Cute but complicated...

Heading to Costa Rica on vacation? Well there are a few things you ought to know. First thing: Ticos (that's how Costa Ricans refer to themselves, a helluva lot easier than saying Costariccenses) are damn guapo (cute). Somewhat more European looking than Mexicans since there's little indigenous blood. Not generally quite as beefy as Cubans or Brazilians (since there's little African blood as well) but damn hot.

And, while the country is generally socially conservative as is most of Latin America it is more open to gay and lesbian travelers than almost anywhere else in Latin America and has a reputation for this, even outside the gay community. Their rivals taunt the Tico national soccer team, which does quite well, thank you (as those watching their impressive performance at the World Cup in Brazil already know) with chants of "Putos" (fags). Mmmm, sounds pretty good to me: a team of athletic gay boys on a field wearing skimpy shorts.

Costa Rican model Andres Carranza. No idea if he's gay but we can hope...

Learning the local tongue

Of course, you also have to know a few choice words of the language. And if you've learned your street Spanish elsewhere, especially in Spain, you'll need to make some adjustments. Of course the best way to learn is "on the job".

I was playing with a guy in a park in Madrid one time and he said me estoy corriendo (which literally translates as "I'm running myself"). I was like, "Huh? What does that mean?" even though I knew all the words. He quickly demonstrated by shooting his leche (cum). But this phrase doesn't work in Costa Rica. They go with a more direct translation from the English: me estoy viniendo.

The most useful phrase here is simply Que rico as in Que rico tu pinga (cock) or Que rico tu culo (butt). Mostly though, this is a great thing to moan, all on its own, like when you're getting a great blow job. It also works great when you're telling his mom later how great dinner is.

Check your attitude mae! (dude)

Ticos tend to be fiercely proud and rather possessive too. You might hear Te quiero ("I love you", sorta although literally "I want you") sooner than you expect. However, Te quiero is rather less strong than Te amo (I love you) so don't fret too much.

But don't be too manipulative either: if you're here for a vacation fling and no more, then say so.

I will say that a greater number of young Ticos like somewhat older in shape gringos. But let me get this out of the way: they're not all looking for a sugar daddy and they're not all hustlers. Yes, like everywhere, this exists, but I don't find it much more prevalent than back in the States. Check your attitude about the developing world on the plane on the way here. Yes, if you're pushing 50 with a belly the size of Lake Erie and a cute Tico boy wants to suck your pinga then maybe he's in it for something else. But this country is richer than its neighbors (50+ years without an army will do that) and has a life expectancy longer than the United States (a public health care system and a much less stressful lifestyle will do that).

Where the boys (and girls) are

There are an amazing amount of wonderful places to see in Costa Rica for such a small country. But, if you're seeking sex, you'll probably want to start with two: San Jose and Manuel Antonio.

The capitol San Jose has more than one would expect of its share of gay bars and, for a change, of lesbian bars. It also has several exclusively gay hotels. The bars run the gamut from a video bar that could be anywhere in the States, Bochinche, to a hustler and go-go boy bar, Puchos, to a dance club with lots of male-male and female-female salsa and meringue dancing, La Avispa. There's quite a few more. These three have been around for a while but like everywhere these things change rapidly so check local listings.

Several bathhouses await your pleasure as well. You might find them busiest after work rather than later though. Parque Morazon and the park a few blocks East can be pretty cruisy too but be very careful, especially after dark.

Hanging out with guys, drinks and a stunning view of Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio and Quepos

The town of Quepos and the short stretch between there and the Manuel Antonio National Park are the other gay mecca. There is one exclusively gay hotel and many gay friendly ones and a couple of gay bars.

There is a gay beach too called Playita. Back in the day it was in a isolated cove, everyone was naked and pretty much anything and everything happened there. Nowadays a hotel has been built there so it's not quite as special but the far end of the beach is still the gay spot to hang out and many people still go nude. But ask or follow the lead of others before you strip down, sometimes they've been known to crack down. There are fun waves to play in (if you're not a strong swimmer, be careful as there are riptides and people have drowned there). Lots of incredible shade trees overhanging the beach so you can stay all day. And lots of cute guys—from all over the world.

The best time to meet Ticos is on weekends when the guys from San Jose come down to enjoy the beach for a few days. Especially during the Costa Rican "summer" (dry season) of December and January when schools and universities close for the annual holiday.

The Caribbean Coast

The Caribbean Coast is also becoming sort of a gay hot spot (a warm spot?) with many gay guys and some lesbians choosing to buy property there and start businesses.

There aren't any gay bars as such but head to KOKi Beach Restaurant and Bar or ask at one of the gay owned businesses as there are often informal events where the locals get together and hang out with tourists or Tico boys from San José.

Pura vida and enjoy Costa Rica!

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Alan en efecto no hay un vecindario gay y probablemente nunca lo habrá, estamos muy lejos de ser realmente aceptados por la sociedad, el tico todavía sigue siendo muy machista y eso es algo que no podemos ignorar. Sin embargo la comunidad gay es grande, así que chicos para conocer sobran. Si utilicen Grindr es la app del momento.

December 18, 2015

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Alan from San Francisco, United States
Hooking up

I had a lot of success in meeting boys and hooking up at Club Oh and Bochinche. They will be able to tell right away that your not a local and I think there is something appealing about that. I live in San Francisco and have some street smarts about me so I found it fairly safe to hook up, but I think the advice above is good and you can never be too safe.

I brought by Ipod touch with me so I could get online (wifi at hotel). I didnt try using my cell phone because I didn't want to incur additional charges. I found Grindr,, and A4A to be pretty active. I met a lot of great boys online, some that I hooked up with, others just chatted. Since you just cant walk out on to the street and find a gay man, I think online is the best way to discover the gay culture here. I would suggest start looking before you get to Costa Rica and putting your vacation plans on your profile in order to find boys and start chatting. By using these sites I found very few (almost none) in norther Costa Rica and most were either near Manual Antonio or in San Jose. You occasionally find other gay travelers who are in your city and using Grindr, A4A etc.

Overall San Jose (and the rest of the country) for that matter aren't very open to the gay culture. Yes there are a few gay bars/clubs in San Jose, but they dont have a gay neighborhood or even a stretch with your typical gay bookstore coffee shop, etc. The gay culture is still hidden away.

February 26, 2012

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