Q: I’m heading to Guadalajara, Mexico. What is the gay scene like there?
A: Guadalajara is barely a blip on American travelers’ radar, which is strange. Mexico’s second-largest city is cleaner, safer, friendlier, prettier, and easier to navigate than the country’s behemoth, Mexico City. Guadalajara enjoys a temperate Los Angeles-style climate, and fascinating spots like the town of Tequila, where the famous liquor comes from, lie nearby.
The prosperous city of 1.5 million (Guadalajara’s called “The Silicon Valley of Mexico” thanks to electronics manufacturing) is also one of the gayest spots in Latin America. In addition to several gay-owned B&Bs and three gay saunas, Guadalajara is home to well over a dozen gay night spots.
The queer beach resort of Puerto Vallarta is also located in the same southwestern Mexican state of Jalisco, and “PV” is a favorite gay weekend getaway for Guadalajarans. Mexicans will also tell you that the most handsome men in the country come from Guadalajara, with its rich mixture of French, European, and Native American heritages.
The city’s queer nightlife is focused around the main gay-bar drag of Avenida Prisciliano Sanchez in the Centro downtown area, as well as the adjacent Zona Rosa area. The most popular gay disco seems to be the long standing Circus (www.grupocircus.com), packed on the weekends with hot go-go boys and a youthful crowd. Circus is owned by the same promoters who run gay-popular Black Cherry (www.blackcherry.com.mx) and Velvett (www.velvettclub.com), two of the most sophisticated clubs in Mexico.