Costa Rica is a place where the only limit is your return date! Whether you want to zipline, climb volcanic peaks, descend into caves or enjoy the turquoise sea waters, Costa Rica has it all. What’s more, it was one of Central America’s first countries to recognize LGBTQ relationships. Even today, it’s considered one of the best Latin-American countries for gay travelers. In fact, Costa Rica was the first Central American country to legalize gay marriage in May 2020. In a largely conservative region, it was a landmark judgment. So, the fact that there’s a profusion of gay hotels in Costa Rica with the warmest and most friendly staff comes as no surprise. There are even special packages for LGBTQ travelers and couples. Most of Costa Rica’s gay nightlife is focused around the capital city of San José and Manuel Antonio or Quepos.
Costa Rica might not share the same public openness towards LGBTQ people as its European peers. But, the people, known as Ticos, are generally very accepting and outgoing. Besides a slew of gay bars, clubs, and even bathhouses, the country even has gay beach areas in Manuel Antonio. What’s more, it has not one but three gay-friendly beaches! They’re Playa Playitas, Playa La Macha, a gay nude beach, and Playa Espadilla with a northern LGBTQ-popular end. Plus, there’s much to do and see here; lazing on the beaches, hiking in the jungles, and thrilling water adventures. Gay hotels in the country are just the same; they range from boutique boltholes in the city to lush sanctuaries tucked away in the jungles. To that end, here are the top 11 gay friendly hotels in Costa Rica, Central America.
Table of contents
- El Silencio Lodge & Spa
- Hotel Santo Tomas
- Colors Oasis Resort, San Jose
- Hotel Makanda by the Sea
- Pacuare Lodge
- Finca Rosa Blanca
- Hotel Si Como No
- Oxygen Jungle Villas
- Kura Boutique Hotel
- Origins Lodge
- Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas
- Best Gay Neighborhoods in Costa Rica
- Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Costa Rica
- Best Gay Saunas in Costa Rica
- Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Costa Rica
El Silencio Lodge & Spa
An hour north of San Jose sits El Silencio Lodge & Spa, a woody-chic resort in a lush reserve. It also happens to be one of the most serene and panoramic gay hotels in Costa Rica. Whether you’re here on your honeymoon or to hook up, your nights in Costa Rica can’t get any steamier than staying here. After all, the lodge lies amidst a tropical forest reserve, complete with waterfalls and a lazy river. Every cabin suite of this sustainably built lodge is made from eco-friendly bamboo. It only heightens the primal sense of romance here. Sipping champagne in jetted hot tubs on private decks overlooking the foliage is the best way to spend time with your partner.
The rest of the resort is equally romantic and dreamy. When the hunger pangs come calling, the on-site restaurant serves lip-smacking hyper-local fare. Intrepid gay travelers will love the daily roster of yoga sessions and hikes. Notwithstanding whether you go hiking or to the pool, pamper yourselves with a couples massage at the spa. Before retiring to your rooms, guzzle on home-brewed beer at Toro Bohemio Bar. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best gay friendly hotels in Costa Rica.
Hotel Santo Tomas
One of Costa Rica’s best gay friendly hotels is Hotel Santo Tomas. It lies just north of San Jose’s gay scene and is perfect for LGBTQ travelers to explore San Jose by day and the gay scene at night. The hotel is set in a 1908-built historic property. What’s more, it oozes old-world charm with watercolor paintings, classic mahogany furniture, and ornate designs. Gay travelers interested in history will especially love the historic wing with clapboard walls and vintage maps. Choose from just 30 rooms, which are distributed between the newer wing and the century-old original wing. Discerning gay couples will love the older rooms with clapboard walls, potted plants, and floral bedspreads. More contemporary rooms have patios with views of the swimming pool and San Jose.
Despite lying right in the middle of San Jose, the neighborhood surrounding the hotel is quiet. Both the tucked-away courtyard garden and terrace are perfect lounging spaces. During balmy Costa Rican days, cool it off in the plunge pool with a waterslide. There’s even a hot tub by the side for a soak. Later on, enjoy a drink by the poolside, which lights up at night. Begin your day with an American or Ticoan breakfast. During the day, hang out, read, and play games in the social spaces. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the Top Gay-Friendly Hotels In San Jose, Costa Rica.
Colors Oasis Resort, San Jose
The second of Costa Rica’s two hotels with a gay-only and adult-only atmosphere is San Jose’s Colors Oasis Resort. Set away from the city’s bustle, the hotel lies close to San Jose’s best sights while enjoying the tranquility. All rooms at this easy escape into the wild have plush beds and cozy patios overlooking the foliage. Spa baths and bespoke bath products in the bathrooms amp up the romance factor. Moreover, some rooms even have complete kitchens for couples who want to spend some romantic nights. Fluffy robes, plush towels, huge showers-for-two, and 24-hour room service ensure that you don’t have to step out.
The rest of the hotel is the pinnacle of modest luxury, with the private pool deck and a divine solar-heated pool at the center. After a refreshing swim or a dip, how about soaking off your stresses and getting into the mood at the jacuzzi? Do book massages for yourself and your partner at the spa or work up a sweat and an appetite at the fitness center. Finally, dig into delicious fare and delicious craft cocktails at the on-site restaurant and bar. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best gay hotels in San Jose.
Hotel Makanda by the Sea
If money is no object, then we’d highly recommend Hotel Makanda by the Sea. This boutique resort is tucked just south of Quepos and drips with fabulous glamor. Here, every design detail tells a story, right from Shanti Spa’s ocean-inspired walls to Balinese swing beds. Chinese tiling and Hollywood glam bathrooms only add to the exclusive vibe, which discerning LGBTQ travelers will love. But the real draw is the rural setting on the raised bluff over the ocean. Gays who love the wild could begin their mornings with yoga on the deck or head to the private Biesanz Beach via a descent through bamboo forests. If you want to laze, find the infinity pool and order cocktails off the pool bar.
Begin your days at a slow pace with a complimentary full breakfast on the deck with gorgeous views. You’ll love even the standard studio rooms here, which have floor-to-ceiling glass doors and California king beds. What’s more, they even have huge balconies with hammocks and sweeping sea views. Bold chandeliers and eccentric trinkets add to the romantic vibe, as do the glass and marble bathrooms with powerful rainfall showers. Our advice? Level up and go for the villas with private plunge pools.
Eco-conscious LGBTQ travelers will love the Pacuare Lodge, one of the best eco-retreat gay hotels in Costa Rica. But, this one is not just any other eco-retreat, for it stands out for several reasons. For one, it has a remote rainforest location on the banks of the Rio Pacuare River. So, it can be accessed by raft! Despite its remote location, it lies less than three hours from San Jose, in case you want to sneak in a day trip to the capital. Toss your gadgets aside for the week, as the rooms here are electricity-free! Instead, the place invites you to indulge in outdoor adventures such as whitewater rafting and hiking. If you’re the laidback kind, then the signature massages and treatments at the shaman-inspired spa are divine.
Besides a fitness center, the place boasts an organic restaurant and bar that serves the most delicious organic produce from their gardens. Natural spring water, and solar heating aside, you’ll love the rooms here that peek out from the parrot-green palms. The Jungle View suites are grand for those who don’t care for isolation. But, nothing says decadent solitude more than the Canopy Honeymoon Suite, which lies across a private suspension bridge. Cozy up in the spring-fed private pool on the suite deck and watch the sunset, bubbly in hand and your beloved by your side.
Finca Rosa Blanca
Yet another excellent gay friendly hotel to stay in Costa Rica is the Finca Rosa Blanca. This eco-resort is nestled in the lush highlands overlooking San Jose and is surrounded by coffee plantations and mango trees. The playful design featuring sculptures, mosaics, and murals complements the organic and nature-focused layout. Besides San Jose is close by, culture-vultures will love activities such as birdwatching and coffee tours. What’s more, you can even join local families to learn Tico culture via food, art, and music. Begin and end your day with delectable gourmet fare at the restaurants with glittering Central Valley views.
If you’re here with your partner, pamper yourselves to the hilt at El Targua Spa. It offers massages and body treatments using avocadoes, chocolate, and coffee. It’s racy enough to get anyone in the mood! During the day, laze at the picturesque spring-fed infinity pool with a hot tub and a waterfall with a tangling vines roof. Every room here has a terrace or balcony to enjoy drinking freshly brewed coffee. White stucco walls and wood adds to the serene ambiance, as do the colored tiles in the bathroom. For the ultimate in romance, go for the Rosa Blanca Master Suite, which has a miniature waterfall to fill the bath!
Hotel Si Como No
Yet another definitively gay-friendly hotel in Costa Rica is Hotel Si Como No in Manuel Antonio. Tucked in the famed lush tropical rainforests of Costa Rica, the hotel boasts spectacular views of the region and the Pacific Ocean. Rooms and suites at the hotel lie in 10 separate terraces that surrounded two gorgeous freshwater pools. What’s more, the terraces are connected via foliage-filled walkways. Si Como No’s motto and the theme seem to be love, for there’s no TV in any of the rooms! That said, even standard rooms feature wet bars with stocked minibars, balconies, and huge walk-in showers for two. We’d suggest the deluxe suites, which have large sea-facing balconies and deep-soaking tubs in the enormous bathrooms as well. Are you here for your honeymoon? The Honeymoon Suite has a private jacuzzi. Sigh.
But, that’s not all. The hotel is particularly famed for its vast tropical spa and restaurants serving the fresh Caribbean and Tico seafood. During hot afternoons, cozy up with your partner in the private movie theater. The best feature of them all is the multiple pools with water slides and swim-up bars for enjoying drinks right in the water.
Oxygen Jungle Villas
Located in the gorgeous and remote beach town of Uvita in southern Costa Rica, Oxygen Jungle Villas is one for those who love solitude. One of the most intimate gay hotels in Costa Rica also happens to be an adults-only jungle-side escape. There are 12 Balinese-style suites to choose from here, each being sculpted entirely in glass. So, it feels like you’re sleeping out in the wild, but in utmost luxury. Wake up to the sound of the fauna and enjoy a cup of coffee in the seating area filled with tropical-style décor. With minibars, huge, plush king beds, and a terrace with ocean and mountain views, LGBTQ couples won’t feel like leaving this haven. The cherry on top is the gorgeous bathrooms with rain showers and outdoor bathtubs right on the edge of the canopy. Talk about sensual thrills!
During the day, go whale-watching or hiking in the lush jungles, followed by a decadent spa treatment. Do spend some time at the absolute beauty of an infinity pool with ocean views and whose waters reflect the lush foliage surrounding it. Travelers who don’t want to leave the hotel at all are in luck, thanks to the delicious fare served by the restaurant. Dig into a candlelight dinner on the deck and wash it down with a poolside cocktail under the stars.
Kura Boutique Hotel
Imagine a boutique mountaintop retreat in Costa Rica with dramatic views of the Pacific Coast? Now, who wouldn’t want to live there! Welcome to the exclusive Kura Boutique Hotel in Uvita, which is considered the pinnacle of gay-friendly R&R in the country. This six-suite hotel blends the best of biological and architectural skills to create something unique, heavenly, and never seen before. Staying here is getting to know the native tribes, the Borucan people. In fact, their devil masks and art adorn the walls of the suites. Every massive suite features vast floor-to-ceiling glass walls that practically let the outdoors inside. Plush beds facing the jungle and the sea, outdoor showers, and hammocks on the balconies add to the sexy vibe here. The icing on the cake is the all-glass see-through bathrooms with double vanities and bathtubs – it doesn’t get any more romantic than that.
The rest of the sustainable hotel is equally impressive, right from the saltwater infinity pool to the sleek spa with sensual Balinese decor set right in the rugged jungle. During the day, laze at the pool with million-dollar ocean views and a cocktail in your hand. For gay travelers who love to be out and about, hop onboard the hotel shuttle and head to Uvita beach for water activities.
Gay travelers who love going off the radar will love the rural Costa Rican Origins Lodge. The cliffside hotel sits amidst acres of pristine forest in northern Costa Rica and is considered one of the country’s top luxury hotels. The gay-friendly hotel is designed using natural materials, including each of the five bungalows. Shaped like gigantic Hershey’s Kisses, the bungalows are like green living rooftops. All of them have expansive, covered terraces with fire-heated hot tubs overlooking Lake Nicaragua – a luxury that very, very few hotels in the world have. The interiors are equally appealing, with cloud-like beds, outdoor rainfall showers, and gorgeous bathrooms swathed in stone, wood, and foliage.
As stylish as it is, Origins remains down-to-earth and is dedicated to preserving the natural environment. Thus, it shares space with an on-site organic garden and grazing horses. Dig into the delectable haute cuisine at the resort, whose breakfast spreads are to die for. Begin your mornings with meditation and yoga before heading on a day tour of the region.
Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas
On the western edge of Costa Rica in the Guanacaste province sits one of the top gay hotels in Costa Rica, the enchanting Casa Chameleon Las Catalinas. The hotel is a bunch of villas nestled on a hill overlooking the Guanacaste coast and the Pacific Ocean. Every one of the 21 chic villas is the most romantic of getaways, complete with one all-glass wall leading out to sea-view patios. Moreover, they’re all fronted by plunge pools where you and your significant other can spend much of your time. Four-poster beds, indoor-outdoor rain showers, and a vertical rock fountain right by the pool complete each villa here.
Casa Chameleon is big on sustainability, so it not only conducts monthly beach cleanups but even uses solar energy for heating the saltwater infinity pool. Begin your mornings with yoga on the elevated deck before sipping cocktails on the sunbeds by the pool. After that, go for in-room massages before kayaking in the bay or biking around the laidback village of Las Catalinas. End your day with pre-dinner cocktails and a candlelight dinner at the Moroccan-styled restaurant.
Best Gay Neighborhoods in Costa Rica
Most of Costa Rica’s gay and lesbian nightlife is focused around the capital city of San José, which lies in the center of the country. The cultural neighborhood of the Catedral District is where you’ll find the highest concentration of gay bars. Moreover, you might even spot pro-LGBTQ street art and graffiti in San José. Manuel Antonio on the Pacific Coast is known for its scintillating gay ‘day’ life as well, especially the gay beaches. In fact, the city even has a gay nude beach, Playa La Macha. What’s more, many hotels and resorts offer special packages for LGBTQ events during Pride celebrations.
That said, gay travelers are advised to exercise caution, despite the country’s open-mindedness. Also, any negative attitudes are limited to looks since Costa Rica is still a country with machismo and conservative attitudes. So, outward displays of affection between LGBTQ partners are best avoided.
One of the most exclusive offerings for LGBTQ travelers is the progressive Gay Hotel Villa Roca. This idyllic property just outside Quepos is one of the only two spots in the country that caters exclusively to gay and lesbian travelers.
Are you traveling to Costa Rica for the first time? Here are some of the Best Costa Rica Travel Guide Books.
Best Gay Bars / Clubs in Costa Rica
- Pucho’s: Pucho’s is one of the raciest and sexiest gay bars in Costa Rica, not just San Jose. This gay bar offers the best trans strippers and good-looking naked guys. Furthermore, they even host erotic shows, leather nights, and drag shows, all radiating an ‘anything goes’ racy atmosphere.
- La Avispa: Behold the longest-running gay bar and disco in San Jose, the amazing La Avispa. Since 1979, the bar has great Latin music and two dance floors filled with the most beautiful people that dance the night away. Tuesdays and Sundays usually see the largest gay crowds, and the place even has lesbian nights twice a month when men aren’t allowed!
Best Gay Saunas in Costa Rica
- Club Hispalis: Costa Rica’s largest gay sauna and fitness center is Hispalis, which is also the busiest and the cleanest. Nestled in the capital city of San Jose in the middle of the gay neighborhood, this place has darkrooms, a heated pool, a jacuzzi, and lockers. The crowd is usually mixed with a wide range of hot guys and it’s best to go during early evening, as opposed to late nights at most saunas.
Best Gay Events/Shows/Tours in Costa Rica
- San Jose Pride: San Jose Pride has been rather special since Costa Rica legalized gay marriage in May 2020. However, even the 2019 celebrations were equally vibrant, since the ruling had already been announced. It saw even members of the Lutheran Church and Nicaraguans participate with the hopes that their government would follow suit. It even saw President Alvarado, who is supportive LGBTQ rights, proudly march along with the participants. Besides the march, Pride celebrations also include discussions, panels, and lots and lots of gay parties. Even 2021 saw the most vibrant march with thousands of participants marching down the streets with rainblow flags.