Gay Puerto Rico
Long before Columbus arrived in Puerto Rico, native Taíno men used to beseech the moon to send them wives with a ceremonial dance in which they wore female garb. Legend has it that when the colonists witnessed the ritual, they assumed the men were homosexuals and sicced their dogs on them.
Boy, would the colonists be shocked today. Today Puerto Rico has an active, out, and proud gay community, and it is a popular destination for gay travelers. Although homosexual acts are illegal in Puerto Rico, the law is rarely if ever enforced, and there are plenty of accommodations, nightclubs, and beaches that cater to the LGBT traveler.
The island’s largest gay community is in San Juan, and that’s where you’ll find the biggest concentration of businesses that specialize in serving gay clientele.
Accommodations popular with gay and lesbian travelers include the laid-back Ocean Park properties and Numero Uno Guest House, as well as the more party-central Atlantic Beach Hotel in Condado. The beaches in front of these properties are the most popular gay beaches, although everyone is welcome.
There’s no shortage of gay and lesbian nightclubs in San Juan. Most of the gay bars can be found in Santurce. Atlantic Beach Bar is a casual bar at the Atlantic Beach House hotel right on the ocean, offering happy hour 5–7 p.m. Krash (formerly Eros), is a popular party spot. Wednesday is urban pop night with three DJs spinning R&B, hip-hop, and reggaetón. Thursday and Friday nights feature DJs spinning house, tribal, and retro.
In Condado, fans of salsa, reggae, and pop music flock to Junior’s. And in Old San Juan, Club Le Cirque is a gay bar and lounge with a patio that also serves lunch and dinner.
Catering to the lesbian crowd is Cups, a laid-back spot for karaoke, live music, dance music, and a game of pool.
© Suzanne Van Atten from Moon Puerto Rico, 2nd Edition