Cancun & Playa del Carmen

Cancún and Playa del Carmen: young and gay-friendly

The nightlife of Cancún or the Riviera Maya, your next holiday destination

Located on the Caribbean Sea, in the far southeast of Mexico, this destination is an ideal place if you are looking for a vacation that combines fiesta and breathtaking scenery. You will find Cancún and the beautiful Isla Mujeres in the north. Towards the south, discover the Riviera Maya for about 130km with Playa del Carmen, Tulum and the island of Cozumel. The whole area is beautiful and gay-friendly. Rich in history, you will love the place for its archaeology, its ancestral Mayan culture or its famous cenotes. We are going to linger on the 2 biggest cities which are Cancún and Playa del Carmen.

Gay Guide Cancun and Playa Del Carmen - sunset on a beach, gay tourism

The 2 cities of the state of Quintana Roo are 65km apart, a little less than an hour’s drive. Cancún is a city of about 750,000 inhabitants and is a world famous tourist destination. Its airport is served by many companies. Most of the resorts in Cancún are located in the Zona Hotelera, a magnificent line of land in the Caribbean Sea. Farniente, excursions and fiesta will dictate your days. Further south, the Riviera Maya is even more exotic. Playa del Carmen is the main seaside resort with its 250 000 inhabitants and it is also the access point to cross to the island of Cozumel. Along the Riviera Maya, you will find outstanding sites such as the archaeological site of Tulum, the reef of Akumal or the ancient Mayan city of Chichén Itzá, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Although Cancún and Playa del Carmen cannot be described as a gay destination in the same way as their western sister Puerto Vallarta or the Greek island of Mykonos, this area of Mexico is very gay-friendly. The interest of young people and the international appeal of the destination mean that the mix of straight and gay customers is very high. Moreover, some resorts like the Grand Oasis Cancún, the Oasis Sens del Mar Cancun, the JW Marriott Cancun or the Temptation Cancun Resort are clearly displayed as gay-friendly and are very appreciated by the LGBTQ+ clientele.

Mexico is a rather advanced country in terms of LGBTQ+ rights. It’s a federal state, and the states have their own independence. Since 2012, same-sex marriage has been legalized in the state of Quintana Roo, where Cancún and Playa del Carmen are located. Mexico City had made it legal since 2009. In 2019, the government submitted an amendment to legalise same-sex marriage throughout Mexico. To date, 20 out of 32 states have officially legalized it. Discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, whether in a private or professional setting, is punished.

The currency is the Mexican peso. Be careful, the Mexican peso is displayed with the $ logo, not to be confused with the American or Canadian dollar. For Canadians, 10CAD will give you about 150 Mexican pesos. For Europeans, 10EUR will give you about 230 Mexican peso.

We advice you to bring some cash to pay in bars, clubs, etc. Keep your payment card in your room’s safe.

A valid passport is required to travel to Mexico. If you are European or Canadian, no visa is required for a tourist trip (maximum 6 months). During your flight, the flight attendants will give you a tourist card to fill out. This card must be presented upon arrival at the Mexican customs.

Summary of the gay guide to Cancun and Playa del Carmen

The list of LGBTQ+ establishments is not long in Cancun. No gay scene? Don’t be fooled, Cancún is simply very gay-friendly! The seaside town is frequented by young tourists from all over the world. So there is a significant mix of straight and gay in most establishments. However, below are some of the favourite establishments for gay tourists.

100% gay

11:11 Club Cancún (Av Tulum Smz 22 Mz 5 lote 33, Centro). Very popular gay club in Cancún with gogo dancers shows, good music and Latin atmosphere.

Láser Hot Bar(Av Tulum s/n, Bancos). It is a small gay cabaret bar with drag shows every night.

Roma (Av Coba 51-Mz 25, Centro). Small bar a bit out of the way from the hotel area.

Gay-Friendly

Coco Bongo (Blvd. Kukulcan Km 9.5-#30, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera). Famous complex with 4 hours of non-stop shows with singers, acrobats, dancers, particularly impressive. Ideally, you should pick up your tickets at your hotel to avoid being lured away by street vendors. To be done once during your stay.

Kinky Cabaret @Grand Oasis Hotel Cancun (Blvd. Kukulcan, Zona Hotelera). Cabaret with great shows at the Grand Oasis Hotel, which is one of the most popular LGBTQ+ establishments in Cancun.

The City Nightclub (Blvd. Kukulcan, Km 9.5, Punta Cancun, Zona Hotelera). One of the largest nightclubs in Latin America on 3 floors with a capacity of 6000 people. If you like clubs, you have to go.

Hunter Bar (Alcatraces 45 Mz. 10 Lt. 26 SM 22, Centro). Excellent gay-friendly bar with local atmosphere and ideal if you want to meet Mexicans.

The list of LGBTQ+ establishments is not long in Playa del Carmen. No gay scene? Don’t be fooled, Playa del Carmen is simply very gay-friendly! The small town is frequented by tourists from all over the world and Mexicans who work in the resorts or for the local event industry. So there is a significant mix of straight and gay in most establishments. However, below are some of the favourite establishments for gay tourists.

100% Gay

Club 69 (c/ Quinta Avenida). The only gay bar in Playa del Carmen that offers drag shows and affordable drinks.

La Cueva del Maya T (at the intersection of Avenue 40 with Street 44). It is a nude dancers’ bar with a local clientele.

Gay-Friendly

Coco Bongo (c/12 Norte, crossing avenue 10 and street 12). the same concept as the Coco Bongo in Cancún. 4 hours of non-stop shows with singers, acrobats, dancers and a big sound system. Ideally, you should pick up your tickets at your hotel to avoid being lured away by street vendors. To be done once during your stay.

You can also try the discos Palazzo del Carmenand Mandala Playa del Carmen.

They are not 100% gay beaches like you can find in other destinations, but they are popular with many LGBTQ+ people.

Gay-Friendly Beaches in Cancún

Playa Delfines, Playa Chac Mool and of course the beaches of the most gay-friendly hotels in Cancún that you can find in our accommodation category below.

Gay-Friendly Beaches in Playa del Carmen

Mamitas Beach, Coralina Daylight Club.

Cancún – Gay Sauna and Gay Cruising Bar

There is no gay sauna or gay cruising bar in Cancún. The gay sauna X-Mahan-Nah has closed its doors for good. There is still a gay internet cafe called Club Arcoiris, which has private booths.

Playa del Carmen – Gay Sauna and Gay Cruising Bar

Sauna Gay X Mahan Nah (Ejidal, 77712 Playa del Carmen). Small gay sauna with massage service available at extra charge. Hard to find: located at the intersection of 55th Avenue 55 and 2nd Avenue. As in Cancún, there is still a gay cybercafé called Xtreme Cyber Café, which also has private booths.

Events in Cancún

Gay Pride 2022 Cancún

The gay pride in Cancún is a small pride and is absolutely not worth the events that can take place in Mexico City, Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta. The final dates have not yet been announced by the organization.

Club Atlantis Cancún 2022

If you want to take advantage of a gay event to travel, forget about this gay pride. Instead, we recommend booking for one of the many gay festivals held at a resort, such as the Club Atlantis Cancun 2021, which will take place from April 30 to May 7, 2022 at Club Med Cancun, fully privatized by Atlantis Events.

Temptation Pride Week 2022

Another Pride Week type event with privatization of the very gay-friendly Temptation Cancun Resort. No new dates for the moment.

Events in Playa del Carmen

Arena Circuit Party Riviera Maya 2022 + WE Party

From February 2 to February 8, 2022. All information on the official website of the organization.

Gay Pride 2022 Playa del Carmen – Playa Pride 2022

The gay pride of Playa del Carmen is usually held in June. Playa Pride in Playa del Carmen will take place from June 20 to June 26, 2022. The parade taking place the Saturday June 25, 2022. When will the gay pride 2022 of Playa del Carmen take place?

Guide Gay Cancun - Flyer Arena Circuit Party

The most used dating applications in Mexico are Tinder and Grindr.

Arena Circuit Party Riviera Maya

Video source: You Tube – WE Party Group S.L. – 25 January 2012.

Gay-friendly accomodations in Cancun and Playa del Carmen - Riviera Maya

On the spot

Our other popular gay destinations