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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall uprising in New York City, which sparked the modern LGBTQ rights movement. And while the biggest celebration will take place in the Big Apple, LGBTQ pride events around Mexico are also gearing up to recognize this important moment in history.
When making plans to attend LGBTQ pride events in Mexico, travelers — as well as travel advisors who book their trips — should be aware that flexibility and patience are key to enjoying these celebrations in Mexico. Organizations that put together the events in Mexico tend to be volunteer-based, grassroots efforts, rather than the large-scale groups with heavy commercial backing that are common in some countries.
As a result, details about pride events in Mexico are often scant until just before they occur, and even official websites are often not updated regularly. You may not know what special guests will be performing or speaking until after arrival. But the dates, at least, are generally announced well in advance, so travelers can reserve their flights and hotels in advance.
Puerto Vallarta kicks off Mexico’s pride calendar, with pride taking place this year from May 19-26. An extensive array of parties, cultural events and concerts take place throughout the week. Several hotels offer special deals, including the gay-friendly Costa Sur Resort & Spa, which has a pride package that includes honeymoon suite accommodations on an adults-only floor, with a bottle of wine upon arrival, one 50-minute couple’s massage, daily breakfast and airport transfers. Among the top hotels in Puerto Vallarta that are designed specifically for the LGBTQ market are Blue Chairs Resort, Casa Cupula and Hotel Mercurio.
In Guadalajara, pride festivities come to a head on June 1, with special workshops, art exhibits, film screenings and speakers planned to commemorate the Stonewall anniversary. Since joining the International Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association in 2015, Guadalajara’s tourism office has become an active player in promoting the destination to LGBTQ travelers, and the city is home to a variety of accommodations that are members of Purple Roofs, a website that lists LGBTQ-owned and -friendly travel businesses around the globe. Among them is Casa Alebrijes, a small hotel for gay men and women set in historic downtown Guadalajara, and La Perla Hotel Boutique, a bed-and-breakfast set in a historic Moorish mansion.
One of the newest destinations to host LGBTQ pride events is Playa del Carmen, on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Playa Pride takes place June 1-15, with parades, parties and film screenings among the activities. Farther north, Cancun as a city has no official celebration scheduled, but Oleo Cancun Playa resort is hosting the LGBT Arts & Culture Music Festival May 24-28, and Temptation Cancun Resort is hosting its own Pride Week July 28-Aug. 3, with a mostly party-oriented lineup of activities, including guest DJs.
Mexico’s largest LGBTQ pride event takes place on the last Saturday of June every year, when Mexico City steps off with its marcha de orgullo (pride march). This year marks the 41st anniversary since the capital’s first public protest in favor of LGBTQ rights, and thousands are expected to gather around the Angel of Independence statue near the gay-popular Zona Rosa district, for a lively and colorful march down the broad boulevard called Paseo de la Reforma. The event ends at the Zocalo, the city’s largest square, where music and dance fill the afternoon.
Travelers looking for a guided visit to Mexico City’s pride activities can choose from a couple options. A tour company called Turista Libre is offering a pride tour, without accommodations, that takes place June 28-30, with activities including an LGBTQ walking tour of the historic downtown, pre-march cocktails and a Sunday visit to the canals of Xochimilco. A Mexico City-based operator called Babylon Tours, meanwhile, offers a Cultural Pride package that includes four nights of accommodations, with a choice of four hotels and activities including a city tour, a visit to the pyramids at Teotihuacan and a day trip to Puebla and Cholula.