2 min

City Guide: Guadalajara

Underrated gay getaway has vibrant bar and sauna scene

Unwind at Renacer Day Spa, a popular men’s spa featuring sauna, immersion tub, food and bar drinks, and under-age-23 discounts. Credit:

Noted travel writer Andrew Collins calls Guadalajara “Latin America’s most underrated gay urban getaway.” Anyone who’s been will know what he is talking about.

A colorful colonial-era old city, Guadalajara has streets lined with graceful mansions and towering baroque churches. Many old home have been turned into B&Bs, including a few that are run by and for gay men.

More than two-dozen gay bars and clubs are one reason this has become a gay mecca. The scene is constantly changing, with new places opening as others close, and they range from swanky lounges to multi-level dance clubs that turn the beat around until dawn.

Most are located a short stroll from downtown’s Plaza Tapatia (which also happens to be cruisy after dark) busy with crowds of mostly young guys.

Connoisseurs shouldn’t pass up the local tequila, as the liquor hails from the nearby town that gave it its name.

Many of the clubs feature male strip shows, some nude, plus dark rooms and play spaces for fooling around with a new friend. If you’re exhausted from all that partying, you can relax the next day at one of the city’s saunas.

  • El Arenal (Leandro Valle 944): downtown sauna and gym with soda fountain social area, free WiFi, open daily 9am to 9:30pm;
  • Renacer Day Spa (Amado Nervo 106): a men’s spa with sauna, immersion tub, food and bar drinks, and under age 23 discounts;
  • Riilax Sauna (Venustiano Carranza 313) has sauna, steam and gym facilities, wht’s billed as Mexico’s largest Jacuzzi, massage, sun deck, private rooms, TV lounge, snacks, WiFi and computer access, open from noon until midnight weekdays, 11pm weekends;
  • El Sotano Sauna (Galeana 159) is a dry sauna and steam complex for men, with massage, nude male stripper shows, cheap beer and a tequila bar; and,
  • Renacer Day Spa (Amado Nervo 106) offers spa facilities with a relaxing tub immersion, steam, sauna, showers, Jacuzzi, food and drinks, and a Wednesdays 2-4-1 promotion.

Alongside sauna cruising, Guadalajara has a modest rent-boy scene with escorts providing at home and hotel visits, and private club facilities. 

Maxx Escorts (52-33-3397-8012) boasts guys of all types from all around Mexico, and offers service 24 hours/day 365 days/year, at hotel, your home or their 24-hr facilities.

Vicarios (52-33-1043-3005) has a roster of a wide range of guys, students, atheletes, models and locals, covering all roles, 24 hours a day, including hotel services.

For Pride revellers, Guadalajara’s annual Marcha de la Diversidad is held every June. There are 10 days of celebrations including fiestas, dance parties, art exhibitions, concerts, parades, pageants, a film festival, and a carnival.

Mexico’s second largest city is a few hours from Puerto Vallarta, meaning many travelers include both on their itinerary. Puerto Vallarta, in the same state of Jalisco, is just over five hours away by car or coach.  Mexico City is about seven hours by road.

ETN is one of several companies offering modern inter-city coach service, with eleven daily arrivals from Vallarta, and twenty from Mexico City from this company alone. ETN also connect Guadalajara with over 70 other Mexican cities, and some of their coaches offer WiFi access.

For the most up-to-date travel information on gay Guadalajara, see our City GuideListings GuideEvents Guide and Activities Guide.

For the most up-to-date travel information on gay Puerto Vallarta, see our City GuideListings GuideEvents Guide and Activities Guide.