Uruguay itself is an extremely gay friendly country, not only across Latin America, but in the world. Gay rights in Uruguay have long been secured and respected: homosexuality was decriminalised in 1934, anti-discrimination laws firmly in place since 2003, adoption laws since 2009 and gay marriage implemented in early 2013.
There are plenty of things to do in the city for the gay traveller, so here’s a taster of the awesome gay scene of Montevideo.
#1 Gay bars in Montevideo
There are a handful of gay bars in Montevideo where you can head for drinks with friends. As with the gay scene of Buenos Aires, everything starts late here. As such, we’ve also included a few gay restaurants which are more like resto/bars: places you can come earlier in the day.
- Chains Pub: Chains is the most popular gay bar in Montevideo. Most come here for a few drinks before heading to Il Tempo or Cains. There’s a cover charge called a “minimum consumption charge” of 250 Uruguayan Pesos (around £7/$9). Chains is located at Soriano 827 and is open Thursdays-Sundays from 10pm.
- La Fonda Restaurant: with the rainbow flag proudly flying outside, La Fonda is not only very gay friendly, but is also regarded as one of the top 10 restaurants in Montevideo by Tripadvisor. It’s located at Peatonal Pérez Castellano 1422 at the corner of 25 de Mayo street. It’s open Tuesdays to Sundays from 12-4pm then re opens in the evening from 8-11pm.
- Bar Rodo: Rodo is a gay friendly bar with happy hours like 2 for 1 Fernet with cola on Wednesdays from 6-9pm. Bar Rodo is located at Boulevard España 2246 (Juan Paullier) and opens everyday from 6pm to 2am and until 4am on Thursdays to Sundays.
- Pepito Bar: gay owned bar attracting a mixed crowd. It has weekly events like stand up shows on Sunday evenings. Pepito is located at Pedro Francisco Berro 1231 and opens everyday for lunch, dinner and drinks.
- La Pasiva: a popular restaurant chain for pizza and beer. La Pasiva has made a name for itself in the LGBT community for its subtle(!) branding: pasiva is Spanish gay slang for bottom with a logo that speaks for itself! It’s open daily from 9am to midnight.
#2 Gay clubs of Montevideo
The gay clubs of Montevideo are fun, full of beautiful Uruguayan guys but just remember, don’t turn up before midnight or you’ll be dancing alone. Here are the 2 main gay clubs of Montevideo:
- Il Tempo: Il Tempo is the most popular gay club in Montevideo, with hilarious drag shows. If you come early (before 1am) it’s got more of a bar like atmosphere. Afterwards, the tables and chairs are cleared and it becomes one large disco. Il Tempo is open Wednesday-Sunday from midnight to 8am and located at Gonzalo Ramirez Salterain 2121 near Parque Rodo.
- Cain Dance Club: Cain is the other main gay club of Montevideo. It has 3 bars, 2 dance floors, 3 lounge areas and a darkroom. Like Il Tempo, there are drag shows as well as strippers. Cain is located at Cerro Largo 1833 at Arenal Grande and opens only on Friday and Saturday evenings from midnight to 7am.
#3 Gay events in Montevideo
There are several major gay events both in Montevideo and across the country, the main ones are as follows:
- Montevideo Pride: this is Uruguay’s largest LGBT pride, celebrated on the last Friday of September also called the Marcha por la Diversidad in Spanish. It started in the 1990s when only 300 turned up. It has now become a huge annual event, attracting over 30,000 people.
- Punta Pride: it started a few years ago in Punta del Este and has become one of the country’s most popular events. Punta Pride is less about the politics and more about beach party fun. It takes place in February, when it’s summertime in Uruguay. The next Punta Pride is on 10-12 February 2017.
- LGBT Chamber of Commerce National Conference: every September, the Uruguayan chamber of commerce have their annual conference, showcasing the best of gay travel in Uruguay. The next event is on 21-22 September 2017 and will be in Punta del Este.
For more, check out the Nomadic Boys’ full gay guide to the gay scene of Montevideo.