Richard Toledo in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is definitely a destination not to be missed. With its beautiful beaches, magnificent sunsets, endless amounts of activities, and an astonishing nightlife, this Mexican destination has a lot to offer its visitors, especially LGBT travelers. The various LGBT-oriented hotels, special = LGBT clientele excursions offered by My Own Concierge, and the many night clubs like Club Mañana, Paco’s Ranch, or La Noche, make Puerto Vallarta the number one gay friendly destination in Mexico.

On November 11, 2010 nine of my friends and I embarked on what I would say was the most anticipated trip of the year. Ten of us would be traveling together. Being that we were all gay; I suggested Puerto Vallarta as our destination for our first annual trip together. The decision did not come easy, as a few members of the group were concerned with recent news of Mexico’s safety. To make matters worse, with just four days to our departure, news broke that a mass grave with 18 bodies of tourists were found in Mexico. The group became even more apprehensive after reading the news, but nonetheless we were determined to go. I booked the group through a Nolitours group department representative, Indriani, who was, and still is a great help to me when booking. Since this was our first trip, we decided to travel with a budget in mind and chose a hotel that was close to downtown, the Royal Decameron Complex, in Buceria, Nayarit Mexico.

The hotel was beautiful and grand, and we had 5 beach front rooms. Waking up and looking at the ocean every morning from our room was an absolute treat. Upon arrival, we checked into the hotel and were greeted by the Guests Services Manager, and a housekeeping manager to ensure that our rooms were up to standard. As I expected from traveling to Mexico, we were treated as if we were VIP, and experienced excellent hospitality from all Mexican citizens. As the day continued and we explored some of the hotel’s amenities it was time for some relaxation and party. Tequila Sunrise for everyone, salud! One advantage of having your room on the first floor is that you can create your own parties and even your neighbors will join in!

On day two, I got to explore the complex with Guest Services Manager, Ricardo Aviña Sandoval. Taking time out of his busy schedule, Ricardo presented the different amenities the hotel had to offer.

Putting aside the news one hears concerning Mexico, I can vouch that there is nothing to worry about when it comes to vacationing in Puerto Vallarta. The town is safe even when leaving clubs at five o’clock in the morning and walking back to the hotel. One of the reasons Puerto Vallarta is known as the number one gay destination in Mexico is because of its nightlife. Gay or straight, Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife rivals that of any major city in North America. One club in particular, Club Mañana (located in Old Puerto Vallarta) astonished the whole group. The club has an open concept with music playing until the early hours of the morning. When you don’t feel like dancing you can go right next door to watch some of Puerto Vallarta’s hottest Go Go dancers. The drinks are great, and the atmosphere is very festive. The club is personal, and staff is extremely friendly and makes sure you have fun but also get home safe. One of the members of our group even stayed behind to continue dancing after most of the us left, and he used local transit to get home safe. One of the club’s staff members had guided and advised him on how to take the bus.

A typical day in Vallarta starts with heading down to Blue Chairs beach in playa Los Muerto (for happy hour, go to the gay bar, Blue Chairs Hotel). After a day at the beach, we usually head back to the hotel for a quick wardrobe change and immediately go out for dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants around Old Puerto Vallarta. After dinner, we would head to La Noche, Picante or even Anthropology for pre-drinks before ending the night at Paco’s Ranch or Club Mañana. There are so many choices when it comes to the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta, you will have to go back multiple times to experience all that Vallarta has to offer.

While in Puerto Vallarta, you should definitely not miss excursions like sailing to Los Arcos to zip lining through the Sierra Madre Mountains. The best company with which to go on excursions is They have a subsidiary called Go Gay Jungle Adventure that offers the gay clientele many different adventures from zip lining, horseback riding, booze cruise with Go Go Boys on board, and many more fun-filled active journeys.

Some of the group was able to do their horseback riding up the Rio Cuales, and Andrew, one of the subsidiary’s co-founders, took very good care of the boys. The sight seeing, jumping off waterfalls, and many other mini adventures within the adventure, are definitely must dos, when in town. Thorough, most of the group was able to participate in one of the Wet & Wild Cruises. The four-hour boat trip sails through beautiful Banderas Bay and the Los Arcos Marine Preserve. After snorkeling and swimming at Los Arcos (weather permitting), you get to visit the original house of the 1964 film “The Night of the Iguana”. Also, on this cruise, the party starts with some of the sexiest Go Go boys in Puerto Vallarta. Once the cruise was over, we had a post-cruise cocktail on the Blue Chairs rooftop!

Puerto Vallarta has much to offer; I know that my friends and I will be going back soon…you should join us too.

by Richard Toledo on 02/01/2011 in Hotels