This is the first of a series where we will suggest two cities that go together – like oil and vinegar or sweet and sour – multiple flavors that enhance a dish – and in this case a trip. Our first two cities are Puerto Vallarta and Mexico City. “PV” has worked hard to establish itself as a leading LGBT destination and that it is – fun, fabulous, and always welcoming. Mexico City is vibrant, cosmopolitan and incredibly LGBT friendly. One-way flights start at under $100, so combining the two is easy and affordable.  Spice up your life – be the first to taste the two – we think you will not be disappointed.

PUERTO VALLARTA

More than once, friends have said, “You keep going back to Puerto Vallarta (PV for short), so what makes that place so special”?  I try to make my answer brief by simply stating, “I just love it there”, but then I usually launch into a more detailed, passionate answer. 

When I think about why we return to PV year after year, the list can get pretty long.  In no particular order of importance, I think about the gastronomic paradise that is PV, where you can choose from delicious street food to hundreds of delightful local and gourmet restaurants.  I think about the welcoming, proud locals who greet you each day with friendly smiles in the shops, bars, restaurants and taxis.  I think about the exciting performance venues where you can you choose from literally dozens of professional comedians, singers, dancers and drag personalities – all for a very reasonable price.  And, of course, when I think of PV, I think of a place that is filled with art galleries, beautiful shops and lovely beaches.  The list of reasons to visit PV should also include sight-seeing opportunities such as a visit to the Botanical Gardens, whale watching, para-sailing, zip-lining and just simply indulging in the wonderful sun of PV. 

When my husband and I visit PV, our day typically begins with a simple breakfast on the balcony of our condo (of course, because there are numerous great places to indulge in a wonderful breakfast, we occasionally go out), followed by a visit to the local market to buy some fresh and very inexpensive fruits and vegetables followed by some relaxing pool time to enjoy the sun or do some reading and writing.  We usually find time for a healthy morning or afternoon walk to discover what’s new in PV – and since we try to walk different streets every day, we are never bored.  Then, if we are in the mood for some good conversation, we find that a visit to one of the many local bars is a great way to relax before dinner.  After that, the most difficult (but most pleasing) part of the day is upon us – making a decision about where to eat dinner.  So many great choices, so little time.  So many new places to try, yet so many where you want to return.       

Of course, the list of why I love PV would have to include the gay friendly atmosphere that this destination provides.  Although a vacation destination should be more than about all things gay, the gay friendly comfort of PV is a compelling reason to put a visit to Puerto Vallarta on your “bucket list”. 

MEXICO CITY

After years of experiencing the delights of Puerto Vallarta, we decided to include a side trip to inland “Colonial Mexico” this winter.  What a treat that was! 

There are literally dozens of cities in Mexico that were founded in the 1500’s, considered “colonial times”.  Mexico City, founded in 1521, just happens to be the largest one at approximately 20 million people!  Parts of Mexico City are considered colonial, but, of course, it is much more.  One guide book I read describes Mexico City as “vibrant, elegant, chaotic”.  After spending 5 days there I agree with all those words and would add “exhausting” to the list – but in a good way.  Mexico City comprises many “colonias” (districts).  Because of the vastness of the metropolitan area, we found it easiest to concentrate on a few districts – Zona Rosa (known as the “gay friendly” area), cosmopolitan Condesa (next to Zona Rosa) and upscale Polanco.  As a gay couple, we felt comfortable anywhere we went in Mexico City, but while walking and dining in Zona Rosa, we couldn’t help notice, with pleasure, the numerous gay couples walking down the street hand-in-hand.  That made us feel like we really fit in.  The sophisticated Condesa district is filled with beautiful apartments and residences, hundreds of lovely boutiques and numerous trendy and delightful cafes and restaurants.  Walking and dining in Condesa was simply a pleasure.  The elegant Polanco district is home to the Museo Soumaya – a must-see for anyone visiting Mexico City.  Museo Soumaya is a beautiful, contemporary building that was financed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.  Slim built the structure in honor of his late wife, who had a passion for art.  It houses their personal collection, along with an occasional traveling exhibit.  And, as a gift to the Mexican people, he decided there would be no admission charge.  Visitors from outside Mexico benefit from Slim’s generosity, so how could you not visit at those prices!

Like every colonial Mexican city, Mexico City has its Zocalo (central square) and the one here is not to be missed.  Besides viewing the stunning exteriors of many beautiful buildings, the Palacio National contains walls of colorful Diego Rivera murals, a panorama of Mexican history.  The murals are a feast for the eyes and a great way to learn about Mexican history. 

Cosmopolitan Mexico City  - filled with so many exciting things to see and experience, demands a return visit.  You will never run out of things to do and see in Mexico City.

Travel tips from our partner hotels:

Hotel San Marino in Puerto Vallarta

Thousands of LGBT travelers flock to Puerto Vallarta each year because they feel it is a safe place to travel.  What has helped make Puerto Vallarta safe for LGBT travelers?

Puerto Vallarta is a safe place and 100% Gay Friendly, is the meeting point in which year after year different activities are carried out for LGBT tourism, besides providing a variety of restaurants, bars, clubs, hotels and different tours, It is known for being the friendliest city in the world for the hospitality and warmth of its people.

If you only had time to do one thing in Puerto Vallarta either dining, sight-seeing or another activity, what would you recommend?

We invite you to take tours around the city or the Bay so that you can get to know and admire the different points of interest in the city, visiting the boardwalk, the traditional Handicraft Market and Cerro de la Cruz where you can have a breathtaking view. of all the Bay.

What would you recommend in Puerto Vallarta to an LGBT traveler to enable them to connect with the local LGBT community in a meaningful way?

Visit the clubs, beaches and the famous and well known ROMANTIC ZONE where the clubs and restaurants for the LGBT community are located.

Sheraton Mexico City Maria Isabel

Mexico City is one of the world’s most exciting cities. Can you tell us the top three sight-seeing activities that you recommend for visitors?

Ride bicycle on Paseo de la Reforma. Every Sunday, main Avenues in the city are closed to cars to create a bicycle circuit. You can run, skate, walk with your dog and family.

Teotihuacan, these ruins are very close to Mexico City, around 45 min by car you can find this incredible archeological city. There are hot air balloons to enjoy a different view from the sky

Xochimilco and Canal de Cuemanco – for those who like flowers and greenhouses

Could you tell us about one “secret” place that most visitor never see?

San Angel – downtown is beautiful, and its rounded of restaurants a kiosk and gardens, a beautiful place to go

What would you recommend in Mexico City to an LGBT traveler to enable them to connect with the local LGBT community in a meaningful way?

 Zona Rosa, amazing nightlife

Reforma Av, walk around and discover all there is in this main street of the city

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa

Thousands of LGBT travelers flock to Puerto Vallarta each year because they feel it is a safe place to travel.  What has helped make Puerto Vallarta safe for LGBT travelers?

Puerto Vallarta is one of the Mexican destinations most committed with the LGBT community. Offering a wide variety of entertainment, such as nightclubs, tours, theme parks and Gay-Friendly Hotels. Society is also incredibly friendly with the tourist, but in particular, LGBT community, as this represents one of the most important tourism segment. In the past few years, the local government has adopted many strategies to increase the safety not only with the local citizens but to warranty a safe tourism, no matter the race, religion, precedence, and preferences.

If you only had time to do one thing in Puerto Vallarta either dining, sight-seeing or another activity, what would you recommend?

Rhythms of the Nights (Vallarta Adventures) is one of the TOP shows in México, highly recommended.

What would you recommend in Puerto Vallarta to an LGBT traveler to enable them to connect with the local LGBT community in a meaningful way?

LGBT Pride Parade has a huge government investment, and local LGBT community participates actively. 

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