1. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This amazing city in Brazil is more than just the place where people can see the world-famous, enormous statue of Jesus. As a matter of fact, Rio is one of the most preferred gay travel destinations in the world. The unique beauty of Rio lies in its fabulous beaches, most of which are very popular with gay tourists. In addition to that, the city is renowned for its gay-only beach: Ipanema. The beach is part of the city’s gay area, which goes by the same name.
For gay travel groups that are looking for fun and continuous partying, with half-naked gay men everywhere, the Leblon district in Rio de Janeiro is the place to be. Year after year, Rio is one of the most sought-after gay travel destinations in the world. However, Rio is not the ideal choice if a romantic and/or relaxing vacation is your top priority.
Orbitz Worldwide – a leading global online travel agency – recommends the 5 star Sofitel Rio de Janeiro Copacabana hotel. Rates start at approximately $350 a night, but they vary greatly, depending on the type of room or suite that the guests choose. An important aspect is that the hotel does not offer any single rooms. As a consequence, a so-called single supplement is charged upon booking a room or a suite. Late August is the best time to visit Rio de Janeiro.
2. The Caribbean Islands
These heavenly islands lure their visitors with spectacular sandy beaches and clear, turquoise waters. Year-round, the weather is almost perfect here; except for the early-fall hurricane season. However, this should not influence anyone’s gay travel plans for 2013, especially since August and September are the best months for a trip to the Caribbean. Some of these beautiful islands are more gay-friendly than others. Gay people are not advised to travel to Barbados, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, as these areas are known for their consistent history of homophobia.
Instead, the Dutch, French and US Caribbean Islands are welcoming of gay tourists. The island of St. Croix is, without any doubt whatsoever, the most gay-friendly island in the Caribbean. Gay travelers can enjoy all the major benefits of a major tourist destination, such as luxurious resorts, exclusive shopping areas and exquisite restaurants. On the other hand, St. Croix also offers the possibility of spending a relaxing and quiet time by the sea.
Gaytravel.com recommends the Sand Castle On The Beach hotel, which is both gay owned and operated. Aside from 21 beautiful and spacious rooms, the hotel offers a beachfront, luxury villa. The rates for this unique villa start at $3071 for 5 days.
3. Luxury Cruise From Athens To Istanbul
From the very heart of Greece to the center of Turkey, on board a luxury yacht. Zoom Vacations offers a unique cruise on the world’s most expensive mega-yacht – the SeaDream. The yacht departs on September 13th 2013 from Athens and stops in some of the most beloved islands and ports of both Greece and Turkey. Some of the destinations include Kepez, Skiathos, Thassos, Kavala and Volos.
The cruise addresses both gay singles and couples, with rates starting from $3999/person. The fare includes all-inclusive luxury services and accommodation, as well as sail-boat and diving adventures. However, there are additional costs for singles, in case they want to travel alone. The agency does offer to pair single gay travelers up. Although international and domestic airfare is not included in the price, Zoom vacations has negotiated a 5% off with American Airlines for this cruise.
4. Phuket, Thailand
This is the largest and most famous island in Thailand. The capital city of the country – Bangkok – is only a one-hour flight away. Phuket is known as one of the most gay-friendly places on the globe and its annual Gay Festival takes place twice a year – in February and November. Gay Times Magazine consistently ranks Phuket as a top gay hideaway.
The island is famous for its gay nightlife, as Patong – the island’s most popular resort town – has the only gathering of gay bars and clubs to the South of Bangkok. Travel Gay Asia recommends the La Flora hotel. This 5 star hotel is only a few minutes away from the gay section of the main beach in Patong. Rates start at approximately $1100 for a week’s stay. Phuket is indeed a tropical paradise, with fantastic beaches and beautiful people.
Japan has an ancient and quite sophisticated gay culture. 11th century diaries of nobles living at the emperor’s court contain references to gay relationships. Tokyo houses more than 200 gay bars and clubs – a fact that makes it hard to believe that Japan nurtures an oppressive regime against gays and lesbians. Shinjuku Ni-Chome is Tokyo’s gay district.
In addition, Japanese gays are known for their decisiveness – once they like someone, they will act accordingly. LastMinute.com.au lists the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel as the top choice for luxury gay travelers. Rates start at approximately $700 a night for a double room.
To sum it all up, these are the top 5 gay and lesbian hideaways to visit this season. Most LGBT travelers are constantly looking for exotic destinations that are in accordance with their lifestyles and interests. At the same time, gay tourists, whether singles or couples, need to know about gay-friendly vacation spots. Sadly enough, there are still too many countries across the globe that do not tolerate gays and lesbians. Therefore, it is advised to pay great attention prior to booking a gay cruise or trip.
Popular destinations for gay tourists, such as the above-mentioned getaways have the potential to offer the experience of a lifetime.