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Like many of the world’s major tourist destinations, Mexico and Central America offer up some amazing gay-friendly hotels. Unlike some of those spots, though — places like Paris and Tokyo, for instance — heading south of the border on your vacation could mean saving some serious cash. The money you would spend on luxe accommodations can go towards enhancing your vacay experience. Head to Latin America for its rich history, mouth-watering food and breathtaking vistas.
While there’s no shortage of hotels in Mexico and Central America, we’ve compiled six of our favorite gay-friendly properties. Any one of these spots are sure to make you and your significant other — or just you solo — feel right at home.
1. Isla Verde Hotel, Guatemala
Guatemala is one of the most relaxing places to visit in all of Central America, and there are plenty of Mayan ruins to explore. But our favorite Guatemalan spot is the absolutely beautiful Atitlán Lake, protected from the rest of civilization by huge mountains. The best way to enjoy the lake is by staying at the Isla Verde Hotel in Santa Cruz la Laguna. You’ll probably want to go in the winter, as summers get pretty hot. This “eco-chic” hotel offers delicious food — expect lots of bananas — and you can enjoy your food while you take in the grounds’ beautiful gardens and artwork.
2. Prana Rainforest Resort, Costa Rica
The Prana Rainforest Resort is the perfect honeymoon spot. While it’s located in the rainforest, as its name implies, it’s also close to the beach. The combination of the two makes for the best of both worlds for a vacation worth remembering. Just note that you may run into a few non-paying guests — in the form of monkeys and toucans. Your hotel hosts, Mark Goldstein and Jonathan Harper, will make every detail at the 1,400-square-foot resort perfect — from your morning massage to your exquisite dinner.
3. Condesa DF, Mexico City
A boutique hotel in the trendiest area of Mexico City, Condesa DF is a classy spot. It’s located mere feet away from some of the city’s best restaurants and gay clubs. On nights when you’re not up for dancing until the early morning, the posh roof garden offers an amazing view of España Park. Oh, and delicious martinis.
4. Island Plantation Hotel, Panama
Panama has so many delights, from amazing shopping to its inspiring history. And where else can you go to get a tan by the Pacific in the morning and eat dinner against the Atlantic? Our favorite Panamanian property is the gay-owned Island Plantation Hotel. Located in Bocas del Toro, there are 23 acres to explore, including a rather intimate beach and the beauty of the local jungle. All that makes this the perfect place to come and relax with your boyfriend.
5. Casa Cangrejal Bed and Breakfast, Honduras
Honduras may be the second-biggest nation in Central America, but you most likely won’t have great cell phone reception. That becomes a non-issue, though, when you’re treated like a king at Casa Cangrejal Bed & Breakfast. Besides, how could you stare at a phone when there’s so much beautiful nature surrounding you? Casa Cangrejal is known for its tours of the rainforest canopy, and the hotel is close by Pico Bonito National Park. Even when the Honduran temperatures are high, the jungle breeze keeps the air nice and cool.
6. Vallarta Shores, Puerto Vallarta
As the gay capital of Mexico, gorgeous gay tourists from all over the world visit Puerto Vallarta, and most stay in the city’s Zona Romántica (the Romantic Zone). Vallarta Shores is right in the heart of that neighborhood, which is only one reason why it’s the perfect property for booking your getaway. Located near the posh, popular bar Mantamar, you’re practically guaranteed to be bombarded by hot men in tiny speedos warming themselves in the sun. And the hotel’s luxurious suites have great views of the boys … er, the beach. It’s apropos that Vallarta Shores is in the Zona Romántica, as there’s nothing more romantic than watching the sun set over the ocean at Los Muertos beach with your partner.