When you think of international gay travel destinations, Colombia probably isn’t the first country that springs to mind, but in recent years the country has taken important steps towards equal rights and is increasingly popular with LGBT travellers. It’s still not quite on a par with some Western countries when it comes to acceptance of LGBT people and gay rights, but it’s definitely getting a lot better.
In 2016, Colombia became only the 24th country in the world to allow full marriage equality, and there are even new laws in place to allow same-sex adoption. While these are relatively recent steps towards equality, and Colombia’s gay scene isn’t as popular or visible as in other countries worldwide, the country has still taken huge steps, and is currently one of the most progressive countries on the continent when it comes to LGBT rights. Colombia was even nominated as one of the best emerging LGBT tourist destinations for 2017 at FITUR, one of the world’s biggest International Tourism Trade Fairs.
Bogota is home to a thriving gay nightlife scene, and is a wonderful city in which to enjoy a night out: the club Theatron is the biggest nightclub in the country and the biggest gay club in South America, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. With a capacity of up to 8,000 people, partying in more than 12 different rooms, it’s an overwhelming and incredibly fun experience that easily rivals the best gay clubs anywhere in the world.
Theatron is hardly the be all and end all of Bogota’s gay club scene, either. If a mega-club doesn’t float your boat, there’s a range of other clubs such as El Mozo, El Perro Y La Calandria, Brokeback Mountain and Estacion – all buzzing LGBT spots with a great range of different vibes and atmospheres.
Medellin, as a smaller city, doesn’t quite have the thriving gay scene of Bogota, but there is still no shortage of excellent LGBT bars and clubs, particularly in El Poblado neighbourhood: Parque Lleras, in the heart of Poblado, is the party district of Medellin, and also the focal point of the city’s gay scene.
If you’re interested in exploring Colombia’s LGBT scene, there are even tour agencies specifically aimed at LGBT travellers, and the best of the lot is Out in Colombia Travel. Their goal is to offer ‘life-changing and memorable experiences for gay travellers and to help create cross-cultural exchanges that unite our global LGBT community’. They offer tours in Bogota, Medellin, Cartagena and the Coffee Region, and come highly recommended by LGBT travellers.
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