By Joshua Rivero
Did you know that Colombia is one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly countries in the world? It was actually awarded with the title of the most emerging LGBTQ+ destination in FITUR (International Tourism Fair) in 2017, as well as the Leading LGBTQ+ Destination in South America in 2018 by the World Travel Awards.
Keep reading to learn about the most popular destinations in Colombia for LGBTQ+ travelers!
How cliche of us to start off with the capital of Colombia, eh?
Well, we do it for good reasons. Bogotá is by far one of the most welcoming and exciting places in all of Colombia. The city has an extremely popular gay scene as well, mainly due to the Chapinero gayborhood which is similar to Greenwich Village in New York City.
You’ll find many of the most thrilling gay bars and clubs all throughout Colombia here, such as El Recreo de Adan. But the most unique experience of them all is at El Theatron! This is the biggest and most popular gay club in all of Latin America. Much as the name suggests, it's a theatre-turned-bar with over 10 floors all with their own theme and music. What’s even better is that they offer all-you-can-have drinks for only $15.
Bogotá has many other activities for LGBTQ+ travelers. These include the largest Pride parade in all of Colombia, Pink Cinema. There is also the Gay International Festival and the Iberoamerican Theatre Festival in April.
Heading a little north of Bogotá, you’ll find the marvelous city of Medellin, also known as the “City of Eternal Spring” for its amazing weather and annual flower festivals.
Colombians regard Medellin as the friendliest and warmest major city in all of Colombia. While not as flamboyant as Bogotá, there’s still much to do!
Medellin’s most famous gay-bar is Bar Chiquita, where you’ll find great drinks and even better music — so be prepared to dance the night away!
There’s also a tour called Out in Colombia that takes visitors on a very gay adventure through Medellin’s LGBTQ+ rights history. You’ll learn much and even be able to take cooking classes and taste local cuisine.
Often named the nightlife spotlight of Colombia, Cartagena does not shy away from offering dozens of bars and clubs for the night owls. Although their LGBTQ+ scene isn't huge, there are a few gay bars located throughout the city.
Some of the most popular ones are Solar, Roma, and Le Petit. You can also attend a circuit festival taking place sometime between July-August called the Rumours festival.
Looking for something on the extreme side? Head over to Barranquilla, where you can attend the Gay Guacherna during the Carnavel de Baranquilla in late February.
The Carnaval de Barranquilla is a mega-party similar to the Carnival in Brazil. This specific parade (Gay Guacherna) is one part of the Carnavel, just with more emphasis on rainbows, community, and everything gay. At the end of the parade, Gay Guachera hosts a short nighttime after-party where all members of the LGBTQ+ community can join together to watch the coronation of the carnival’s Gay Queen.
Other notorious gay bars/clubs in this area are Patio Barranquilla and Lives Megaclub. Be sure to check out these spots and others on your trip to Colombia!