Gay and Lesbian Travel

In sophisticated San Juan gays and lesbians will find it easy to mingle. Many gay-friendly hotels, restaurants, and clubs are scattered throughout the city, and beaches in Condado and Ocean Park tend to attract a gay crowd. Many guesthouses here are gay-owned and -operated. The bohemian Old San Juan crowd is particularly friendly and—just as in Ocean Park and Condado—many businesses there are owned by gays or lesbians. However, in recent years the gay energy has moved south to the relatively nontouristy but artsy and increasingly lively Santurce district; take a taxi to get there.

Some clubs and bars also host a weekly "gay night." On the first Sunday in June, a gay pride parade takes place in Condado and is preceded by a week of events.

Other welcoming areas include Ponce in the south, Rincón in the west, and the island of Vieques in the east, although the local population here is more conservative and it's the large and bohemian expat crowd that is tolerant. Remember that Puerto Rico is overwhelmingly Catholic and evangelical, which has a strong effect on how locals view gay people. In rural areas and small towns, overt displays of affection between same-sex couples can cause problems.

Connections Travel. Frank Fournier of Connections Travel, who describes himself "as queer as they come, honey," is a reliable local travel agent for the gay and lesbian community. 800/973–5550; www.connectionstravelpr.com.

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