If you’re an LGBTQA+ person looking for gay friendly travel in the Caribbean, you should know that this collection of islands isn’t necessarily more or less homophobic than any other part of the world. Attitudes on homosexuality and sexuality in general are rooted in restrictive, colonial ideals that aren’t so easy to shake off. For this reason, some Caribbean islands are much slower to evolve with respect to gay rights, but there are several islands that have made meaningful strides in this regard.

Your experience as a gay person could be shaped by two factors: whether you’re out of the closet, and where you are on the island. You are likely to find a safe haven in major cities where the vast majority of tourist action is, while obscure towns that don’t get as much vibrant traffic might disapprove of any publicly displayed affection. However passionate you may feel about trying to change this, remember that you’re a visitor, so your efforts will probably be futile.

While you don’t need to be paranoid, it’s worth it to do research and check with LGBTQA+ people who have traveled to your island of interest. As a rule of thumb, read the room. Pay close attention to your immediate environment and the people in it. If you feel unsafe, try to remove yourself. Your intuition never lies!

Here we have listed a few islands in the Caribbean that are open to gay friendly travel and don’t put boundaries on love. But first, let’s take a glance at how safe the Caribbean is overall for gay travelers, the gay capital of the Caribbean, and which Caribbean island is most gay-friendly.

How Safe Is The Caribbean For Gay Travelers?

In regard to the LGBTQA+ community and travel into various Caribbean Islands safety should not be of great concern as most parts of the Caribbean are accepting of love in various kinds. It’s important to note, gay cruises throughout the Caribbean is something that is very popular. On the other hand, as in most cases, doing your research prior to booking trips is imperative.

Yes, it’s 2024 and most of the world has gotten with the times but there are unfortunately still places within the Caribbean that criminalizes homosexuality. As for a little advice, delve into LGBTQ rights for those places you’re most interested in vacationing in island-wise, specifically focusing on those that have legalized gay marriage and passed other progressive laws.

What Is The Gay Capital Of The Caribbean?

There are many safe places to travel in the Caribbean for the LGBTQA+ community but one place to note is San Juan, Puerto Rico. San Juan, Puerto Rico is known to be the ‘gay capital of the Caribbean’ and exemplifies diversity and inclusion. It has a vibrant nightlife scene with many bars, clubs, and inclusive events, including one of the most popular annual Pride Parades.

When it comes to a pulsating nightlife, amazing cuisine, fascinating history, and some of the most memorable sights to behold – San Juan is where it’s at!  

What Is The Most Gay-Friendly Caribbean Island?

Yes, in a general sense the Caribbean is a well-rounded gay-friendly place for those whom love with no biases, boundaries, nor barriers. But there is one place in particular that is the most-gay friendly island and that is Curaçao.

Curacao is considered by some to be the most gay-friendly Caribbean island due to its very progressive approach to LGBTQA+ acceptance and rights. Curacao island not only allows same-sex activity, but it openly serves gay people in the military, and discrimination against people based on their sexuality is outlawed.

Tips on How To Plan a Perfect LGBTQ+ Vacation in the Caribbean

There are a few things to be mindful of when traveling to Caribbean islands for those who may be a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Indeed, there are places that offers gay nightclubs, dance clubs, bars, guesthouses, and more but here are a few helpful tips for gay travelers to the Caribbean:

Be sure to do research: Be intentional about learning the culture of each island. For instance, there are some French-speaking destinations which tends to have more inclusive laws.

Be sure to read the room: Alike the norm, be attentive when it comes to your surroundings and pay closer attention to the people in the. In the event, you feel on-edge, uncomfortable, unsafe, or question the energy and/or stares in the room – try to leave.

Be sure to avoid public displays of affection in certain islands: For instance, when it comes to holding hands, kissing, or even PDA’s be very mindful (in certain Islands).

Be open to professional travel agents: More often than not, travel agents are more knowledgeable about each island culture.

1. St. Martin

Photo by Ramon Kagie

It makes sense that St. Martin, being French and Dutch, would adopt the same progressive stance on homosexuality as its parents.

On the French side, there’s Marigot, described by some as a miniature French Riviera, with its charming little shops, restaurants, and its port, which allows you to island hop easily.

With your passport, catch a ferry to Anguilla, but be aware that this island is conservative outside of resort settings. You can go for an afternoon to the famed Shoal Bay, and make St. Martin or nearby St. Barts your base.

You can’t go wrong with St. Martin’s 37 beaches. Orient Bay is great for the nudist crowd of any sexuality, and Cupecoy Beach, known for its dramatic limestone cliffs, has a steady gay following.




2. St. Barts

Photo Courtesy of Planet Wire

St. Barts is dripping in wealth, evident in its fantastic villas, luxury resorts, and yachts.

You can rest assured that the locals, with typical French indifference, aren’t going to be pressed, worried, or concerned about who you take to bed.

There isn’t a designated gay scene like Chelsea in New York or The Castro in San Francisco, but you’ll be able to live your best gay life in just about every bar and club.

Saline Beach is said to be good for cruising, especially for gay men.

Other nice beaches include Gouverneur, Flamands, and Lorient which are remote, wild, and calm, respectively.






3. Puerto Rico

Photo by Caleb Oquendo

When it comes to embracing LGBT+ culture,  Puerto Rico is definitely a leader in the Caribbean.

According to Discover Puerto Rico, the island “celebrates two annual pride parades,” and San Juan, the capital, blends history with the present in a seamless way.

Here, you’ll find El Cojo, Tia Maria Liquor Store, The Bear Tavern (so named for the type of gay men it attracts) and Circo, the biggest gay club in the city.


4. Aruba

Photo by Steshka Willems

This beautiful Dutch island hosts many parties and cultural events in honor of Pride Month in June.

No need to venture too far beyond the capital city of Oranjestad, where the bulk of the top bars and clubs are. Even those that aren’t marketed as “gay” have a pervasive, welcoming attitude, so you’re sure to fit right in.



5. Curaçao

Photo Courtesy of USA Today

The Dutch island of Curaçao is about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela, and some architecture favors Amsterdam, as you can see above.

It’s the sister of Aruba and Bonaire, and they are collectively called the ABC islands.

Travel Gay recommends Cabana Beach Club, which hosts the best parties on Wednesdays and Fridays, though it’s hopping just about every night.

Other spots include Wet & Wild Beach Club, Rainbow Lounge (part of the Floris Suite Hotel) and Mambo Beach Club.

Gay Pride was scaled down this year because of the pandemic. But if you’re in town when the full-fledged event is happening, get ready for a colorful celebration of a vibrant community.


6. St. Croix

Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor

There is an underlying conservatism in St. Croix, the largest of the US Virgin Islands, but you shouldn’t have much trouble here if you’re gay.

Will you see rainbow flags hanging out of businesses? Probably not. But again, you’ll likely be fine.

The best stretch of sea and sand here is probably Dorsch Beach (also called Sandcastle Beach) with clear, gentle water.

For accommodations, consider Sandcastle On The Beach, a boutique resort which is owned by a gay couple.


7. Martinique

Photo Courtesy of Conde Nast

This island is known for its sophisticated blend of French and Caribbean flavor.

As articulated by Wow Travel, “in terms of laws and general sentiment, Martinique is very gay friendly.”

Here again, there isn’t really a gay scene, but Plage des Salines and Grande Anse des Salines are gay-friendly beaches.

After a volcanic hike and trekking through the jungle, reward yourself with some delicious sugarcane rum.

There are a number of hotels welcoming to gay travelers, the most well- known being The Apolline Hotel, with Creole inspired decor and furnishings.

If you’re traveling with your same-sex partner and your children, a nice, family-friendly accommodation is Resort Carayou Hotel and Spa.

In closing, there are a few other places within the Caribbean to consider for safe travel such as: Cuba, which is considered to be a cultural mosaic; the Dominican Republic, which we all know could be classified as a hidden gem of acceptance; Antigua and Barbuda, one the world’s warmest and most welcoming paradises to exist; and Saint Kitts and Nevis, a golden nugget location emerging with pride.