Gay Traveller in the Americas

| 10th April 2015

North America is generally safe for the LGBT and you should feel very comfortable with being openly gay there unless you go to extremely rural parts with low population. Canada performs same-sex marriages nationwide while there are still quite a few states in the US who oppose or ban same-sex marriage. Plenty of events take place in Toronto, Ontario and many other cities of Canada - you’ll find something interesting happening at any time and almost anywhere there. America is a bit more tricky as you won’t feel at home everywhere but there are many cities which can be called gay heavens, like: New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, Los Angeles and the list goes on!

Central America might be quite dangerous for any tourist as thefts and assaults do happen.

Mexico is not the safest place for anyone, especially Mexico City, and we recommend going on organized tours rather than travelling alone. But gay travellers should feel exceptionally comfortable in the gay district called Zona Rosa with most gay bars and clubs. There are other gay oriented areas in Mexico, such as: Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Playa del Carmen. In Acapulco, gay travellers should avoid displaying affection in public.

Costa Rica’s and Belize’s gay districts are very safe. In other parts of Central America, gay tourists are often targets of police aggression, so we do not recommend it.


Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua have banned some anti-gay discrimination and there are a few places for LGBT travellers. Honduras, and Panama don’t have any banns but there are still places for gay travellers to choose from. We do not recommend to be openly gay in these areas as it may be quite dangerous.


In the Caribbean Islands, organised trips are quite safe but you should be extremely careful in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica as there are high levels of crime outside hotel areas. You should avoid being openly gay in any of these places and don’t expect the police to help you. Many people in Haiti and Jamaica are very aggressive toward homosexuals and being there could be life-threatening. Crimes against sexual orientation occur often. Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad & Tobago and St. Kitts & Nevis might also be very dangerous if you’re openly gay.

Cuba, Puerto Rico and Curaçao are the safest places for gay travellers. Saba island (part of the Netherlands) is another gay-friendly place and even though it has no gay bars specifically, gay tourists visit it frequently for its diving, hiking and ecotourism.


Being openly gay is not very safe in South America because of local people’s prejudices. You should try to find gay bars or clubs in wealthier parts as they might be protected by private security forces. Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, has a big gay scene and should be quite safe. Chile’s and Uruguay’s gay districts should feel safer also. There are very high crime rates in Brazil, on the other hand, and violence against transvestites and male prostitutes occurs quite often. Ipanema should feel safer as should Natal and Florianópolis.

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