Located primarily between North America and South America, the Caribbean region lies southeast of the Gulf of Mexico, east of Central America and north of South America. The Caribbean Islands is made up of more than 700 different Caribbean islands, islets, reefs and caves. The Caribbean is also known as the West Indies. Only 2% of the islands are inhabited! The main languages in the Caribbeans are Spanish, English, Dutch, Haitian Creole and Papiamento.
About 75% of the population of the Caribbean is contained within three islands: Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Their population combined is around 30 million people, which is equal to the entire population of Canada.
The top Caribbean destination isThe Dominican Republic.They receive more visitors than any other Caribbean island, around 4.3 million people every year. Tourism has helped make this country one of the wealthiest Caribbean countries.
While some of the Caribbean Islands have a ways to go as far as embracing equality for LGBT couples and the community, many are known to be gay-friendly and welcoming.
For example, Puerto Rico is considered to be on of the most gay-friendly islands in all of the Caribbean as same-sex weddings are legal here. San Juan has an amazing bar scene with most of the LGBTQ scene centering around the popular Condado oceanfront district.
Aruba embraces diversity and is home to the gay-owned Little David Guesthouse. Cuba’s gay community has come a long way, with Raul Castro’s daughter, Mariela, leading the Cuban National Center for Sex, the country is becoming increasingly more LGBTQ-friendly.
Curacao has exceptional gay-friendly hotels and attractions, and they encourage gay and lesbian travelers to visit the island and experience its ‘live and let live’ atmosphere for themselves. Most of the hotels on the island are gay-friendly and same sex marriage is also legal here.
The tiny island of Saba is also one of the Caribbean’s most gay-friendly destinations. Its population of 1,500, warmly welcome LGBTQ travelers. Also, St. Maarten is a hotspot for LGBTQ travelers. They have a clothing-optional beach – Cupecoy Beach. L’Escargot has French food and drag shows.
While most of the Caribbean islands warmly welcome all gay and lesbian travelers and couples, LGBT travelers have to be cautious when traveling to a few of the Caribbean islands. The last thing you want to do is go on vacation and not be able to relax and be yourself.
Most people are aware of the stories that have happened in Jamaica and Haiti. Jamaica is trying earn LGBT tourism dollars and the trust of the community. With the help from J-Flag (Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexual and Gays) Jamaica is trying to educate and earn the trust of the LGBT community. Jamaica has a major vested interest in making sure nothing bad happens in or around top tourist destinations such as Negril and Montego Bay. Read more about Jamaica’s efforts to work with LGBT travelers.
Antigua and Barbuda
British Virgin Islands
Saint Kitts & Nevis
Trinidad & Tobago
Turks & Caicos Islands
US Virgin Islands