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Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-09-06



Yucatan adventures--with an LGBTQ+ twist--await in Mexico
by Jerry Nunn

This article shared 1483 times since Mon Jun 5, 2023
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The Yucatan region lies between the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea in southeastern Mexico. It is home to the states of Campeche and Quintana Roo, and features a variety of destinations appealing to LGBTQ+ travelers.

Cancun is the major travel destination in the region, with an international airport that attracts tourists to stay in luxurious resorts and visit historical landmarks, such as Chichen Itza. People travel from all over the world to see this popular archeological site featuring echoing stone temples atop massive pyramids. Clap your hands to hear resounding birdlike noises bounce off the environment, and learn about the history of Mayan ceremonies.

The climate can rise to fiery temperatures so, bathing in a cenote, a watery natural sinkhole, is a welcome respite from the heat. Cool off at Cenote Tsukan, just 10 minutes away from Chichen Itza and relax in the clear water underground.

Before entering Tsukan Santuario de Vida, hug a Pich tree, make a tortilla by hand and mix together spices with some assistance from locals in an educational maze leading up to the pit. The water is so deep that life jackets are necessary but allows for a rare opportunity to swim amongst fish.

For a completely different cenote experience, drive over to Hacienda Y Cenote Mucuyche. Showers are required to rinse off before swimming in either the on-property pool or the cenote. Doggie paddle under natural waterfalls and scout around the stalactites that grow inside the underground cavern.

Rio Lagartos Adventures provides another watery expedition to possibly spot wildlife while out on a boat in a biosphere reserve. Flamingo Lovers Tour is a three-hour tour that won't leave you stranded like Gilligan's Island-the helpful guides provide plenty of information and assistance. Take a mud bath to open the pores up and dry out while meeting crocodiles up close and personal in their natural habitat.

Is 16th-century art and history more your speed? Move on to Merida, Yucatan's capital and the largest city on the peninsula. Take a downtown walking tour with Merida Gay Tours that's hosted by owner Ricardo Contreras. He can accommodate and adjust a trip to suit any group's needs.

Ask Contreras for information on Uxmal, an archaeological site in good condition that is worth exploring with a knowledgeable guide. While all people are welcome, Contreras wanted to focus his business on the gay population because he identifies as gay himself. Past clients have included mixed groups of straight people, lesbians and trans travelers.

Contreras can assist with the local bar scene that welcomes all to the table for a cocktail. Start the night off at La Negrita Cantina, where party people pack into a large room with live music and Cuban inspiration in every corner.

One venue called Jorge's Imperial is one of the oldest dive bars around and is near Merida's Zocalo, or main square. The bathrooms are progressively labeled with signs for "bano trans" and nonbinary hosts present exotic dancer shows regularly to spotlight diversity in the place. For strippers that go completely nude try the bar Papis. Look for daily drink specials with snacks offered both on the menu and onstage.

When searching for a drag show there is none quite like Dix Bar in Santa Lucia, or also pop into Blue Gay Club for even more drag and disco.

While Merida has a reputation for being conservative, same-sex marriage was legalized on March 4, 2022, after a constitutional ban was lifted. Traditional Mayan weddings can now be held in celebrations for all walks of life in a variety of establishments in the Yucatan Peninsula. Some folks are retiring in Merida, as it is both affordable and primarily safe.

Make your way over to Yucatan where affordable adventures await LGBTQ+ travelers and those ready to settle down in a welcoming and thriving tropical environment.

This article shared 1483 times since Mon Jun 5, 2023
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