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Puerto Vallarta Exhibited at 23rd Original LGBT Expo

March 15, 2016

Things have come a long way in Mexico for the gay traveler, as many cities and states are opening their arms to the LGBT community. Puerto Vallarta is among the 'hot spots' which cater to the gay populace.

New York - The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board exhibited at this year's Original GLBT Expo held in New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center from March 12 & 13, 2016, marking the destination's fifth year to participate in the fair which targets gay consumers.

This year, participating properties included Almar Luxury Suites, Costa Sur Resort & Spa, Hotel Mousai and San Marino Hotel. The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board was also joined by the Mexico Tourism Board's regional office.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico's leading LGBT beach destination, is currently celebrating the approval of same-sex marriage in the state of Jalisco - where Puerto Vallarta is located - which passed on January 27 of this year. The legalization of same-sex weddings in Jalisco means that gay and lesbian couples wishing to register and make their unions legal in Mexico can now do so just like any other couple.

Brought into the tourism spotlight by celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and Tennessee Williams, Puerto Vallarta organically grew to become North America's favorite LGBT winter beach destination and is now home to Mexico's only beach gayborhood in its Zona Romantica. Home to a broad array of gay bars and nightclubs, gay-owned restaurants, hotels, stores, services, and entertainment, la Zona Romantica is in the center of the city's downtown area. In addition, hotels across the city, such as Costa Sur Resort & Spa and Hotel San Marino are T.A.G. Certified and members of the IGLTA, putting Puerto Vallarta in a league of its own.

This year also marks the fourth consecutive year Puerto Vallarta will be hosting its annual LGBTTIQ pride festival, Vallarta Pride, taking place from May 16th to 29th, 2016, under the motto "We are One Family." With over 15,000 national and international visitors in 2015, Vallarta Pride is the largest LGBTTIQ festival in the region and will host several events that include: art, culture, concerts, entertainment, movies, parties, a grand gay pride parade, and fun for everyone.

In recent years, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, the entity responsible for promoting the destination in the US and Canada, has partnered with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, GMHC and the International Gay Lesbian Travel Association to promote the destination to the LGBT market. In 2014, Vallarta became the first Mexican destination to participate in a World Pride with its Noche Alegre event during the World Pride celebrations in Toronto. And in 2015 the tourism board became the first destination to sponsor the Human Rights Campaign on a national level.

Gay-friendly Hotel Accommodations

Puerto Vallarta is home to an array of gay lodging possibilities including T.A.G. gay friendly resorts, hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses, some are even gay-owned. Following is a list of some of the hotels that are proactively promoting to the LGBT traveler.

In the Zona Romantica, Almar Resort Luxury All Suites & Spa is a cutting edge luxury hotel in Puerto Vallarta incorporating the best traditions of Mexico into a beautiful setting, offering even the most exacting guests accommodations with style and distinction. Luxury meets distinctive contemporary design in each of the more than 120 suites which all offer spectacular ocean views and private terraces.

Casa Kimberly is a true labor of love. The former homes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were transformed into a luxury boutique hotel featuring nine suites, a spa, pool, open-air dining, a tequila bar and the preserved Puente Del Amor (Love Bridge) that links the two properties.

CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa (Marina) is, this year the sponsor of the International LGBT Business Expo. Along the coastline, the luxury resort offers all the amenities for a perfect vacation: fitness center, Indoor and Outdoor pools, and the most spacious spa in Puerto Vallarta. Gay travelers can enjoy savory moments in one of the four world-class restaurants of the resort or can easily access the golf courses.

Casa Cupula Gay Hotel Boutique Guesthouse (Southside/Amapas) – Branded as a luxury boutique hotel for gay men, lesbians and friends. This location combines the intimate service of a B & B, the fine décor of a boutique hotel and the comfortable ambience of a guesthouse. Amenities include gourmet food, cocktails, two pools, a gym and in-room massages.

Costa Sur (South) with more than 30 years in existence it was one of the first hotels built in the South Shore of Puerto Vallarta, overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches on the bay. The building has a very Mexican feel to it, with strong, thick walls and spacious bedrooms all of which have mesmerizing views of Banderas Bay. One of the most unique features in Costa Sur is our private beach which has become popular for gay weddings.

Garlands Del Rio is a brand new B&B located on the Rio Cuale offering a rustic and magical ambiance in the heart of old Puerto Vallarta. The eight-room property offers the feel and luxury of staying in an upscale private Vallarta-style home with its blend of antique furniture, contemporary as well as traditional Mexican art and décor throughout, multi-level balconies, inviting sitting areas and individually decorated rooms and bathrooms that span around a pool and lush gardens.

Villa Mercedes (Zona Romantica) - The property has a total of 16 lodging options ranging from studio rooms, Jr. suites, Master Suites, and penthouses. Art and Mexican crafts mixed with contemporary eclectic define most of the carefully decorated spaces with murals by artist Ana Rifa, Zapoteco textiles, vintage cement tile mosaics, and historic architecture.

Gay-Friendly Activities

La Alhambra Lounge was one of Out Traveler's Magazine "16 New Things We're Excited for This Year." The Alhambra Lounge takes its name from the palace and fortress of the Moorish monarchs of Granada, Spain. With its dramatically lit arches, warm woods, marble floors and fountain, La Alhambra promises to make any night something truly magical.

Blondies Loft is a two-floor edifice with the first floor being a Slushbar featuring frozen cocktails and drinks made with fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juices, and top shelf spirits. The menu is ever-changing to provide guests with new drinks to cool off and chill out. The second floor is the Loft featuring classic cocktails and selections form Slushbar. Blondies is promoted as a LOFT. Featuring premium classic cocktails and selections from the SLUSHBAR below, this intimate space where ocean breezes and the sounds of summer make it the perfect place to start a new adventure, or to dish the details of the last.

Diana's Tours – Diana DeCoste is working successfully for 14 years in Puerto Vallarta with her famous gay and lesbian cruises. The tickets are sold rapidly, it's recommended to book it in advance.

Vallarta Food Tours - A 3-hour food tasting and walking tours offers a local's view into Puerto Vallarta's culture through its delicious and intricate cuisine, rich history and stunning architecture. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, Vallarta Food Tours invites patrons to experience off-the-beaten path eateries and their colorful owners and staff, taco stands and regional delicacies.

Gay Bar-Hopping Tour – For more than 4 years, this tour proposes to experiment a unique adventure. The friendly and professional gay staff organizes a guided immersion in gay Puerto Vallarta's nightclubs, a wonderful experience to meet people all over the world and to keep great memories of Mexican nightlife.

GO GAY! has a variety of activities dedicated to adrenalin junkies. Several tours are proposed to gay and their friends as zip line in the jungle, horseback adventures, whale watching cruises, private sailboat charters, snorkeling among wild dolphins or in Marietas Islands and private escapes on luxury yacht charters.

On Bay Boat Tour this seven-hour tour of the Bay of Banderas is a party on water with guest and local DJs, gogo dancers of the region, lunch and a visit to a private beach. A second floor provides a private VIP area with 360 views of the Bay, VIP service, snacks, international dishes and signature drinks.

Vallarta Adventures is Puerto Vallarta's premier tour and activity operator. It offers a wide selection of adventure-based tours and excursions with things to do for people of all ages: from zip lines to swimming with dolphins, whale watching to snorkeling, scuba diving to an award winning dinner show.