Nomadic Boys are Stefan and Sebastien, a gay couple travelling the world since they left their lives in London in 2014. Here they present their gay guide to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, exclusive to the Boyz website Travel section.
Uruguay itself is an extremely gay friendly country, not only across Latin America, but in the world. The capital city Montevideo is frequently rated as one of the most LGBT friendly cities in the world, for example by the Lonely Planet and Skyscanner.
We found Montevideo to be a chilled and relaxed city. The population is only around 1.3 million, but there’s nonetheless a vibrant gay scene with several gay hangouts and events.
There are a handful of gay bars in Montevideo where you can head for drinks with friends:
GAY BARS IN MONTEVIDEO
1. Chains Pub: Chains is the most popular gay bar in Montevideo. Most come here for a few drinks before heading to Il Tempo or Cains. There’s a cover charge called a “minimum consumption charge” of 250 Uruguayan Pesos (around £7/$9).
2. La Fonda Restaurant: with the rainbow flag proudly flying outside, La Fonda is not only very gay friendly, but is also regarded as one of the top 10 restaurants in Montevideo.
3. Bar Rodo: Rodo is a gay friendly bar with happy hours like 2 for 1 Fernet with cola on Wednesdays from 6-9pm.
4. Pepito Bar: gay owned bar attracting a mixed crowd. It has weekly events like stand up shows on Sunday evenings.
5. La Pasiva: a popular restaurant chain for pizza and beer. La Pasiva has made a name for itself in the LGBT community for its subtle(!) branding: pasiva is Spanish gay slang for bottom with a logo that speaks for itself!
GAY CLUBS IN MONTEVIDEO
The gay clubs of Montevideo are fun, full of beautiful Uruguayan guys but just remember, don’t turn up before midnight or you’ll be dancing alone. Here are the 2 main gay clubs of Montevideo:
1. Il Tempo: the most popular gay club in Montevideo, with hilarious drag shows. If you come early (before 1am) it’s got more of a bar like atmosphere. Afterwards, the tables and chairs are cleared and it becomes one large disco.
2. Cain Dance Club: Cain is the other main gay club of Montevideo. It has 3 bars, 2 dance floors, 3 lounge areas and a darkroom. Like Il Tempo, there are drag shows as well as strippers.
GAY EVENTS IN MONTEVIDEO
There are several major gay events both in Montevideo and across the country worth checking out:
– Montevideo Pride: this is Uruguay’s largest LGBT pride, celebrated on the last Friday of September also called the Marcha por la Diversidad in Spanish. It started in the 1990s nd has become a large annual event, attracting over 30,000 people.
– Punta Pride: PP started a few years ago in Punta del Este and has become one of the country’s most popular events. Punta Pride is less about the politics and more about beach party fun. It takes place in February, when it’s summertime in Uruguay. The next Punta Pride is on 10-12 February 2017.
– LGBT Chamber of Commerce National Conference: every September, the Uruguayan chamber of commerce have their annual conference, showcasing the best of gay travel in Uruguay. The entire Montevideo gets on board and becomes a big gay celebration. The next event is on 21-22 September 2017 and will be in Punta del Este.
GAY SAUNAS IN MONTEVIDEO
There are 2 popular gay saunas in Montevideo as well as a gay cinema:
– Toronto Sauna: the largest and most popular gay sauna in Montevideo, located at Calle Tacuarembó 1531. It opens all week from 3pm to 11pm and till 1am on Fridays/Saturdays.
– Sauna Horus: this is the second popular gay sauna in Montevideo. It is located at Julio Herrera y Obes 1240 corner. It is open all week from 3pm to midnight and until 8am on weekends.
– Cine Private: this cinema has 2 screening rooms, one straight, one gay. Cine Private is located at Convencion 1290. It opens everyday except Sundays from 11am to 3am the next day, and till 5am on Fridays/Saturdays.
GAY FRIENDLY HOTELS IN MONTEVIDEO
Hotels in Montevideo are very gay friendly, proudly welcoming LGBT travellers with open arms. These are the gay friendly hotels in Montevideo that we tried and loved:
Sofitel Hotel Carrasco: luxury
This former hotel casino has been revamped into one of the most luxurious hotels in the city. It’s located in a European style building, mixing classic architecture with modern design.
The suites at the Sofitel offer incredible views over the Ramblas beachfront. This is the place to come for romantic and very extravagant dinner. Rooms at the Sofitel start from $200/£160.
My Suites: medium budget
My Suites is a classy, sexy and super gay friendly boutique hotel, located just down the road from the Ramblas beach front. The hotel is themed around wine with each floor named after a bodega (winery). Every evening, wine tastings are offered to guests accompanied with a lecture by a sommelier. Rooms at My Suites start from $100/£80.
Holiday Inn: medium budget
The Holiday Inn is a convenient option right in the heart of the Old Town. It is minutes walking distance to Plaza Independencia and the pedestrianised Sarandí street. The hotel has a basic gym, a large pool and the Junior Suites even have a Jacuzzi. Rooms at the Holiday Inn start from $78/£61.
If you’re on a budget and like us not interested in staying in hostels, you can find some pretty decent deals on Airbnb. If you’re a first time user of Airbnb you can use our coupon to claim £31/$40 off your booking and save more – http://nomadicboys.com/airbnb-website
To find out more, check out our 10 cool gay friendly hotels in Uruguay – http://nomadicboys.com/gay-friendly-hotels-uruguay and use our 1 week Uruguay itinerary – http://nomadicboys.com/one-week-uruguay-itinerary to help plan your trip.