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Exploring Gay Jamaica

Although Jamaica is one of the most prominent all-inclusive destinations in the Caribbean, it’s known for not being the most welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community. While these perceptions are starting to change as organizations like J-Flag continue to advocate for the queer community, it is challenging to know how safe a trip to Jamaica can be. We pulled together this guide of things to know before traveling gay Jamaica.

Are you considering a trip to Jamaica but want to know how accommodating it is to the LGBTQ+ community?

Keep reading for tips on having a fun and gay-friendly getaway to Jamaica.

Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Ocho Rios, Jamaica - Photo by Staicy Androose on Unsplash

Choose an LGBTQ+ Friendly Resort

When it comes to finding an all-inclusive place to stay in Jamaica, it’s important to choose an international name. Brands like Secrets, Breathless, and Sandals are more welcoming to the queer community and will provide a safer space for your trip. Check out our blog post about how safe it is to be gay at the Sandals Negril in Jamaica.

Rainbow Getaways also works with Roundhill Resort and Villas, which fully supports the LGBTQ+ community and is a leading sponsor of MoBay Pride. Round Hill is a boutique resort with just 36 hotel rooms (all oceanfront) and 26 private villas that range from two to six bedrooms. Check out our blog post with Issia, sales and marketing manager at Roundhill Resort and Villas, for more information on the wide variety of services they offer.

Stay in the Resort Bubble

Jamaica is most welcoming to LGBTQ+ folks around tourist-heavy spaces, so for a stress-free visit to the country, it’s better to stick to the activities around the resort. The resorts offer plenty to do, and for those looking to get out and explore, you can take a resort-sponsored excursion.

Other destinations are better suited for travelers who prefer adventure or live among the locals.

Photo by Joey Nicotra on Unsplash
Photo by Joey Nicotra on Unsplash

Avoid Traveling Alone

If you plan to leave the resort, it’s important to remember that gay nightlife is different in Jamaica. There aren’t any specific gay establishments or neighborhoods, and homophobic harassment is common. Make sure that you travel in groups and have a plan for the excursion.

When it comes to hooking up or perusing cruising apps, be wary. As we mentioned before in our blog post about Being Gay in Jamaica, most app users will either keep their profile photos blank or use a body pic instead of a face shot. We recommend removing your face pics and any identifiable information from your profile before you start swiping.

Minimize PDA

As much as we love seeing LGBTQ+ affection, visible signs of queerness, like physical touch, will make you stand out on your trip. To avoid any targeted verbal harassment, keep the PDA to a minimum unless you’re in the safety of the resort.

Despite the Jamaican Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett declaring in 2017 that “LGBT travelers should feel relaxed traveling to Jamaica” and it’s “Tourism for all” in the country, there have still been enough instances of violence against LGBTQ+ folks that it’s important to keep your guard up when traveling.

Jamaica is a beautiful location, and there are many ways to have a safe and magical Caribbean vacation. If you’re interested in planning a trip, schedule a consultant with Rainbow Getaways, and we’ll help you with everything you need to know.

Rainbow Getaways proudly help travelers of the LGBTQ community (and our allies) research, plan, and book incredible vacations where you feel confident and comfortable enjoying and exploring your destination. We plan each vacation to meet your specific needs, so you’ll have an experience just as unique as you.


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