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Gay Bogotá

Whether you are gay or not, Bogotá is a wonderful city. But it is especially welcoming to gay and lesbians travelers who have little choice in the historically macho Latin society.

Aside from the gay popular scenes of colorful Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires, word on the street is that Bogotá, with its friendly chicos and chicas, cheap and accessible shopping, and unlimited number of cultural activities, is home to the third largest gay culture scene in South America.  

So if you are gay, bisexual, or gay-friendly and want to check out what Bogotá has to offer, the best spot in town to make your home is Chapinero, a downtown neighborhood.  From here, it is easy to access tourist sights, including La Candelaria and shopping in the Zona Rosa during the day, while in walking distance of the action at bars and clubs at night.  Hotel Nación, which is just half a block from the trendy Village Café, has a very friendly atmosphere, but if you are on a less strict budget you should go for one of the upscale hotels in Chapinero or Zona Rosa.

Once settled in, head out for a day of sightseeing and shopping. Scope out the many free, but wonderful museums and galleries Bogotá has to offer. Visit Museo del Oro, Donación de Botero and Museo del Siglo XIX (great coffee in the beautiful courtyard). There are also lots of churches—Santa Marta is worth a look, and sometimes has concerts. La Candelaria is good to walk around, and if you take the cable car to Monserrate, you’ll be in for a stunning sunset as the city lights up.

Pack lightly, as it is always fun shopping in Zona Rosa. You will find all the top labels, and for much cheaper than in the US or Europe—Diesel jeans go for half price! Shops and boutiques line the streets, but you should also go into the Centro Commercial Andino and the Rápido shopping centers.

Once you have shopped until you drop, take a rest and then return to Zona Rosa for dinner. While there is traditional food served in the Colombian chain Crepes and Waffles, you can also opt for some of the tastiest international cuisine in all of Latin America. The Thai restaurant The Wok, is highly recommended and there is also a microbrew pub with good bar food.  

For after dinner drinks, hit the trendy The Village Café. A comfortable bar with tasty cocktails, even if it is a bit pricey for Bogotá, it’s a good place to start and find out what is happening in town for the week. The super cool El Recreo de Adán in Zona Rosa is also lovely and a very welcoming gay bar. You might also want to try La Oficina as well.

As the night grows late, Lotus, which is next to Teatrón, Bogotá´s largest gay club, is the best place, especially on a Thursday night. You can dance and talk with gorgeous guys or gals until 7 a.m. while listening to 1980s pop-rock and chart music on the main dance floor, while house music plays in the other room. If you are in town on a Friday night, try The Closet in Calera, which is a drive away in the hills. If you do get lucky, and you are not going back to his or her place, there are special “love hotels” on the same street as Teatrón. 

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