a picture of the main square and cathedral in Merida, Mexico. A highlight for the Merida gay traveler

The Mérida Gay Traveler

Mérida, the surprisingly sophisticated capital of Yucatán, beckons you with its irresistible blend of history, charm, and an unspoken invitation to bask in the warmth of both the sun and a welcoming LGBTQ+ community.

Why choose Mérida from the array of gay travel destinations in Latin America?  Let’s take a look:

1. An Old City with a Long History of Tolerance: The Maya civilization survived the arrival of Europeans better than any indigenous group in the Americas, North or South.  Millions of people in the Yucatán Peninsula and beyond still speak Maya as a principal language, and many important pre-Hispanic traditions and values persist in Yucatán to this day.  Although Yucatán is nominally more socially conservative than much of México, it has never manifested the puritanical strictures that existed north of the border. 

In addition to a noted tolerance of sexual diversity within the Maya and Zapotec cultures in the region, the colonial era saw the decriminalization of gay sex in… wait for it… 1871 – nearly a full century before Stonewall!  Laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman were deemed unconstitutional by the supreme court in 2015, and now all of México has officially legalized same-sex marriage at the state level.

This spirit of acceptance, both cultural and institutional, radiates from the welcoming smiles of locals who understand the universal language of the heart. 

2. A Crossroads – and a Magnet:  Yucatán increasingly trades on its attractiveness to a broad population of visitors, and the service industry understands the importance of attracting the gay visitor.  In fact, the Yucatán actively encourages gay tourism.

Within the native population of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mérida also serves as a beacon of acceptance, much in the way Cape Town functions as a gay magnet for much of Africa, and Dubai for the Middle East.  Whereas it might be more difficult to be your authentic self in a pueblo where everyone knows everyone else (and much of the population is biologically related), Mérida offers an opportunity to connect and fly the rainbow flag without shame.   Mérida boasts a range of gay-focused social spaces, events, and services that cater to local and international clientele alike.

3. El Pueblo: a Gay Oasis in the Heart of it All : Capitalizing on both an established culture of acceptance and a burgeoning number gay tourists, El Pueblo offers a gay friendly place to stay.  Step through the ivy-draped atrium of El Pueblo, in the very center of Centro, and find your haven.  Our upscale yet relaxed B&B offers a sanctuary where you are embraced by peaceful luxury and the company of your peers.  Our 25-meter pool invites midnight dips under a starry sky.  Our wonderful, friendly staff are your discreet and friendly confidantes.  At El Pueblo you can be your authentic, unedited self.  

4. Gay-friendly Adventure Starts at Our Doorstep: In collaboration with Mérida Gay Tours, a kaleidoscope of experiences awaits just beyond El Pueblo’s walls.  Dive into the clear, cool water of a cenote; earn your diving license in the Caribbean; kayak through mangrove forests teeming with flamingos; or celebrate the timeless cycles of the spheres at ancient Mayan pyramids.  Then come back to El Pueblo to share your stories with people who understand you.

5. Join the Party: Mérida’s LGBTQ+ scene is robust with possibilities. From intimate cocktail bars to lively dance clubs, you’ll find spaces where you can be yourself, unapologetically and authentically.  Connect with fellow travelers over mezcal cocktails, and practice your Spanish (or Mayan!) with a new friend.

El Pueblo is the perfect distillation of all that Mérida has to offer: a lush, tropical Eden where you can celebrate your true self, embraced by a community and a city that understand, and support, the kaleidoscope of human connection.

We, Jeremy & Cecil, have lived in Mérida since 2011, and we look forward to extending to you the same marvelous, sunny welcome that this city has given us.

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