With a capital city that’s known as the next gay capital of Latin America thanks to its bustling bars, clubs, shopping destinations and beautiful gay neighborhoods like Chapinero, Colombia is quickly becoming a favored travel destination among LGBTQ+ travelers.
The LGBTQ+ scene in Colombia is growing and thriving. The country has its own LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce, and the legal rights and protections for LGBTQ+ population in Colombia are considered among the most progressive in Latin America. The right for gender change has been in place since 1993, the congress passed a law banning discrimination on sexual orientation in 2011, adoption for same-sex couples was legalized in 2012 and the same-sex marriage was legalized in 2016.
Colombia’s promotion strategy towards diverse travelers and its progressive legal rights and protections are some of the reasons that the country has won accolades such as the Emerging LGBTQ+ Travel destination at the FITUR 2017 travel trade show in Madrid (Spain), as well as Leading LGBTQ+ Destination in South America by the World Travel Awards in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
The country’s reputation as gay-friendly arguably comes from a strong tradition and culture of service and hospitality. LGBTQ+ travelers are naturally attracted by the high-quality facilities and amenities that tend to come as standard in cities like Bogotá, Cartagena, or Medellin. What’s more, the Colombian tradition of celebration and festivals has permeated LGBTQ+ culture, and the resulting exciting fun is impossible to resist around the country.
Culture, fun, and more
Bogotá, the Colombian buzzing capital city, and gateway to most of the country’s other destinations has it all. Hit the shops in the glittering high-rise malls of Chapinero, T and G zones like El Retiro, Atlantis, or Andino, or take a stroll along with the beautiful restaurants from Usaquén, where you can enjoy the crafts from the Flea Market on Sundays.
Explore La Candelaria the historic center of the city, where you can take a walk across the cobblestones and discover Bolívar Square, home to many historical buildings like the Palace of Justice or the National Capitol, as well as being the epicenter of the annual Pride parade.
LGBTQ+ scenes are popping up all over the city, especially in Chapinero, the headquarters of the Bogotá Pride Fest and the home of Mala Muerte Queer Bar and Theatron nightclub (the largest gay-themed club night in Latin America), two of Bogotá’s most famous gay traditional bars and meeting spots that have become institutions for the city’s LGBTQ+ scene.
In recent years, Chapinero has become home to a growing drag scene, home to collectives like Oh My Drag! and Mis Amigas Drag, with talented and drag queens, who organize drag show parties and flamboyant fashion runways, to show the world the marvelous drag culture of the city. Stay on the north side of the city or downtown, and you’ll enjoy access to all the action as well as world-class service.
Medellin is a very LGBTQ+-friendly city, the Poblado neighborhood is the main tourist heart of the city, with all the best restaurants, bars, and hotels. The scene here includes bars like Bar Chiquita, Donde Aquellos, and the Viva Gay Club.
Outside of Poblado, there are a handful of gay hangouts dotted around the city, particularly in Laureles. Also, the city has many sites to enjoy the great spring climate experienced in Medellin all year long, like Lleras Park, The Lights' Park, and Botero Square
Sun, beach, and rainbows
Vacation destinations are also continuously welcoming LGBTQ+ travelers. Quaint, charming Cartagena in the Greater Colombian Caribbean is an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, ramparts, and cultural treasures, the “Walled City” is packed with history and culture but offers a more laid-back alternative to the up-tempo rhythm of Bogotá. Explore the old town (declared as an UNESCO World Heritage Site) with its forts and colorful colonial architecture style and sample the local delicacies at the Bazurto produce market.
The city is also known as the favorite wedding destination in South America, combining romance, adventure, and the opportunity to enjoy a unique honeymoon surrounded by love and a lot of fun.
Thanks to the gorgeous white beaches, excellent watersports, and luxury resorts Cartagena is the perfect destination for adventure lovers and explorers. Bocagrande in the modern part of Cartagena, is home to most of the LGBTQ+ nightlife hotspots in the city with bars like Le Petit, La Plancha, and Roma Club, turning the city into an ideal place to vacation.
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