The citizens of Buenos Aires seem unusually relaxed about matters of the heart. Gays here are — like the city itself — sexy and sophisticated.
Buenos Aires, where civil unions have been legal for gay couples since 2003, has long been at the forefront of gay rights in South America. In 2010, the country passed same-sex marriage, making it the first country in the region to do so.
Oddly enough, there isn’t just one gay neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Political change came so fast that there wasn’t time. Today you find gays living in almost every part of the city, rubbing elbows with their straight neighbors.
“If you want to go dancing, you don’t need to go to the gay disco,” one local says. “You can go to any disco and you will find gays there. We didn’t need to create ghettos to feel free or to be what we are.”
International flights arrive at Aeropuerto Internacional Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza, located about 29 miles west of downtown. There are shuttle buses and taxis waiting to whisk you downtown.
The city’s subway, called the Subte, is quick and convenient. Singe-ride tickets costing less than a dollar get you anywhere in the system. Taxis are always available and are surprisingly affordable.
In Buenos Aires you’ll spot gay men strolling through many of the city’s upscale enclaves, including Palermo, Recoleta, and Barrio Norte. The historic San Telmo district is a magnet for gay couples looking to nest.
Less than an hour by boat up the Río de la Plata from Buenos Aires, Tres Bocas is near Tigre. The delta area, once known for elaborate Carnival boat processions, is now a relaxing weekend getaway for gay men from the city. It's also home to older guys who fled here to avoid police persecution or murder during the 1970s dictatorship, and then stayed on.
Currency and Money
The Argentine peso is the local currency. ATMs are common downtown, so there’s no need to carry lots of cash.
Media and resources
GayMaps 360 has free maps of gay Buenos Aires, found around the city at clubs and hotels. Their website has a nice map of the city, with fairly well updated listings.
Pink Point has closed, but the City of Buenos Aires official tourism website has Turismo LGBT pages, including information on gay marriages. For their Buenos Aires general tourist information, see BuenosAiresTurismo.
BAGay Travel offers a wide selection of tourist packages for a visit to Buenos Aires, and elsewhere in Argentina.
For map locations and website links to businesses listed below, and more, see our gay Buenos Aires listings pages.
Going Out - bars
Bach Bar (Cabrera 4390, Palermo) long-time gay favorite of 19 years, women's nights, drag shows, cabaret and comedy nights.
Casa Brandon (Luis María Drago, 236), something for everyone with restaurant, movies, books, art events and performances, open daily to 2am, Saturdays until 4am.
Buenos Ayres Club (Perú 571) Tango Queer classes, open to anyone, take place here each Tuesday at 8:30pm, both roles are taught. See details of the International Queer Tango in events listings.
Cero Consecuencia (Cabrera 3769), Wednesdays through Sundays gay pub, pre-clubs mixed crowd.
Contramano (Rodríguez Peña 1082, Recoleta), Friday/Saturday gay party bar, Sundays men's bar, bears, older crowd and younger friends.
Flux (Marcelo T. De Alvear 980, Center) lounge bar, popular with expats, men, women all ages 18+ crowd, break the ice on arrival at happy hours from 7pm, earliest in city.
Gout Cafe (Juncal 2124, Recoleta), cafe, patisserie, and bistro bar, known for their desserts
Inside (Bartolome Mitre 1571, Center), restaurant and bar nightly from 7pm, nightly male stripper shows.
KM Zero Bar (Av. Santa Fe 2516, Recoleta) small popular every-man nightly bar, drag and stripper shows, dancing; tourists and locals.
Mundo Bizarro (Serrano 1222, Palermo), gay-friendly retro (40-50's) cocktail lounge, unusual music, visuals mix; burgers, sushi and Mexican food.
Niceto Club (Niceto Vega 5510, Palermo), gay-friendly lounge and dance club, DJs, multi-media shows, singers, live bands.
Pride Cafe (Balcarce 869, San Telmo), daytime through evening cafe and bar, laid-back mixed crowd, sidewalk tables.
Tom's (Viamonte 638, basement), bar, lounge; 24-hour cruise maze for men, dark rooms, video porn, cabins, j-o area and glory holes.
Zoom (Uriburu 1018, Recoleta), men's sex club, bar and lounge, maze, video porn, cablins, glory holes, open 24/7.
Nightlife - dance clubs
Amber La Fox at Teatro Vorterix (Federico Lacroze & Alvarez Thomas), Friday nights, young mixed high-energy crowd, dancing, shows, wild performances, wide variety of music. They move around, check their site to confirm venue.
Amerika (Gascon 1040, Almagro), the big gay dance club, Thursdays through Sundays, different music on each of three dance floors, chill-out lounge, good mix of all ages 18+ especially on Saturdays.
Angels (Viamonte 2168), intimate dance floors, weekends midnight to 7am, electronica, Latin & pop music varieties, mostly gay men, all are welcome.
Glam Disco (Cabrera 3046, Recoleta) small dance boite with crush of hot and sweaty young guys downstairs, chill-out lounge upstairs.
Jolie (Armenia 1744, Palermo), Wednesday mixed-gender gay parties, restaurant/cafe; young crowd, late night dancing on two floors.
La Marshall (Riobamba 416), gay Tango classes and dances each Friday night.
Pacha (Av Rafael Obligado Costanera 6151, Costanera), big concept weekend dance club, from Ibiza to the world.
Sitges (Av, Córdoba 4119, Palermo) popular club, dancing until 5am Fridays and Saturdays, free pizza or pasta nights, strippers, drag shows, drag and games.
Sub Club (Av. Cordoba 543, Center), gay Saturday disco, young crowd, mostly guys. Email request to register for the guest list.
Fiesta Troya, Friday night gay dance party with drag divas, young and mixed, mostly guys; was at Amerika, but they now request you make contact for info.
Saunas and sex
A Full Spa (Viamonte 1770), men's sauna, steam, Jacuzzi, gym, games, cabins, massage, sun beds, bar/snacks, "relax" room with porn videos.
Homo Sapiens (Gascon 956), warm-up space next to big dance club Amerika; bar and dance floor, cruise cabins, sauna, open daily noon until midnight.
Hotels & Guesthouses
Bayres B&B (Av Cordoba 5842; 54-11-4772-3877), six-room gay B&B in Palermo Viejo, balconies, art-deco house, breakfast, internet access.
Be Hotel (Venezuela 649; 54-11-4136-9393), San Telmo gay-friendly hotel, former Axel Hotel, rooftop pool, sauna/spa, restaurant/bars, massage services, tour arrangements, Wi-Fi.
Buenos Aires Gay B&B (Uriarte 2363; 54-11-4775-0509), gay-owned urban resort, two rental units, large heated pool, gym, full breakfast.
Lugar Gay Bed & Breakfast (Defensa 1120; 54-11-4300-4747), 8-room 18+ men-only San Telmo guesthouse, budget to moderate rates, leather room, bear cave, breakfast, High Tea, drinks and snacks; cable TV, common kitchen-dining room, video library, intenet access.
300km northwest of Buenos Aires on the western shore of the Paraná River, the city is an important metropolitan area with a growing gay scene.
Gotika City Club (Mitre 1539, Rosario) to the north of Buenos Aires, stylish building, chic and beautiful crowd; full schedule of fiestas and shows includes skate night.
AquaMan (Maipu 1282, Rosario), men's bathhouse, earlier crowd beginning at noon, dry and steam saunas, whirlpool, massages, refreshments, free internet, bar with food.
by Michael Luongo
Brazil does not have a monopoly on Carnival in South America. Argentina’s Gualeguaychú, a town of about 100,000 people in the province of Entre Ríos, approximately 230 kilometres northwest of Buenos Aires in the subtropical Mesopotamia region, hosts the Carnaval del Pais (in English).The six-week extravaganza, held weekends in January, February and March (the southern hemisphere’s summer), is full of feathers, sequins, floats and a flamboyant energy quotient that should put it on every gay traveller’s wish list.
Like Rio’s parade, the main events are held in a stadium, called a corsó-dromo, built over what had been the town’s train station. Various comparsas, or schools, compete and are judged based on style, theme and performance, with Mari Mari and Papelitos two key competitors. Throughout the summer, nearly 500,000 tourists will come to watch or take part in the events, party in the town’s bars and swim at Nandubaysal beach, on the Uruguay River, with its view to neighbouring Uruguay. Naturally, wherever there’s an opportunity for dress-up, semi-nudity and feathers, you’ll find plenty of gays and lesbians, many coming each weekend from Buenos Aires for the festivities.
One gay tour company that sells trips to Gualeguaychú is BueGay, based in Buenos Aires and run by Alfredo Ferreyra, who is also the Argentine representative for the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). Ferreyra’s company offers weekend or one-day tours; it can procure tickets for events and can provide English-speaking tour guides.
A frequent visitor to Gualeguaychú himself, Ferreyra says, “North Americans should visit Gualeguaychú to get acquainted with local culture and a different carnival from the one of Rio.” He adds that while Carnaval del Pais might not be as large as the more famous Brazilian event, it is still “quite outstanding ” and offers a welcome change for tourists, many of whom limit their Argentine visit to Buenos Aires, perhaps adding only Mendoza or Iguazu Falls to their itineraries.
There are a few gay-friendly places in Gualeguaychú, but the most famous is El Angel, an important part of Argentina’s recent queer-rights history: it’s the drag bar where trans-gender performer Florencia de la V got her start. She eventually became a wealthy and powerful activist who helped spur the 2012 change in the country’s identity law, allowing those who have transitioned to change their identity cards to match their new gender. “Nowadays,” says Ferreyra, “Flor de la V is a woman according to the law and is married and has two children.” She also hosts a popular TV show and is a regular fixture in Argentina’s celebrity publications.
Beyond Carnaval, Gualeguaychú is known for the hot-spring resorts that surround the town. These, along with horseback riding at nearby estancias, or ranches, and other rural activities, are popular for longer stays. Ferreyra can arrange these, hotel rooms, house shares or other accommodations. Be aware that rental spaces are tight during the season; some people choose to go rustic by camping on the beach.
The town’s proximity to Buenos Aires, and the night bus system, allow you to come, see the parades, party in the clubs afterward and hightail it back to Buenos Aires in the morning. See Gualeguaychú Tourism for more information.