Despite a last-minute attempt by conservative politicians to further delay proceedings, it now seems inevitable that Costa Rica will join the Marriage Equality club on 26 May.

The change in Costa Rica was triggered by a decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Back in January 2018, the Court ruled that all of its signatory countries must allow same-sex marriage. Costa Rica is a signatory country and so is bound by the court’s ruling.

The legal position was further strengthened when Costa Rica’s constitutional court confirmed that Costa Rica’s ban on same-sex marriage was made invalid by the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The deadline set by the Constitutional Court was 28 May 2020.

Conservative politicians have mounted a last-ditch effort to defer or extend the deadline, but it appears that they don’t have the votes required and same-sex marriage will become legal.

Marriage Equality has the support of Costa Rica’s president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who took office in 2018.

An LGBTQ Guide to the World

When was homosexuality decriminalised in Costa Rica?

Same-sex sexual relations have been legal in Costa Rica since 1971. A universal age-of-consent was also introduced at this time.

When did Marriage Equality come into effect in Costa Rica?

Following the 2018 decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Marriage Equality will come into effect in Costa Rica in May 2020.

Some initial legal recognition of same-sex partnerships was introduced in 2013.

Is there anti-discrimination protection for LGBTQ people in Costa Rica?

There are some protections in place, but LGBTQ people are not currently comprehensively protected from discrimination based on sexuality or gender-identity.

What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Costa Rica?

A socially conservative country, it appears that public attitudes are changing.

Costa Rica’s president, Carlos Alvarado Quesada – who took office in 2018 – has publicly confirmed his support for the LGBTQ community.

Is Costa Rica a queer travel destination?

Just a few decades ago, Costa Rica had a reputation as not being a welcoming place for LGBTQ visitors. Things have changed, and it now appears to be welcoming queer visitors with open arms.

Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse nation in the world, and a pioneer in ecotourism. Two oceans, endless beaches, expansive rainforest, enchanting cloud forests, active volcanoes, stunning waterfalls, relaxing hot springs, winding rivers, exciting river rapids, picturesque villages, romantic sunsets, and a tropical climate, all combine to make Costa Rica an ideal destination.

When to go

The best time to visit Costa Rica is between mid-December to the end of April – the dry season in Costa Rica.

How to meet local guys

  • La Avispa Discoteque or Bochinche Bar or Puchos Strip Club in San Jose City
  • Club Karma in Manuel Antonio Beach
  • Gay Saunas and Gay massage services  -  there are some options in San Jose City and private services and escorts are also available.

Where to stay

There’s a range of gay-friendly accommodation options to suit any budget.

Options include:

  • Best Western San Jose City or Colours Oasis Resort
  • Hotel Villa Roca, Hotel Vela Bar, La Foresta Resort, Hotel Mono Azul, Hotel Gaia or Hotel San Bada in Manuel Antonio Beach
  • Hotel Vista Ballena in Uvita Beach
  • Arenal Springs Resort, Baldi Springs Resort, Tabacon Resort, The Springs Resort, or Arenal Nayara in La Fortuna
  • Club del Mar Resort or Hotel Villa Lapas in Jaco Beach
  • Hotel El Establo en Monteverde
  • Tortuguero Lodge or Mawamba Lodge in Tortuguero Canals
  • Hotel Suria o Trogon Lodge in Savegre

What to do

  • Private tour in Carara National Park or Manuel Antonio National Park or Arenal Volcano National Park or La Fortuna Waterfall or Poas Volcano National Park or La Paz Waterfall Gardens
  • Mi Cafecito Coffee Tour or DOKA Coffee Tour
  • Visit to Nauyaca Waterfalls
  • Titi Canopy Tour or Los Suenos Canopy Tour
  • Gay sunset cruise in Manuel Antonio Bay
  • Sunset Cruise in Flamingo Beach or Tamarindo Beach
  • White Water Rafting in Manuel Antonio Beach or La Fortuna
  • ATV Rides in Manuel Antonio Beach or Jaco Beach or La Fortuna or Flamingo Beach
  • Sea Kayaking or Scuba Diving or Sport Fishing in Manuel Antonio Beach or Flamingo Beach or Jaco Beach
  • Sky Trek, Sky Walk or Aerial Tram in La Fortuna or Monteverde
  • Bungee Jumping, Zip lining and Hiking in Monteverde