Gay Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende

Guanajuato street looking down on restaurant filled plaza

Sant CafÈ, Guanajuato

Colorful house in San Miguel de Allende

Unfortunately the title of this article is a bit of a misnomer. The gay scene in both places is very limited. But the scarcity of information on the web and the inaccuracies in that which does exist motivated me to at least write something definitive so others didnít have to comb back streets of these towns looking for establishments that no longer exist.

Guanajuato state does have a gay sceneóin Leon. But everyone says Leon has little to recommend it to visitors so I took everyoneís advice and stayed away. Hell, even my friend who lived there said that. But guys in Guanajuato do make the hour-long drive to Leon on weekends when they want to go dancing.


With the big student population in Guanajuato and all the trendy café’s and galleries, you might expect more of a scene. Guanajuato’­s one gay bar is El Parasio and is at Tepetapa, 76 after the bridge and before the railroad station. I didn’­t expect much from it­s rather out of the way location, the non-descript building itís in and the fact that itís in a basement. So I was pleasantly surprised when I came down the steps to discover a really cool space: historic brickwork giving it the feeling of a centuriesí old wine cellar combined with trendy cool updates, dÈcor and art. Too bad that on the Saturday night I visited there never were more than a dozen people there. It also had rather pricey drinks, by Mexican standards anyway. It had a very friendly crowd though, where everyone knew everyone else so new blood was instantly spotted.

The crowd there also said that the centrally located La Pirinola Restaurante, AvÈnida Ju·rez, 25, was gay-owned and sure enough it had a rainbow decorated pirinola (spinning top) as the logo. But the crowd seemed to be families gorging on an all-you-can-eat buffet, not one of my favorite types of dining. Nor did the space seem particularly interesting, especially given all the cool options in town.

I’­m sure that most of those trendy café’s and galleries (and possibly the discos) are gay-friendly. I spent a while chatting with the extensively tattooed and pierced barman at Sant Café over breakfast and it seemed like a cool place which would be gay-friendly with live music on weekend eves. And Iíd think this would apply to the town in generalóitís such a young town with its big university and tons of foreign students from the USA and Europe too. But while it may be a young town, itís not a particularly gay one. One acquaintance, who spent two weeks there studying Spanish, said that he ìfound the town dull and devoid of any gay activity anywhere or at any time.î I didnít get much of that gaydar buzz on the street. Or maybe my senses were dulled by just having come from what may be Mexicoís gayest city, Guadalajara, where it seems everyone is cruising you.

San Miguel de Allende

With its huge expat population I expected to find a scene here. Leon is too far for a Saturday night trip from here although Iím sure some head to Mexico City for reliefóabout 4 hours away. There are signs that some scene used to exist here ñ Lonely Planet even listed a gay disco in my Mexico guidebook. And other web resources indicated another bar as well. But here nothing turned up at all. I trekked a little out of the way to find this bar La Lola which had popped up in Internet searches. It was hard to tell where it might have been since the street numbers had changed, with some buildings adopting the new numbers and some sticking with the old ones so one building would be 12, the next 37, the next 13, then 39 and 43. But in either numbering system, it was no longer there. The disco, 100 ¡ngeles, which Lonely Planet and Internet guides listed as being at Mesones, 97 is no longer there either. However, after I left I did get unconfirmed reports that it had moved or perhaps changed it name and moved, like thatís helpful! If anyone can confirm if the disco still exists, let me know or leave a comment on this article. Someone else recommended the lounge at Pancho & Leftyís (Mesones, 99), which is a local institution, next door to where 100 ¡ngeles used to be.

The scene in San Miguel de Allende would seem perfect to support a bar, if not a disco. Itís an older scene of lots of Norteamericano expats, artists, writers. Every street has elegant boutiques, great gourmet restaurants and everywhere there is art. But it did seem a bit more staid. Two respondents on the forum I asked for advice called San Miguel “dull” or just “snore”.

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Discussion »

  • #1Bartolino

    I’m currently in San Miguel de Allande and I can attest that there is not much of a scene here at all. There’s not much cruising or eyeballing going on either. I went to the only “gay disco” last night (I admit it was a Thursday) and it was pretty dead…about 6 people. a big guy at the bar, who was trying to act straight, sid it got hopping on Friday’s & saturdays..but I don’t expect much.

  • #2diego1369

    what was the name of the place you visited?
    I am going this weekend!

  • #3Ruben

    Hey you guys, I’m moving to San Miguel de Allende to look for an interesting job for the summer. It is pretty sad to hear that there’s no gay scene in the area…what am i going to do? Dry up? LOL Well I have a two floors apt, I am thinking of opening an underground gay bar…I mean just a place to chill, meet some people and have gay events even organized activities. Does that sound like a good initiative?? I called it underground because I wont go through the whole getting a license and stuff, but it will be all cool and stuff. I am only 22 you know. Get in touch with me through email to hear your proposals, I will be living there all summer…and I wanna make the gayest investment ever made in San Miguel so far LOL !! Greetings to y’all!!

  • #4daniel

    Hey, I am in Leon with a straight GF and (I am a gay male) and we are loooking for a fun place to go tonight friday….any suggestions

    thx mucho!

  • #5Regina

    We are going to visit Sn. Miguel on May 1st. Please let us know where to meet up and have a cocktail. We live in Guadalajara.

  • #6Rod

    I’ve just moved to San Miguel too, and my bf will join me for the summer. We’d not much for bars, and probably not much into a “gay” scene, but meeting other gay friends for socializing would be cool.

  • #7Tony

    I will be visiting some friends in San Miguel de Allende in September. I am about 20 years younger than they are, and would enjoy making some new friends to visit with while I am there too. I probably stay up later than they do and could find myself looking for some entertainment in the eves. I will be there from Sept 12-18.

  • #8Ruben

    Someone mentioned the only gay disco in san miguel de Allende. What’s the name please? I am there now. Would be fun to ditch the family at night for a drink

  • #9Adrian

    Hi Guys, i be visit Guanajuato this October 2009, for the Cervantino Festival, and i would like to meet some gays guys there, let me know if we can meet there i be there oct 25 to Nov 01, 2009. Hola a todos estare visitando Guanajuato en Octubre 2009, para el Festival Cervantino, y me gustaria conocer algunos gays si es pobible, estare visitando a partir de octubre 25 a noviembre 01, del 2009.

  • #10hector

    so are there any bars to visit while in san miguel allende? if so what is the name will be there in 10/16-10/19

  • #11mare

    hi, I’ll be at SMA in two weeks for the Cervantino, is there any gay place? I will like to meet someone there but it doesn’t seem like it is a gay scene at all… =(

    (I am a girl looking for gay people to hang out, pleaaaaase help!)

  • #12joel

    Actually, in Guanajuato, there are at least two gay bars. Aside from El Paraiso (noted above), there is a more active bar called Whoo-pees. It’s located on the street around the corner from the Campanero Bridge toward the Cervantino theater. I’ve been told that there are two other smaller local bars, but I don’t know where they are. My partner & I will be there during the tail end of the cervantino festival. He arrives on the 28th, and I arrive on the 30th. If anyone has any recommendations in Morelia, Patzcuaro & San Miguel, we’ll be in those places also… We’ll be in MX from October 28-November 8.

  • #13Al

    I am traveling to San miguel this November 2009, I would like to know if there are some place to have some fun… anyone???

  • #14OZ & CA

    We are a gay couple that live part time in San Miguel… we have found that San Miguel lacks an active gay scene and therefore are looking for alternative ways for the gay community in the area to get together in a fun and safe environment. If you would like to receive information on gay events in the area, please send us an email to [email protected] to include you in our mailing list. If you would like to host a gay event, also please let us know. Please forward our email address to all of your friends in San Miguel and the surrounding cities of Celaya, Queretaro, Salamanca, Irapuato, Silao and Leon. Help us organize a gay scene!

  • #15priscilla

    hey im going to be moving to irapuato this coming may i cant wait!!! its goign to me and my husband.. we are not a gay couple or anything, but i just want to meet some friends..

  • #16David and Eriberto

    We are going to spend 5 days in San Miguel de Allende April 18-22…if there is anything happening or places to go let us know!
    Muchas gracias amigos..

    David and Eddie

  • #17Daniel

    Ive been many times to SMA and i got to say the gay seen is lacking !! I would be nice for someone anyone to open an underground bar there even if it just for meeting new people and making new friends. I got the spot if anyone’s is interested in investing !!!

  • #18raul

    The last time i was in sma was 20 years ago. i will be there this summer for a family gathering/wedding…any news of the gays scene or shall i follow my nose
    Thanks and regards

  • #19Patty

    Hi, my girlfriend and i are going to Leon for a few weeks to visit family, anyone knows any gay friendly bars in town?

  • #20Monica

    Anyone know about the lesbian scene in San Miguel?
    It’s a gay friendly town but i’ve struggled to find something fun to do since i’d like to meet gay people and i’m only 19.

  • #21Riad

    Me and my bf we r in San Miguel and we love to meet gay people for friends. And hang out in this beautiful village.

  • #22Dwayne

    Partner and I will be in San Miguel Sun, Apr 22 through Sun, Apr 29. Contact us if you want to meet for drinks or dinner. We are looking forward to it. Also, if there is by chance a gay club…let us know the details.

  • #23Ray

    My partner and I are planning to come to San Miguel for the first time this December.
    I’m starting to look for places (B&Bs or apartment rentals) to stay and interesting people to meet. Let me know if anyone has any suggestions.

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