Exploring Guadalajara & Puerto Vallarta

by Our Editors
Los Arcos in Puerto Vallarta

"It's very easy to find out what is hot or new just by looking around."

by Joseph Pedro

This is Puerto Vallarta, an epicenter of gay nightlife, and my friend J.P. who works at the legendary Blue Chairs Resort, insists we see their weekly drag show. It isn’t long before we’re nearly falling out of our chairs laughing in the small theater while being completely entertained by the ridiculousness of the show. While the performance is in Spanish, the drag queen knows that many of us are from the United States and not wanting to leave us out, sang special songs for us, while also taking our calls for some more Selena, which may or may not have resulted in us joining her on the stage.

Later that night, we explore Zona Romantica, the heart of gay Vallarta. Its cobblestone streets, complete with charming alleyways and historic Spanish architecture, provide an unexpected backdrop for an area with a wonderful assortment of gay bars. The night is a game of hopscotch from bar to bar as we collect friends from place to place and drink to drink. We find ease in these laid-back streets and bars with cheap drinks and diverse music.

Astorm cancels our morning plans and allows us to use the Westin as our playground. I take a deep breath in, put on some slippers and a robe, and head for a much-needed spa treatment. The therapist wipes my face clean of city congestion and massages in seaweed extract and more vitamin-rich nutrients. I play in the spa pool, run around in the rain, and fall in the massive, near-empty pool.

Westin Guadalajara, Photo: Westin Guadalajara

Aloft Guadalajara, Photo: Aloft Guadalajara

Bright flashes of lightning hit a rough ocean, and gusts of wind hurl through my sliding door as I get ready for dinner at Westin’s Arrecifes Seafood & Steakhouse, the resort’s upscale, outdoor dining pavilion. But as I make my way, umbrella in hand, toward the pavilion, and see my group of friends (a new amalgam of Puerto Vallartans and Tapatíos), the sky softens and bursts of oranges and reds pierce through the clouds, like a chick breaking her egg. The once chaotic ocean relents, and small waves lap onto the private beach.

As I look around at the people seated at the table, I see all the experiences I had this week in Mexico in each of their faces. We then lift our glasses in unison, smiling from ear to ear, and toast each other saying “Salud,” to everything coming together.

Visit Gaygdl.com for parties, events, and everything else going on in the large gay scene in Guadalajara.

Aloft Guadalajara Hotel, Av. de las Américas 1528. Tel: +52-33-1598-8800. A hotel designed for the modern traveler with a mixed-space lobby for fun and work. Large rooms with great views and conveniences built for the Millennial in mind. From $79. www.starwoodhotels.com

La Villa de Ensueño, Calle Florida #305. Tel: +52-33-3635-8792. A beautiful boutique hotel that has a stunning restaurant and plans for a spa facility in the heart of Tlaquepaque. From $75. www.villadelensueno.com

The Westin Guadalajara, Avenida de Las Rosas 2911. Tel: +52-33-3880-2700. An upscale stay with a view, all-star restaurant, cocktail bar, gym, and sophisticated appeal. From $99. www.westin.com

Curro y Pancho, Blvrd Puerta de Hierro 5211. Tel: +52-33-3611-1967. Features the works of prominent Latin American artists in a fantastic space. www.curroyponcho.com

Galeria Tiro Al Blanco, Calle Luis Pérez Verdía 21. Tel: 52-33-3615-1018. A small gallery that highlights the work of young Tapatíos. www.galeriatiroalblanco.com

Hospicio Cabañas, Cabañas 8, Las Fresas. Tel: +52-33-3942-1200. Originally created to house the city’s in-need citizens, this massive World Unesco Site houses the most famous Orozco and rotating exhibits. www.hospiciocabanas.jalisco.gob.mx

MUSA Museo de las Artes, Calle Juárez 975. Tel: +52-33-3134-1664. A beautifully curated museum attached to the University of Guadalajara that features the work of mostly contemporary designers and two Orozco murals. www.musa.udg.mx

Palacio de Gobierno, Avenida Corona. Tel: +52-3-668-1808. Free and open to the public, the Jalisco Palace is home to two Orozco murals and an enchanting courtyard in a centuries-old building.

Páramo Galería, Av. Hidalgo 1228. Tel: +52-33-3825-0921. Featuring ongoing exhibitions from new and emerging artists, the Páramo tries to play an important role in the city. www.paramogaleria.com

Puerto Vallarta “Caballito”

Puerto Vallarta “Caballito”

BaBel, Morelos 741. Tel: +52-33-3146-1520. A massive club that shines on the weekends, but the top floor, Terazzo BaBel is a chic spot for a cocktail or two. www.facebook.com/babelclub.mx

California’s Bar, Calle Pedro Moreno 652. Tel: +52-33-8421-1130. Men spend all night circling the bar and dancing to Spanish-lanuage hits. www.facebook.com/pages/californias-bar/189637117746524

Romea, Calle Morelos 1349. Tel: +52-33-1817-0202. A small restaurant and wine bar with hip clients who spend the evening drinking and eating charcuterie. www.facebook.com/romea-510593592372687

Hueso, Efraín González Luna 2061. Tel: +52-33-3615-3591. An inventive menu that remains true to its Jalisco roots all in a stunningly designed restaurant that carries the theme of bones quite literally. www.huesorestaurant.com

Maria Tamales, Calle Donato Guerra 239-A. Tel: +52-33-4444-0888. A gay-owned tamales shop that shows its pride with a rainbow tamale and an assortment of deliciously filled Mexican treats. www.mariatamales.com

Amor Apache, Libertad 1700. Tel: +52-33-3827-2813. This design clothing store is a perfect example of Jalisco’s creative spirit. www.facebook.com/amorapachegdl

Casa Pericos Independencia Eje 280. Tel: +52-33-3639-7466. This design shop has lust- worthy woodworked home décor. www.casapericos.com

Galerías Sergio Bustamante, Independencia 238. Tel: +52-33-3639-1272. One of the Tapatío artist’s stores containing both jewelry and his sculpture—for sale or for a quick look.

Vía Libertad, Colonias 221. A creative hub for shopping, events, and eating in an awe-inspiring building. www.via-libertad.com

Westin Puerto Vallarta Pool, Photo: Courtesy of Westin Puerto Vallarta

Westin Puerto Vallarta Pool, Photo: Courtesy of Westin Puerto Vallarta


The Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, Paseo de La Marina Sur 205, Puerto Vallarta. Tel: 52-322-226-1100. From the lux rooms, restaurants, and spa to the impeccable service, this Westin property is a primo base for your Vallarta adventure. From $129. www.starwood.com

VIP Vallarta Transportation. Tel: +52-322-135-0980. Call this gay-owned company for, well, VIP car service throughout the city. www.vipvallartatransportation.com

Blue Chairs Resort, Calle Malecon #4, Puerto Vallarta. Tel: +52-322-222-5040. One of the iconic gay resorts in Puerto Vallarta that is always a scene especially during the weekly drag shows. www.bluechairsresortbythesea.com

Mantamar Beach Club Bar & Grill, Calle Malecón 169, Puerto Vallarta. Tel: +52-322-222-6280. Go for a meal and stay all day for the beach, pool, and killer DJs. www.mantamarvallarta.com

Talbot Ross Weddings & Events. Tel: +52-322-224-5258. Want to celebrate a wedding or special event in Puerto Vallarta, Talbot Ross has created all types of events from a small get together to over-the-top extravaganzas. www.talbotross.com

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