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Gay Gran Canaria

Gay nightlife (and anything specific by day really too) centers around Maspalomas and Playa del Inglés. There's a few options in the capital Las Palmas though it's a long way to go for a bit of fun if you're staying in the south with the fun on your doorstep. Las Palmas is a nice alternative though if you like to mix the fun with some real Spanish/Canarian culture and atmosphere as you won't find much of that in the Yumbo or the south. Las Palmas, in addition to several gay bars, clubs, saunas..... also offers visitors museums, galleries, theatre, opera, classical and popular concerts, various major events throughout the year (second largest attended carnival in the world) and of course most important of all, shopping to die for at prices lower than the duty free in the airport.

If you want to be in the heart of everything though and do little more than relax on the beach all day & party by night then look for somewhere in Playa del Ingles (near the Yumbo center) or Maspalomas (down near the tenis center & golf course as that's where most of the gay complexes are or near the dunes). If you're loaded then another option is one of the luxury hotels down at Meloneras which is where Maspalomas beach and sand dunes start.


Maspalomas Dunas




THE SOUTH - By day, the place to go is the sand dunes & beach of Maspalomas. The dunes themselves have an area to the south (or to the right of this picture) which are covered in bushes. It's in and around these bushes that gay sun seekers tend to favour setting up camp for the day (I wonder why.......)

On to the beach itself which seems to be split into three areas. Nearest to the lighthouse is where you'll find the families. A ten minute stroll further along the beach brings you to the nudist area (birthday suites are not compulsory) so this is where everyone goes (by beach bar number 7). Past there is a third area, again popular with nudists but also with more families as you're reaching the end of the beach and into Playa del Ingles. So, stick to the bit in the middle next to beach bat number 7. The easiest way to get onto the beach is drive/taxi to the Annexo II commercial center, and walk along the beachfront from there or drive/taxi to the lighthouse "Faro de Maspalomas" and do the same from that end. A fun way to get on the beach (lots of cruising on the way back) is go to the Riu Palace Maspalomas hotel at the end of Avenida de Tirajana in Playa del Ingles and treck through the dunes themselves. You can't get lost as a) you can see the sea and b) follow the crowds.


Gay Exclusive places are - The Villas Blancas complex at Campo International (Maspalomas) is another well known gay exclusive complex that's opened it's pool and poolbar area to non-residents who fancy a day away from the beach and in a friendly and lively atmosphere. The longest running and now refurbished and re-opened (December 2008) complex is Beach Boys in Campo International area of Maspalomas. Also refurbished and re-opened May 2009 is Los Almendros opposite the Cita center. (Make sure you deal with Raymond and NOT Elizabeth). Club Tucanes have their complex in Playa del Ingles, 5 minutes walk from the Yumbo. There's also Basement Studios, a small complex of bungalows opposite the Yumbo center with a dress code many days of the week of leather or a jock!. Another complex just 5 minutes from the Yumbo is the newly opened (2008) La Residence. Again, the accommodation there is furnished very tastefully and to a very high standard! The most exclusive (and expensive) of the gay complexes is the Bird Cage Resort 5 minutes walk from the Yumbo. Little expense spared in furnishing the rooms and bungalows there! In San Agustin (quieter resort but closer to Playa del Ingles and the Yumbo than Maspalomas is) there's Pasion Tropical which is practically on the beach. The last (currently) addition to the gay-exclusive list is Tropical La Zona 5 minutes walk from the Yumbo and nightlife in Playa del Ingles. 25 bungalows and they also open the pool to the public and have the occasional pool party to help keep things lively and fun around the complex.

Several other hotels and apartment complexes are very gay-friendly with plenty of gay clientelle, mainly due to their location close to the Yumbo and include Carmen Apartments, Tenesor Apartments, Barbados Apartments, the Neptuno Hotel & Iguazu Apartments.

 - By night head for the Yumbo Centre, the main shopping/commercial centre in Playa del Inglés. Unless you want to get there in time for dinner (you can't miss the gay restaurants because they display the gay flag though in and around the Yumbo literally everywhere is gay friendly) there's little point in arriving much before 10pm. On the lower level is a huge open-air area with all kinds of stalls and shops to have a look at for the early part of the evening. Also on this level are the two main cabaret bars always pulling in large crowds. Currently the new Sparkles ShowBar on the second floor is the cabaret bar to head to for the best show in costumes, comedy and decent-priced drinks. One of the largest venues in the Yumbo and packs out every night from around 10pm onwards. "Rickey's Cabaret Bar" is another showbar to check out on the bottom level. Bars fill up from 10pm onwards and the shows start around 11pm or midnight. Different shows each night of the week and karaoke beforehand.

From early evening (after dinner) the terrace bars on the lower level fill up, from 11pm onwards a few people are in the rest of the bars but most go to see the shows downstairs or people-watch on the lower terraces. Not long after midnight, the rest of the disco/music bars start to fill up. The top floor bars (4th floor) are all located in a circle and people tend to work their way round, having a drink in each. The last bar you come to on the top level is also a nightclub (Mantrix) and is open from 2am until around 5am or 6am. If you go past that and down the stairs you'll see the sign and entrance to WOM - World of Music. It used to be Heaven but become more and more hetero recently and that's the way it tends to be (straight but gay-friendly) on a Friday & Saturday unless there's a special party night on.

The leather and "dress-code" bars which are the places to cruise are all at the other end of the center (1st and 2nd floor). Also at the other end of the shopping centre you'll find a sex shop, and another nightclub "Babylon" which is open until around 6:30am though doesn't get going until around 3am.

If you're still in a party mood once the clubs close then there's often an "after-hours" club. Currently it's Factory in the Cita Center, basement level. The Cita Center is a 15 minute walk from the Yumbo or 3 minutes in a cab. 


The second largest carnival in the world after Brasil takes place each year up in the north of the island in the capital city of Las Palmas. It lasts for around 3 weeks with events most days for everyone from kids to grandparents. All sorts of competitions, shows, street parties..

The main week-end around the middle of those dates starts with the Friday & the Drag Queen competition which is the biggest evening of the entire 3 weeks of carnival. This is followed by all-night street parties (tens of thousands of revellers of all ages). The day after (Saturday) is the Big Parade with a route 6km long and the carnival procession lasting around 8 hours. After that, more all night street parties.

Another highlight of the carnival is the strange tradition here that all the straight guys, now matter how cute and macho they are (and they are!!!) dress up as girls (naughty nurses, tarts etc...) whilst the girls dress up as guys. The general theme this year is "Pirates".

Official website for Las Palmas Carnival


Maspalomas Carnival - 2013
(14-28 February)

Just as the carnival in the north is slowing down, we start 10 more days of carnival down here in the south, Maspalomas and Playa del Ingles.

Most of the events take place in and around the largest commercial center which is also the gay center - The Yumbo.

The big nights here are the last Thursday for the drag queen competition and the last Saturday night for the all-night street party. Expect thousands upon thousands of revellers for each event, lots of cute latino guys (and us tourists of course). On the last Saturday night you'll be hard-pushed to find that many Spanish not dressed in costume, everyone really gets in the carnival mood here. The last Saturday during the afternoon / evening is the big street parade.

GAY EXCURSIONS - Unfortunately you'll be hard pushed to find an all gay-exclusive excursion other than during pride week. There's just never enough interest to keep one running for very long. There is a boat trip every Friday at the moment, let's hope it lasts!


LAS PALMAS - For a different night out, why not try Las Palmas? Easy to get to by bus from the south (45 minutes journey) though a more infrequent service (every hour) to come back in the early hours before 7am. Better still, if you planning a couple of weeks on the island try a week in the south and a week in the north. If all the nightlife and beaches aren't your main thing and you're after Something Spanish (be it culture, architecture, men...) then make your destination Las Palmas and maybe visit the south for one or two days?

Historic QuarterEl Corte Ingles department storeLas Canteras Beach

Las Palmas is one of the largest cities in Spain (more about it here) so there's plenty of restaurants, shops, nightlife, there's an entire historic disctric packed with galleries and museums, cheap to luxury hotels for the night or week and there's also a well-catered-for gay nightlife too.

ACCOMMODATION IN LAS PALMAS - Best place to stay in the city is along the Las Canteras Beach. Beautiful blue-flag beach that's 3km long and lined with a great choice of hotels and apartments. The Reina Isabel is a very reasonably priced 4-star hotel or google "apartments las canteras" and you're sure to find a decent choice.

ENTERTAINMENT IN LAS PALMAS - The area to head for is around Santa Catalina Park and from there towards Las Canteras beach, Plaza de España and the streets in between, by night that's where you'll find most of thegay bars and clubs. For shopping (prices cheaper in the city than the duty free at the airport) go to the "Triana" area next to the historic center, "Mesa y Lopez" street in the city center or "Siete Palmas" commercial center on the outskirts of the city.