First thing in the morning, a visit to the Basílica of the Sagrada Familia is in order, one of the most beautiful Catholic temples in the world, created by the famous designer Antoni Gaudí, and an established UNESCO World Heritage site. Right outside, at the Ciudadela Park, tourists can find the Monument for all the persecuted gays, lesbians and trans people. And in the afternoon, the Park Güell (location of America’s Next Top model Cycle 7 finale) is also mandatory, with an original design that harmonically combines color, nature and religion.

At night you should be hungry, so visit any traditional tapas restaurant at the city center, try and share as many as you can (savory, sweet, spicy, veggie, seafood, etc.), keep the toothpicks, and pay the total when you’re done! Can Paixano (also known as la Champañería) is cheap, crowded, delicious, small and hype; and guarantees that you won’t get out sober, hungry or bored.

The following day can be a road trip. A little outside of the city, to the Northwest, you will find the Montserrat Monastery, on top of the Montserrat Mountain, which includes legends and breathtaking natural views. On your way back to the city, stop at Cavas Codorniu for a tour at the sparkling wine house. If you prefer the Northeast (and if you’re ok with a longer trip), I strongly suggest the Salvador Dalí Museum-Theatre for those who adore the pieces of this crazy artist.

 

We all know a decent portion of the trip has to be dedicated to shopping. After all, Spain is the birth place of Balenciaga, Blahnik, Adolfo Dominguez, and Paco Rabanne; and Barcelona has been the home of designers Custo Dalmau and Estrella Archs. You will find boutiques and shops such as Zara, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Stradivarius, Zara Home, Uterqüe and Mango on every corner. The department store to go is El Corte Inglés. For the real touristic souvenir experience (and a little nice walk), Las Ramblas is splendid. The Mercado de la Boquería offers the best fresh food of the city. And Las Arenas Mall is fantastic, since it used to be a bullring plaza (how more Spanish can it get?).

At this point I believe we can agree some rest is obligatory. Barcelona has some of the best beaches of the continent, and even though non-heterosexual bathers are welcome anywhere, we tend to concentrate at Sitges Beach, 45 minutes to the West outside of the city. Don’t forget your sunblock and speedos!

 

At the end of the day, and fully recovered, of course a lot of you are thinking to go flirt with some hot locals (the perfect Mediterranean mix of European and Arabic) and see if those tongues can do the same to you as they do to the accent.

 

The gay district is located in the Eixample neighborhood (hence the nickname Gayxample). The place to warm up with a few cocktails is La Chapelle, and around 1 am it might be time to go to Arena Madre, with three floors of vibrant music, intoxicating hormones, and all the fun you expect from Cataluña.

Of course, a good rest is needed, and the bed of your dreams will be found at the posh Axel Suites, a must for our community. And finally, if you may, try to visit the city in time for the Arenal Sound Music Festival in August, even if you don’t like festivals, it’s the best time of the city.

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Puerto Vallarta Contest

The start of ­­­­winter in Puerto Vallarta is cause for celebration as December marks the beginning of the whale watching season, traditional pilgrimages in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, free daily guided Artwalks in historic downtown, culinary treats all around town, the International Pro Am golf tournament, the release of baby sea turtles, perfect weather with temperatures in the low 80’s and a calendar full of holiday festivities and free activities.

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board is inviting everyone to join in the celebration with the launch of a mega “12 DAYS OF WINTER” (#12DaysOfWinter) promotion and participate for a chance to win daily prizes during the first 12 days of December, including artworks, bottles of tequila and raicilla and trip getaways, with the top prize being a 12-day all-expense paid vacation for two in Puerto Vallarta.

To participate register at visitpuertovallarta.com/12daysofwinter and tell the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board what you would do on a 12-day all-expense paid holiday for two in the destination. All registrants will have a chance to win one of 12 prizes. Drawings will take place every day from December 1st to 12th. Following are the details of the prizes that will be awarded:

 

 

Winners of the getaway prizes to be awarded between December 5th through 12th will also receive a choice of 2 activities in Puerto Vallarta courtesy of Vallarta Adventures and Dolphin Discovery.

 

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