If you love warm temperatures and are a sun-seeker all year round, especially when it comes to vacations, then there is good news for you! There are countless places in the world where you can spend your gay holidays in the warmth. Even during winter, say, between December and February.
In this guide, I will tell you about the most beautiful gay friendly winter sun destinations where you will find safe and enjoyable places for LGBT community members. I hope you’ll find the perfect getaway for you!
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Gay friendly winter sun destinations in Europe
Canary Islands – Tenerife and Gran Canaria
Europe is in the northern hemisphere, so there are not many warm places to visit in December. However, the Canary Islands, which are Spanish islands very close to Morocco, are an exception. We know well that Spain is one of the most gay-friendly countries in the world, and its islands are no exception.
There are two islands in particular that I would recommend to queer people: Tenerife and Gran Canaria.
In Tenerife, LGBT tourism is present almost everywhere on the island. Gay clubs and bars are mainly concentrated in Santa Cruz and Playa de Las Americas. Tenerife’s gay beaches are a famous spot for the LGBT community, and many are also open to naturism. The most popular beaches are Playa Tejita, Playa Médano, and Los Rusos at the end of Playa de las Teresitas close to Santa Cruz.
Gran Canaria is also perfect for your gay winter sun holidays. In particular, the southern part and Maspalomas where Playa del Inglés is located, is one of the popular destinations for gay tourists throughout Europe.
Considering the mild climate, it is possible to visit all year round. December to February is certainly not the hottest period, but on sunny days, the temperatures are always higher than 75-77º F (24-25º C). It’s great to be on the beach, even if the water may be a bit chilly.
Gay friendly winter sun destinations in America
South Florida – Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and Key West
Are you looking for the perfect gay friendly winter sun destination in the USA? The best solution may be Florida, especially the southern part. There are many gay-friendly areas in Florida, such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Key West.
In Miami, winter is pleasantly warm and with rather rare rainfall. For this reason, prices are higher, and you’ll have to book well in advance to save money on your trip. The average temperature during this period is 74-77º F (23-25º C). In terms of the gay scene, Miami attracts over one million LGBTQ visitors a year, and Miami Beach also has its own dedicated LGBT Visitor Center. Less obvious than Miami is Fort Lauderdale, which is only 30 miles away and enjoys a no less remarkable gay scene.
If you move further south, there are the Florida Keys, an archipelago of islands that extends for over 100 miles between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. One of the best times to visit them is between December and March. Here, too, wintertime is considered peak season, so prices tend to be higher than usual. Key West is the southernmost island and it attracts over 250,000 LGBTQ people a year. It is famous for being a place of peace and acceptance.
In short, in Miami, as well as in Fort Lauderdale and Key West, you’ll enjoy your gay winter sun holiday in complete tranquility.
Mexico – Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Puerto Vallarta
Mexico is another perfect country for LGBT winter sun holidays. Yup! A Mexican vacation is very popular with the gay community. Friendly atmosphere, friendly locals, friendly nightlife…what else? A luxurious experience on a budget with a tropical climate.
Cancún is one of the most popular gay-friendly places in Mexico, and a few miles away on the same coast, there are just as beautiful places such as Tulum and Playa del Carmen. The most popular gay beach in Cancún is Playa Delfines, which is generally never too crowded and very wide. However, if you want to experience Cancún at its best during your hot December holidays, LGBTQ life is mainly concentrated at the resorts.
During winter, from December to mid-March, you will experience sun and warm temperatures. There may be wind, clouds, and some rain for a few days, so it’s best to check in advance before you make your reservations.
On the other coast – the Pacific – there’s probably the gay-friendliest city in Mexico and one of the gayest in Latin America: Puerto Vallarta. Here, there’s no shortage of daytime activities and a lively gay nightlife even during the winter months. Puerto Vallarta’s climate is warm all year round, with dry and slightly less cloudy heat from December to April which makes this the perfect time of the year to go on vacation and have fun. During this period, you can also enjoy a swim in the sea as the water is warm all year round!
Brazil – Rio de Janeiro
Talking about winter destinations in gay friendly countries, Rio de Janeiro in Brazil cannot be left off the list. Best known for its famous February carnival, Rio is the second-largest city in Brazil and one of the most gay-friendly destinations in Latin America.
It is one of the perfect gay friendly winter sun destinations because the period from December to March is the hottest of the year with temperatures that can reach 95-98º F (35-37º C).
If you happen to visit the city in November, know that they celebrate Rio Gay Pride during this month. You cannot miss it! Pride is held on Copacabana beach, which is also one of the most popular beaches for the LGBTQ community. However, the real gay nightlife hub in Rio is the Ipanema area where you will find the beach and a large concentration of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Gay friendly winter sun destinations in Asia
Thailand – Bangkok
Looking for an Asian LGBTQ winter sun destination? Then you should consider visiting Thailand.
This country is probably the most gay-friendly of all Southeast Asia while considering that public display of affection is not the norm, both for heterosexual and homosexual couples. Thai people generally consider affection a private matter. However, Thailand’s gay-friendliness is an exception, considering the difference in culture with neighboring countries where being openly gay is quite difficult.
The climate is tropical and the best time to visit is from December to mid-February. This time of the year is rain-free and not the hottest. November to February is considered the cool season – so to speak, it’s still higher than 86º F (30º C) during the day.
No doubt, Bangkok is the gay capital of Southeast Asia. Silom Soi 4 is the queer area where you will find the city’s best gay bars and clubs. In addition to Bangkok, there are other Thailand gay cities to mention like Pattaya and Chiang Mai, which are famous for their nightlife. Also worth mentioning are Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Pangan, and other romantic islands.
Gay friendly winter sun destinations in Oceania
Australia – Sydney and Sunshine Coast
Australia is the ideal gay friendly winter sun destination as it combines the gay atmosphere and summertime in December. On the east coast of the continent, average temperatures during summertime are 65-79º F (19-26° C). This is a perfect time to enjoy the many beaches, such as Sydney’s, where the water’s temperature is around 72-75º F (22-24° C).
Speaking of Sydney, if you are visiting between December and January, I suggest you spend New Year’s Eve at the Sydney Harbor Bridge. You’ll have the possibility to watch the amazing New Year’s fireworks here. Another summer event that attracts queer travelers is Mardi Gras (Sydney’s Pride parade), the largest gay event in Oceania.
Sydney is certainly not the only gay destination in Australia. Further up north, in the South-Eastern area of Queensland, the Sunshine Coast deserves attention both for its naturalistic beauty and for being absolutely gay-friendly.
Gay friendly winter sun destinations in Africa
South Africa – Cape Town
It is not easy to find LGBT winter sun destinations in Africa, considering that more than 35 countries criminalize gay relationships and people are not very tolerant.
However, South Africa is an exception. Its capital, Cape Town, has a vibrant LGBT scene.
In South Africa, the climate is mild throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during summertime (December-February) when it is not too hot, it’s quite windy, and you can go on a safari!
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