Best LGBTQIA+ spots in San Juan

Lonely Planet has partnered with San Juan-based journey group Platea to offer complete guides, curated lists and insider ideas to your subsequent journey to Puerto Rico.

With a bigger cluster of homosexual neighborhoods in Condado, the vacationer district and Santurce, San Juan is arguably Puerto Rico’s most LGBTIQ+-friendly metropolis. 

San Juan’s bustling homosexual scene gives a wide range of lodging, eating places, bars and golf equipment that cater to the LGBTIQ+ crowd. Daytime diversions like sun-worshiping on the seashore, exploring historic landmarks and sampling genuine Puerto Rican delicacies are plentiful too. 

Here’s our information to the most effective LGBTIQ+ spots in San Juan

Puerto Rico has a thriving LGBTIQ+ group

The nation legalized same-sex marriage in 2015 and hosts a trio of huge Pride celebrations all year long: San Juan Pride, Winter Pride Fest, additionally in San Juan, and Boquerón Pride in Cabo Rojo. 

Laws prohibit discrimination primarily based on sexual orientation. However, identical to different locations in the world, people –significantly these figuring out as trans – could expertise bigotry.


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Where to remain

Cozy guesthouses, boutique inns and upscale resorts – San Juan’s sturdy lodging can match no matter sort of keep you’ve in thoughts. 

Coqui del Mar promotes a powerful social surroundings © Jay Summers / Coqui del Mar

Coqui del Mar

Situated in Ocean Park, this gay-owned guesthouse fosters a laid-back beachfront group throughout the Santurce neighborhood. Married house owners Rob and Vianney have a wealth of data on the most effective locations to go and issues to do in Puerto Rico, even providing guided excursions to El Yunque rainforest, Arenales Cave, cruising seashores and a few lesser-known spots across the island. 

Coqui del Mar promotes a powerful social surroundings, and the complete first flooring and one of many two swimming pools are clothing-optional. Guests can select from 12 completely different studios and bedrooms ranging in measurement and worth.

Spacious residences with full kitchens work effectively for {couples}, and smaller communal-style rooms are perfect for budget-minded solo vacationers. 

Beach bikes, kayaks and seashore chairs are free throughout your keep. Eco-conscious visitors will admire the property’s no-single-use-plastic coverage in addition to its rainwater cisterns, mango tree and herb backyard.

A bowl of beautifully arranged chia pudding with a glass of orange juice and cutlery in the background
Meals on the Dreamcatcher are 100% vegetarian with vegan choices @ The Dreamcatcher

The Dreamcatcher

As Puerto Rico’s solely vegetarian, gay-owned and -operated lodge, a keep at this impeccable boutique property is an immersion into well being, wellness and variety. Created by companions Stephan Watts and Roy Delgado, it is a chic respite in the center of Ocean Park, simply minutes from the seashore. 

Each of the 9 rooms and three suites are vivid, stylish and tastefully appointed, with crisp cotton sheets, pure furnishings, gentle tones and distinctive decor like indigenous artifacts, dreamcatchers and aromatic incense burners including to the homey enchantment.

Meals are 100% vegetarian with vegan choices, and the chef sources native elements for the seasonally impressed menus. Guests can select from a well-curated record of actions – morning yoga and meditation lessons, paddleboarding, salsa nights, snorkeling excursions and different excursions. 

Condado Ocean Club

Formerly the Serafina Beach Hotel, this adults-only boutique hotel boasts sweeping views of each Condado Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean. Revamped and renamed, it opened as Condado Ocean Club in November 2020 – the primary San Juan property to debut put up–Hurricane Maria.

All 96 rooms (some with terraces) are awash with pure gentle, because of dramatic floor-to-ceiling home windows. Gray and white partitions with dashes of sea inexperienced and turquoise create a classy tropical backdrop for bohemian-style furnishings and hanging murals by native artists. 

The venue’s elegant sea-facing infinity pool, fringed with 9 breezy personal cabanas, is probably the most important draw right here. Several eating places are a brief stroll away, or you possibly can savor a meal onsite at Social, the place the menu expertly blends genuine Puerto Rican dishes and continental delicacies. 

Silhouettes of people canoeing at sunset at Condado Lagoon in San Juan
San Juan is residence to 2 major (unofficial) homosexual seashores – Condado’s Atlantic Beach is the preferred © Dennis van de Water / Shutterstock

What to do  

Hit the seashore

San Juan is residence to 2 major (unofficial) homosexual seashores. Condado’s Atlantic Beach is the preferred, particularly on Sunday afternoons when LGBTIQ+ households, clusters of associates and vacationers present up for some high quality time in the solar. Ocean Park Beach is the opposite sizzling spot: lined with palms and beautiful properties, this vast stretch of sand is a favourite for paddle tennis, kite browsing and different water sports activities.

Sip some rum

Off the sand, San Juan has lots to supply as effectively. Puerto Rico produces 70% of the rum bought in the US, incomes it a popularity because the rum capital of the world – the trade provides greater than $300 million to Puerto Rico’s yearly financial system, and its distilleries have created greater than 700 jobs. 

Rum manufacturing right here stretches again to the early sixteenth century. For a style of that rich history, e book a tour or mixology class at Casa Bacardí, close to the mouth of San Juan Bay.

If you possibly can’t safe a tour, the Casa Bacardí bar go to is the way in which to go – a ticket will get you a tasty tipple, a domestically made empanada and the prospect to relax at a waterfront pavilion with exceptional views of El Morro, Old San Juan’s iconic fortification.

You gained’t want a ticket to take pleasure in La Casita de Rones, the flagship retailer of Rums of Puerto Rico, a advertising and marketing arm of the island’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce. Opened in the center of Old San Juan in 2016, this distinctive venue pairs genuine Puerto Rican tapas and entrees with rum-based craft cocktails, and its well-stocked store carries attire, bar equipment and different rum-inspired souvenirs.

Take a meals tour

A food tour is a tasty solution to join with the tradition of Puerto Rico by way of its culinary heritage, letting you pattern genuine dishes, speak with native farmers and glean perception into the island’s historical past. Spoon and Flavors Food Tours are the preferred choices.

A group of people hanging out at Kween's Klub nightclub in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kween’s Klub is likely one of the latest LGBTIQ+ golf equipment in San Juan, Puerto Rico © Kween’s Klub

Where to eat, drink and get together

Kweens Klub 

Kweens Klub is the latest child on the block, opened in December 2021 by house owners Christian J. Marcano and Dr. Jesus Hernandez-Burgos – former drag-queen performers and pageant queens – as a protected and inclusive protected area for the LGBTIQ+ group and its allies.

Visit on Wednesday nights for Latinx music, or on Thursdays to cheer in your favourite queen throughout pageants, drag exhibits and expertise competitions. Queer Night is Friday and Saturday when you possibly can dance the evening away to a wide range of gifted native DJs.

Ostra Cosa 

Tuck into lobster-stuffed cheese crepes or large grilled prawns at Ostra Cosa, a gay-owned restaurant and bar situated in Old San Juan. Service isn’t rushed, permitting diners to take pleasure in an alfresco meal set to a stay soundtrack offered by native musicians. Try the Coco Loco, a coconut crammed with coconut water and your liquor of alternative. When you end the drink, the bartender cracks it open so that you don’t waste any of the alcohol-infused coconut meat.

Tia María Jose de Diego 

Formerly referred to as Tía Maria’s Liquor Store, Tía María Jose de Diego is a favourite native homosexual bar in Santurce, and the proper spot for an genuine Puerto Rican get together expertise. Come for the karaoke, keep for the beneficiant pours.

Zal Si Puedes Mini Bar 

Another Santurce gem is Zal Si Puedes Mini Bar. Located on the primary flooring of the San Jorge Hotel, this intimate neighborhood bar attracts an older set with nightly drag exhibits and stay leisure.

La Placita

A farmers market by day and thriving get together scene by evening, La Placita transforms into its nocturnal alter ego round 10pm. There’s often a blended crowd – LGBTIQ+ locals and vacationers – at Chueca Bar and Tapas.  

El Local en Santurce

For a house-party vibe with eclectic decor and different music, head to El Local en Santurce, one of many metropolis’s most inclusive venues. Weekly drag exhibits (together with drag kings), karaoke, moderately priced drinks and a enjoyable and full of life ambiance – what extra do it’s good to have an excellent time? 

A person holds a large Puerto Rican flag in Pride colors.
There are a slew of LGBTIQ+ occasions in San Juan © Ricardo Arduengo / AFP through Getty Images

Key occasions

Puerto Rico Queer Filmfest 

Celebrating variety and inclusion by way of movie and music, the Puerto Rico Queer Filmfest is the Caribbean’s first and largest LGBTIQ+ pageant. It takes place every November, showcasing worldwide and native characteristic movies and shorts.

Hydro Caribbean Festival 

A serious circuit occasion, the Hydro Caribbean Festival can also be the primary of its variety in the area, with the world’s most sought-after DJs main the get together at among the city’s greatest gay-friendly venues.  

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