Category Archives: Places outside US

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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Puerto Vallarta was UNTOUCHED By Hurricane

Puerto Vallarta is fully operational with 100% of its hotel and restaurant facilities open, as well as its International Airport (PVR), marina, cruise port and Convention Center. All domestic and international airlines as well as buses, taxis and other ground transport companies resumed their normal service schedule within 2 days of the hurricane scare.

I just got back from Puerto Vallarta to celebrate HALLOWEEN and take part in their DAY OF THE DEAD festivities! EVERYTHING IS TOTALLY FINE THERE. The experienced no damage or problems from the hurricane – because it missed them. Everything is open and is  business as usual!

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Historic Bath England UK

Tiny but charming Bath
By Sebastian Saenz @sebastiaenz

Forget about big, chaotic, noisy and polluted cities. Tokyo is expensive, Paris is overwhelming, and don’t even get me started with public urination in New York. Yes, most tourists avoid all these by visiting Greek or Costa Rican beaches, but for those who don’t like sand, or who don’t want to risk losing their savings due to a hurricane, picturesque little towns are a true paradise, and Bath has to be on this bucket list.

Imagine yourself walking down the hills and streets of a tiny and traditional English town. Imperial buildings, one right after another, form a scenery that looks like it has its own sepia filter, and a soprano soothes the afternoon in a niche that seems to be just for yourself.

 

The history of Bath is as rich as the one of Athens or Prague. It was colonized by the Roman Empire because of its natural (and still in use) steaming springs. Visitors from the whole world have visited Bath for centuries in order to cure their illnesses, or simply to relax in the warm waters. The Thermae Bath Spa not only offers dream-like spa services, but it does it with magnificent views of the town.

Jane Austen’s avid fans visit Bath as well in order to check out one of the houses she lived in. In there, the ancient woods and fabrics make anyone feel like Mr. Darcy or Elizabeth Bennet, which makes Bath perfect for lovers to get away for a romantic weekend. However, for those looking for history with more adrenaline, the ghost tour is a true must. Rumor has it that sworn enemies, tragic lovers, and scandalous families still wander the lanes and buildings of Bath after centuries of their deaths.

The city might not be popular for its monstrous gay scene, but it is extremely friendly. All visitors are welcome everywhere (as in the whole UK). Nonetheless, gay locals and tourists usually gather at the Mandalyns bar: cozy, fun and, as everything in Bath, tiny but worth checking out.
Friendly spots are also the lovely Paradise House B&B (with a charming garden, and a sublime view), The Pig Near Bath (for great local food), and The Canary Bar (awesome decor for gin aficionados).

Don’t forget to visit the abbey, the popular Pulteney Bridge and Royal Crescent. Bath is great for students of nearby towns during the weekends, and it is so itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie, that everything is a few steps away.

Tourism  info @ Visit Bath

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Gay Travel Puerto Vallarta

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
see also  BestGayPuertoVallartra.com
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PARADISO 3 Thanksgiving Weekend

THANKSGIVING WEEKEND!   PARADISO INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL

Cancun, Quintana Roo – Wed, Nov 25, 2015 10:00 PM – Mon, Nov 30, 2015 7:00 AM

Paradiso International Festival, Mexico’s biggest gay and lesbian dance music

festival, celebrates in Cancún, Quintana Roo, on the Riviera Maya with 12 special

parties from November 25th. to 30th. Attracting thousands of attendees from

across the globe, Paradiso International Festival promises an unforgettable

Thanksgiving weekend, with a stellar artist lineup and lots of surprises in store

for this world-class house music event.

MORE  INFO  HERE

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Gay Brussels

Tiny but exciting Brussels
By Sebastian Saenz @sebastiaenz

Most people in the world immediately relate Brussels with the sprouts. It may have a low profile in history, geography or (I’ve been told) sports. But one thing is certain: it’s friendliness and diversity are undeniably at the top.

This city is one of the most majestic in Europe: visiting the city center (UNESCO World Heritage Site) provokes the sensation of being in an ancient oil painting. The Town Hall (Hotel de Ville) is hard to miss, with one of the tallest towers in the city, and the Grand Palace and the Cathedral are genuine time traveling machines. Other excellent spots are the Musical Instruments Museum (where the pieces from any time and any place are authentic art pieces), Les Galeires Royales Saint-Hubert (to get the best Belgian chocolates and admire imperial architecture under a massive skylight) and Mini Europe (to get all the pictures worth of a month backpacking). Considering that here you can find the offices of the European Union and NATO, this city may be small, but also culturally and socially rich, and economically and politically stable.

 

And the gayness? To begin with, the symbol of Brussels is the itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie fountain of a young boy who enjoys golden showers. Even before arriving to the capital, the train may be packed with cute tourists from all over the world (and already cruising). If you are lucky enough, a hot uniformed officer might not only check your passport. Hostels may not be the first choice for everyone, but if someone is ever going to opt for one, it should be in Brussels, since sharing a bedroom or a bathroom with the all-male young roommates may have its advantages *winks*. My choice: Van Gogh Youth Hostel: conveniently located, cheap (but not trashy at all), friendly, clean, cozy and where the painter actually had a workshop!

LGBTXYZ people from the whole kingdom and the continent visit this progressive capital for some fun. Even though there is no such thing as a gay district, walking around the city center is enough proof that the whole capital is as gay as the day is long, since there are visible and welcoming flags here and there. Most venues are located on the Rue du Marché au Charbon/Kolenmarkt (which smells like Abercrombie & Fitch aftershave). Must visit: Macho Sauna (the most popular in its category), La Belgica (busy and fun bar), Le Baroque (for bears and hunters) and ABrussel (trendy atmosphere for delicious food). Get ready for the sensual accent, and practice your “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir”.

Need more LGBT reasons? The former Belgian Prime Minister, the social-democrat Elio di Rupo, plays on our team (one of the few national leaders out of the closet). The sexy bear and fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck is another pride character of the country: his aesthetic is loud, incorporating vivid colors, burkas and unconventional jackets. He even displays his designs on XXL models from London and Paris, and among his clientele was the late Robbin Williams.

Don’t forget to get a street Belgian waffle, a raspberry beer, but most importantly: garlic mussels from the pot (at any traditional food restaurant at the city center, ask your waiter how to eat them like a true local). They might be the best gastronomic experience of my life.

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Hotel Germs in your Room

No one really knows who was in their hotel room before them. Or what kind of mess they made. Maybe it was a bachelor party and the boys got drunk and threw up. Maybe it was used for prostitution and all the sexually transmitted diseases it brings. Yes it happens, especially in the best hotels. Or maybe someone got a really bad virus infection. Worse somebody died in the room. Hotel germs are a fact of life. With so many people using these rooms, hotel germs will tend to be higher than in your house.

The important question is did the cleaning staff really clean everything properly? The TV remote control, the bed light lamp switch, the toilet seat and handle. Cleaning staff are under enormous pressure to clean fast. On average, housekeepers clean 13 to 15 rooms a day, but it can be as high as 30 at some hotels. And there is no universal standard for cleaning hotel rooms.

Like our hospitals, hotels are becoming places where anti biotic resistant bacteria are beginning to thrive. Why? Because of the constant use of commercial cleaning agents combined with heavy use of antibiotics in our meat production systems have created these super bugs. Hotel rooms are places where a huge number of people from all over the country and World bring their own strains of bacteria. And if they bring that strain of disinfectant/antibiotic resistant bacteria you are screwed. As the video below shows, staff are also using sponges and toilet brushes to clean other surfaces which adds to the problem. Fecal contamination from toilet brushes can be deadly, especially if they are used to scrub surfaces other than the toilet.

Just because your room looks spic-n-span doesn’t necessarily make it so. Our friends at Oyster.com dish the dirt on hotel cleaning practices and offer tips on how to freshen up after checking in.

First of all, let’s just start out by saying that not every hotel room is secretly swarming with skin cells of past guests, E. coli, and/or unidentified bodily fluids. Every hotel has different protocol, schedules, and cleaning staff that determine just how clean your temporary home is going to be. We aren’t dumb (and neither are you); we know that not all maids are spending hours scrubbing, buffing, and spraying down every surface and crevice of our hotel rooms. But after digging, we uncovered some pretty dirty secrets of hotel “cleaning” practices, hiding in the sheets, on your pillows, across the bathroom counter, in the glasses you drink from — pretty much everywhere. Think you’re better off not knowing about how dirty the bedsheets are or what infectious bacteria is colonizing on that remote control? Trust us, it’s better to know — and know how to deal with it. And we’re here to help.

Glasses  and  Mugs. Tv remotes  and  telephones. Bedding and more!

READ ABOUT IT AT  JETSETTER.

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Curaçao embraces the Gays and Lesbians

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.

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

 

 

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Gay Wedding Deal in Puerto Vallarta

PLOOKING FOR A DESTINATION WEDDING?

COSTA SUR RESORT & SPA WILL PAY FOR IT!
Puerto Vallarta’s Popular Wedding Resort Splurges on Guests with Free Wedding with Booking

Costa Sur Resort & Spa has launched its “All Inclusive Free Wedding Package” giving away most elements of a wedding with a 10 room booking. – This hotel and resort is GORGEOUS!  We have toured the property and the it is a spectacular setting right on the ocean.

Located in Mexico’s Pacific Coast destination of Puerto Vallarta, is one of the destination’s most popular wedding resorts, already hosting hundreds of weddings year-round, including over 200 LGBT ceremonies.

The property has a full in-house wedding staff and able to provide not only a secluded beach-front wedding but all the amenities needed for a world-class wedding.

The hotel’s wedding package promotion is based on a 10 room booking for a minimum of 2 nights; Costa Sur will give the happy couple a complimentary wedding banquet, Costa Sur Resort & Spa special table setting with round tables and Tiffany chairs and 4 hours of open bar, including a sparkling wine toast.

In addition, the couple will also receive 2 Nights All Inclusive complimentary accommodations, Upgrade to suite and a full wedding coordinator for any additional needs.

On the night of the wedding, the couple’s room will be decorated with the resort’s signature romantic setting rich with chocolate dipped strawberries and sparkling white wine.

Puerto Vallarta has the sun, the beach, and the beautiful blue ocean year round. It’s the perfect mix with plenty of romantic beachfront backdrops, as well as a very fun, charming local Mexican village, just 10 minutes from the resort.

For reservations please visit www.costasurpuertovallarta.com

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Gay Amsterdam

 

24 gay hours in Amsterdam.
By Sebastián Sáenz @sebastiaenz

Welcome to one of the major gay capitals of the world. The Netherlands have shown for decades that this country is not only broadminded, but a true trendsetter when it comes to cultural, social and political progress. Historic, beautiful and a tad rainy, Amsterdam has much more to offer than wooden shoes, tulips and windmills.

Any tourist with a little self respect must cover a few basics. The Palace at the city center is an imperial masterpiece. The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh’s museum are musts for art connoisseurs and lovers. Not visiting Anne Frank’s mouse hole is unforgivable. Misbehaving in one of those famous coffee shops and satisfying your thirst of curiosity at the Red Light district is expected. A nice boat tour in the canals should not be missed. Buying a good (and necessary) trench coat and exquisite cheese is mandatory. And yes, a tour at the Heineken headquarters will set almost anyone in an excellent mood. But what can an LGBTQ tourist do in one day in Amsterdam?

Ironically, facing the Westerkerk Church in the city center, people can find the Homomonument: three pink granite triangles that combined form a massive one (36 meters on each side), honoring the homosexual victims of WWII. One of these triangles is floor level, another one is as high as most people’s knees, and the last one forms stairs that go down the Keizersgracht canal (usually displaying flowers). This piece of the artist Karin Daan reads “Commemorates all women and men ever oppressed and persecuted because of their homosexuality. Supports the international lesbian and gay movement in their struggle against contempt, discrimination and oppression. Demonstrates that we are not alone. Calls for permanent vigilance. Past, present, and future are represented by the three triangles on this square.”

Tourists can also buy a few rainbow themed souvenirs in the little kiosk next to the monument. If, however, a little kiosk is not enough, shopaholics can walk along Warmoesstraat, where LGBTQ boutiques and leather shops such as Condomerie, Mr. B and RoB are almost one next to the other (don’t forget a porcelain couple of boys kissing). Regarding scandalous museums, Amsterdam has one dedicated exclusively to sex, and even though it mostly talks about straight sex, there are a few same-sex displays.

 

To grab a bite, the popular Bistro Bij Ons is owned by two lesbians who offer great traditional food, La Margatirta on Reguliersdwarsstraat is in the heart of the gay scene for those craving for Caribbean food, and on that same street, Saturnino, for Italian. Let’s talk about drinks, dancing and flirting. Fun choices for barhopping are Getto, The Queen’s Head and Taboo (don’t forget to ask the cute bartender for a tasty Limoncello Prosecco). But for those who enjoy NC-17 Rated experiences (gloryholes and leather for instance), Eagle is the best choice.

 

This is the marvelous capital of the first country to extend marriage laws to include same-sex couples, so expectations are quite high. Amsterdam has one of the biggest Pride parties in the world, where instead of cars and streets, attendees see people “march” on boats in the canals. So enjoy the Netherlands, and careful with the bikes!

 

AMSTERDAM CITY TOURS can help you with all of your sight seeing needs! The most exciting guided tours in Amsterdam! Guided tours through some of the most fascinating parts and places of Amsterdam and Holland. Amsterdam City Tours prides itself on the fact that all its tours benefit from the experience and knowledge of real Amsterdam experts. Any tour can be tailored to your personal needs.

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Gay Travel Mexico City

 

10 things a gay tourist must do in Mexico City

By Sebastián Sáenz @sebastiaenz
(For Spanish – GO HERE)

Attention all gay tourists: Mexico City brings it all! We are talking about one of the biggest cities in the world with so much to offer you’ll need holidays after your holidays just to recover. And even though it’s chaotic, the traffic is constant and it’s packed everywhere, believe me, it’s worth, and you’ll even want to recommend it and come back.

And, before we start, just a few tips. Rush hours are from 7 am to 10 am and from 5 pm to 9 pm, so you might want to stay in one place during those times, or walk if you want to go somewhere. Public transportation is cheap, I recommend to use taxi apps or taxis your hotel gets for you, the subway is usually faster and safer than buses, the Metrobús is ok but usually busy, and as for green options, the city counts with a public bicycle service. Also, this is the second city with more museums in the world, so get ready for a lot of culture. Even though the city is relatively safe, tourists may want to dress discretely, not show huge expensive gadgets everywhere, and avoid lonely streets late at night; just in like most big cities. And of course, this is one of the friendliest cities in the world, so feel free to peck or hold hands in public, since most people are relatively tolerant. So, let’s begin:

 

1: Bus Tour
As a tourist myself a technique that has helped me quite a bit is, as soon as I arrive to a new city, I take the bus tour in order to get a lot of basic information in a few hours, see where everything is, how far things are, and what I want to visit calmly. Mexico City actually has several hop-on-and-off-bus-tours, so manage your time wisely: City Center (more historic), Polanco (one of the poshest areas in the city), South (traditional), Guadalupe Basilica (more religious), Canteens, Lucha Libre, Palaces and Nocturne. Ask at your front desk the nearest station to hop on! turibus.com.mx

2: Chapultepec
This is one of the most beautiful areas in the city, with a huge forest, lakes, cultural activities such as folk performances and ballet, the Anthropology Museum, the Estela de Luz Structure, and the Castle, with a breathtaking view of the city. Subway stations: Auditorio (Orange line) and Chapultepec (Pink Line).

3: Colonia Roma
This might be the best area to eat ANYTHING you want, and for any pocket. In this nice and welcoming neighborhood, most of the best restaurants are on Álvaro Obregón Av. and its surroundings. I particularly recommend the trendy Mercado Roma (Querétaro 225). Stations: Subway- Insurgentes (Pink line) and Chilpancingo (Brown line). Metrobús: Álvaro Obregón, Sonora, Michoacán and Campeche (Red Line).

4: Coyoacán
A very traditional neighborhood. The two main plazas host the church, the kiosk and the Coyotes Fountain. There are plenty of excellent restaurants such as Corazón de Maguey and bars with live music such as El Hijo del Cuervo. A few blocks away you can find the Frida Kahlo Museum and the park, Viveros. A cart churro, a street ice cream and a coffee from Café La Selva are true musts. Subway stations: General Anaya (Blue Line).

5: Shopping
Our kryptonite. For those who enjoy the best labels, Presidente Masaryk Av. at Polanco is a must, where you would find the up-scale international designers (Polanco subway station, Orange line). For malls with cinemas, restaurants, food courts, and of course, shops; Perisur (Perisur Metrobús station, Red Line), Antara (Polanco subway station), 222 (Insurgentes subway Station, Pink line) and Santa Fe (only accessible by car) might be the best shopping options of the city. And for a cheap and wide variety of art crafts, the Ciudadela Market in the City Center (Juárez subway station, Olive Green line) is THE place. If you are looking for High Mexican Design (not sombreros or ponchos), Pineda Covalín is one of the top fashion houses that portrays traditional designs.

6: Teotihuacán

The heart of the Aztec Civilization. This is one of the biggest historic paros of América, displaying the iconic Sun and Moon Pyramids yoga aficionados love to meditate by. This site is actually about an hour away from Mexico City, and might take a whole day to visit, but it’s worth the road trip. I STRONGLY recommend the Aerostat Balloon Tour, might be a bit expensive and you probably want to book in advance, but the sights are simply sublime (globosaerostaticosteotihuacan.tk). Don’t forget your sun screen!

7: La Condesa
This is definitely the trendiest area of the city. Young couples, hipsters, fashionistas… everyone wants a piece of La Condesa. Facing La Roma (opposite side of Insurgentes Av.), this neighborhood offers a massive range of restaurants, parks for romantic and canine walks, stores, coffe shops, weekend bazaars, but above all, the best bars to start any memorable night. Any bar on Tamaulipas St., Michoacán St., or around Mexico’s Park or La Cibeles Fountain (such as Wallace Bar or the terrace of the posh Codesa DF Boutique Hotel) is very likely to be quite busy at night, even during the week, but is the place to see and be seen.

8: City Center
Of course the Historic City Center has to be on the list. At “El Zócalo”, tourists can find the National Palace (with murals of Diego Rivera, Frida’s husband), the Cathedral, Bellas Artes Palace, the Central Alameda, the Templo Mayor Museum, and the pedestrian Madero Av. (with shops and restaurants). The quintessential traditional restaurant is Café Tacuba, but I recommend the terrace of the ancient Mexico Hotel, with the best view of El Zócalo. Subway stations: Zócalo (Blue line) and Bellas Artes (Blue and Green line).

9: Nightlife
What you’ve been craving. Even though there are LGBT clubs all over the city, this is how I would arrange a crazy weekend of tequila shots and phone numbers: one trashy and cheap night at the City Center’s Marrakech Salón, Marra 2.0 and La Purísima (Bellas Artes subway station), one trendy and up-scale night at Envy (only Friday) or Guilt (only Saturday) (Polanco subway station), and a universal night barhopping at Zona Rosa (Insurgentes subway and Metrobús stations), the gay district. The pink zone has clubs for all, such as Lollipop (with Karaoke), Nicho (for bears), El Taller (underground just for men), Botas (strip club) and Kinky (probably the most popular). The key is to get to Amberes St. and just go with the flow.

10: Reforma

The Mexican Champs Élysées. On this avenue tourists will find the emblematic Angel of Independence Monument (the symbol of the city), the Diana the Hunter Fountain, the National Auditorium (where Coldplay and Shakira have performed, just to name a couple), Chapultepec and Zona Rosa, and it’s also very close to the City Center. It is the perfect way to finish any week since, on Sundays, the central lanes are closed for bicycles, roller skates, roller blades, dogs and baby strollers during the day. Stations: Subway- Chapultepec, Sevilla or Insurgentes (Pink line). Metrobús- Reforma (Red line).

visitmexico.com
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Tipping Tips Around the World

It’s hard enough trying to convert currency in your head while traveling – let alone, guess what kind of tip to leave someone.

Luckily we have apps for that!  Know when to tip and how to present the tip in over 30 countries. Tip the right amount in restaurants, hotels, taxis, salons and more. Global Tipping App for iphones.

For Android we have Tipping Bird.  This crafty accompaniment to your app collection handily helps you add a gratuity of an acceptable amount depending on what country you’re dining in. We know what you’re thinking – isn’t a 10% tip pretty customary? Nope!

In the USA the average tip is around 19% (since hospitality does not pay crap in the US) , in the Dominican Republic you’ll be disgraced if you don’t put down 10%, 6% will suffice in Norway where they make a decent hourly wage, and for the generous folk of Iceland, a tip is not necessary at all. In fact, in many locations worldwide, incorrect tipping is a topic that leads to great tension and offence.  Thankfully Tipping Bird is here to guide you on what percentage of the bill is the right amount to put down.

One small piece of advice – check your bill to see if a gratuity is already included in the expected payment. Overpaying can be just as offensive in some cultures as underpaying.

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Massacre Against LGBT People in Turkey

I myself,  have no desire to visit countries where I have to walk on eggshells  and  pretend to be straight. I do not want to worry  while traveling that my life could potentially be in danger.

A group calling itself the Young Islamic Defense has been canvasing the city of Ankara, Turkey with posters that call for anti-LGBT violence. The poster (pictured above) quotes a hadith, saying “If you see someone engaged in the dirty business of the tribe of Lot, kill the doer and the done both.” – Ankara is said to be “gay friendly”.

Via the internet, the Young Islamic Defense has defended its call to action, saying:

in order to show that Islam absolutely does not allow this situation, we have shared this hadith… Our wish is to learn the attitude Islam demands from us in light of the Qu’ran and the Sunnah, instead of the hodjas who cannot shout out what is rightful on television.

This news comes on the heels of recent violence against LGBT people in Turkey — when in late June Istanbul police attacked the city’s pride march with water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets.

[Story and Image via LGBTI News in Turkey]

 

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Gay Marriage in The Virgin Islands

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.”

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Gay Prague Pride 2015

The fifth edition of the Prague Pride festival will be held from Monday 10 August till Sunday 16 August 2015.

 

This years slogan will be “We all have a rainbow inside”, visualized by thermal camera pictures. With this theme Prague Pride invites everybody, straight and gay, to join the festival and support that we are all equal. The full festival program is just coming together and looks better than ever before.

The Pride Village will be the main meeting point of the festival, located on the beautiful Strelecky island in the middle of the Vltava river right next to the famous Charles Bridge. The Pride Village is not just a community place, where you can get general information about the festival and meet Czech LGBT organizations, but it is also a place where you can watch LGBT movies, play sports, relax and enjoy various performances.

Of course Prague Pride would not be complete without its famous parties. Dirty Dirty Dancing on Friday 14 August will welcome London’s top DJs Josh Caffe and Borja Peňa. The official After Party on Saturday 15 August in club Roxy will host Hoxton Whores from the UK, Marcelo de Lazari from Brazil, Jonty Skrufff & Fidelity Kastrow from Berlin, Michael Burian from Prague and many, many more.

On a more serious matter Prague Pride will offer space for debates and culture in the Pride House and Pride Theatre. It will bring some top artistic events to the city. Prague Pride visitors are given an extra week of the exhibition of the contemporary British artist Roger Hiorns at the Rudolfinum gallery . The Wenceslas Square will host the photo exhibition “Homophobia in Russia” by the World Press Photo 2015 winner Mads Nissen. On Friday 14 August the London Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at the National Theatre, while on that same day the Pride Village will see the world premiere of the dance Dogtown by Israeli choreographer Nadar Rosano.

One of the highlights of Prague Pride will be the Pride Voices event on Wednesday 12 August, when inspirational speakers will share their personal stories. This year Prague Pride is proud to announce that among the guests will be former Icelandic prime minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Dutch olympic medal winner Johan Kenkhuis, World Press Photo 2014 winner Jana Ašenbrennerová, Palestinian protagonist of the documentary ‘The invisible men’ Abdul Rawashda and Mr. Gay World Klaus Burkart from Germany. On Thursday 13 August the Business Forum welcomes BBC economics anchor, Evan Davis and Lord Browne, former BP CEO and author of “The Glass Closet”.

The main event of the Prague Pride festival will be the parade on Saturday 15 August. The march will start on the famous Wenceslas Square in the heart of Prague and then proceed through the historical city center all the way to Letna park where a big outdoor party with several DJ stages and an information market will be held.

The complete program will soon be released on our website www.praguepride.com. You can also find information about the Parade on our main Facebook Event Page here.

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