We found it to be one of the most welcoming and open countries in Central America for gay travellers both in terms of laws, attitudes and a surprisingly large gay scene.
From sloths to red eyed tree frogs, tarantulas and spider monkeys, we can almost guarantee that wherever you go you will be immersed in wildlife.
Not only that but you’ll find beaches (inc gay beaches), rainforests, cloudforests, dry forests and of course the city, a little something for everyone’s tastes.
When we started to look into the Costa Rica gay scene, we were very surprised (for good reasons)! Here is our travel guide to gay Costa Rica! We hope you enjoy!
(If you want to skip ahead and book you own gay trip to Costa Rica, check out Gaycations here and submit an enquiry today!)
Where is Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is a small country within Central America. It borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.
As a result, Costa Rica boasts a Pacific coast to the west and Caribbean coast to the east meaning you can experience both kinds of beaches when you visit.
The main areas tourists will visit are San Jose (the city), Manuel Antonio (rainforests/beaches), Monteverde (cloudforests), Tortuguero (tropical rainforests) and Puerto Viejo for some Caribbean beach time.
Costa Rica: Gay Life, Rights and Laws
In the end, the candidate that supported gay marriage, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, won which is a very positive step for LGBTQ+ people in Costa Rica.
Fast forward to and Costa Rica has become the first country in Central America to legalize same sex marriage (yay)!
“Today we celebrate liberty, equality and our democratic institutions. May empathy and love be the compass that guide us forward and allow us to move forward and build a country that has room for everyone.” Carlos Alvarado Quesada
This includes the recognition of trans gender identities on residency cards and declared hormone treatment “in the public interest,” which allows patients to receive the appropriate comprehensive care via the country’s health services.
Same ?ex relations have been legal since 1971 and it sounds like Costa Rica really in moving forward. Discrimination protections have been in place since 1998.
There are lots of progressive steps happening and they do have pride with ”La marcha del orgullo” once dating spanish a year. They also are teaching gender theory in schools, which we think is very progressive indeed.
Gay San Jose, Costa Rica
Like any country, if there is going to be a gay scene it is going to be the biggest in the capital city.
If you are flying to Costa Rica, you are likely to be flying in to San Jose. Most people move straight on, but we think it is worth spending the weekend here first.
Its relatively modern by Latin America standards and is said to be one of the safest and least violent cities in the region. We felt perfectly safe while we were here and at night, used Uber to be extra safe.
Costa Rica Gay Bars: San Jose
We had one of the craziest nights out yet in San Jose. A lot of bars have the concept that you pay your entry fee and then its an open bar. Here is our list of gay bars and clubs in San Jose:
When we arrived, it was one of the longest queues we had seen in a long time. We had no idea that there would be gay clubs so big and so busy in San Jose. The queue was well worth the wait.