- Puerto Rico
As the colorful crown jewel of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is known for its vibrant nightlife, vivacious festivals, eclectic culinary scene and magnificent accommodations.
The U.S. territory is rich in diversity, and its friendly people welcome all to discover the island’s hospitality. Iconic bars, eateries ranging from traditional to modern, and exciting entertainment venues are some of the ways Puerto Rico caters to the LGBTQ community.
Don’t Miss the Party
Relaxation and excitement can go hand-in-hand, especially in a tropical oasis teeming with culture and colorful bashes. Orgullo Boquerón, a three-day Pride celebration featuring a parade, entertainment and an honorary madrina, or godmother, draws thousands to the southwestern Cabo Rojo beach region. Not to be outdone, tens of thousands pack the San Juan Pride Parade that begins at Parque del Indio and ends with music, food and other entertainment at the beachside Third Millennium Park. Puerto Rico’s art scene comes to life during Timbiriche Design, an annual December holiday market at San Juan’s Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Puerto Rico; see jewelry, ceramics, clothes and paintings created by local artisans.
An unforgettable photo op during Orgullo Boquerón in Cabo Rojo
For a great gay bar scene, go to the hip Santurce neighborhood in San Juan. Tía María Liquor Store offers inexpensive drinks with heavy pours and a friendly crowd, which makes for a great place to begin your night out. The iconic Circo Bar bounces to a disco beat that doesn’t really start thumping until after midnight. Instead, you might opt to head to the beach for upscale drinks and superb Caribbean fare at Oceano, which has multiple decks overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Enjoying a night on the town in La Placita de Santurce
Eclectic and Avant-Garde Dining
Blending Spanish, African and Latin American flavors and spices, Puerto Rican cuisine is a carnival for the senses. Thanks to a heralded, health-conscious menu blending Puerto Rican and French influences – with an emphasis on vegetarian and pescatarian options – diners enjoy inventive dishes and the cozy décor at Old San Juan’s Verde Mesa. Santaella in La Placita de Santurce delivers a modern take on authentic Puerto Rican food, with robust entrees like pork shank, small dishes such as alcapurria – a fritter filled with meat, plantain and spices – and tropical-inspired cocktails. Innovative multicourse meals influenced by French and California cuisines can be found at Marmalade Restaurant & Wine Bar in Old San Juan.
Sipping craft cocktails at Santaella, an elegant restaurant for date night
Fun Places to Stay
Gorgeous views are plentiful throughout the island. The array of hotels ranges from lavish to quaint amidst the laid-back luxury of the LGBTQ-friendly Condado neighborhood. Sip island cocktails and enjoy the hot nightlife scene during your stay at La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort. The beachfront pool deck and floor-to-ceiling windows in the water-view rooms are among the highlights at the boutique Serafina Beach Hotel in San Juan. Nestled away in 17 acres of foliage, the Caribe Hilton Hotel boasts a beachfront playground with a multitier pool and a tennis court. If you like piña coladas, this is the place where the drink was first served in 1954.
A romantic moment while catching some rays at Serafina Beach Hotel
There are two international airports in Puerto Rico. More than 20 commercial airlines fly in and out of San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Rafael Hernández International Airport (BQN), on the west coast of the island in Aguadilla, also offers commercial flights.