As Mexico’s most gay-friendly resort town, Puerto Vallarta offers a safe and fun environment with great beaches, outdoor adventures and vibrant nightlight. Puerto Vallarta has a charming and colorful old town full of great shopping, restaurants and venues all located along cute, cobblestone streets.
Puerto Vallarta offers something for all ages, interests and travel styles. It’s a hub for gay-friendly tourism businesses and the destination offers a friendly and welcoming environment to visitors from any place or walk of life. Most visitors to Puerto Vallarta will also find the destination inexpensive compared to their country of residence.
The district of Zona Romantico has gay clubs, cocktail bars, as well as gay hotels and even a gay hostel. Playa Los Muertos is the gay beach of Puerto Vallarta and great for relaxing and people watching or socializing and cruising. Head there in May for Vallarta Pride or in November or New Year's for the White Party.
Table of Contents
1. General Tips
2. Transportation & Airport Transfer
3. Gay Hotels & Resorts in Puerto Vallarta
4. Sightseeing & Activities in Puerto Vallarta
5. Puerto Vallarta Gay Tours
6. Restaurants and Cafes
7. Puerto Vallarta Gay Bars
8. Puerto Vallarta Gay Clubs and Parties
9. Puerto Vallarta Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
10. Gay Beaches in Puerto Vallarta
11. Gay Events in Puerto Vallarta
12. Day Trips from Puerto Vallarta
The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is from November to May. Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate and is warm all year round, however, June to September is the rainy season and it is hot and humid. You can visit any time of year, but you’ll notice a much slower pace in the offseason with many places are closed due to the limited number of visitors.
There are a large number of all-inclusive beach resorts in Puerto Vallarta, but they are outside the old town. While these options might seem attractive, we recommend you avoid them and stay near the old town (Zona Romantica). Staying at an all-inclusive resort really keeps you away from the authentic experience of the old town as well as all the great restaurants, bars and other venues in town, which really make the city unique.
You can download the Gay Puerto Vallarta guide for free. Just provide your email address and we’ll email you a PDF.
Transportation & Airport Transfer
The airport is located 10km from the old town, which is roughly a 25-30 minute drive. Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll likely be bombarded with transportation services trying to sell you a shuttle or taxi ride. These are all legit, but you might want to avoid taking a taxi or shuttle from the arrival terminal of the airport as the prices are about 3x higher than walking 5 minutes outside the airport by crossing the bridge.
The most economical way to town is to catch the city bus for just 10 pesos. Just look for the sign on the window saying Centro or Tunnel. You will find the stop just to the left as you exit the airport. Just cross the pedestrian bridge which goes over the highway.
Uber is also available, but you’ll also need to exit the airport by turning left and crossing the pedestrian bridge. Uber drivers can’t enter the airport for pickup. Once you’re crossed the highway on the pedestrian bridge, you can order your Uber, or even catch a local taxi. A ride to the old town will run about 200 pesos or $10 USD.
Gay Hotels & Resorts in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has more gay hotels and accommodation options than just about any place on the planet. It ranks up there with Palm Springs, Fort Lauderdale and Key West with the quantity of gay-specific accommodation options. Plus, Puerto Vallarta is such a popular LGBT destination than just about any hotel or property will be gay-friendly.
** all these properties marked with stars are gay-specific hotels.
Pinnacle Resorts 180 – gay-friendly property with swimming pool and sauna. All units consist of a seating area with a sofa and a fully equipped kitchen with various cooking facilities, including a dishwasher, an oven and a microwave.
Casa Cupula** – Set on the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This contemporary, gay hotel features two swimming pools, hot tub, spa and a terrace. The on-site restaurant serves Mexican-style dishes and American cuisine and also features views of the tropical forest and the sea. It’s located near Playa de Los Muertos Beach (the gay beach) and the dock, and half a kilometer from the seafront.
Almar Resort** – Offering a year-round outdoor terrace with Jacuzzis, this hotel is one of the nicest gay hotels in Puerto Vallarta. Guests can enjoy the on-site Top Sky Bar & Restaurant on the top floor, which also hosts a variety of drag and other performances during the week. Guests of Almar get free access to the Mantamar Beach Club, which is connected to the property.
Blue Chairs Resort** – beachfront gay hotel with onsite restaurant and bar. This property is a good choice is you’re looking for a gay hotel at a lower price point compared to Almar or Casa Cupula. The hotel has a pool, spa and provides concierge and room service.
Piñata PV Gay Hotel** – another great budget-friendly, gay hotel in Puerto Vallarta old town. It’s within walking distance to the gay beach and nightlife.
Hotel Mercurio** – a top-rated, budget-friendly gay hotel with a 24-hour swimming pool plus a pool bar open late. A gourmet breakfast is available each day.
La Terraza Inn – Located on Los Muertos Beach, this gay-friendly hotel offers a comfortable stay with terraces and gardens. The spacious rooms have Mexican hardwood furniture and a private terrace. Some rooms also have a kitchenette.
Jet's Gay Hostel** – The property is set in the downtown Puerto Vallarta district. This is a 6-bed gay hostel with shared sleeping and bathroom. This is the best deal you’ll find for your stay in Puerto Vallarta if you don’t mind sharing and sleeping in a hostel environment.
There are many sites for apartment rentals including Airbnb and Vrbo. Both companies have inclusive policies and support the LGBT+ community. Prices are generally comparable to budget hotels, especially if you’re willing to get a room in a shared apartment.
We’ve partnered with misterb&b to help curate the most LGBT+ friendly homestays. misterb&b is not a hotel or chain, but rather a booking platform for rooms, apartments and homes and it allows you to book from gay and gay-friendly hosts around the world. They have hosts in more than 200 countries and territories with more than 1 million total listings. Understanding the gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and home-sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid. misterb&b is our top choice if your priority is exploring the local gay scene.Special Offer! Sign up with misterb&b and you will receive a free $10 credit to use on your first booking!
Sightseeing & Activities in Puerto Vallarta
Vallarta Eats Food Tours – Bite into mouthwatering tacos and more on this street food tour of Puerto Vallarta. Learn how the locals eat while an expert foodie guide leads you on foot to family-owned eateries and taco stands. Book tour →
Farmers Market – Every Saturday morning you’ll find a great selection of locally produced artisan products, including produce, baked goods, coffee, cheese, salsas, chocolates, clothing, jewelry, arts and crafts.
ArtWalk – Puerto Vallarta has established itself as a vibrant center of art creation, exhibition and promotion. An important contribution to the city´s art scene is Puerto Vallarta´s ArtWalk which takes place, every Wednesday evening from November through May.
Puerto Vallarta Gay Tours
Jet’s Private Boat Tours – take a gay boat tour of Banderas Bay with our buddy Jet. He’ll take you off the beaten path to explore local spots not normally found on your typical Vallarta boat adventure. Explore secluded beaches, snorkel with tropical fish, discover hidden waterfalls, taste local fresh-caught seafood and more on this private and personal tour. Jet is a longtime, personal friend and this is one of the best activities to do in Puerto Vallarta. You can even book one of his Naked Boat Tours for an unforgettable naturist experience! Book tour →
Puerto Vallarta Gay Bar Hopping Tour – Enjoy an exciting night out in Puerto Vallarta on a gay bar-hopping tour. Explore some of the resort town's liveliest gay bars, clubs and cantinas on a ‘men-only' outing in the Romantic Zone. Book tour →
Gay Bar Hopping Tour Including Dinner and Cabaret – Spend a night out in Puerto Vallarta with this tour that includes dinner, a cabaret show and barhopping. In the Old Town district, you'll enjoy a 3-course meal at a local restaurant either before or after your cabaret entertainment. Then head to two of the city's gay bars, where you'll receive VIP access with no lines or cover charges. It'll be a hassle-free evening and six house drinks are included. Book tour →
Wet & Wild Gay Cruise – a large gay group trip and beach adventure. The half-day tour takes you to some of the most stunning locations in Puerto Vallarta to experience exotic scenery and wildlife. While we prefer Jet’s Private Boat Tours, this one is an alternative, particularly if you’re looking to join a large group and want a party atmosphere with go-go dancers.
Restaurants and Cafes
Daiquiri Dicks – great views of the beach as well as excellent Mexican and American Food with super friendly staff. The innovative, contemporary kitchen is dedicated to using the freshest ingredients available including fresh breads, flavorful local fruits and vegetables plus sensational salads. TEMPORARILY CLOSED – OPENING AGAIN SOON
Barra Light – offers healthy, fresh and delicious organic food. They have a novel salad bar customized for all tastes and serve food all day for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Bistro (at Casa Cupula hotel) – formally called Taste Restaurant. This place offers great food at one of Puerto Vallarta’s gay hotels. You can even bring a bathing suit if you’d like to take a dip in their pool. Bistro serves breakfast and lunch in an open-air tropical setting and features a full bar, diverse wine list, and a gay brunch every Sunday.
116 Pulpito Gastro Bar – This restaurant features a medley of delicious Spanish tapas.
La Palapa Restaurant – combines gourmet cuisine, friendly service, and the tropical setting of Los Muertos Beach. This popular restaurant is one of Vallarta's favorite places to enjoy great food in a casual but elegant atmosphere.
The Swedes Bar & Bistro – a popular gay-owned restaurant that serves delicious international cuisine with a touch of Swedish delights. Open only for dinner starting from 5pm.
Cafe des Artistes – this restaurant has been in business for 30 years and is a great place for a romantic date. They feature gourmet Mexican French fusion dishes with a beautiful jungle garden.
Ocean Grill – Simply amazing location and views. Enjoy a menu that combines a selection of the freshest seafood of Puerto Vallarta and USDA Prime grilled cuts. The location is incredibly remote, and you can only arrive by water taxi. Reservations are recommended so it’s best to plan ahead.
Mantamar Beach Club Bar & Sushi – located on Los Muertos beach, this beach club is part of Almar Resort, the gay luxury hotel. The beach club has an infinity pool, creative cocktails, a casual gourmet menu for breakfast, lunch, sushi and dinner. Entrance to the beach club must be paid separately if you’re not staying at the hotel.
Puerto Vallarta Gay Bars
Palm Cabaret – intimate cabaret space seating 120 comfortably in plush salon-style chairs and padded, roomy bar stools. A two-drink minimum is requested during each show. The Palm began 17 years ago as a cafe that served burgers. Visiting entertainers would pop in while on vacation and do a number or two. Before long, artists from all over were doing everything from disco to drag and beyond.
CC Slaughters (bar) – this is the one place in Puerto Vallarta that’s open all year and where the locals go. The front bar section is the first to open and is a good place to hang out and dance any time of year.
Anonimo – a video bar that has three floors and great views of the street scene below.
Incanto – enjoy breakfast near the river or catch a show in the evening. This venue is LGBT-owned and operated and has great live entertainment. Check out naked boys singing for a truly unforgettable theater experience.
Mr. Flamingo – busy any night of the week during high season. This venue is an open-air bar and a great place to start out the night. When the crowd gets big enough, people start to fill out into the street.
Puerto Vallarta Gay Clubs and Parties
Industry – opened in 2019, this is Puerto Vallarta’s largest gay dance club and is run by the organizers of White Party. Catering to the circuit party crowd, the music is mostly electronic and techno. Sexy go-go dancers and performances take place throughout the night on the elevated stage and platforms.
Paco’s Ranch – a mix of country and dance music. This place is particularly popular with the locals so it’s often one of the first places to fill up, especially in the offseason. You’ll find a variety of drag shows and dance performances throughout the night.
CC Slaughters (dance club) – if you’re here during the low season, this is the one place in Puerto Vallarta that’s open all year and where the locals go. CC Slaughters has two separate areas that open depending on the time of night and year. During high season the dance club in the back opens up and fills with both locals and visitors. The front bar section is the first to open and is the default hangout and dance place in Puerto Vallarta any time of year.
Puerto Vallarta Gay Saunas & Cruising Bars
Spartacus – Puerto Vallarta’s only gay men’s sauna and bathhouse. This is a very clean, European-style sauna with lockers, private cabins, mazes, darkrooms, pool, jacuzzi and more. Open from early afternoon until 7am on weekends and holidays.
Wet Dreams – a men-only, gay strip club complete with dancers, a shower and pole dancing. Open until 3am.
Gay Beaches in Puerto Vallarta
Playa de Los Muertos – this is the gay beach in Puerto Vallarta. The most popular place to relax or party during the day is definitely Mantamar Beach Club. With an infinity pool and DJ’s throughout the day, it’s the go-place day drinking place. If you want to skip paying the entrance, you can simply bring your towel and hang out on the beach nearby. There are a few gay hotels and cafes (Almar, Blue Chairs, Ritmos) located right in this area so the crowd is heavily gay.
Gay Events in Puerto Vallarta
Vallarta Pride – held in May each year. It’s an 8-day annual event that offers arts and cultural events, concerts, films, beach parties and a lot of fun to show the world the fabulous diversity of the destination.
White Party – the largest and longest-running event of its kind in the US. Originally started in Palm Springs more than 20 years ago, this party now has expanded to Puerto Vallarta in recent years. This event has taken place during both Thanksgiving Weekend and New Year’s holiday.
Beef Dip International Bear Week – BeefDip takes place in January and consists of 8 days of daily activities including pool parties, booze cruise, clubbing, karaoke and surprise performances.
Day Trips from Puerto Vallarta
El Tuito – Located about an hour by car, you can explore the cute town of El Tuito and the surrounding attractions. Explore botanical gardens, a bakery, a tequila distillery and a coffee factory. This tour combines the best of el Tuito in one outing. Book tour →
San Sebastian – Depart Puerto Vallarta and get impressive views of the mountains and forests of Jalisco on a full-day tour to the old mining town of San Sebastian. Go for a stroll through the historic town, visit a traditional coffee hacienda and sample a variety of tequilas at a tequila house. Book tour →
Sayulita – Sayulita’s consistent waves, warm waters, stunning scenery and village-like charm make for the best surf experience in Mexico. This 6-hour excursion begins with an hour-long tour of the town and the chance to explore the restaurants, art galleries and modern shops of the bustling surfing town. Book tour →
Featured image credit: Jet's Naked Beach Tours