South America is a destination you’re sure to love, with music and dance deeply ingrained in just about everything. Oh, and let’s face it, the continent is home to some of the hottest guys on the planet, too!
We spent 15 months traveling throughout South America and absolutely loved it. Most countries are extremely gay-friendly. Bogotá, Colombia, for instance, has the largest club we’ve ever walked into, Theatron, and Sao Paolo Pride attracts over 3 million people (making it the largest Pride event in the world).
Here are 5 highlights from our trip that should be on your South America itinerary:
1. Hop on a gay cruise in the Galapagos Islands.
The Galapagos Islands were always high on our bucket list as a place we knew we had to visit while in South America. Today there are a handful of gay tourist operators in Ecuador, like Ishpingo Tours and He Travel, who offer gay cruises through the Galapagos. We hosted a gay luxury cruise here twice and absolutely loved it.
The Galapagos are an archipelago of volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, around 600 miles (1,000 km) from Ecuador’s coast. It’s one of the few places in the world where you can get so unbelievably close to the wildlife. Each island offers rather unique and dramatic landscapes, every one crying out for space on your Instagram profile. Check out video from our trip above.
2. Dance the Tango in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
Tango is the famous dance from Uruguay and Argentina, and you’ll definitely encounter it in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
At its inception in the 1880s, the Tango was danced between two men. It was particularly popular among Italian immigrants in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in Montevideo, Uruguay. The same-sex element was slowly lost over time, but today there are several “milongas” (Tango halls) in both cities that offer same-sex tango classes.
For us, dancing Tango as a gay couple remains one of our favorite memories. It’s incredibly satisfying once you master the basic steps, and then it becomes a very romantic experience. This was definitely a South America highlight for us. Watch video from our gay Tango class at the Solis Theatre in Montevideo above.
3. Party at the largest gay club on the continent in Bogotá.
Theatron in Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, is by far the largest gay club we’ve ever been to, and it’s famous for being the largest in South America as well.
On Saturday evenings, up to 5,000 gay men come here to party into the early hours. It’s split into 13 mini clubs, spread over five floors. Each mini-club has its own theme. For example, one room is devoted to Salsa music, one to 1980s hits, one just for women, another just for men and many more.
Theatron was one of our favorite club nights ever, and we’d gladly return to Bogotá just to party here again. For more, check out our gay guide to Bogotá.
4. Enjoy the foodie paradise of Perú.
Perú is famous for being the culinary capital of South America, and it’s a melting pot of Chinese, Japanese, Afro-Caribbean, European and Latin American cultures. As such, there are a ton of highly rated restaurants here, including three from The World’s 50 Best Restaurants for 2016. In addition, according to the World Travel Awards, Perú was voted the World’s Leading Culinary Destination for 2016 and has won that award every year since 2012.
There are many culinary highlights in Perú. Some of our favorites include chaufa Chinese-inspired cuisine, ceviche, pisco sour cocktails, grilled alpaca meat and tacu tacu (Creole-inspired rice and beans).
Perú also has one of the hottest chefs we’ve ever seen. If you don’t know him, check out Franco Noriega showing off his, er, chia pudding recipe.
5. Attend the world’s largest gay Pride celebration in São Paulo.
São Paulo, Brazil, is famous for having the largest gay Pride celebration in the world. Every year more and more people attend to watch this awesome parade travel through the streets of Avenida Paulista and the rest of Downtown São Paulo.
The most recent São Paulo Pride festivities in June 2017 had a record 5 million people turning up to celebrate. It’s also famous for being featured in Sense8 as part of Lito’s big coming-out moment.