The third-largest city in Mexico, it is always surprising that the gay scene in Monterrey manages to fly completely under the radar – especially when it is one of the biggest and most exciting in Latin America.
In the past Monterrey was famed for its conservative, macho culture – which helps explain why many gay men here were so secretive and defensive about their sexuality – but today Monterrey has a burgeoning gay scene, is aggressively modern, enjoys the highest standards of living in Mexico and is filled with culture, history and progressive attitudes.
With the annual Monterrey Pride Festival growing in popularity every year and increasingly LGBT+ feature films being shown in the Monterrey International Film Festival it is clear that Gay Monterrey is here, queer and everyone is getting used to it! *and yes, Monterrey was even one of the limited stops on the RuPaul’s Drag Race: Werq The World Tour*. Beautifully luxury hotel rooms in the sky, delicious food, historic and modern attractions – not to mention a gay nightlife scene that includes a cowboy/drag venue and plenty of go-go dancers – await gay travelers in Monterrey Mexico. So what are you waiting for? Read on to find out why LGBT travelers are flocking to Mexico and Monterrey in droves!
Gay Monterrey Guide: The Essential Guide To LGBT Travel In Monterrey Mexico
Many of the attractions in Monterrey gay travelers will want to see are the top things to see in Monterrey anyway. All travelers in Monterrey should take caution in less-developed areas with valuables and take taxi’s or ride share apps (especially if you do not speak Spanish) at night – and always listen to local advice when exploring.
Gay travelers in Monterrey should take special care in less developed areas in terms of public displays of affection where many residents may be less exposed to LGBT culture and may hold conservative attitudes…Though any reaction is more likely to be curious than outrage. Overall Monterrey is relatively safe – although cartel/drug violence continues to be an issue – and a common-sense approach to travel will generally ensure you have no issues exploring this beautiful and diverse city.
In Monterrey you would be hard pressed to find a reputable hotel which had any issues with gay guests but of course some Monterrey hotels are more popular with queer travellers due to their location and inclusive environment or vibe, which are the hotels featured here. These gay-friendly hotel in Monterrey are frequented by members of the LGBT community and have stellar reputations.
Each hotel and area offers something very specific, so be sure to choose the right style and location to meet your needs. Prices are cheap compared to North American and European hotels (thought quickly rising) and standards are high – so it’s a great place to splurge! Of course there are also more hotel and hostel options in Monterrey if none of these suit your desired budget, facilities or area – but most other have a less than sterling reputation.
Amatle Cafe Organico & Hostel ☆– Quant, centrally located in the historic old town and with liberal owners, this hostel / cafe offers the cheapest gay-friendly accommodation in Monterrey. A simple and relaxing space to meet other travellers, and the only decent hostel in Monterrey.
Holiday Inn Monterrey – Parque Fundidora ☆☆☆ – Hyper-modern exterior and set within the new Parque Fundidora, this hotel is perfect for those who want a relaxing stay in Monterrey with plenty of culture and nature right on your door step. Casual-chic rooms, though somewhat dated.
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Monterrey Valle ☆☆☆☆ – A modern construction of glass and steel located away from the centre in the Financial district. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows make up for it however with incredible views over the whole city – as does the modern design and sociable lobby (after business hours).
Krystal Monterrey ☆☆☆☆ – The location doesn’t get much better than this, right in the historic centre of Monterrey. With beautiful views of the Cerro de la Silla mountain, an incredible breakfast buffet and swimming pool/ spa complex it’s easy to see why the Krystal Monterrey is the most popular mid-range gay hotel for those who want to experience the nightlife.
Live Aqua Urban Resort Monterrey ☆☆☆☆☆ – A seductive and sexy modern resort-hotel the emphasis luxury, self-indulgence and to be yourself. Located in the Financial District, the Live Aqua Urban Resort has stunning views, destination dining and a world-class spa. Designed to stimulate the five senses, you are not even going to want to leave the complex!
Grand Fiesta Americana Monterrey Valle ☆☆☆☆☆ – Incredible architecture, contemporary design, killer views and unrivalled luxury. There is treason why the Grand Fiesta Americana Monterrey Valle is the Monterrey hotel of choice for most queer travellers. A memorable stay, even if the location is in the Financial District.
Gay Bars and Gay Clubs in Monterrey
While gay life in conservative Monterrey may be subdued during the day, at night behind closed doors there is a thriving and vibrant nightlife scene where locals and foreigners come together to celebrate diversity and pride. We are not kidding, there are way, way more gay bars and clubs in Monterrey that we ever expected to find.
Things really get crazy and pretty much every night of the week there is a gay event in Monterrey to attend, and what better way could there be to get to ‘know the locals’ than in a Monterrey gay bar! Just don’t forget your common sense, as in many part of Mexico things can get dicey after dark so using a ride-sharing app from your hotel to the venue or anywhere else is the smart way to go.
JACK Monterrey – The go-to venue for a good gay night out in Monterrey. A pumping gay dance club and bar with multi-levels, plenty of themed nights/ events and a legendary open bar deal. Hot and crowded, the perfect place to dance the night away.
Bar Brut 33 – A low-key dive bar with cheap drinks popular with both locals and tourists. Popular for beers with bears, with Drag shows and waiters in popular gay underwear brands on busier nights. Try to go on a Saturday for the full experience.
Manaus Monterrey – A big dance club focussing on atmosphere of inclusivity and no discrimination. Plenty of performances and live music including drag. Check out their Facebook page for the latest events.
Bunker Zona Rosa – Finally one for the ladies, a exclusively lesbian bar in Monterrey. A great local hide-out with plenty of sexy shows.
Espartaco Monterrey – Varied music that inevitably lands on electro-pop. Plenty of strippers and top-less waiters, though more popular with the young, shirtless twink crowd.
Akbal Lounge – A retro long with electro / techno music popular with the LGBT Monterrey scene on Sundays. Unique decoration, hot waiters and the ability to carry a conversation!
JAPI San Pedro – Electro-pop music with a semi-formal atmosphere. Lots of lights, smoke and young things.
LA Colorina 443 – More electro-pop but with a strong focus on its sexy, sexy waiters and stripper shows where both the crowd and the stage is crowded.
La Diosa Social Club Monterrey – Hot go-go boys and strippers on a disco-dance floor. More electro-pop and show TV. Bit of a theme in Monterrey gay clubs incase you hadn’t guessed
James Pool 8 Bar – Low key with varied music. Relaxed place to grab a beer, chat and play pool open every night.
La Jaula Rest Bar – A bizarre venue of cowboys, drag queens and live music with just as varied music. Look out for their events, you won’t have seen anything like it before!
Las Horas Bar – Excellent drag show / cabaret in Monterrey. Ideal for dinner or casual drinks to start the night.
Muxets Monterrey – Pop music and a two-level set-up focussed around their drag shows.
El Jardín – Wateke – Super-cheap and not the kind of place you want to go without a local. Anything goes here really – Music, dress and security it seems.
Gay Saunas in Monterrey
Unlike across the border in Austin Texas where saunas have all but disappeared, bathhouses and saunas in Monterrey are still all the rage – probably something to do with the fiery Latino passion and conservative attitudes at home where most young Mexicans still live. Be aware that rent boys are somewhat common in sauna’s here, but at your own risk – and leave all of your valuable back in your hotel safe!
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Stic Baños de Vapor & Spa – Over 50 years old, Stic Baños de Vapor & Spa is more of a relaxation space with steam baths, massages and sauna. More about display then action though things do get a little naughty here but discretion is advised. Higher number private cabins are further away from the attendants for example.
Sparta Sauna – The most modern and best sauna in Monterrey with sauna, steam showers, an XXX cinema, jacuzzi and more. Popular with a younger crowd – especially for their themed events. Check out their Facebook page in advance for timings and discounts.
La Casita – A secure if somewhat basic option focussed on kinks, leather and plenty of toys. Two locations ( La Casita 1 and La Casita 2). Free condoms and lube and a strong focus on safe sex.
Baños Orientales – Mixed clients of all age groups. Dark steam room and turkish bath with plenty of action happening. Is technically a mixed sauna, but this doesn’t seem to cool things down at all