Ecuador, South America, is being considered more and more as a Gay travel destination without equal.
Gays and Lesbians seeking intimate time with their partner have romantic highland haciendas and small, out of the way inns, as well as major multi-star Hotels to chose from.
Enjoy a candle light dinner next to a romantic fire place or enjoy a nice drink and a good conversation at the hacienda’s bar. Because temperatures can be low in the high Andes where many haciendas are located, a fireplace brings just the romantic touch, and will heat your bedroom to ensure that you have a cozy warm night.
During the day, haciendas offer activities ranging from adventurous horseback riding to visits to indigenous markets. There is a day activity for every taste.
Ecuador has a huge artisan tradition and most artisan workshops open their doors to the Gay and Lesbian visitor. Visits to artisan workshops can be combined with hacienda stays, especially north of Quito. Excellent handicraft workshops can be found throughout Ecuador, but especially in the city of Cuenca, about a 40 minute flight south of Quito.
Cuenca has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations and this small, yet bustling town is well-known for its excellent, colonial style Hotels and its Gay and Lesbian community—which can be found right in the center of the City. Plan on taking at least 2 days to explore the City and its surroundings.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to spend at least a half a day in Gualaceo and Chordeleg–well known for jewelry workshops and Orchid farms.
A short 4 hour trip by bus from Cuenca is the tropical city of Guayaquil. If you have the time, rent a car or travel with a public bus from Cuenca to Guayaquil. Make sure that you travel through the spectacular Cajas National Park with its hundreds of lakes.
Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city and serves as the main port for the country. The city has a very active gay community and it is an excellent gateway for travel to Galapagos Islands. The main gay-bars and clubs can be found at the Rocafuerte Street, 2 blocks behind the Malecon 2000, about at the height of the Ramada Hotel.
Before you dive into the nightlife, walk along the Malecon 2000 and walk up the stairs to the Light House above Las Penas, the small old town of Guayaquil. On both sides of the stairs can be found a variety of bars and restaurants, which invite the Guayaquil visitor in for a cold beer—far and away, the best drink in this tropical city. If you have a moment more, visit “Parque Seminario” or “Parque de las Iguanas” as the locals call it. Here, Iguanas walk around like cats and dogs in North American or European parks. Although it may be tempting, don’t try to pet the Iguanas.
Within 40 minutes flight time is the City of Quito. Should you travel in the morning, make sure that you sit on the right hand side of the Aircraft, because this side of the flight has the most beautiful mountain scenery imaginable.
Quito is a bustling, cosmopolitan city, and offers the most of all the Ecuadorian cities to the Gay Traveler. Stay in the old town. Especially recommended is the beautiful–and pricey–“Gay-owned” Bed and Breakfast “Villa Colonna”.