Let’s take an in-depth look at the top LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean. Are you wondering which is the safest Caribbean country for your travels abroad or who proudly flies the rainbow flag? Let us help you with tons of vacation ideas and the best places to stay. Famous for its crystal-clear waters, gorgeous blue skies and warm tropical weather, you can never go wrong when you visit the Caribbean. However, not every island in the Caribbean is a safe space for the LGBTQ community. As many islands on our list are still evolving with LGBTQ rights, we’ll give you a complete guide and advice on which island fits all your needs. We have to say to always use your best judgment when displaying public affection and to always watch your back at night. When you click on an affiliate link below and buy something, we receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. So, let’s all come together as we give you the low-down of the best LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean.
Showcasing sugar-sand beaches, crystalline waters and limitless fun, France meets the Caribbean Islands in Guadeloupe. This small island starts off our exceptional list of the LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean. Consisting of six small islands, it is located towards the southern tip of Antigua and Barbuda. As part of the French West Indies chain, it still follows many of its parent countries of France, as being a gay-friendly destination. They have performed civil unions since 1991 and you can have the right to change your legal gender here as well. Although there is not much of a nightclub for the LGBT folks, you can find two gay beaches here such as Anse Tarare and Sainte-Rose, coincidentally enough, both are au naturel. This charming island also offers a very wide selection of activities and sightseeing tours. Its crystal-clear waters are perfect for boat cruises and sailing, snorkeling and scuba diving excursions, as well as the perfect terrain for hiking adventures. Some of the best tourist stops include the Zoo de Guadeloupe, Carbet Falls, Jardin Botanique de Deshaies and a nice variety of local museums. With French influences, culinary cuisines include the likes of Stuffed Crabs, Chicken or Lamb Cari, Lobster and Ouassou, Féroce and Bébélé (inspired by African traditions.) Rum would be considered the traditional liquor here and the famous Ti-Punch (which consists of rum, lime and sugarcane.) When night hits, you can find a nice variation of gay-friendly bars and clubs, including the Zoo Rock Café which is a restaurant and a bar that features its dancefloor.
If you’re looking for a gay owned hotel, look no further with Les Jardins De Zyriab Resort & Spa. Additionally, LGBTQ-friendly hotels include the likes of Club Med Caravelle, Piton Bungalows, La Toubana Hôtel & Spa and Caraib’Bay Hotel.
With breathtaking natural beauty from its sandy shores to its jungle-like mountains and perfect scenery, make the most of your LGBT getaway in the island of Martinique. As we take a look at the top LGBT-friendly islands on the Caribbean, Martinique is an overseas region of France, and its culture reflects a distinctive blend of both French and West Indian influences. Yes, this LGBTQ welcoming country is very gay friendly. It hosts a yearly Pride event, same-sex marriages are permitted and they ban all anti-gay discrimination. Sadly, there is not much of a gay scene here, you can find two gay-friendly nude beaches such as Grande Anse des Salines and at Plage des Salines. This scenic island offers many adventures into its beautiful landscape with fun things to do from day trips to cultural tours and many historical tours. Try taking on the challenge to try hiking or water sports such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, catamaran sailing, snorkeling and dolphin watching is also extremely popular. Well-known tourist stops include Jardin de Balata, Habitation Clement, Grand Anse d’Arlet and Fort-de-France, which is also the country’s capital. With small boutiques, malls and markets beckoning shoppers, shopping adventure highlights include Grand Marche in Fort-de-France and the Galleria Commercial Center in Le Lamantin, along with a multitude of unique jewelry finds and art galleries. Combining French flair and the spices of the West Indies, the local architecture and culinary offer a diverse combination of the two. Exquisite food options include Chatrou (octopus stew,) Boudin (a tasty local sausage,) Lambis (sea snail,) Féroce d’avocat (a popular Martinican dessert,) as well as the legendary Ti Punch, which is a popular Martinican cocktail. If you’re searching for nighttime entertainment, many beach bars, live music and clubs like Complexe Le Crazy will surely please.
If you’re looking for places to stay, Le Carbet is a gay B&B which allows nude sunbathing on a rooftop terrace and gay-friendly stays include Club Med Les Boucaniers, Carayou Hotel & Spa and Redoute Paradise.
Represented by a collection of 60 unspoiled islands that will simply take your breath away, the British Virgin Islands is a near-perfect vacation destination. With its year-long warm climate, it’s no surprise that the BVI makes our list of the top LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean. Being a British overseas territory, the island is required to comply with British law, and that includes equal rights for all of its citizens, as it keeps in alignment with the European Convention of Human Rights. It’s good to know that the BVI is considered a bit more conservative, religious and lacks the population of its neighbor, the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, it doesn’t offer the nightlife as USVI and a lot of LGBTQ people make their way via ferry for a bustling night to the nearby islands of St. Thomas or Charlotte Amalie. You’ll never be bored here with activities ranging from snorkeling to scuba diving to kayaking and windsurfing, as well as sailing and island hopping by boat through the local marinas. Popular island excursions include Norman Island, Cane Garden Bay, Anegada Island and The Baths in Virgin Gorda, where grey boulders of varying sizes rise from the sea’s crystalline waters. Tourism sites not to be missed include Dolphin Discovery Tortola, Callwood Rum Distillery, and the 1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum. From local artwork and jewelry to gifts and souvenirs, the best shopping areas in the BVI can be found at Road Town, which is located on Tortola, which is the capital of the British Virgin Islands. Not only hosts a well-known harbor, but offers plenty of boutique stores, arts and crafts shops and plenty of art galleries. You’ll also find no shortage of excellent restaurants serving local and international dishes here. Seafood dishes include the likes of fish chowder, snapper, shark, mussel pie, whelks and conch stew. Rum is the popular drink here, as it is incorporated into punches and cocktails, like the legendary Pusser’s Rum. Although there is a low-key nightlife, a trip to Foxy’s Tamarind Bar or famed and gay-friendly Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke Island will be memorable, as it is home to the original Painkiller rum cocktail.
Although there are no gay-owned or operated hotels in the BVI, you will be welcomed with opening arms at the 230-acre Scrub Island Resort, whether you are looking for a group getaway or a romantic honeymoon. Alternatives include Wyndham Tortola BVI Lambert Beach Resort, Cooper Island Beach Club, Maria’s by the Sea, Oil Nut Bay and the Sugar Mill Hotel.
Just about 90 miles south of the Sunshine State, Cuba is defined by its culture, history, nature, weather and traditions. With 3728 miles of scenic shores, numerous inlets, breathtaking bays and beautiful beaches, it makes a great option on our list of the top LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean. Major strides have been made in recent years with the acceptance of gays and lesbians such as an annual International Day Against Homophobia and an annual Pride parade in Havana. For gay travelers, it is suggested to choose a destination closer to the city, opposed to rural areas. In fact, in its capital of Havana, the queer community continues to thrive, especially in the Vedado section. This welcoming area also plays host to white sand beaches that are either gay or gay-friendly. You can also find an openly gay beach at Mi Cayito Beach, about two hours to the east. As you can imagine, Cuba offers plenty of tourism attractions, museums and historical sites such as Fortresses of El Morro and La Cabaña, Hemingway’s House Finca Vigía, Museo de la Revolución, and José Martí Monument. In the markets and shops of Cuba, quite a diversity of items can be discovered including world-class art, unique handcrafts and tons of souvenirs. Whether it’s stopping in Plaza La Estrella, Plaza Las Dunas or Plaza Carlos lll, you’ll surely find the item you are looking for. And of course, you’re going to see a lot of them, be sure to take a look at the classic cars here and don’t forget to smoke or buy the legendary Cuban cigars! The best way to get to the heart of a culture is through its cuisine, as Cuba specialties include the likes of Ropa Vieja (a stewed shredded beef dish,) Picadillo (ground beef, potatoes, olives, and string beans,) and Masitas (crispy chunks of fried pork,) along with the traditional rice and beans. Popular drinks in Cuba range from the famed Cuba Libre and the Piña Colada to Daiquiri’s and Mojito’s, or anything with rum in it. The nightlife in Cuba can be an exciting one with three popular bars such as the discotheque of Escaleras al Cielo, Fashion Bar Habana, Madrigal Bar and Cabaret Las Vegas, famed for its drag shows. ¡Viva, Cuba!
A number of unique gay-owned and operated stays when visiting Havana include Cubanacan Marazul, Casa 1932, Art Boutique Havana, Paseo 206, La Rosa De Ortega, Hotel Boutique Malecón 663 and the very stylish Boutique Hotel Vapor 156. Top LGBT-friendly hotels include: Casa Roberto & Martha in Varadero, Casa Buenavista in Cienfuegos, Bella Perla Marina in Cienfuegos and Amarillo B&B in Santa Clara. Luxurious all inclusive and adults-only resorts to stay at include Paradisus Rio de Oro, Royalton Cayo Santa Maria and the Royalton Hicacos Resort & Spa.
Hosting some of the most spectacular beaches which are consistently ranked among the top in the world, the U.S. Virgin Islands offers a stage of stunning tropical views. As we look at the best LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean, this U.S. territory is divided into three major islands (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas), each offering its unique character and charm. Being a part of the US and its law system, the USVI’s continues all the same LGBTQ rights and full marriage equality. With nearly 100 miles of endless white beaches, Saint Croix can be put in a category all of its own. Its a city of Frederiksted plays host to same-sex marriages, yearly Pride parades and a Lifestyle Music Festival. you’ll also find a plethora of either gay or gay-friendly restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as boutique shops, inspirational jewelry and art studios. Top shopping locations include Palm Passage Retail Mall, The Shops at Yacht Haven Grande, A.H. Riise Mall and the trading market of Market Square. It’s good to know that St. Thomas is as equally as accepting, with LGBTQ-friendly pubs and dining options, as well as a clothing-optional/gay beach of its own, called Little Magens Beach. Whether being on land or by the sea, the USVI offers an abundance of activities including horseback riding, golfing, hiking, sailing and kayaking, as well as snorkeling and scuba diving expeditions. And let’s not forget about the casino gambling on the island. Some of the best tourism sites include Pirates Treasure Museum, Mango Tango Art Gallery, Water Island (fourth largest USVI island,) 99 Steps, and St. John’s which is a nature lover’s favorite as it is two-thirds National Park and features world-renowned beaches such as Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay. Traditional dishes include the likes of Fish & Fungi (a polenta-like dumpling,) Johnny Cake (deep fried treats,) Cow Heel Soup, Pot Fish and Callaloo (a Caribbean soup or stew.) Some of the signature drinks here include Rum Punch, Bushwacker and the Cruzan Confusion. And please remember, best of all, American’s will not need a passport to travel to the USVI.
Some gay-owned hotels will be ready to great you including Cottages By The Sea and Palms at Pelican Cove. Other highlights include: Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove, Caravelle Hotel & Casino, Westin St. John Resort Villas, Carambola Beach Resort St. Croix, Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas and the Frenchman’s Reef Marriott Resort St. Thomas.
Are you ready to get your breath taken away? Situated in the French West Indies, Saint Barthélemy (or Saint Barts, as it’s more commonly known) sets the stage for a truly memorable getaway. As we take a look at the best LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean, this small island boasts itself as the “most gay-friendly Caribbean Island.” It’s also a hot spot for celebrities to visit and sometimes get married, such as the case with singer Ricky Martin. There is no actual gay scene per se, but many come to just relax and party. Most of the visitors tend to be couples or groups of friends. Being that St. Barts is under French Law, anti-gay discrimination is big here, as well as same-sex weddings. Saline Beach is the place to see and be seen, as it is Grand Central for all-nude sunbathing and socializing. Many other “straight” beaches are not only gay-friendly but clothing-optional and topless-optional for the ladies. What’s popular to do? Anything and everything, from a gay nude multi-day cruise and world-class snorkeling/scuba diving locations to ATV adventures across the coast. Plenty of designer shops like the gay-owned PaSha St. Barth awaits you as well as a vast array of gift and specialty shops. If you’re looking for places to see, Fort Karl, Corossol Village, St. Barth Municipal Museum and Morne du Vitet, which offers a magnificent mountain retreat. Specializing in West Indian cuisine that tends to be very spicy, food options are bountiful with Croissants being popular pierce, in addition to Lobster Bisque (soup,) Sandwich au Jambon (split baguette and ham,) and tuna specialties such as Tuna Tartare and Tuna Teraditos at Bonito. The signature drink is the Piscine, it has French influences and is designed with dry rosé or champagne and is served on the rocks. Stop by La Cantina, it’s a restaurant and bar on the port of Gustavia which is gay-owned. When it comes to nightlife, consider Le Ti St Barth, it’s a bar that features a burlesque and cabaret show. However, there’s no need to worry, as you will be warmly welcomed at every bar and club.
If you’re looking for accommodations, Villa BelAmour is the only gay-owned and operated hotel which offers a clothing-optional beach and plenty of partying. Feel free to check out: Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa, Eden Rock – St Barths, Hotel Christopher, Le Sereno and Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France.
Boasting an amazing array of 37 white-sand beaches, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten invites you to experience the exceptional. Having been dubbed as “The Friendly Island,” it makes for a great option with our LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean list. You might be wondering why there are two names to these countries, well that goes to reason. Saint Martin is the slightly larger north section and is part of the French Republic, while Sint Maarten is the south and belongs to the Dutch. Both share parallel views on LGBTQ rights and discrimination. Let’s start with the famous beaches, with the “gay” Cupecoy Beach being first and the most popular, as it is nude friendly. On the “French” side of the island, you will find another gay section at Orient Beach, which is nude as well and the largest beach in St. Martin, in addition to another au naturel location at Happy Bay Beach. Fun things to do while visiting include the likes of ziplining and quad riding on land, while water sports include snorkeling and scuba diving, sailing, jet skiing, parasailing and cruises. If you’re looking to get your shopping on, stop by the French-side capitol, in the streets of Marigot which is home to many luxury boutiques. On the Dutch side, the large city of Philipsburg has a front street with nearly one hundred duty-free shops. History buffs should try out Fort Amsterdam and Fort Louis, along with a multitude of workshops, art galleries and local museums. Food lovers can try an impressive selection that includes Conch and Dumplings (a large and spicy sea snail,) Callaloo (a hearty soup with many vegetables,) Locri (a dish comprised of rice, chicken, a variety of vegetables) and St. Maarten Spare Ribs. If you’re looking for the best place to dine, foodies should make their way to Restaurant Row in Grand Case. The national drink of both the Dutch and French sides is called “Guavaberry Liqueur.” From outdoor lounges to vibrant nightclubs and busy casinos, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy at night. If you’re in St. Martin, try a gay dance club called Eros Club located in Marigot or try Dany’s Beach Bar in Cupecoy Bay.
A gay-owned and operated getaway will be ready to welcome you, called the The Paradise Peak. Gay-friendly accommodations include: LTC Boutique-Hôtel, Sol e Luna, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa, Atrium Beach Resort & Spa and Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa, Orient Beach Hotel and the very queer-friendly, Divi Little Bay Beach Resort.
Set amid a tropical utopia with unbeatable white-sand beaches and expansive coral reefs rich with marine life, Curaçao invites you to kick back and put your feet up. Offering an annual Pride parade and a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA,) this Dutch destination makes an incredible pick on our LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean list. This colorful country boasts a bright architecture that symbolizes the aura of the island, as it resembles a pride flag from above. You will find that most of the action and the gay scene is in the Capitol of Willemstad. Looking for beaches? Check out: Kenepa Beach, Cas Abao, Klein Curaçao (an uninhabited island) and Jan Thiel Beach, all are gay-friendly and topless-optional. Without a doubt, scuba diving is the top pick for activities here as the crystalline waters feature colorful coral reefs, abundant sea life, walls and sunken ships. Dolphin snorkeling is very popular here, along with stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing and land activities such as cycling, hiking, jeep safaris and UTV explorations. Tourist sites to see include the legendary Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge which leads to the picturesque town of Handelskade which looks like its right from a postcard, in addition to, Christoffel National Park and Kura Hulanda Museum. For those who can’t miss out on shopping, from Punda’s Breedestraat to the Otrobanda district and Renaissance Mall & Rif Fort are the main shopping thoroughfares. Foodies can discover a unique variety of dishes here, with specialties including the signature dish, Keshi Yena (a fusion of cuisines and cultures,) Bitterballen (flavorful meatballs,) Stoba (goat meat and vegetables.) A trip to the island won’t be complete without experiencing the traditional blue liqueur from Curaçao. If you’re looking for an exciting night out on the town, start at Cabana Beach, it is not only gay-friendly, but has its restaurant and beach with a bar. Most gays however will gravitate towards the Wet and Wild Beach Club which also offers its beach, but a gay-oriented bar and club. And, perhaps the most exciting of them all is the Rainbow Lounge (inside Floris Suite Hotel) which includes guest DJs, live entertainment, pool parties and dancers or special performances.
If you’re looking for gay and adult-only hotels, be sure to to check out the Floris Suite Hotel. Other popular stays include Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino, Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort, Avila Beach Hotel, Bed & Bike Curacao, Baoase Luxury Resort and Sunscape Curacao Resort Spa & Casino.
With everything from sunny skies, refreshing trade winds and the least amount of rainfall in the Southern Caribbean, you’ll be humming the Beach Boys song “Aruba, oh I want to take ya.” As we look at the best LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean, this irresistible island provides a small, safe and modern getaway for gay and lesbian travelers. Aruba is a member of the country of the Netherlands, it adopts all of its anti-discrimination laws and the people pride themselves on diversity. As it celebrates Price in June, the open-minded nature here that has evolved from the Dutch influence on the island has set the tone for a nation that welcomes all walks of life. Locals also take pride in their pristine white sand beaches. Ranked as Trip Advisor’s “3rd Best Beach in the World,” Eagle Beach stands out as not only the most popular but a very gay-friendly beach. Additionally, the two-mile-long Palm Beach strip which is in the middle of the High Rise Hotels Zone, is another gay-friendly spot to enjoy a day in the sun and feel safe. Activities here can be just as diverse with the likes of parasailing, scuba diving, sailing, cruising, submarine tours and exploring the island by ATV. With the capital of Oranjestad being the center of everything, tourism attractions include a myriad of museums and art galleries, as well as locations such as Bushiribana Gold Mill Ruins, Donkey Sanctuary, Butterfly Farm and Hooiberg, which is mountainous, are perfect for hiking. World-class shopping awaits you at the Renaissance Mall, which features the luxury brands of Cartier, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Michael Kors, as well as a popular casino. With distinctly local flavors and traditional dishes, be wowed by cuisines ranging from Stobas (stew,) to Sopis (hearty soups,) and Keshi Yena (food casserole,) which is considered Arub’s national dish. Before you go, be sure to request the Aruba Ariba, it’s the signature drink of the island and contains vodka, rum, passion fruit syrup, creme de banana and several juices. You’ll certainly want to make a stop at MooMba Beach, it’s a bar and restaurant popular with the LGBT folks. If you’re looking for partying, you will find vibrant nightlife in Oranjestad at District 7, it’s the heart of Aruba’s gay scene and home to a multitude of gay bars and clubs. With a motto of “One Happy Island,” we hope your stay is a happy and gay one in Aruba.
You will find that most of the hotels in Aruba are not only gay-friendly, but a few will host your wedding or offer special LGBT packages for Pride festivals. Some are also Travel Alternatives Group (TAG) approved as well, including Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort, Spa and Casino and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort. Other incredible accommodations include: Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, Marriott’s Aruba Ocean Club, Marriott’s Aruba Surf Club, Ritz-Carlton, Aruba, Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa, The Mill Resort & Suites and a cheap and affordable stay at Holiday Inn Resort Aruba-Beach Resort & Casino.
If the state of Missouri is considered the “Show Me State,” then the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico might be recognized as the “Gay State.” Since the U.S. territory is home to two of the Caribbean’s biggest LGBT Pride events. With its first place position on our countdown of the top LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean, this island hosts an annual June Pride march in San Juan, then Boqueron Pride follows the next month and a yearly Winter Pride Fest caps off an exciting year. Since it is part of the USA, it has adopted all of its laws in marriage, discrimination and transgender rights, and is home to Ricky Martin as well. Its capital city of San Juan is in the center of it all, home to many LGBT establishments. This country can best be described as Spanish Caribbean culture mixing with an American twist. Off the beaten path in Cabo Rojo, you’ll find an exclusive gay beach called La Playuela (Playa Sucia.) However, back in San Juan, in the Condado district, stop by Atlantic Beach or Condado Beach. If you’re looking for fun tours or excursions, Puerto Rico plays host to many water sports including kayaking, sailing, snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding in some of its lagoons. Keep dry on land with everything from ziplining to tennis and world-class golfing. Without a doubt, make a voyage to Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay at night which gives off a glowing light, where you can swim or kayak. Be sure to walk on the old cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, in addition to hiking in El Yunque National Forest and whale watching in Rincón. For those who can’t resist shopping, stop by the Plaza Las Américas or The Mall of San Juan, which is a premiere shopping destination, as well as Old San Juan which is filled with jewelry stores and unique handicrafts. With roots in cooking traditions from Europe to Africa and the native Taínos, Puerto Rican cuisine includes favorites such as Tostones (thinly slicing plantains,) Alcapurrias (fritters filled with ground beef,) and the signature dish Arroz Con Gandules, consisting of white rice cooked with pigeon peas, olives, capers, tomato sauce and Sofrito. Surely by now, you have heard of the Piña colada, it’s a cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice, the birthplaces are at the Caribe Hilton. Supreme dining experiences can be indulged at Santaella or Jose Enrique and favorite bars include Oasis Tapas & Lounge and El Bar Bero. Plus, plenty of fun is to be had at many more dance clubs’ drag shows which go into the early hours of the morning.
If you’re searching for a gay-owned establishment to stay, the Coqui del Mar Gay GuestHouse would love to meet your acquaintance, as well as the Tryst Beachfront Hotel. Gay-friendly accommodations in San Juan are almost everywhere you look. Some of our favorites include La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort, Ritz-Carlton, San Juan, Courtyard San Juan Miramar, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino, AC Hotel by Marriott San Juan Condado, Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel, Caribe Hilton, Aloft San Juan, San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino and old-world charm meets contemporary comfort at Hotel El Convento, which also hots gay weddings.
As we finish our comprehensive look at the top LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean, honorable mention goes to the country of Bonaire (another Dutch territory) which includes a gay area of Sorobon Beach and the island of Saba, which is a municipality of the Netherlands which is a very small island and doesn’t offer much of a gay scene but is very accepting of the LGBTQ community. Hopefully, soon, more can be added. Stay tuned…
Best Online Travel Deals hopes we have found plenty of solutions for your gay getaway, as well as where to stay, travel tips and the best LGBT-friendly islands in the Caribbean. So, let’s all pack some extra sunscreen and show our buns off as we hit the sand ASAP!
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