HDM! (That’s OMG in Spanish, y’all) -- my trip to Puerto Vallarta (read: Puerto Gayllarta) was a SMASH SUCCESS.
First things first – the weather was (and almost ALWAYS is) incredible.
7 gloriously sunny days with temperatures in the mid 30’s.
My tan lines, while outrageously tiny, are a thing of wonder.
Beach aside, I did go down to PV with purpose.
You see, most ‘mos who go to Puerto Vallarta once, make it a habit to go again and again. It’s a Mexican Gay Mecca – a gay-friendly town with a gay beach (‘Blue Chairs’), an vibrant gay nightlife, gay owned and gay-friendly tours and so much more…
Once you’ve been to PV, that’s IT.
With this in mind, I took to the town to find out what was FRESH and NEW for a queer dude to do in Puerto Vallarta this season. And, thanks to friends at GAY PV Magazine, I got the inside scoop! A giant shout-out to Tim and the team.
Have a read through my recommendations. When you're done, check out GAY PV online for more tips, businesses and articles about gay life in Puerto Vallarta.
... here's the list!
Tapas at Nu is the new thing to do in PV! Owner Jae Palscé has transformed the former Fuego’s space into a fabulous addition to Puerto Vallarta’s food scene. Grab a drink and a bite and watch passers-by on the street level patio or head upstairs to the 2nd floor dining room where the cool lounge music and blue walls are a perfect complement to the fresh menu. Nu has taken a relatively small amount of ingredients and master-crafted a surprising varity unique tapas dishes. From the Cauliflower Ceviche (yum!) to the incredible Chicken a la Maracuya, each dish that arrives to your plate is more exciting and delightful than the last!
[big smiles with Jae and the boys from Nu]
Jeremy’s Pro-Tip: I could LIVE and DIE for the Passionfruit Margarita. Order it and thank me later.
2. LA NOCHE MARTINI LOUNGE
With the addition of the open rooftop third floor, La Noche Martini Lounge has solidified its place as the IT spot to get the night started. Lusciously decorated with tropical plants and lit by candles (we all look our best in dim lighting, no?) – the open roof third floor is a great spot to mingle and meet your friends for a few cocktails or Pacifico’s before you hit the clubs.
Downstairs, La Noche starts low-tempo lounge and quickly kicks it into high gear with a different show every night, featuring PV’s notorious go-go boys and talented drag queens.
My favorite part about La Noche, is that on any given night during the high season, you can find my friend Kelly sitting at the end of the bar. He’s the handsome dude sippin’ scotch, looking like he owns the place. Say hi to him! He’ll love that.
[A full rooftop at La-Noche, the it-spot to meet before the club]
3. THE SWEDES BAR & BISTRO
In a city rife with tacos and tortillas, The Swedes Bar & Bistro gives you a chance for to freshen your culinary palate. Serving up incredible Scandinavian, European and North American influenced dishes, The Swedes Bar & Bistro is set in a most glamour-ish space... just the right amount of class and elegance with a dash of camp. All of it effortless.
All it takes is a quick chat to reveal owner Morgan Granander’s mantra – ‘perfection’ – and with one visit to his restaurant it's clear that can he lives it. From the to-die-for Mahi-Mahi to the traditional Swedish meatballs, we were totally blown away by our meal and dining experience. And while the food was amazing, there was something that really stood out to me (and I have to assume this is to Morgan’s credit): Hands down, the Swedes Bar & Bistro has the absolute BEST service in Puerto Vallarta.
After your flawlessly executed dinner (or maybe after you caught a show at the Palm), head upstairs to the Crow’s nest , where you’ll find the pre-drink gays sipping martini’s while overlooking PV’s ‘Romantic Zone’. If your eyes aren’t distracted enough, they’ve also got a huge video screen that plays everything from will.i.am’s “Scream and Shout”, to Willem’s “Boy is a Bottom”.
What’s new at the Swedes this year? The Swedes is now offering what is quickly becoming the city’s BEST breakfast. If you’re looking to get away from huevos rancheros at the resort, I recommend checking this out.
[The impressive exterior of The Swedes Bistro & Bar]
Jeremy’s Pro-Tip: Every Wednesday night is Pink Night – 25 peso cosmopolitans from 4pm-2am. Wear something pink for an extra surprise!
4. VALLARTA EATS TOURS
If you want an authentic Mexican food experience, there’s no better way than with the Vallarta Eats tours. These new walking tours take you out of the tourist district and into the heart (and belly) of the town’s gastro-culture.
We met our guide Memo for the ‘Mole, Pozole and more’ experience in the super-centrally located Laz Cardenas Park. Along with 2 other couples, Memo led us on an adventure off the beaten path to obscure restaurants (like, out-of-someones-house-say-hi-to-abuelita-on-your-way-to-the-bathroom kinda obscure) learning about Puerto Vallarta’s history and culture along with way. Memo's extensive knowledge of the culinary landscape goes beyond just the restaurants we visit -- he also points out which restaurants you should check out for breakfast, lunch and dinner options through your stay. The tour is about 3 hours, and includes great 6 stops that introduce you to more than just mole, pozole and tacos, .
[Little did we know, we were about to eat ourselves into a coma!]
My absolute favorite part of visiting Puerto Vallarta, next to the sun, sand and gorgeous men… is the INCREDIBLE food.
All of it. And more. In its finest. Is on this tour.
This is not a gay-specific tour, but I will be explicit in telling you all:
I cannot recommend this experience enough!!
[At Las Gueras for pastor tacos... una mas, amigo!]
Jeremy’s Pro-Tip: Arrive hungry. Pace yourself. There’s ice cream at the end. You WANT to have room for it. TRUST.
5. BABYLON CRUISES
Alright, this is where things get gay. GAAAAAY.
If there’s one thing that Puerto Vallarta is known for, it’s the boys’ day cruises.
I’m going to be honest with you. They are NOT for children. Or teens. Or Women. Or prudes. If you manage to remember anything the next day, you’re absolutely committed to Vegas-style rules - what happens on that cruise, stays in your head.
We decided to try Babylon Cruises, a new company to the scene. The company is run by Zach Schaal, an impossibly adorable guy from Calgary who now lives the dream in Puerto Vallarta – check out how they promote themselves on the beach.
[Whatever you're sellin', I'm buyin! Right?!]
The all-inclusive cruise, complete with beefy, speed-o clad go-go boys and a send-off glass of wine set sail at high noon. A few beer and a couple (ok… handful) of jell-o shooters aaaand a spin around the pole later, we were at our first stop – a gorgeous cove for snorkeling!
[Fabulous, on an international scale. Now someone tip me some pesos!]
After a refreshing dip in the Pacific, we were back in the boat and off to our second stop, lunch at a private beach -- complete with sapphire blue water. A quick swim from the boat and we found ourselves in a clothing optional oasis.
Life Jackets, people!!
[Be sure to add sunscreen on those cheeks, boys]
Who needs tan lines, amiright?!
The rest of the cruise gets a bit foggy (read: Vegas-rules) thanks to the constant flow of drinks, gets a bit more sexy thanks to the go-go boys, and FREAKIN' HILARIOUS thanks to the awesome pals we met on the boat (Edmonton boys, you rule.)
[these guys made the day SO much fun! RESPEX!]
If you’re gonna take a gay-cruise/day-cruise, definitely check out Babylon Cruises . They run Fridays from the pier in front of the San Marino. You can find them on Facebook, if you want to book in advance, or keep your eyes open near the Blue Chairs beach for Zach and the boys.
Jeremy’s Pro-Tip: Bring tip money for the dancers and crew. They work hard for the dineros, give them some peso-love. Also, bring your big-boy drinking short-shorts.
6. ALPHONSE SWIMWEAR
This is THE hidden gem of Playa los Muertos.
Custom swim trunks.
Walk around the beach and pay attention to everyone’s swimsuits. Notice that all the great ones have a little metal “o” charm?
That’s Alphonse Deserville’s signature.
[Alphonse's suits are available custom made, in 5 different fits and shapes]
Available by appointment only, your Alphonse Swimwear custom fitting includes a consultation on which styles and fabrics suit your body best. After some quick measurement and a flip through his fabric book, Alphonse will produce the PERFECT swimsuit for you in just 24 hours. He’ll also give you a tutorial on how to wear it properly. Serious – no joke.
The moment you try it on, you get it.
Everything is lifted up, tucked in and pushed out just the way it should be.
Jeremy’s Pro-Tip: Make sure you plan to meet with Alphonse early in your trip. He only takes a limited amount of appointments and you do not want to miss out. Priorities!
Jeremy Foreshew is a fitness professional, lifestyle writer and the managing director of GET Out! Canada. Be mesmerized by his internal dialogue as it spills on to his twitter feed at @jeremyforeshew.
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