Colombia, unmasking the prejudices

Touristicogay was 3 weeks in Colombia and visited 4 cities: Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Cartagena. We had 2 goals: are the prejudices true and how gay is Colombia? In Europe many people think Colombia is still dangerous and everyone offers you drugs. But is that true?

We arrived at the airport after a flight of 12 hours. Many airline companies start with flights to Bogota, also KLM and Lufthansa in Europe. Outside you choose the official taxi, like in every country.

BOGOTA

Bogota is a huge city and not so warm as other cities, so warm clothes in the evening are necessary. We stayed in Hostel Pink, a gay venue in Chapinero very close to all the gaybars and discos. Reny and his team offer you a nice basic room with a breakfast for you and your partner.

http://www.hostelpink.com

For the touristic part you must be in the historical town. This beautiful part of the city offers you the gold museum and an old town that you can visit with a free tour offered by Bogota’s touristic office. Also visit the monastery on the mountain. You can take a train or a cable. Enjoy the view on the mountain. It is amazing!

If you want to visit the city,grab a taxi. It is the cheapest and most easy way to get around. Bogota has a bus system, the TransMilenio, but no one understands the system and it is dangerous. First Safety tip: NEVER stop a taxi on the street. Use the app on your mobile phone or ask the hotel to call one. The most clubs have their own people to bring you save to your hotel again.

The food is really cheap in Bogota: whatever your taste, you can go around for less than10 euro. The international restaurants are more expensive.

The gay life in Bogota is remarkable: bars, disco, sauna, sex clubs… you find it in the whole city. Babylon is a nice gay sauna that you can compare with a European sauna. Dark club is a weekend cruising venue with lots of action. But on Thursday go to El Mozo Club. This venue has 2 floors, great music and is packed with cute guys. I loved it! On Friday and especially on Saturday everyone goes to Theatron. This gay palace is the largest gay disco in Latin America. Behind those walls you find 10 discos. Remixes, dance, regeaton,… every place has its own style of music. On the square, people listen to live music and eat a snack. At the entrance you pay 15 dollar where you get a cup that you can refill from 21h till 2h with alcohol. More than 6000 people visit this place every weekend.

http://www.elmozoclub.com

https://www.portaltheatron.co

CALI

After visiting a crowded city like Bogota, Cali is a welcome respite. Also the temperature is better than Bogota, and taking a taxi is safer. Here you can take a taxi on the street in all safety.

We stayed at Hostal Dona Sol. John and his partner have a beautiful and quiet place where you can enjoy the swimming pool, the nice room and in the morning John serves you a delicious breakfast. In the past he had a restaurant, so every morning he suprises you with a delicious meal.

http://hostaldonasol.wix.com

Go visit the historical city and if you have time, go visit the zoo. Its one of the most beautiful in Latin America. At the touristic office in the historical center you get a map with faces. Those faces show you which areas are safe for tourists. So keep those warnings in mind.

The gay life starts here on Thursday. From Sunday till Wednesday you find 1 bar open, a gay salsa bar and some saunas. Cali Club is the most European gay sauna with nice facilities, but Phisicus 21 club definitely hosts the hottest guys.

MEDELLIN

Medellin won the price of most innovating city and you can see why: its modern, nice center has a great (and safe) metro system and a beautiful ecological park.

We stayed at 61 Prado, a European hotel in Medellin, close to the metro. The rooms are superb and the food in the restaurant is delicious. You really need to try the Colombian food there. Again here, do not take a taxi on the street, but use the app on your mobile phone.

http://www.61prado.com

The metro system in Medellin is cheap, good and safe for tourists. It brings you to the center of the city where you can make nice walks. Bogota is bigger, but Medellin is more modern in every way. At the end of the metro you can take a cable train that brings you in 30 min to a beautiful ecological park. You can eat something there, make walks or bike tours and have a wonderful view over the city.

The gay life here is different from other cities. They have open gay bars where everyone starts their evening with a cocktail on the street. Then you go to one of the gay discos. You can choose between a salsa and electronic/Latin music one. The music is nice, the drinks cheap and the boys are hot! I loved Medellin.

JOR: Colombian Fashion for gays

Everyone in Europe knows ES and Andrew Christian, but Colombia has its own fashion designer: Javier Ortega. He is the proud owner of JOR: exclusive underwear and swimwear. I had an interview with Javier. His fashion is more colorful than other ones, more Colombian, but nice! You can find a JOR store in Medellin or buy it online and who knows maybe in the future buy it in shops in Europe. I loved it!

http://www.jor.com.co

CARTAGENA

The last city is Colombia’s beach city. It has 2 areas: the historical town and the hotel part. First I did not like it. It was not Colombia for me, but you start to love this city.

I stayed in Casa el Carretero, a gay-friendly guesthouse with nice rooms, a small swimming pool and a good breakfast. Very close you find plenty of cheap restaurants where you can eat for under 10 euro.

http://www.casaelcarretero.com

You can do everything on foot if you stay in the historical part. If you stay in the hotel part, you need a taxi. Discuss the price with the taxi driver, as here they do not use a meter.

Everyday you can have a free walking tour in Cartagena. You just have to pay a tip. For that you get a great tour of 2h with professional guides. Go to the many tourist information points for the details.

http://freetourcartagena.com.co/us

Cartagena is a beach town, so enjoy the good weather and for gays, there is a gay friendly part at the end of the beach. Ask the way to gays and you will definitely find it!

The gay life in Cartagena is very small. They have 1 gay bar: Le Petit and in the weekend 2 gay clubs. But what a great atmosphere at the gay bar: I loved the music, the drinks and if you like muscled guys… Cartagena is definitely your place! Remember that many guys are rent boys!

https://www.facebook.com/LEPETITCLUBDISCOTECA

THE PREJUDICES

My first goal was to look to all the prejudices. Is Colombia dangerous? Yes, but if you follow the rules of the city it arguably is one of the safest countries to travel in. Flying from to city is possible with AVIANCA, an excellent company.

Is Colombia still a drug country? Of course… but in those 3 weeks, just 2 guys offered me drugs, and the police check non-stop.

Is Colombia gay? Oh yes! It is one of the up-and-coming gay countries. You find bars, clubs, sauna, sex clubs and the hottest Latin guys… and this all at cheap European prices.

Colombia stepped into the future of tourism. More information? Click on the websites for the hotels or go to www.touristicogay.be and listen to the interviews i had with Edison from Theatron, El Mozo Club, Javier from JOR and Rubén Egea, a gay activist. Watch the movies of Theatron, Dona Sol and JOR’s exciting fashion!

 

 

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One thought on “Colombia, unmasking the prejudices

  1. Pingback: Are you travelling to a hostile destination? | Trip By Trip

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