Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger

In January, Jalisco became the fourth Mexican state to legalize same-sex marriage, following Chihuahua, Coahuila and Quintana Roo; the capital, Mexico City, also recognizes same-sex marriages.

Jalisco is home to Puerto Vallarta, which has been known as the capital of LGBT travel in Mexico for decades.

For the fourth consecutive year, Puerto Vallarta will be hosting the annual LGBTTIQ pride festival this year, scheduled to take place May 16 to 30, under the motto, “We are one family.” The Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board will join local civil associations, private companies and Puerto Vallarta’s local and international lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, transgender, intersex, and queer community in this , which aims to honor and promote the culture and respect for sexual diversity.

Puerto Vallarta's Costa Sur Resort & Spa is offering free weddings to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriages in Jalisco.
Puerto Vallarta's Costa Sur Resort & Spa is offering free weddings to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriages in Jalisco.

The Costa Sur Resort & Spa in P.V., a member of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, marked the news of the legalization by offering free wedding packages. Couples who make a booking of 10 rooms or more for a minimum of two nights will receive a complimentary wedding banquet, centerpieces and four hours of open bar. On the night of the wedding, the couple’s room will be decorated, and the couple will be treated to complimentary chocolate-dipped strawberries and sparkling white wine. Prices for the package start at $135 per person, per night, all-inclusive, based on double occupancy.

Carlos Melia, a luxury travel curator, travel agent and blogger who specializes in LGBT travel and books quite a bit of travel to Mexico, does not recommend P.V. to his clients unless they specifically ask for it, because of the lack of five-star infrastructure his clients favor.

The Puerto Vallarta Tourism board points out that there are in fact plenty of high-end options for visitors.

"Puerto Vallarta has over 22,000 hotel rooms with more than half of those in 5- and 4-star hotels, including the Pacific Coast’s first [AAA] 5 Diamond property, the Hotel Mousai," a spokesperson said. "The destination’s downtown, where Puerto Vallarta’s 'gayborhood,' the Zona Romantica, is located, is home to over 70 businesses targeting the LGBT consumer. The past six months has seen the zone increase its infrastructure with the opening of three new hotels — Casa Kimberly, Garlands Del Rio and Almar Resort Luxury All Suites & Spa — which are all LGBT-friendly."

When booking LGBT clients, Melia said he tends to favor Mexico City; Riviera Maya, particularly the areas of Maroma and Tulum; Riviera Nayarit; and San Miguel de Allende.

When recommending these destinations, Melia likes to book clients at properties like Las Alcobas, the Four Seasons Mexico City and the St. Regis Mexico City; the Belmond Maroma Resort and Nizuc in Cancun/Riviera Maya; the Four Seasons Punta Mita and Imanta Resort on the Riviera Nayarit; and the Belmond Casa de Sierra Nevada, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende and Matilda Hotel in San Miguel de Allende.

Mitch Toren of Trip Guy Travel in Holland, Pa., has his favorities, too.

“Cancun/Riviera Maya has been and continues to get more and more LGBT-friendly, even having some resorts with their own LGBT programs,” Toren said. “The majority of these resorts in the area will do symbolic weddings with no restrictions or concerns.”

Hotel brands like AMResorts, Blue Diamond Resorts, Hard Rock Hotels, Karisma Hotels & Resorts, Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Playa Hotels & Resorts, Riu and Sandos & Resorts, all with locations across Mexico, have designated LGBT romantic celebrations on their properties for couples and their guests.

For a full list of hotels, resorts and activities in Mexico that are LGBT-friendly, visit the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association at


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