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Salta is a very LGBTQ+ friendly city located in the Lerma Valley, surrounded by the steep and impressive Andes mountains. It sits at a high elevation, at almost 4000 feet above sea level in Argentina's north west region. Salta and the surrounding metropolitan area has a population of almost 700,000 making it an approachable and intimate city.
While Buenos Aires, Mendoza and Rosario all offer vibrant an exuberant gay scenes in Argentina, Salta offers LGBTQ+ travelers something unique. If you are seeking an Argentinian city with colonial architecture and cultural authenticity, Salta is for you. With remarkably well preserved architecture, grand parks, and a vibrant nightlife, it is no surprise that LGBTQ+ travelers have recently discovered Salta as an ideal gay-friendly Argentine vacation destination.
What Makes Salta, Argentina a Unique LGBTQ+ Destination
Nicknamed Salta la Linda (Salta the beautiful), this charming place has become a major tourist destination due to its colonial architecture, friendliness, awesome weather, and the picturesque scenery of valleys and mountains.
Within the city are two iconic attractions. First there is the 18th century Cabildo, a neo-classical style Cathedral. Then there is the popular and vibrant 9 de Julio, the city’s central square. 9 de Julio is a lovely monument-filled square sprinkled with palm trees at the center of the city. Many of Salta’s most enjoyable sights are nearby this square, making it a great jumping off point.
The city center features a number of impressive buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th and early 20th centuries. Clockwise around the 9 de Julio Square are the neoclassical Cathedral, the French style Museum of Contemporary Art, the Cabildo (in former times, the city's town hall, nowadays a historical museum) and the neoclassical Museum of High Mountain Archeology, which houses artifacts from the Inca civilization, including the magnificently preserved mummies of three Inca children.
Rising imposingly in the east is San Bernardo Hill, another top attraction in Salta. Its summit, from which visitors can get a panoramic view of the entire city and the valley. You can reach it by car, cable car, or stairway. The summit also offers fountains, cafes, a craft market, hiking trails and you can even rent a mountain bike for your journey down the mountain if you are so inclined, or declined rather.
Salta is a very Spanish city by physical appearance. So much so that tourists visiting from Spain often find a strong resemblance between Salta and Andalusian cities. The local culture, however, is a blend of Spanish and gaucho (mestizo, criollo, both indigenous and non indigenous) traditions, lending the city a distinctive identity, somewhat different from the more European like metropolises to the south. This mixture of cultures is the core of what makes Salta special.
LGBTQ+ Friendly Accommodations In Salta Argentina
LGBTQ+-friendly accommodations in Salta range from four star hotels to pousadas and short-term apartment rentals.
Set in a charming historic Spanish building only a short walk to Plaza principal 9 de Julio square, the gay-friendly Casa De Borgona pousada provides the perfect atmosphere for an enjoyable stay in Salta. It is housed in a restored, red 20th-century townhouse with the guest bedrooms arranged around a classic courtyard with potted plants, fruit trees, and wrought iron and wooden benches.
The English speaking gay-friendly staff will ensure a warm welcome. A generous complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning in the dining room or in the garden patio. The rooms are spacious, with daily maid service, and include linens and towels. They also include free Wi-Fi and cable TV. It features a coffee shop and a patio. Casa de Borgona's warm service, colonial-style decor and tranquil atmosphere, create an inviting and relaxing gay-friendly atmosphere.
Apart Salta is a gay-friendly rental agency offering fully furnished and equipped apartments of varying size. They provide daily maid service and are located in the center of the city of Salta. Reasonably priced they provide an economical, spacious alternative to hotel rooms.
Where To Go Out In Salta, Argentina as an LGBTQ+ Traveler
Gay night life in Salta is robust, lively, and safe, but a smaller community exists compared to larger South American cities. The LGBT entertainment scene is relatively limited but there are a few gay venues.
The City Night Club (Avenida Asunción S/N Portezuelo Tel:0387 15 4425183) is a gay Disco located on top of a hill, with one of the best views of the city of Salta by night.
The gay Dr Jekyll Pub (San Luis 761) is a small local place to meet all kinds of people including locals and other visitors to Salta. This resto bar is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 21:00 until 05:00 in the morning.
The lesbian-friendly Pizzeria Qui Resto Bar (Calle Zuviria 406) in the downtown core is uniquely furnished and decorated with all recycled materials. This is a very popular women's meeting place.
Experience The Rich Flavors and Folklore of Salta
Salteños and tourists alike meet in peñas, pubs, cafes, casinos and discos. Most of this activity is concentrated in the area known as La Balcarce. Many venues offer live local folklore stage entertainment in the evenings to accompany dinner and drinks.
Visitors can taste traditional empanadas, locro, and humitas, as well as enjoy modern dishes made with local products such as corn, llama meat, quinoa, trout, and pejerrey. On weekends there is a street crafts market where tourists can buy different traditional handmade products.
One of the main activities in Salta is the April Culture Festival, which lasts the entire month and offers a wide variety of activities such as cultural performances, a handcraft exposition, and live orchestral performances. Also, from mid-February to mid-March there are numerous colorful and stunning Carnival celebrations and parades in both the city of Salta and the surrounding communities.
Enjoy The Wonders of the LGBTQ+ Friendly Salta, Argentina
Salta is also a perfect base for exploring Argentina's Andean regions such as the Calchaqui valley and the Quebrada de Humahuaca north in nearby Jujuy. Departing from Salta is one of South America's great railway journeys, the Tren a las Nubes (Train to the clouds), which has spectacular views as it zig zags up and down the Andes mountains. The natural Andes scenery provides a wide variety of day trips and excursions into the countryside, none of which you are soon to forget.
Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in all of the United states. Its warm temperatures throughout the year make it a great place for Northerners to thaw out in the winter without having to leave the country. Further down the peninsula, in Southern Florida, there are all sorts of beautiful and lively locales that cater specifically to LGBTQ+ travelers, making South Florida one of the nation’s top destinations for our community.
There is so much for LGBTQ+ visitors to enjoy in South Florida. From Miami’s art deco area of South Beach, to Key West, the Southernmost isle in Florida that has been a home-away-from home for gay tourists for generations. In recent years, an even gayer region has emerged in the state, the Wilton Manners area of Fort Lauderdale, which houses more than 100 gay-owned businesses and establishments.
This tropical Floridian area has been a haven for gay tourism since the early days. It has a vibe and architecture all its own. Miami has its Art Deco made famous by films like “The Birdcage,” while Key West is a mix of early 20th century buildings and rocking chairs on front porches, all with an unmistakable Caribbean feel. In fact, much of South Florida has an international feel.
Many island nations, including the Bahamas and Cuba, heavily influenced different neighborhoods in this region, making it possible to feel like you’ve experienced cultures and tastes from distant lands without having to reach for your passport. From nightlife to nature, here are some of the top reasons and locations that make South Florida a top travel destination for the LGBTQ+ community.
Arts And Culture
Miami Art Deco
There are a variety of ways to enjoy Miami’s Art Deco district.. You can immerse yourself by taking a self-guided tour, an official historic walking tour, or a bus tour that can show you a lot more than just this popular district. You can even combine your art deco tour with some of South Florida’s other top sites with a full day (9-10 hour) tour like this one: Miami Combo Tour: City Sightseeing, Biscayne Bay Cruise and Everglades Airboat Ride.
Museums And Galleries
Whether you are interested in LGBTQ+ history (Stonewall National Museum & Archives), contemporary art (ICA, Miami), to instagramable street art (Wynwood Walls) or something in between, South Florida has you covered. If you are an art fanatic, however, you may want to consider planning your trip around Art Basel, Miami’s famous art festival.
Once a year, Miami becomes the pulse of the international art world when it hosts Art Basel. This event takes place in early December, and all of Miami’s top galleries and museums come alive. Celebrities, artists, curators, critics and influencers alike flock to the region to see art, and to be seen. This is an expensive, but luxurious time to enjoy South Florida as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, especially if you are an art enthusiast.
Bars And Nightlife
You can find LGBTQ+ friendly nightlife all over South Florida. Palm Beach, Hollywood, Delray Beach, Vero Beach and Boca Raton all have plenty of appeal for the gay community. Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Key West, however, are the three iconic destinations for LGBTQ+ travelers who seek fun in the sun and exotic year-round nightlife.
Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors
Fort Lauderdale has more than gay-owned businesses and establshments than anywhere else in South Florida. It has everything from gay cafes, to bars and nightclubs. Downtown Fort Lauderdale has several gay and LGBTQ+ friendly bars, but for the ultimate gay vacation experience you need to take a short ride over to Wilton Manors. Whether you strip down at one of the clothing-optional gay hotel nudey parties, or settle in for a long chill evening at the bohemian streets of Eucolyptus Gardens, Wilton Manors has it.
While Fort Lauderdale has certainly emerged as the epicenter of LGBTQ+ hotels and establishments, Miami still boasts a number of popular gay bars in several of its happening neighborhoods. South Beach has for years been the hub for LGBTQ+ travelers, and still boasts a handful of very fun bars and clubs. Palace has been a staple in the community, and no night out in Miami is complete until you dance your way through Twist. South Beach is not the only neighborhood in Miami worth visiting for nightlife.
Wynwood, on “mainland” Miami features hip new restaurants, bars, and street art as far as the eye can see. There are several LGBTQ+ friendly bars and restaurants, some of which even have weekend drag brunches.
Key West might be a tiny island, but it still has plenty of LGBTQ+ nightlife to keep you entertained. You can check out the popular Bourbon Street Pub, the popular gay friendly bar before hitting a gay club like 801 Bourbon Bar. Or maybe you like staying on the move, after all, Key West is littered with all sorts of drinking holes. If this is the case, the Key West Haunted Pub Crawl might be just the ticket for you.
Beaches And Nature
South Florida Beaches
There are many renowned beaches in Southern Florida, all with a different vibe that attracts different types of LGBTQ+ visitors. If you are looking for a cruisy, party scene on the beach, look no further than 12th Street Beach. It should not be hard to find as it has rainbow flags flying around it, and even a clothing optional area.
If the party (or nude) scene is not for you, don’t worry. There are more tranquil beaches to the north and south of South Beach Miami. There are even protected wilderness beaches where nature lovers can spot aquatic birds and other Florida wildlife.
The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are a truly special string of islands. It often feels as though you are driving from one Bahamas island to another. On the way to party in Key West you can stop at tranquil islands like Bahia Honda Key, with its secluded state park and stunning swimmable waters. Key West does not have many sandy public beaches, but there are many resorts with stunning ocean views and beach club ambience.
South Florida State And National Parks
South Florida also has three unique and unforgettable state and National Parks worth checking out. There is Everglades National Park, which is a 1.5 million acre wetland reserve, with an ecosystem like no other on the planet. Take an airboat tour through the wetlands to see native bird species, fish, manatees and alligators just feet away from you.
If you love diving or snorkeling, you have likely already heard of John Pennekamp State Park. This park is unique in that it exists underwater. This vast coral reef system lies just off the coast of Key Largo (a perfect half-way stop between Fort Lauderdale and Key West). You can take a dive or snorkel boat to see some of the best underwater views in the nation. If you aren’t a strong swimmer, don’t fret, you can take a glass bottom boat or other non-immersive boat experience as well.
If you are looking for a vacation that mixes LGBTQ+ nightlife and secluded paradise, you might want to pre-book a trip to Dry Tortugas National Park. This National Park is a small island chain reachable only by a pre-booked ferry from Key West. This trip is a great way to feel like you have left all your worries and entered a peaceful tropical paradise, without the gimmicky cocktails and Jimmy Buffet forever playing in the distance that you are likely to experience in many areas of the Florida Keyes. Be sure to plan this trip in advance, however, as ferry tickets sell out months in advance.
Adventure And Sport
Take a sailboat, high speed power boat, or luxurious yacht out from any one of South Florida’s top LGBTQ+ destinations. Many companies have group rates that cater to those looking to have an intimate day at sea. This is a great option for those traveling with like-minded friends.
If you are a fishing fan, South Florida is a great place to do some serious angling. You can catch fish like Mahi Mahi, grouper, and even Sailfish. The Florida Keys (Key Largo, Isle Mirada and Key West) all boast some of the best and most sought after fishing boats in the country.
Snorkel And Scuba
South Florida, especially the Florida Keys, has crystal clear water and a plethora of exotic aquatic life. You can book affordable group snorkel trips or even an exclusive private charter for a real off-the-grid experience.
Wrapping Up Your LGBT Experience In South Florida
South Florida is a real “create your own adventure” land for the LGBTQ+ visitors. Whether you crave the wilderness and open ocean or a pool chair with a view and well-crafted rum cocktails, South Florida has you covered. From Miami’s signature South Beach and the classic Key West gay isle experience to Wilton Manners, an evolving capitol of Florida gay life, there is something for everyone at the Southern tip or the sunshine state.
- Youtube: Gay South Florida - Welcome to Gay Key West - More videos
- Sightseeing: Fort Lauderdale - Miami - Key West
- Stories: Miami - Fort Lauderdale - Key West
- Stonewall National Museum in Wilton Manors: www.stonewallnationalmuseum.org
- South Florida Pride Center in Wilton Manors: www.pridecenterflorida.org
Bali is by far the most popular visitor destination in Indonesia. Its blend of unique cultures, sunset beach parties, spectacular highland regions and unique underwater life make it a perennial favorite amongst global travelers. But once you have tired yourself out from massages, tanning and dancing the night away at an LGBTQ+ friendly bar or at a beach party, you might be ready for the untrodden and undeveloped regions to the four corners of Bali.
While some areas of Bali are overrun by tourists, there are still some regions where few westerners venture except for the intrepid and those with local guides who reveal the authentic side of this wonderful island. While LGBTQ+ areas like Kuta and Seminyak are exotic and fun, there is so much more beauty and wonder to discover on this incredible Indonesian island.
Bali is relatively manageable to navigate. In fact, from the heart of the gay microcosm of Kuta and Seminyak, you can go in any direction and find nature, culture and one-of-a-kind sites that will stay in your heart for a lifetime
Bali Regional Highlights For LGBTQ+ Travelers
Central Bali: Ubud
While not exactly a hidden gem any longer, you must travel to Ubud. Central Ubud is located about an hour and a half inland from the international airport. On this ride you will drive past miles of rice patties and traditional Balinese life that has remained relatively untouched by time and tourism, that is until you reach Ubud.
Ubud is a spiritual and cultural hub of Bali. Don’t miss it, even if you only stay a day or two on your way to the further adventures. It’s a haven for soaking up the atmosphere of health and wellbeing, among other things like writing and music. Ubud is a fantastic sanctuary for those LGBTQ+ tourists who appreciate meditation, yoga and wellness, as there are a plethora of classes and retreats to choose from.
Ubud is filled with arts and crafts options, boutique cafes, artists’ workshops and galleries. There are also some remarkable architectural and other sights to be found, including the famous Sacred Monkey Forest.
For some serious shopping, visit the traditional Ubud Market with its many busy stalls selling wood carvings, batik shirts, sarongs and other souvenirs. Locals shop here in the morning for fresh produce that has traveled from the upland farms and fields.
Western Bali: West Bali National Park
Western Bali is the least populated and least visited region of Bali. It is dominated by the West Bali National Park and a huge area of protected reserve. Both the north and south coasts of this region offer quiet beaches but of a very different nature. It is an ideal place to retreat to for a few days to escape the busy and loud gay scenes in the bigger cities.
Those in the north can enjoy calm seas which are excellent for diving and snorkeling. The southern beaches are wilder and include a number of renowned surfing spots for those who like to surf bigger waves.
Eastern Bali: Candidasa
Candidasa is a laid back and very relaxing area of Bali. While more intimate than larger Balinese cities, it has a wide range of accommodation options. Candidasa is 60 to 80 minutes from Sanur along the east coast road, and you can also reach it easily from Ubud. It is about 15 minutes further east from Padang Bai where public ferries depart.
Candidasa is a renowned diving area with good sites close offshore as well as around the nearby islands of Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan. Dive with large manta rays for a truly enchanting underwater experience, and even swim alongside mola mola when in season.
A few miles northeast of Candidasa is Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach), which is one of East Bali’s well-kept secrets. It’s a five hundred meter long, isolated, beautiful, white sand beach fringed with coconut palms. This is one of the best beach destinations for those LGBTQ+ travelers looking to live out their deserted tropical beach fantasy.
Northern Bali: Lovina
The whole stretch of coast in Lovina is fringed by quite narrow black sand beaches. These beaches are generally safe for swimming and the water is relatively calm.
Diving, snorkeling and dolphin watching are all popular activities in Lovina. Perhaps the most rewarding activity in this region, however, is to relax and take in a very slow, traditional pace of life.
Located west of Lovina is an ethereal hot spring with stone carved mouths gushing water in a lush garden setting. The waters are naturally a very pleasing temperature and have a high sulfur content. The whole experience here is extremely therapeutic and cleansing.
Air Sanih (about 15 km east of Singaraja on the coast road) is a quaint cold spring bathing area set in nice gardens. The spring water here is said to originate from holy Lake Batur.
The Gitgit Waterfalls (10 km south Singaraja on the main road to Bedugul) are spread out around the village of Gitgit. The best of the three falls is the southernmost which drops about 50 meters.
Southern Bali: Uluwatu
Located on the Southwestern tip of Bali, Uluwatu is an area you simply cannot miss if you take a tour around the diverse island of Bali. Uluwatu has some renowned surf spots, and in turn, the area has a very laid back surfer and beach vibe. There are dozens of tiny bars and restaurants sprinkled along the cliffs, with mazes of stairways and walkways connecting this village on cliffs.
For a truly magical cultural experience, witness the Kecak Dance at Uluwatu temple. This is an ancient story told through a lively song and dance. The event takes place outdoors within the temple walls, all while the sun sets over the vast sea behind the performers. This is a cultural event that will stay with you for years to come.
Enjoy Bali In All Directions
As an LGBTQ+ traveler, the last thing you want is to be put into a box. Sure, it is great to know there are gay bars, and LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhoods, but sometimes it is nice to go out into a new world and explore. Bali is such a stunning and safe place, that it really would be a shame to fly so far and not soak up every ounce that it has to offer. Whether you head north, south, east or west, a life changing adventure will be waiting for you when you arrive.
The last time I wrote an article about Indianapolis was back before I was living here. Sometimes you view a city differently as a tourist, so I decided to become a tourist again to explore my beautiful city. Indianapolis is in my opinion one of the most underrated cities in the country. Its people, culture, and opportunities are some of the greatest strengths of the city, not to mention, a thriving LGBTQ culture. Pride is celebrated here throughout the year. You can walk through neighborhoods and see countless rainbow flags hanging proudly from homes and businesses all year round.
Indianapolis is a very gay city, especially when it comes to LGBTQ philanthropic organizations and community initiatives. There are numerous local charities here such as Indiana Youth Group, Trinity Haven, Gender Nexus, Damien Center, Trans Solutions, and StepUp just to name a few. If you are looking to mingle with LGBTQ locals, you can definitely find a group that suits your interest.
We like things big in Indy. The city is home to the largest children’s museum in the world as well as the largest sports venue in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the annual Indy 500 is run.
The Circle City boasts some wonderful LGBTQ bars and restaurants including English Ivy’s, Greg’s Our Place, Downtown Olly’s, FortyFive Degrees, Metro, Tini, and the newest drag bar, Almost Famous.
Animal lovers should head to the Indianapolis Zoo, home to the Indianapolis Prize, the most prestigious preservation and conservation award in the world. This May, the new Kangaroo Crossing exhibit will open in the current MISTery Park area, which has been home to the Zoo’s sloths since 2019. Construction is now underway to completely transform the space with beautiful new plantings, creating a backdrop for red kangaroos that will offer a feeling of Australia in Indianapolis. Kangaroo Crossing will offer visitors a chance to walk into a large open area to mingle with the 'roos without barriers.
One of the many gems of Indy is the Eiteljorg Museum which will present a thought-provoking exhibition of Andy Warhol’s late-career artwork that explores his interest in Western icons and his merging of the mythic West with contemporary art and popular culture. The exhibition will be on display from March 12 to Aug. 7, 2022. The traveling exhibition, Warhol's West, presents a range of his Western imagery, including prints of Geronimo, General Custer, Annie Oakley, and John Wayne. Also in 2022, the Eiteljorg Museum will celebrate its 30th annual Indian Market and Festival on June 25-26, where more than 100 Native American artists will display and sell their beautiful art.
Speaking of museums, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is not just for children. In fact, they host numerous adult-only events throughout the year. This March, they will be debuting Dinosphere, an immersive experience where guests will experience the sights, sounds, and smells of dinosaurs who roamed the Earth during the Cretaceous Period 65-75 million years ago. Visitors will be transported back in time under the cover of a former Cinedome that vibrantly changes from dawn to dusk and features thunderstorms to overnight meteor showers.
Significant dinosaur specimens will occupy the space, including Bucky the teenage T. rex which became the first dinosaur discovered to have a wishbone linking its relationship to birds.
Also located at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a tribute to Ryan White, the young man who died of AIDS in 1990. Ryan garnered international fame for his heartwarming story and was befriended by everyone from Michael Jackson to Elton John. A replica of his room is located in the museum and his mother Jeanne White-Ginder visits the museum numerous times per year to tell Ryan’s story.
After a long day of sightseeing, head to The Conrad Indianapolis, perfectly situated in the heart of downtown. Everything you need is about a 5–10-minute walk from the property, including dozens of restaurants, boutiques, museums, and entertainment options, as well as Gainbridge Fieldhouse, home of the Indiana Pacers and Lucas Oil Stadium where you can watch the Colts take the field.
One of my favorite features of the Conrad is the lobby. The elegant, yet inviting space is welcoming and functional. A grand Dale Chihuly chandelier hangs from the center of the lobby, with other art prominently displayed throughout. Guests can also access the hotel’s two dining options: The Capital Grille and Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro, as well as Long-Sharp Gallery which specializes in works on paper, multiples, and drawings by modern and contemporary masters including Picasso, Miró, Haring, and Lichtenstein.
I stayed in the Pop Suite, a magnificent room paying homage to some of the greatest pop artists of all time including Andy Warhol, William John Kennedy, and of course, Robert Indiana. Located on a private floor, the Pop Suite features a dining room table, fireplace, wet bar, soaking tub, and spacious living area complete with remote-controlled lighting. The furnishings in the room are modern yet comfortable, and the shower is spacious enough to have a party in.
Spend the next day strolling along popular Massachusetts Avenue (or Mass Ave as we call it), where you can visit dozens of locally owned boutiques and restaurants. Towards the north end of the street is the new Bottleworks district which features The Garage Food Hall, Living Room Theatre, and Pins Mechanical in addition to a beautiful art deco hotel.
For dinner, head to Harry & Izzy’s, one of Indy’s most popular restaurants. The establishment is related to St. Elmo’s. Begin your meal with their famous shrimp cocktail. But be careful when using the cocktail sauce. It packs quite the kick. It’s fun to watch people try it for the first time. Also highly recommended are the Crab Beignets made with lump crab meat, mascarpone, chives and accompanied by a remoulade for dipping. Harry & Izzy’s as well as St. Elmo’s are known for their steaks, however, I chose to order the Pan-Seared Scallops served on a bed of edamame, roasted corn, rainbow carrots, and pancetta. The scallops were cooked to perfection and the vegetables were equally as delicious.
If you are looking for a fun and relatively inexpensive city to visit this year, give Indy a chance, and drop me a message while you’re in town. I’d be happy to show you around.
Enjoy the Journey!