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lesbian travel and vacation spot puerto vallarta mexico - art work by twig menneLesbian Puerto Vallarta
Lesbians are discovering that Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is not only gay male friendly but lesbian woman-friendly as well. Diana DeCoste, who has lived and worked in the local scene for well over 15 years now, organizes and runs various activities for lesbians in Puerto Vallarta. Here's a list of her current tours and cruise for the current high season, which are mixed lesbian/gay male. Diana also is an excellent cook and can sometimes prepare meals for you and your group of friends upon request or give you advice or recommendations on a good chef. 

Rasika Weinstein, who used to work as a local agent for a number of years, can also be a contact for lesbian-women planning their time in Vallarta, local Tel: 222-5919 or contact her via email at See also the listing under Bucerias (located in the state of Nayarit) below for information on Joann and Patricia and their accommodations at Casa Tranquila. Perhaps the most lesbian friendly place to stay in the Puerto Vallarta would be the upscale Casa Cupula gay hotel resort.

Diana's Gay Vallarta Day Cruise - 9:30am to 5pm - every Thursday
On a 48 foot katamaran for a good time on Banderas Bay with swimming and sunbathing. Diana's Tours cruise includes a full day at sea, continental breakfast, open national bar with unlimited beer, snacks, swimming and snorkeling, and a sit-down lunch on shore with a beer or beverage. During the winter months you'll likely also catch sight of some whales, manta rays and dolphins! Diana DeCoste is noted for her good service. This Puerto Vallarta gay & lesbian cruise is quite popular and often sold out in the autumn and winter, so advance reservations are recommended and tickets are available only on-line. Please be at the Los Muertos Pier not later than 9am; departure at 9:30am. This well-established excursion in its 18th year is the longest running of any Puerto Vallarta gay tour and goes out every Thursday of the year. (Note: She sometimes take time off during the summer June-Sept so please check the website for complete info). Listed as one of the top Vallarta attractions or things to do at TripAdvisor. Cost in 2017-2018 at $110 USD or Mexican peso equivalent, plus tipping. Contact Diana DeCoste at or her local Tel: 222-1510. And see my new webpage for more photos and info. (Discovery Vallarta and Diana also recommend a gay and lesbian-friendly VIP transportation service from the airport for all our friends and clients when arriving in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.) 

PV Sea Dive - 5 de Diciembre - 1210 Ecuador #1.  Cell: 044-322-132-5866
Scuba diving tours and PADI courses, with beginning to professional certification. Also available are fun snorkeling, whale watching, beach hopping (including a private deserted beach for lunch) and private gay tours. Dive sites include Las Caletas, Los Arcos, Majahuitas, El Chimo and the Marietas islands, and all these diving tours leave at 9am. Enjoy PV SeaDive with owner and master instructor Sue Keevil from England, and divemaster Joey Mitchell from Vancouver, Canada.

Travel tip: Best to get on-line reservations or at least get 24-48 hour advance reservations for any lesbian or gay tours or adventures.

puerto vallarta lesbian travel and sceneWomen may want to check out Annemarie Shrouder who wrote a good article in Curve Magazine about Looking for Lesbians in Puerto Vallarta back in January 2009. The Spanish online magazine Enfemenino (in spanish) in June 2016 listed Puerto Vallarta as one of its top 10 summer vacation spots for lesbians in the world, along with such great vacation spots as Buenos Aires, Madrid, Montreal, Mykonos, San Francisco and the Canary Islands. The Romantic Zone or South Side is singled out as the enclave par excellence for gay travelers to Latin America.

Vallarta Girl 2012 - February 16-20, 2012
Note: Sorry but Vallarta Girl 2012 has been cancelled, apparently due to issues of the host talent scheduled not being able to attend. Maybe next year, folks! Previously: After their first successful inaugural year in 2011, Vallarta Girl will be back this coming season in February 2012 as many women and the fine DJs will return to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, one of Latin America's most popular gay and lesbian vacation and beach destinations. Running from Thursday, February 16 through Monday, February 20, 2012, there will be events at the beach, nightlife spots, and rivers and jungles of PV. Lesbian party-goers can enjoy 4 nights and 5 days of fun in the sun and around town. Vallarta Girl attractions will include a beach party at El Dorado restaurant and another at Lido Beach Club, as well as a jungle adventure in Nogalito, nightlife at Xtine/Hyde disco and other locales, a Cuale River horseback riding nature adventure, and final day brunch at famed gay-friendly Daiquiri Dick's restaurant.

Puerto Vallarta Lesbian Owned-Operated Businesses
Also, here below are most of the other woman owned and/or operated businesses that I know of in Puerto Vallarta that lesbians might want to visit and/or patronize while in the city.

puerto vallarta lesbian nightlife vacation scene at apaches barApaches - South Side/Zona Romantica - 439 Olas Altas.  Phone: 222-4004, 222-5235
Mari-Ann and Endra own and operate one of Puerto Vallarta's most festive martini and cocktail bars, serving all kinds of delicious drinks. This small and cozy nightlife locale has been extremely popular with gay locals and tourists alike for more than eighteen years. Women are advised to check out this bar scene as it's pretty much a favored socializing place for lesbians in Puerto Vallarta. Inside and sidewalk seating. Next door is Apaches Bistro restaurant serving steaks, seafood and continental fare from 5pm to midnight daily. More info. Happy hour, 5pm-7pm.  Apaches open Mon-Sat, 5pm-2am.

Bistro Teresa - Downtown - Vallarta Plaza, 160 calle Zaragoza, 4th floor-rooftop.  Tel: 113-0281
International fusion and Mexican cuisine typify this restaurant and bar, run by Laura and Mirasol from Mexico City. Bistro Teresa was ranked as #1 in Vallarta for well over a year, and is now #7 out of 762 dining spots in the city. Travelers' Choice 2014 winner at TripAdvisor. Recently moved during August 2015 from their old place on the Highway to Mismaloya into the new rooftop dining spot in El Centro at the main Vallarta Plaza in the Zocalo, or main town square. Now overlooking downtown with beautiful views of the city and Banderas Bay, and with gorgeous sunsets. Bistro Teresa is noted for its food, service and atmosphere. Meat, fish, vegetarian. Somewhat pricey. Lesbian owned and operated since 2012.  Mon-Sat, 5:30pm-11:30pm

El Arrayan - Downtown - 344 Allende.  Tel: 222-7195
For five years in a row 2005-2010 locally voted "Best Mexican" food in Puerto Vallarta, El Arrayan restaurant provides old family traditional recipes from various areas of Mexico. The restaurant (photo below) has a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere with a courtyard that has an arrayan tree growing there and some lovely Huichol indian art throughout. Menu includes fish in 'Mone' sauce, ceviche, shrimp cremoso, empanadas, duck "camitas" and cochinita pibil from Yucatan. Frommer's Mexico 2007 guide included it in the chapter on the best of Mexico. Live music Saturday, 7pm-10pm with "Los FriXoleros", a duo with a repertoire of old revolutionary and folk Mexican songs; call for details. El Arrayan is available for special groups and offers cooking classes with chef Diego Sanchez, using more than 50 different recipes from diverse regions of Mexico. This gay Vallarta restaurant is owned and operated by Carmen Porras.  Weds-Mon, 5:30pm-11pm

Lix - South Side - 178 Basilio Badillo.  Cell: 044-322-147-0858
Ice cream, shakes, old fashioned sundies, chocolate covered bananas, yogurt, etc. Woman-lesbian owned and operated by Charlotte and Carole, the owners of Xocodiva chocolates.  Daily, 3pm-10pm

Mail Boxes Etc. - Romantic Zone - 130 Ignacio Vallarta at the Rivera Molino.  Tel: 222-2252
Safe international receiving and shipping, mail services, mailbox rental, internet, fax and copy services, greeting cards, office and packing supplies. Operated by Jessica Corley and Rhonda Manthei who arrived in 2011 from Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm; Sat, 10am-2pm

Prestige Car Rentals - South Side - 114-A Amapas.  Tel: 222-6506, 223-1683
Woman-owned and operated auto rental agency with friendly service and a wide selection of models and makes on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Prestige Car Rental can deliver the jeep or car to your door or to the airport.  Daily, 9am-6pm

gay puerto vallarta restaurant lesbian-owned el arrayanRed Cabbage Cafe/El Repollo Rojo - Remance - 204-A Rivera del Rio street.  Telefono: 223-0411
This charming out of the way place in a typical and charming Puerto Vallarta neighborhood along the Cuale River is filled with an eclectic collection of art, theater and movie posters and pictures. Serving regional Mexican food with specialties from all over the country including chile en nogada, chicken mole from Puebla or Oaxaca, hearty carne en su jugo (steak in its juice), and soups and salads. Additionally, the vegetarian menu is tasty and diverse. Woman owned and operated with Lola Bravo. Frommer's travel guide-book has rated the Red Cabbage restaurant as "exceptional traditional Mexican cuisine". Known for its quality service. Recommended. Closed in September.  Mon-Sun, 5pm-11pm.

Uncommon Grounds Chill Out Lounge - South Side - 625 Lazaro Cardenas.  Tel: 223-3834
Now Closed. Restaurant, cafe, aromatherapy bar, lounge and boutique. Unique in Puerto Vallarta, "a multi-sensory experience". Reservations recommended Fri and Sat evenings. Read up on the Uncommon Grounds restaurant menu, which includes shrimp nirvana salad, Bleeker street BLT, Casablanca and Mediterranean wrap, and other savory dishes. Lesbian owned and operated with friendly Lydia and Anne.  Oct-Jun: Weds-Sun, Noon until closing; food until 11:30pm.

Xocodiva - South Side - 174 Basilio Badillo. Tel: 113-0352, Cell: 044-322-147-0858
Hand-made chocolates and truffles for those with a sweet tooth, "artisan chocolates". Owned and operated by Charlotte Semple and Carole Fast for several years. Their Xocodiva store has moved to over on the Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Row or Basilio Badillo street.  Daily, 10am-10pm

Bucerias - a Puerto Vallarta Getaway
Also in Bucerias for lesbian women - Bucerias is a village of several thousand people located about 15 miles north of Puerto Vallarta in the state of Nayarit, Mexico (sometimes called the Riviera Nayarit coastal area). Bucerias is located between Nuevo Vallarta and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, tends to be more relaxed than Vallarta and has a small but growing expatriate community. Many pleasant accommodations with moderate prices are on or near the water and the town has one of the longest stretches of beach on Banderas Bay. Now a popular vacation destination with many Canadian tourists because of its more economical prices for food and lodging, Bucerias' architecture is noted for cupolas (domes) and there are hundreds of them on buildings throughout the town. Open air palapa-roofed restaurants serve fresh seafood and the relatively uncrowded beaches have gentle surf. Joann Quickstad and Patricia Mendez (photo at left), who lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and who have been a couple for many years, reside in Bucerias and manage Casa Tranquila at #7-A Morelos street with one bedroom apartments. Joann practices massage with Swedish, reflexology and aromatherapy. As well as managing lesbian-friendly Casa Tranquila, they have devoted their spare energy to volunteer work in the Puerto Vallarta community as coordinators of medical services for the International Friendship Club. Telephone: (329)-298-1767

Gay Guides & Straight Press
There are two pocket-size publications that will help the gay and lesbian visitor to get oriented and find her or his way around town. Tim Wilson has put out the fine GayPV magazine since October 2010, and then there's also the Gay Guide Vallarta published since May 2000 by Mark Page, who used to run the Rainbow Dancer cruise (now defunct) a good many years ago. The guides are released several times a year and are widely distributed in gay and friendly bars, hotels, shops and restaurants around town.

Both publications are mostly advertising and photographs from local gay-owned and friendly businesses, have detailed maps of downtown Vallarta and the South Side/Old Town, "Daily Specials" at clubs and bars, as well as listing such Puerto Vallarta things to do as the art walk, gay cruises, horseback riding, and whale watching tours during the winter. They have useful sections on "the Scene" here in town with some suggestions on where to go and at what time to show up, as well as good calendars of fun current and annual events and such.

Please Note that while most of the Puerto Vallarta bars, clubs, bed and breakfasts and hotels that advertise in these publications are nearly all exclusively gay-owned or operated, a good number of the stores, art galleries, restaurants, realtors and service providers that advertise in them are not, and cater to the general public and conveniently advertise there for business purposes in the pursuit our "pink pesos" - so one might therefore consider them to be gay-friendly.

There is rarely any mention of the gay and lesbian community in the local English press, but here are the majority of them anyway. The most useful and best of these is perhaps Bay Vallarta a relatively new entertainment guide which has the most complete listings of what to do in Puerto Vallarta that I've seen. At more than 70 pages, just about everything and everybody is listed, from events, health, art galleries and home delivery to bars, live music and sports, and best of all the Puerto Vallarta gay community gets its own page. Additionally it has articles on a variety of topics such as ecology, culture, theater, movie reviews and cuisine. The local weekly the P.V. Tribune is useful and has some informative articles in English and French. Vallarta Today is the only local daily English newspaper and contains a lot of advertising, but there is a dining guide section and some general tourist information. These are all free and somewhat widely distributed. The glossy Vallarta Lifestyles is a quarterly magazine for sale, with top quality production value and many photos. Somewhat like this website it would include info on restaurants, shopping, art & culture, activities and tourist attractions, but also profiles and pics of local people out and about.

    puerto vallarta lesbian women's week 2008 - pic thanks to Shannon McDonough    
Some Puerto Vallarta tourist activities and attractions - Women's week Nov 2008, cruises, tours, horseback riding

    picture thanks to Rancho el Charro    

lesbian travel in popular gay friendly puerto vallara mexico

At Casa Cupula gay lesbian hotel resort & its Taste restaurant

Diana DeCoste's birthday party in February 2010
on the Blue Chairs gay hotel rooftop after her cruise

one of the best gay-lesbian resorts in the world, Puerto Vallarta sunset
on Los Muertos beach - picture thanks to Faith Lopez


The next five photos below from past Club Skirts women's week in Puerto Vallarta



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