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Reminder: Make sure to check the country’s covid guidelines before travel.
Cancun is one of Mexico’s LGBTQ hotspots and an excellent choice for both couples or solo travelers looking for a luxury vacation by the water. While the gay community here is not as well-represented as in places like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun still has a good selection of gay-friendly resorts, clubs, and bars. Dive into Mexico’s unique culture and visit places of interest close to Cancun, such as Chichen Itza, Isla Mujeres, or countless secluded cenotes. This gay guide to Cancun 2023 includes everything LGBTQ visitors need to know before arriving.
- GAY GUIDE TO CANCUN 2023: IS CANCUN SAFE FOR LGBTQ TRAVEL
- ABOUT CANCUN MEXICO
- QUICK INFORMATION ON CANCUN
- MEXICO LGBTQ RIGHTS
- WHERE TO STAY IN GAY CANCUN MEXICO
- LGBTQ FRIENDLY BARS, CLUBS, AND RESTAURANTS IN CANCUN MEXICO
- LGBTQ BEACH IN CANCUN MEXICO
- THINGS TO DO IN CANCUN
- GAY GUIDE TO CANCUN 2023: WHAT TO PACK
GAY GUIDE TO CANCUN 2023: IS CANCUN SAFE FOR LGBTQ TRAVEL
Cancun is considered very safe for gay travelers due to its wide variety of visitors. This is one of the best places to go for LGBTQ travelers looking to spend a relaxing vacation by the ocean, with the occasional visit to a nightclub or lively bar. The LGBTQ community is small but tightly knit in Cancun, and gay travelers won’t run into any issues in this part of Mexico.
That being said, Cancun does have a more dangerous side, and the area is known for pickpockets, petty theft, and even occasional robberies. Use common sense and avoid walking home alone at night, especially after having a few drinks.
Keep your belongings close and leave anything important at home. This is the case for most places in Mexico, especially popular beach towns like Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Cancun is not a dangerous place, but being careful is always recommended.
ABOUT CANCUN MEXICO
There is more to Cancun than luxury resorts and stunning beaches. There is a lot to see and do in the area, and the local gay community is growing slowly but steadily. However, few people actually live in Cancun permanently, and many remote workers actually prefer nearby Tulum. This means Cancun has a reputation of being a vacation town where you might struggle to find a real, permanent LGBTQ community.
Luckily, this is made up for by thriving nightlife and affordable prices. Coupled with a decent selection of gay-friendly or adults-only resorts, you’re sure to have a blast in this diverse Mexican beach town.
QUICK INFORMATION ON CANCUN
Mexican Peso $1USD = $20 MXN
Mexico uses the same sockets as in the USA
Once you arrive, you are automatically given a 180-day visa to foreigners who enter Mexico. You will be given an entry card, DO NOT lose this as it is your proof of entering the country legally. You will need to present this when you leave.
Cancun International Airport.
Wifi in Cancun tends to be very reliable, especially in larger resorts and hotel chains. If you’re staying in an Airbnb, it’s definitely worth asking the host about the internet speed before you book. There is also a decent selection of local restaurants and cafes with free wifi so that you can be productive in between beach visits and sunset cocktails.
Can you drink the water?
In recent years the tap water quality in the Cancun Hotel Zone has improved considerably, and it’s fine to use it for brushing teeth, making coffee, or washing fruit. However, you should avoid drinking from the tap, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. No one wants to be sick on vacation, and bottled water is the way to go.
What time of year do I go?
The best time to visit Cancun is between November and April. The weather will be sunny and warm, but not too hot. Chances of rain are slim, and the ocean will be clear and blue. During the off-season, this part of Mexico struggles with high amounts of seaweed which, will have a significant impact on the local beaches.
How to get around Cancun?
You can get around Cancun either by colectivo, local bus or taxi. Colectivos are the cheapest mode of transport, but they’re often cramped, and schedules are unreliable. Taxis will be more expensive but also very comfortable. If you plan on going on several day trips around the area, it might be worth renting a car for a few days.
MEXICO LGBTQ RIGHTS
While things are slowly changing, LGBTQ rights in Mexico are still complicated in some ways. Luckily, gay marriage is legal in the majority of states in the country, including Quintana Roo, where Cancun is located.
While more rural areas of Mexico can be somewhat close-minded, Cancun is a metropolitan city and a very open place. LGBTQ visitors can feel safe and welcome here.
WHERE TO STAY IN GAY CANCUN MEXICO
Located in the Hotel Zone, this adults-only and gay-friendly resort is the perfect choice for those seeking a luxurious stay in Cancun. The atmosphere is romantic, and couples will love the fine dining options and honeymoon-style activities offered. See availability here
This hotel has one of Cancun’s longest pools as well as an in-house nightclub. This is the perfect choice for LGBTQ travelers looking for a bit of nightlife and exciting events like burlesque shows and foam parties. Check for rates here
Dive into luxury at this beach-front hotel located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun. Having won a Gay Travel Award for luxury hotels in Mexico, this is a fantastic option for LGBTQ travelers looking to splurge on their trip to Cancun. Check availability here
This adults-only resort is topless-optional and the ideal place to stay if you want to party in Cancun. With entertainment or parties every night, you’ll never be bored at Temptation. See rates here
LGBTQ travelers on a budget should check out Mayan Monkey Hostel, which offers ocean views and a beautiful rooftop. Choose between dorm rooms or private suites, and meet travelers from all around the world during your stay. Check room options here
LGBTQ FRIENDLY BARS, CLUBS, AND RESTAURANTS IN CANCUN MEXICO
Cancun has a decent selection of gay bars and clubs, and more are appearing regularly. The majority of LGBTQ nightlife takes place in Cancun town, although there are also great bars located in the Hotel Zone.
Even if you don’t end up heading to a specifically gay bar, you’ll be welcomed at nightlife spots around Cancun.
Considered one of the hottest spots in town, 11:11 Club is the place to be on weekends in Cancun. With go-go dancers, electronic music, and busy crowds, this is the ultimate party destination in town. 11:11 is LGBTQ-friendly and occasionally hosts events specific to the gay community.
Laser Hot Bar
Drag shows, pride events, and a welcoming atmosphere are what make the Laser Hot Bar in Cancun a crowd favorite. Come here for drinks with friends or a fun night out on the town. The bar is open late, so you could stay all evening or head to a club afterward.
Coco Bongo Cancun
Coco Bongo is located in the Hotel Zone of Cancun and is considered one of the best clubs in town. While it’s not a specifically gay club, it’s an open and welcoming place and the perfect spot to dance the night away.
LGBTQ BEACH IN CANCUN MEXICO
There are several beaches to choose from in Cancun. Playa Delfines is probably the most popular among LGBTQ visitors, although it’s not specifically a gay beach. Located on the southern end of the Hotel Zone in Cancun, the beach is easy to access and the ideal spot to cool off or sunbathe.
Most hotels in the Hotel Zone of Cancun have a private beach with sun loungers and places to sit. However, in most cases, anyone can purchase access and rent out chairs for the day. Still, it’s highly recommended to stay at a beachfront hotel if you’re not on a tight budget so you can enjoy beach access and lots of time by the water every day.
THINGS TO DO IN CANCUN
Cancun is all about beaches, sun, and sunset cocktails. But due to its strategic location, this is also a fantastic base to explore the surrounding area with its beautiful cenotes and ancient ruins. Make sure to add the following activities to your Cancun itinerary:
Day trip to Chichen Itza
Chichen Itza is one of the new world wonders and dates back to 400 AD. Come here either as part of a guided tour or independently and spend the afternoon at this breathtaking archeological site.
Go to Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a beautiful island located just a short ferry ride from the mainland. Come here to snorkel, spend the day at a beach club or enjoy delicious Mexican food.
Visit the Maya Museum
If Chichen Itza seems too far away, but you still want to learn about the Mayan ruins, you should head to the Maya Museum in Cancun. Entry is just US$5 per person, and you’ll learn everything you need to know about Yucatan’s history.
Spend the day by the beach
Take a moment to breathe and relax by the beautiful beach in Cancun. Rent a sun lounger for the day and sip on delicious drinks as you watch the sun go down.
Go kayaking at Nichupte Lagoon
Get away from the busy streets of Cancun and rent a kayak to explore the peaceful Nichupte Lagoon. Keep an eye out for rare bird species and immerse yourself in nature as you glide across the calm waters.
Swim in a cenote
Once you’ve had enough of the beach, it’s time to head to one of Yucatan’s many cenotes. With a wide variety to choose from close to Cancun, you could go cenote-hopping to find your favorite swimming spot in the area.
GAY GUIDE TO CANCUN 2023: WHAT TO PACK
Not sure what to wear during your time in Cancun? Luckily, the answer is: wear whatever you feel most comfortable in! While most people dress up when going out in the evening, there is no pressure to put on heels and a dress. You’ll find party-goers in all types of outfits.
During the day, it’s definitely advisable to dress in light and airy clothing since the weather will be hot and humid. Don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun and pack plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and, of course, sunglasses.
If you think you might be taking a bus or guided tour to places like Chichen Itza or Tulum, you should pack a hoodie to keep you warm. The local air conditioning is very strong, and you’ll most likely be cold after a while.
Don’t forget to pack a swimsuit and some flip-flops or sandals for walks on the beach. Always leave some room in your bag so you can go shopping when in Cancun. There are lots of little stores and boutiques where you’ll find cute new outfits to wear.
For more details, check out our Mexico Packing List with all our must-haves while traveling around Mexico for a year!
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I’m Sam and I may only be 5’3 but I’m feisty and enjoy a lot of sarcastic humor. I’m addicted to travel as well as feeding and advocating for street animals in every country I travel to. I’m married to Courtney and we’re super gay or whatevaaaa. We’re both extroverts and love meeting new people everywhere we travel. We are in love with Latin American culture but can’t wait to explore more of the world!