Gay Trips: Go To Chile
Chile is a popular destination for gay trips due to its unique geography, which allows travelers to visit volcanoes, enjoy beautiful beaches, ski or snowboard the Andes and spend a night on the town in Santiagos gay district all in the same day. Chile is a country rich in landmarks and varied landscapes including the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, the penguin colony at Mirador de Chepu, the Easter Island statues, Elqui Valley in La Serena (which is steeped in legends about extraterrestrial activity) and exquisite architecture and churches that dot the cities, countryside and coastline.
The uniqueness of Chiles natural, cultural and historic attractions provide the opportunity to plan a variety of gay trips including adventurous excursions trekking through breathtaking Patagonian landscapes and exploring ancient island cultures, ski or snowboard trips to world-famous Andes ski resorts like Valle Nevado, pilgrimages to visit churches and experience the deeply entrenched Catholic influences throughout the country, family beach vacations in Vina del Mar, wine-tasting tours, or trips centered around the bustling nightlife and rich culture and history of Chiles capital, Santiago.
As a country that has been deeply influenced by both the Catholic Church and the military, Chile would certainly not be described as a bastion of gay rights; however, as a whole, the country is slowly becoming more progressive and is beginning to become more accepting of the LGBT community. Gay life in Chile centers largely around Santiago, which is where singles, couples and families on a gay vacation will find the most welcoming atmosphere and the highest concentration of gay-friendly and gay-owned establishments. Santiagos gay community is primarily found in the Barrio Bellavista, which is a trendy neighborhood with charming shops, cafs and eateries and is also home to most of Santiagos bathhouses, gay bars and gay clubs. Although it is not likely that you will see rainbow flags hanging for rooftops or same-sex couples walking through the streets hand in hand, it is quite common to find gay magazines openly displayed in newsstands and couples sipping coffee at cosmopolitan sidewalk cafs.
A night on the town in Bellavista or anywhere in Santiago generally begins with dinner around 9 or 10pm, as is customary in many Latin countries. In Bellavista, a night often begins at a gay-owned restaurant, such as Capricho, a well-known Spanish eatery, followed by dancing or drinks in local gay clubs and bars. Bellavistas gay clubs range from the usual fare expected in most larger cities, to bawdier options with live sex shows, and partying often goes until the sun comes up. Santiago also has several saunas (bathhouses), including one trendier, slightly more expensive option with mostly professional clientele. Folks considering visiting Santiagos saunas should keep in mind that Chile, like the U.S., is struggling with HIV and should always remember to play safely to ensure a safe gay vacation.
Santiago is conveniently situated in central Chile, making it an exceptional choice as a home base for your gay vacation, allowing you to more fully explore all that Chile offers. Add to this the more welcoming atmosphere found in this city and it is easy to see why Santiago is a common choice for gay vacations. Working with a travel agency that regularly organizes gay vacations to Chile is the best way to ensure that you and your partner, your family or your friends has a fun-filled, safe gay vacation to Chile.