Gay Cancun Travel Guide: Cancun was our first experience of Mexico as a gay couple and we immediately fell in love with the destination, it’s no surprise it attracts gay travellers from all over the world
Cancun is known for grand all-inclusive hotels, pristine white beaches, crystal clear waters and if you are up for it, it has a huge party scene on the main strip (and you will also find some gay bars in Cancun downtown!).
You can also experience some incredible trips from Cancun including excursions to the famous Chichen Itza, Isla Mujeres, jump into a cenote or go scuba diving! This is a destination where you can have the perfect mix of luxury and adventure!
Of course, we were curious about gay scene in Cancun given the high number of tourists, even if it was just a couple of gay bars or clubs.
We knew it was not going to be one of those ‘super gay’ destinations like Puerto Vallarta, however we were keen to relax with a couple of nights out mixed in.
However, there is one week during the year where Cancun is super gay, see the list of gay events listed below to find out when.
In our complete travel guide to ‘Gay Cancun’ we will cover gay bars in Cancun, gay clubs, recommended hotels, nearby gay beaches in Cancun as well as some of the best activities! We hope you find this guide useful when you visit!
Is Cancun Gay Friendly?
From our experience, yes. The hotel zone in Cancun was very gay friendly given this main strip is lined with huge commercial hotels taking guests from all over the world. Like many places, the busy tourist areas are naturally the most safe.
Away from the strip you will find downtown, here there are less tourists but this is where you can find the actual gay bars in Cancun so again this felt like a very gay friendly area.
Given that LGBTQ rights in Mexico are in a good place, with same-sex marriage legal nationwide and discrimination protections in place, this is perhap no huge surprise.
Gay Bars in Cancun
The nightlife scene in Cancun is huge! The hotel zone is lined with huge clubs including the famous Coco Bongo – a must visit!
These clubs normally charge an entrance fee which includes all-inclusive drinks. They know most people stay at all-inclusive hotels and will pre-drink ‘for free’ and not spend any money at the club otherwise!
We did a couple of group bar crawls around the most popular clubs and had no problems as a gay couple – we felt that the clientele and clubs in Cancun were very gay friendly.
However, we were more interested in actual gay nightlife in Cancun. There are only 2 official gay bars currently open in Cancun. Both can be found in downtown Cancun which is a short and cheap taxi journey or a bus ride from the hotel zone:
We had a great night and a few too many drinks at our first gay bar in Cancun: club 11:11.
It is known for its go-go dancers, strip shows, drag and a good mix of music to dance the night away to.
The crowd here was quite young, and mainly local compared to the more touristy hotel zone.
Prices here are much cheaper with entrance varying between $50MXN to $150MXN on some nights which can include an open bar. Some weeknights have no cover charge at all.
See what is coming up on their Facebook page.
Address: Av Tulum Smz 22 Mzn 5 Lote 33, Centro, Cancun , Mexico, 77500
This is one of the newer gay bars in Cancun. On Google is says ‘permanently closed’ however it is clear on social media they are still running gay nights in Cancun.
They have different styles of nights including kareoke nights and play music from pop, edm and famous circuit djs residents from Mexico well stablished.
Its location is excelent at the begining of the hotel zone/
Laser Hot Show
This is the place to come for a full on drag show. Grab a drink, sit down (you can reserve seating) and enjoy.
The club is open late on a Saturday (until 6am) so expect to be drinking and dancing for the rest of the night.
Keep up to date with events on their Facebook page.
Address: Avenida Tulum Plaza Galerias 77500 Cancún
Jungle Room/ ടexys Club
They are currently working on something new accordingly to their Facebook page so check there first to see what is coming up and if they re-open. Some reports they are now called Jungle Room
Address: Avenida Sayil, Zona Hotelera, 77500 Cancún, Quintana Roo
This was a popular gay bar in Cancun but has now closed down.
Wet Male Bar
Sometimes listed on websites as a gay club to go in Cancun but it is now permanently closed.
Gay Friendly Bars/Clubs Cancun
If you don’t want to head downtown and would rather stay in the hotel zone our top choice has to be Coco Bongo.
If you come to Cancun you MUST go to Coco Bongo.
It is a super club with the most elaborate performances you can imagine. From aerialists taking to the sky as Spiderman and the Green Goblin, to dance performances, singers and everything in between.
The club works on an all-inclusive basis so your ticket (c$100) includes everything. There are lots of different tiers of tickets available. We actually went twice as part of a $70 bar crawl package which worked out cheaper and we still got to see 75% of the show which was enough.
Nomad Hostel & Bar
By its nature of being a hostel and its location close to the gay bars in Cancun, the Nomad Hostel and Bar is a fun and gay friendly place to hangout.
Gay Resorts in Cancun
There aren’t any exclusively gay resorts in Cancun like you might find in Puerto Vallarta, however there is one hotel that does become exclusively gay once a year…
Club Med Cancun
Discover the ultimate all-gay resort week at Club Med Cancun with Atlantis.
Once a year, Atlantis (i.e Atlantis Gay Cruises) takes over the entire Club Med Cancun for an incredible week on three gorgeous private beaches filled with entertainment, sports, activities, parties, and great friends.
Naturally, given this is the chosen hotel for the event it continues to be popular with returning LGBTQ guests year round so if you are looking for a gay resort in Cancun, this is a good place to start.
Gay Friendly Hotels Cancun
In Cancun, you have many luxury hotels and resorts from some big names. Given the level of service and how touristy Cancun is, we think it is safe to say that all these resorts are going to be gay friendly and welcoming of all guests.
In particular check out some of these which rank very highly for LGBTQ travellers looking for gay hotels in Cancun:
Secrets The Vine Cancun – All Inclusive – Adults Only
Adult only hotels often seem to be popular with gay travellers and when it comes to gay hotels in Cancun, Secrets is particularly popular.
In fact it has the ‘Travel with Pride‘ badge on Booking.com which is awarded to hotels that are going the extra mile for their LGBTQ customers.
Offering views of the Caribbean Sea and Nichupté Lagoon, the AAA Four Diamond Secrets The Vine Cancun is a stylish hotel featuring 6 restaurants, 3 outdoor swimming pools and a spa with sauna and steam room.
Le Blanc Spa Resort– All Inclusive – Adults Only
Butler service? Fine Dining? You have our attention.
If you are looking for a luxurious and relaxing getaway with incredible service this is a great option. Le Blanc has its own private stretch of beach and features a full-service spa. It covers 5-acres and offers spacious guest rooms with 2-person hot tubs.
If you want to incorpate wellness into your vacation, they also offer yoga and pilates classes on site along with a state-of-the-art gym. Guests can also use the sauna and steam room or one of the 3 outdoor pools.
Temptations Resort – All Inclusive – Adults Only
Sensual entertainment and a lively vibe? Temptations is ever popular with gay travellers looking to party.
This is another adults only, beachfront resort with 2 themed outdoor pools, 7 on site resorts, entertainment, themed events and live music. Rooms feature contemporary-décor roomsand suites feature private balconies or terraces along with stunning ocean or garden views.
If you are looking for a fun, party vibe this may be the one for you.
Gay Beaches in Cancun
Unlike some of the more popular gay destinations, there is not official gay beach in Cancun, however there is an unofficial gay beach, whatever that means!
The Unofficial Gay beach in Cancun – Playa Delfines
Playa Delfines found at the south end of the hotel zone is considered to be the ‘unofficial gay beach’ in Cancun.
Like many gay beaches, it’s harder to get to compared to most of the beaches that line the hotel zone since there are no hotels here.
To get to this beach you will need to either have a car or take the bus down the main road of the Hotel Zone. It is easier to reach with a car, and there is a parking lot but with limited spaces.
Being the unofficial gay beach of Cancun it can be quite quiet so don’t expect too much in terms of it being super gay like these gay beaches in Europe, however if that is what you are looking for this is your best bet.
Gay Beaches near Cancun
There are a couple of other options about an hour or so away near Playa del Carmen.
For more gay beaches near Cancun, check out these gay beaches near Playa Del Carmen.
Gay Saunas Cancun
There was one small gay sauna in Cancun called Xmahan Nah Sauna which is now permanently closed. This was located downtown and had a sauna, dark room, private rooms, jacuzzi etc and was popular with locals.
The nearest gay bathhouse to Cancun would be in Playa del Carmen (which is quite far for the sake of small quiet sauna).
Gay Cruising in Cancun
Naturally if you are looking to go gay cruising in Cancun the bars are probably the obvious choice or during the day simply use the gay dating apps.
If you are looking for more old school gay cruising in Cancun try:
Plaza Las Americas Mall – many articles mention Plaza Las Americas Mall being a popular hang out for a lot of gay muscle boys and therefore a potential gay cruising spot. Maybe go shopping, open up Grindr and see what’s around…
Rainbow Cyber Cruise (Ciber Arcoiris Crucero) – this is a very small gay internet cafe, so you may find people cruising here since it has booths inside…
The Unofficial Gay beach in Cancun – Playa Delfines – its might not be super busy but could be worth a shot is you ae looking for somewhere to go gay cruising in Cancun.
Gay Events Cancun
Gay Pride Cancun
Cancun used to hold gay pride events each year in June but they were relatively small and mainly focused just on the parade itself without having any huge pride parties etc.
It seems that there is not an offcial organiser for Pride however keep an eye on this Facebook page for Cancun Pride here in case more events happen in the future
Arena Festival (Playa Del Carmen/Tulum)
The nearest gay circuit party to Cancun is held in January/February each year and is called Arena Festival.
Read all about what to expect from Arena Festival.
Club Atlantis Cancun
Discover the ultimate all-gay resort week at Club Atlantis Cancun.
Atlantis (i.e Atlantis Gay Cruises) takes over the entire Club Med Cancun for an incredible week on three gorgeous private beaches filled with entertainment, sports, activities, parties, and great friends. There’s no better place in the world to relax in total comfort, learn a new skill, challenge yourself, cut loose a little, or just spend time with friends old and new. All for one low all-inclusive price!
See more here.
Things to do in Cancun for Gay Travellers
Cancun has something for everyone, gay or straight. If you like to travel like us you might want to mix in some relaxation time in one of the luxurious hotels with a couple of excursions throughout the week to experience more of what Cancun has to offer.
Here are some of our top suggestions for your gay trip to Cancun!
Gay Boat Party Cancun
If the dates work then this is a must. Gay events in Cancun are few and far between so you have two options here.
You can join one of the open events on selected dates which includes a 4 hour sail, open bar, food and snorkelling/paddleboarding.
However if you have large group you can charter one of their yachts at a date and time that suits you.
Music, boys, speedos and fun is on board on this magnificent catamaran sail – what more do you want?
See upcoming trips on Merida Gay Tours Cancun *note these leave from Playa del Carmen.
There are other companies that are worth keeping an eye on in case they run events in the future including Navigaytion.
Chichén Itzá is one of the most popular attractions near Cancun. It is one of the largest, best-preserved archaeological sites in the world and one of the ‘new 7 wonders of the world’ according to UNESCO.
The main image that will come to mind if the main mayan pyramid in the centre which in fact has multiple smaller pyramids inside. In past years, tourists were allowed to ascend the pyramid but it has become worn and dangerous so you will have to admire from the base.
There is so much more to explore and we felt that the ruins and the stories that accompanied them really brought the place to life.
We suggest doing this as a tour packaged with a couple of other stops, for example visiting a cenote. This way you can make the most out of your day and you will also learn a little more than you would self driving – the day trips are not expensive after all.
Scuba Diving or Snorkelling Trip
Moving from land to sea, Cancun has some incredible scuba diving and snorkelling options. Where better to jump in to the sea that the crystal clear Caribbean waters?
From a scuba diving perspective, there are a couple of very unique and iconic spots including the underwater statue museum. We suggest a two tank dive, one for the stutues and they one to see the abundant and vibrant aquatic life.
Similarly if you are looking to snorkel, you can take a boat trip excurions, relax, top up your tan and then jump in and explore at swim stops.
Visit a Cenote
Whether part of a day trip or self drive, we highly recommend visiting one of the nearby cenotes.
Much of the land in Mexico is made of limestone. This often collapses leaving behind open pools and underground cave systems of fresh water called cenotes. Many of these are now open for public entry for swimming, and some of them even offer cave diving for the more adventurous.
The nearest cenotes to Cancun are located along the Ruta de Los Cenotes Puerto Morelos. If you type that in to google maps you will see cenotes dotted all along that road, it is a 45 minute drive form the hotel zone and you could spend the day cenote hoping.
Visit Isla Mujeres
Home to one of the best beahces in Mexico (Play Norte), Isla Mujeres is a beautiful, relaxing paradise just across the Bahia de Mujeres (Bay of Women) from Cancun. It is also home to the underwater museum mentioned above.
Whilst Cancun can be quite busy, Isla Mujeres has a more chilled vibe with its biggest draw being its white sand beaches and turquoise wates.
Beyond the beautiful beaches there is still plenty to do and explore, whether that is water sports, visiting the turtle sanctuary or snorkelling the coral reef.
To get to Isla Mujeres, either again book a day trip or if you want to go at your own pace get yourself to the port and take the ferry (here is how).
You will see adverts for this everywhere! It is popular for a reason.
Xcaretis a stunning ecological and archeology park located in Riviera Maya. you can spend the day swiming in lagoons, snorkelling with the local aquatic life, exploring subterranean rivers and touring ancient archaeological sites.
Again self drive or organised tours usually include include pickup and drop-off at most hotels in Cancun.
A couple of hours down the coast brings you to the trendy town of Tulum and in particulr Tulum ruins.
The ruins are on the coast overlooking the Mayan beach. Some buildings are still well intact including the palace at the centre and temples. On many of them you can still see the decorations and the carvings. Its intriguing to imagine what life would have been like living somewhere like this!
Tulum is well worth a stay, for more read our gay travel guide to Tulum.
Can you drink the water?
No, buy bottled.
What languages are spoken?
In the hotel zone you will be fine speaking English or of course Spanish. We always encourage travellers to make an effort to learn some local words and phrases and not just expect English.
Getting from Cancun Airport to the Hotel Zone
You have three options:
- ADO bus to the downtown Cancun (25 minutes) plus a local bus from downtown to hotel zone (20-40 minutes) – You can book the ADO online c72MXN and then look for R1, R 2, R15, and R27 buses that go to the Hotel Zone that will say “Hoteles“.
- Taxi service from the Cancun Airport – you should expect to pay $50-60. Be aware lots of drivers will tell you this is wrong and try and charge you more so stand your ground.
- Private transfer or shuttle to your hotel in Cancun – this is the easiest option and most cost efficient. Many companies online offer the service for as little as $35 for a van for up to three people. This will also take you directly to your hotel.
What is the currency in Cancun?
The main currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso, however US dollars are accepted everywhere – in fact you will often see prices quoted in US dollars, especially hotel rates and excursions. The typical exchange rate is $1 = 18 Mexican Pesos.
Weather and the best time to visit Cancun
Cancun has a warm climate pretty much all year round. However, like most of the Caribbean it does have a significant wet and dry season.
The most popular time to visit tends to be the slightly cooler dry season, running from November through to March. Temperatures average 25-30°C/75-86°F during this period with limited rainfall.
We had an amazing time in Cancun and hope you do to! You should also check out the following guides for the Riviera Maya:
- Tulum Travel Guide: 4 Days in Tulum
- Gay Guide to Playa Del Carmen
- Cozumel Travel Guide: 2 days in Cozumel
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