Is Costa Rica LGBTQIA+ friendly?

The rights of people who identify as being part of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community have dramatically evolved over the years so that now, they have similar rights to their heterosexual counterparts making Costa Rica extremely safe for travellers as a whole.

Relationships between same-sex couples have been legalised since the 1970s but it wasn't until 2018 that steps were taken to legalise same-sex marriage and adoption for same-sex couples by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights based in San Jose, Costa Rica. As of 2020, same-sex marriage is now legal in Costa Rica and with the ruling, comes even more acceptance towards members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Costa Rica is now paving the way for other Central American countries when it comes to committing to equal rights and the prohibition of discriminating against members of the LGBTQIA+ community in areas such as employment and identity documents such as passports and driver's licenses. 

For this reason, travellers to Costa Rica don't need to be outwardly conscious of displaying affection for their same-sex partners while they're out and about. Having said that, Costa Rica is still a catholic country and there are still people, including several prominent political figures, that don't agree with the recent legalisation surrounding LGBTQIA+ rights. While the majority of Costa Ricans welcome and support travellers of the LGBTQIA+ community, disapproval coming from older generations and people with strict religious beliefs, or those living in smaller, rural areas may still be experienced. 

Queer culture in Costa Rica 

The queer culture in Costa Rica is thriving and has been for quite some time with several establishments located across the country geared at attracting members of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially in urban hotspots such as San Jose and Manuel Antonio. However, the further you go from populated cities, the less likely you are to find bars and restaurants that are welcoming to travellers of the LGBTQIA+ community due to the country's Catholic background so keep that in mind when planning your itinerary. 

Some of the best queer bars to visit in San Jose are Club Venue, Club Teatro, La Avispa, Bocho, and Buenas Vibraciones with each one providing a safe and fun atmosphere to dance the night away in. Other destinations such as Manuel Antonio, Liberia, Cartago, and Puntarenas have a slightly more subdued queer scene but that's not to say there isn't plenty of places to party with each region offering several gay bars and events for travellers to choose from. 

Solo travel and room sharing 

We want everyone who books a trip with us to feel both welcomed and comfortable but if you're travelling by yourself, we'll automatically pair you with a fellow traveller who's of the same gender (according to your passport information) when it comes to accommodation.

If you would prefer this wasn't the case or if you would like a different rooming arrangement, please let us know throughout the early stages of the booking process. If you don't wish to share a room at all with a fellow traveller, there may be some individual rooms available on the tour that you've booked. 

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